Southwest Is Selling Points With a 75% Bonus, But Is It Worth It?

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Southwest just launched a new buy points sale offering Rapid Rewards members a 75% bonus on all point purchases through November 16. Loyalty members who buy at least 15,000 points will score Rapid Rewards points for just 1.57¢ per point.

While this seems like a good deal at first glance, it may be worth thinking twice before pulling out your wallet. That's because Southwest recently devalued its Rapid Rewards points. Now, Southwest points generally have a fixed value of between 1.3-1.5¢ each. So, does it ever make sense to buy them for 1.57¢ apiece? Let's dig in.

buy Southwest points with 75% bonus

A Note on Buying Points

At AwardWallet, we don't generally recommend buying points and miles speculatively. Most loyalty programs sell points at a price point that makes it difficult to receive outsized value, so you're often better off holding onto your cash.

However, there are at least a few exceptions. The first is when you only need a few more points to complete a redemption you're planning. Buying points can make a lot of sense here since it's one of the fastest (and easiest) ways to top off your account balance.

The second is when buying the points necessary for an award flight you want to book is cheaper than paying the cash rate. Third, if you're struggling to meet a credit card sign-up bonus spending requirement, buying points can be a quick way to spend now for travel later.

Key Terms

  • Point purchases through November 16, 2021 (promotional period) will receive up to a 75% bonus.
  • Loyalty members can buy a maximum of 60,000 points per day, with no annual maximum.
  • Purchased points do not count towards A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass qualification.
  • Purchased points may take up to 72 hours to post in the applicable Rapid Rewards Account.
  • Transactions are non-refundable.

The 75% bonus will get you a 45,000 bonus on the maximum purchase of 60,000 points.

buy Southwest points with a 75% bonus

Buying Points with a Fixed Value

Southwest's loyalty program is a little different from the rest. In many ways, that's a good thing. For instance, you can redeem points for any flight with seats available, you can easily cancel or change your booking with class-leading flexibility, and every passenger can check two bags for free.

However, unlike some of the other major U.S. airlines, Southwest assigns a fixed value to Rapid Rewards points. This means that the award price is directly tied to the revenue price. After a recent Southwest devaluation, Southwest now charges between 81-83 points per dollar of base fare.

After factoring in taxes and fees, you're generally left with a per-point value of 1.3-1.5¢ — depending on the taxes and fees on the flight. The advantage of this is that you'll never be left wondering if you're getting a good deal. The disadvantage is this precludes you from the ability to buy and redeem points for outsized value as you can with AAdvantage miles or Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

Sample Redemption

Let's look at an example itinerary to see if buying Southwest points makes sense.

$49 Southwest flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

This non-stop itinerary from Los Angeles (LAX) to Las Vegas (LAS) is going for a reasonable cash price of $48.98. If you were to book this flight with points, it would cost 2,671 points + $5.60.

If you were able to buy exactly 2,671 points at 1.57¢ a piece, it would cost $41.97. After adding the $5.60 security fee, you're left with a total cost of $47.57. That's much more than the cash price. So, at this rate, it's possible that buying Southwest points could make sense.

But that's not considering other factors. If you bought the flight with cash, you'd earn 194 Rapid Rewards points from the flight. That's not much, but it eats into the advantage of buying Southwest points. Also, you need to buy Southwest points in increments of 1,000 points. That makes it hard to buy just the right amount of points for a flight.

There are two tips for maximizing your Southwest redemption value: buying cheap tickets and connecting itineraries.

When redeeming points for a flight, you don't have to pay the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) that's collected by the airline and remitted to airports. On really cheap flights, the PFC can be a significant amount of the cash price. And, on connecting itineraries, you have to pay the PFC to multiple airports. Therefore, you may be able to get more than 1.6¢ from your Southwest points in the case of a cheap connecting itinerary.

Topping Off Your Account

One of the few circumstances where buying points can make sense is when you're just a few points shy of that next redemption, and you're on a time constraint. AwardWallet tracking shows that Southwest points are immediately deposited into a Rapid Rewards account. So, if a sale is ending soon and you don't want to pay the full cash fare, buying points to top off your account might make sense.

