What are Southwest Rapid Rewards Points Worth?
How much are Southwest Rapid Rewards Points worth? You can currently redeem Southwest points at a value of 1.43 cents per point for Wanna Get Away fare.
In a nutshell:
- Value: 1.43 cents per point
- Expiration: 24 months of earning inactivity
We value Southwest points at 1.43 cents each. We’ll break down the best (and worst) ways to earn Southwest Points, as well as list a few ways to earn.
What are Southwest Points worth?
|Category||Redemption Option||Points per $1||Cents per Point||Rating|
|Flights||Wanna Get Away fare||70||1.43||Good|
|AirTran credits||1,200 for 1 credit||Depends||Depends|
|Merchandise||Varies||Less than 1.00||Bad|
Redeem for airfare
Your best bet is to redeem for Wanna Get Away fare at a value of 1.43 cents per point. Non-Southwest options include switching your Rapid Rewards Points to AirTran A+ credits at a rate of 1,200 points to 1 A+ credit (you need 16 credits for a roundtrip award flight) and using your points to book international travel through Chase’s Kayak-like booking tool. We’ve found that the prices on the tool pretty much align with Kayak’s, so you aren’t getting screwed over there.
Redeem for hotels or rental cars
You can also redeem for hotel or rental car bookings, again through Chase’s Kayak-like tool at a rate of one cent per point.
Redeem for gift cards
Surprisingly, you can get a good value redeeming Southwest points for gift cards. If you save up and cash in 5,000 points, you can get a $50 gift card to Amazon, Express, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Zappos and more. This yields a value of one cent per point. Redeeming 3,000 points typically nets you a $25 gift card, or just 0.83 cents per point. Still, contrast this with the love-to-hate Citi ThankYou Points: If you want full value, you have to save up 10,000 points.
Redeeming for merchandise or experiences
While redemption values vary, you’re usually best off avoiding using points to buy merch. Instead, get a gift card to a store selling whatever you want, and purchase that way.
Best ways to earn Southwest points
Other than flying the airline, obviously, you can quickly rack up Southwest points with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. It earns 2 points per $1 on the airline and its partners, and one point per $1 elsewhere. It also comes with a signup bonus to get things started: Get 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.
You can also earn rewards faster with:
- Southwest’s hotel and rental car partners, including Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood and Best Western; as well as Alamo, Avis and Budget
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping, an online mall that lets you earn extra points just by clicking through on your way to a retailer’s website
- The Rapid Rewards Dining Program, where you earn 3 points per $1 with participating restaurants