Don’t Take Advantage of this Southwest Airlines Offer

Southwest Rapid Rewards is offering a 40% bonus on purchased miles through the end of the month.

The price of to buy points with this offer is 1.96 cents apiece. At most Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.42 cents (plus some option value in that Southwest award tickets are cancellable without penalty).

Don’t buy speculatively, even revenue-based programs can devalue.

The only reason to take up this offer would be if you had a very specific award you needed a small number of points to redeem for. Even then recognize the more you buy, the less value you’re getting for your redemption since every mile purchased loses over half a cent. processes Southwest points purchases so they do not earn airline purchase bonuses that your credit card may offer.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. While your main point is clearly true, I value Southwest points at a mild premium to their cash equivalent because they are very good for making speculative bookings since they refund in full, while a speculative booking made in cash which needs to be cancelled yields credit associated with a record locator which needs to be recalled when using those funds for future reservations in the year before they expire. If one has enough speculative bookings, that’s a big convenience gain.

  2. I disagree you can still transfer to AirTran for credits and transfer back again for an old Southwest award. The cost per point would be .0189 using the Southwest credit card x 19,200 points for a round trip credit = $362 so do the math.

  3. That’s funny, the email I received says:

    “Plus, when you use your Rapid Rewards Premier or Plus Credit Card to purchase these points, you’ll earn an additional 2 points for every $1 spent.”

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