However, there's an even better solution to that problem. Southwest Rapid Rewards is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means that points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card can be transferred (instantly) to Southwest to top-off your account in a pinch. Since earning Ultimate Rewards doesn't necessarily cost you anything (apart from maybe an annual fee), it's a cheaper solution than buying Southwest points.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 60,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This card comes with great benefits and earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 3X points on eligible streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on all other travel
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Maximize Your Purchase

Like many other loyalty programs, Southwest uses Points.com (a third party) to process point purchases. This means that although the purchase occurs on Southwest's website, it won't qualify for any travel category bonus offered by some credit cards.

In cases like these, we suggest that if you're going to make a purchase, use it towards a minimum spending requirement for a welcome bonus or use a credit card optimized for everyday purchases. Some of the best cards for that include:

It's also worth noting that one of the payment options you're able to select is ‘Rapid Rewards Credit Card' when buying Southwest points. While not 100% certain, this should trigger the applicable multiplier for a Southwest purchase if you pay with a Southwest co-branded credit card. Those bonus points would change the math on the value you get from the purchase, so it's something to consider.

Other Ways to Earn Rapid Rewards Points

If you aren't as pressed for time, another way to build your stash of Southwest points is with a co-branded credit card. Chase offers a full portfolio of Southwest cards. Among the best of these offerings is the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. The current sign-up bonus offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Annual Fee$199
Welcome Bonus Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
The latest card to join the Southwest lineup of rewards cards, the Southwest Performance Business Card offers the highest Rapid Rewards signup bonus, earns more points than it's Southwest counterparts, receives a massive 9,000 point anniversary bonus, plus offers plenty of perks and benefits for Southwest fans. One of the best co-brand business cards on the market.
  • Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW! Earn 4X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services and 1X points on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit.
  • 4X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
  • 3X points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners
  • 2X points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • 2X points per $1 spent on rideshare
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Bottom Line

Southwest doesn't offer a buy points promotion all that often. So, whenever one comes around, it's worth taking the time to look it over and do the math. But, in this case, it just doesn't make sense. If you're in a pinch and need the points quick, at least this bonus allows you to snag them for a little more than face value. But, it's generally better to acquire Southwest points through co-branded credit cards, shopping portals, or converting Ultimate Rewards.

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Comments

  • Chase Sapphire has a 5x on travel bookings right now. Spend 5k get 25 thousand points. So book Southwest get 5x points and then transfer. No brainer

  • Honestly, I think it’s a no brainer if you have one of the branded cards and it works with the multiplier.

  • I agree at face value buying the points are not a good value, but as others have pointed out if for some reason your cash purchased flight you decide to cancel you only have one year to use those funds before they expire. At least with flight purchased with points there is no expiration on the points in my case during those covid I canceled a lot of flights last year knowing I had no worries about reusing them

  • Probably worth it if you need to fly this month.

  • I think this is a good promotion, in pandemic times, it is worth to take advantage of it

  • I think airlines are still competing with each other and trying to win over consumers though. I don’t think any one of them wants to be the one to shoot themselves in the foot.

  • angelo fonseca says:

    indeed, as stated in the article, the offer is advantageous only if there is an urgent need. let’s wait for the next one from southwest.

  • Take advantage of when southwest does promos, also signing up for the credit card with give you a nice amount of points!

  • I really appreciate how the AwardWallet team takes time to do the math on these for me and list the catch 22s. I would have thought that this might have been a good deal to get some Southwest points, but it is pretty clear that it is better for me to hold onto my $s instead of exchanging for southwest points. Thank you for the post.

  • I give you all credit. I know that I “should” do the math but sometimes I just book. I realize that I’m leaving things on the table, likely. But, I’m always afraid the time spent assessing the value isn’t worth it in the end. But …. that being said, I love that you guys (& gals) do the hard work and try to make it manageable. I’d love a comparison chart if one exists that shows what typical rates are. It’d be nice to see what a typical spend should be in terms of cash vs. points.

  • I know sometimes it does work for some people in particular circumstances, but I have never personally encountered a situation for me where it has made sense to buy airline miles.

