It’s Back! You Can Book Southwest Flights With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

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INSIDER SECRET: There is little downside to booking Southwest flights early because if the price of your flight drops you can cancel and re-book at the lower rate for no additional fees. Just keep in mind that depending on the fare, the refund may be in the form of a travel credit, not cash.

When the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal switched over to being powered by Expedia, the change was mostly positive but not without drawbacks. One of the biggest hits was losing the ability to book Southwest flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Good news — as of a few days ago, that has changed!

Being able to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Southwest flights opens up your options. (Photo by @jpi213 /Twenty20)

Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Southwest Flights

You can’t search for Southwest flights online through the Chase travel portal, so you’ll have to call Chase travel at (866) 951-6592 to book. Also, according to The Points Guy, you’ll need to have one of these Chase cards to use this feature:

Being able to pay for you Southwest flights with Chase points is a nice option because you’ll be able to book free flights and earn frequent flyer miles at the same time (This could be helpful if you’re close to earning a Southwest Companion Pass). When you book through Chase travel, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each if you have the Sapphire Preferred and 1.5 cents each if you have the Sapphire Reserve.

There is no Southwest award chart, but Southwest points are usually worth 1.4-1.7 cents each, so it may be a better deal to transfer your Chase points to Southwest and then book the flight. Keep in mind that you will pay taxes on award flights, which isn’t much for domestic routes but can top $100 on certain Caribbean flights. When you pay for the flight by calling Chase travel your Chase points can be used to cover the taxes as well.

Remember, Southwest doesn’t charge change or cancellation fees. This is great because if the price of your flight drops you can easily re-book at the lower price. If you cancel an award flight booked with Southwest points, the points are automatically refunded to your account and available to use (although Southwest points can expire). If you book Southwest’s cheapest Wanna Get Away fares and pay with Chase points, the refund will be in the form of a travel credit, which would need to be used within a year.

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Hat tip: View From the Wing

Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Maria
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing! I dont have points to use yet but am trying to book a southwest flight through the travel portal. I dont see southwest on the portal do you recommend I call chase in order to “book through the portal”?

SW Man
1 year ago

Wait, so if you can book Southwest flights from Chase (which you don’t need a premium card like the Sapphire to do so), then you don’ t need that card anymore? Essentially, you can just use freedom or unlimited card points to book travel, and never have to transfer them to SW?