  • Almost no one should be buying these points since they are an immediate loss unless you are absolutely broke and can’t pay for a ticket or fly so rarely you just want to zero out your balance and can do that by rounding up balance to redeem for a ticket. If neither of these apply, then just buy the ticket and wait until you have enough to redeem.

  • This could be useful if you combine this with the southwest companion deal.

  • 1.65 is a little pricey, even if you can use the points.

  • I would rather try for the companion fly free promotion that they have ongoing right now instead of buying points.

  • I try not to buy points, just earn them.

  • I’d say it’s not worth it, where as ore devaluation it would have certainly been worth it

  • If only the free Comp pass stacked.

  • Waiting for the Canada U.S. border to be open. So until then, not worth it just yet. But could be worth it for people who have a specific reward redemption in mind and need to top up a tiny amount.

  • I would’ve done it before the devaluing, but it’s not worth it now.

  • As usual, always have a plan to on how to use the points due to the possibility of a devaluation. Southwest recently devalued their program.

  • Unless you need to top off your account in a short period of time, this offer will probably not get anyone too excited. Southwest points are useful though in the long run as they never expire and you can just redeposit them if you need to cancel a flight instead of getting stuck with a flight voucher that you have to use within a year.

  • Can you combine this promo with the 50% off promo that Southwest just started? That would be a sweet deal.

  • Southwest is an AWESOME airline but I do not recommend buying miles, you have a lot of options to earn them.

  • Before selling the points, SW should allow loyalty members to redeem points in various other ways. Around 200K points is sitting on my account, but I have only a very few ways to redeem it as an expat abroad. Bring back “More Rewards” section at least (e.g. intl. flight booking, hotel booking etc.)

  • Best to wait until a 100% bonus. 45% is not high enough!

  • Agreed on it not being a good value. Airline prices right now are outrageous but it sounds counterintuitive for me to personally buy points just to fly somewhere.

    • You really need do the math each time.. sometimes it can be worth it even though it might not seem intuitive.

  • Emily Davidson says:

    As a Chase and SW card holder, this was really valuable insight!

  • I agree at face value buying the points are not a good value, but as others have pointed out if for some reason your cash purchased flight you decide to cancel you only have one year to use those funds before they expire. At least with flight purchased with points there is no expiration on the points in my case during those covid I canceled a lot of flights last year knowing I had no worries about reusing them

  • I agree with the other comments that I don’t think buying points is a good idea unless you really want to fly on southwest and need just a top up for your next flight. This feels more like a money grab and you should have a concrete plan on what you’d spend the miles on if you were to buy miles outright.

  • I love southwest for so many reasons, but I never feel like buying points is a good idea especially with the recent devaluation!

  • Joseph Pulaski says:

    I normally just look right past offers like this, but the article brings up three quick scenarios that could make it advantageous. Hmmm-especially if SW is your go-to airline. (I do like the ease of rescheduling via SW.) I guess in the end it’s an individual decision.

  • No matter how good a deal is offered on purchasing points for any airline or hotel unless I have an immediate use for them I wouldn’t be a buyer. The risk of sudden devaluation is too great, particularly at the moment. There are some good offers around though for those who can make immediate use of points.

  • I’m always wary of these promos and feel they push them heavily right before a devaluation in the points/miles of that program.

  • angelo fonseca says:

    If Southwest doesn’t offer such offers so often, it’s time to take advantage. Congratulations to those who will benefit from the offer and have a good trip.

  • Diego Lijavetzky says:

    Hola, muchas gracias por el Blog! Por mi parte pienso que siempre es buen momento para comprar millas en forma promocional. Asi, gracias Southwest por la oportunidad. Sin dudas voy a aprovecharla.

  • In my experience with other airlines it is very difficult to get a benefit buying miles, you can get better deals buying directly the realtime offers that are frequently provided by the airlines.

  • I’ve never been a fan of Southwest. I just like they’re open seating and there are other reasons also. I’ve always thought they’ve gotten away with a lot of poor actions because they give two free bags and the flight attendants make jokes.

    I would never buy their points, particularly when they just showed that they can devalue the program just as much as any other airline.

    People still think of them as a low-cost carrier yet I often find they are more expensive.

  • I wonder if this is a temporary way to soften the devaluation of the miles? I still don’t think it’d be worth it. Since it now takes more miles it is better to just build them up until it is a good idea to redeem them.

  • It might have been marginally worth it to speculatively buy at this bonus rate except they just devalued the points again and they sell them through points.com so you can’t even benefit from an “airline” purchase on many credit cards, etc. To me it’s only good if I needed to top off for an award to clean out my points account with Southwest.

  • Only if you’re close to an award redemption is anything less than 100% award worth it!

  • Not worth risking another devaluation to buy these points unless you need a top off for a specific redemption in the very near term. With no first class opportunities and a revenue based points program cash really is king here in almost every circumstance,

  • Gabe Boisvert says:

    I wouldn’t have considered it until recently because Southwest had a very limited route network out of my home network. But they’ve expanded a lot recently, so it may make more sense.

  • buenisimo, me copó

  • Why do they make it so that points purchasing don’t count towards tier qualification? Some of us still aren’t traveling, and may not for a while.

  • What a good promotion, until what date could you fly buying these points?

  • Rarely is buying points an effective tactic. But if you need to top off to get that reward you need, then take the bonus.

  • Unless you need to top off or really need points for a flight, I would pass on this.

  • angelo fonseca says:

    Purposefully, they always put prices in points in a non-convenient way. We always have to buy extra points.

  • I agree, the only reason to buy points is to top up an account to get an award ticket.

    • I totally agree with you and others on here. What happened to the travel industry in 2020 has made topping up the only valid reason to buy points.

  • Unless you need to top off your account for a specific award flight you’re considering, I don’t see any upside to this sale at all….not sure why Southwest even bothers with this offer with a fixed value point system and no biz/first class to upgrade to – what is the point here exactly Southwest?

  • Instead of doing all these promo on regular basis could it be easier to just reduce the price of miles/points?
    This apply in a general way to airlines and hotels.

  • Really appreciate the thorough explanation here, and saving me from doing the math to see if it’s worth it! But will definitely keep the tip about topping off my account in mind before my next big trip.

  • This company is starting to operate in Argentina?

  • i think now is not a time to think about points. In my opinion

  • Jessica Arbai says:

    Personally, I would not get Southwest points either.

  • Samuel Rhoades says:

    I just can’t see buying points unless your need is immediate.

  • Topping up is the only suitable option for 2021, in my opinion.

  • Unless I just needed a few thousand miles to top off my account for an award ticket I would never buy Southwest miles.

  • Michael Cleveland says:

    Some other factors. If buying with cash (credit card) and then you cancel, you get Travel Funds vs points. Travel Funds have to be used by the original purchaser and have an expiration date. Credits can be used for anyone to fly and if canceled, just go back to your account. If getting flights for family members, best to use points so if cancelled, you get the points back – not the person that was flying. Same is true if you change flights to cheaper fare, I have lots of points from Credit cards sign up, hotel stays, etc, so will not be buying.

    • Michelle Cammarata says:

      THIS is why buying points makes sense to me and I think it should be added to the article. Right now I am taking my family of 6 , 4 almost adult children to Nebraska for a family reunion in July. I don’t have enough to buy all tickets with points. So I was preparing to shop for the best cash price. However it makes me nervous to buy tickets that way, as inevitably one family member won’t be able to go for some reason. If I pre buy the points I need right before my purchase, whoever cancels I get my points back, forever. Doesn’t go to them, or have any expiration date. Points with no expiration vs paying cash makes the buying points worth it to me.

  • I wouldn’t buy unless I was desperate and definitely utilizing them asap. I’d first consider doing the credit card to get the points and a companion pass.

  • Good stuff. Always appreciate the fine details and calculations!

  • I will not be buying Southwest points at this time. I do agree with your three exceptions regarding when it is a good idea to purchase points.

  • Thanks for the explanation and example calculations. I’ve tried to figure the exchange rate many times. Lol
    I’ve bought points when I was short points to fully redeem my balance.
    And have done the book multiple flights till I could firm up my plans so I can take advantage of sale price thing too. I like SW for those points features.

  • In the past buying ,keeping and using a bank of points was the easier way for myself and my family to book trips where I wasn’t 100% sure I’d be taking. That way when i cancelled i didn’t have to bother tracking unused flight values. Even with the introduction of the tracking travel funds within each account I still tend to book our family of 4 with points from one account.

    • Not having to worry about vouchers is definitely worth something. As long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, don’t let anyone tell you what to do. 🙂

  • I would only consider buying Southwest points if I was coming up short on meeting a minimum spend on a credit card bonus!

  • Traveler 46 says:

    Points are transferable – Travel funds are NOT. It would make sense if you do not foresee travelling personally with your SWA travel funds, but might want to have family or friends travel using your points to purchase their ticket. MANY have cancelled flights that have resulted in “Travel Funds” as credits which are non transferable. Sooo that might be an advantage- also SWA points do not expire- my travel funds expire Sept. 7 2022. Just sayin’
    Great article!

  • No thanks for me, but interesting that they are getting creative in trying to generate some revenue.

    • I bet many people are tired of seeing these offers, especially when they do not plan on traveling anytime soon.

  • These promotions make sense as a way for the airlines to pull cash forward as a loan against the points they’re distributing. I feel like they’d have to make this deal a good bit better to influence any speculative purchases. This would probably be a sharper price if travel was actually starting to ramp up again.

  • I agree with the author, I think buying points is not a great deal compared to holding onto your cash unless as stated you’re really close to an award flight on another airline, then it might be worth it to buy a few points to put you over the edge. I’ve never done it with Southwest because how far your points will go depends on the ticket price. With Southwest, better to just keep accumulating points until you can pay for the flight you want with points, rather than buying them.

  • Airlines are trying to seduce travellers but definitely it will be very hard to come back to normality

  • greyhk SWA changed policy about a year ago. points do not expire now, so no need to buy or take surveys to extend the expiration date for points.

  • I think i will not buy this point as it’s not safe to travel in 2020 with COVID-19, and the promo is not good to buy , it’s expensive.

    • I’d argue it’s just as safe, if not safer. Everyone has made an emphasis on cleaning and distancing. I flew internationally early last month and am flying again in November. It was great with how few people there were.

  • I can’t understand why Southwest offers something like this – when you can book a Wanna Get Away fare for basically the same price. I guess it helps their financial filings look better when the rewards program has unredeemed points sitting there?

    • Actually the opposite. Points are a liability to these programs and a negative on the books. They need cash now though so you’re seeing lots of travel companies offering similar sales.

  • I wonder why would anyone buy miles at face value when travel industry is said to never pick up again. It must be tough for companies offer promotions like this without looking desperate for cash.

  • Don’t fall for the trap.
    The bonus isn’t even that big, and buying points is not worth it at this point.

  • Before I knew about doing a survey to earn Southwest points, I had to purchase miles in the past just in order to keep my points from expiring. If you need to keep points from expiring, now might be a good time to buy.

  • I’ve bought Southwest points in the past, but I’m not sure that I’d do it now. Maybe if I needed to buy a plane ticket on 2 days notice and was sure I’d have a use for the points.

  • This promo is a joke. You are paying more buying points than cash fare. The bonus should be at least 100% before considering it.

  • Very little value in this promo, for me. With recent multipliers of earning rates on the CSR etc., transferring Chase points offers a better value.

  • I think SWA points are more valuable than 1.5 cent per mile, because with the miles, you can book multiple flights on different days and just cancel the ones you don’t use. so if your plans change you aren’t stuck paying last minute prices. All points are redeposited for free. If you try that with cash, you are stuck with credits that you have to use in a certain time frame. I have found they only cancel multiple flights on the same day.

    • Great point. And that’s exactly what I’ve done on this trip: use Southwest points to book a few different options and then see how things work out.

  • I don’t know if I would risk buying points right now, even if it is a very good price. I would rather pay more later, than pay less for something that don’t know if I ll be using

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I’ve booked and taken advantage of these deals. It’s a great time to travel. Put down your mask and fake fear and get going. Southwest is the way to go.

  • It’s never worth it, especially in today’s climate, unless you are topping off for an immediate trip or are truly spur of the moment.

  • Michael C says:

    Another reason to buy SWA points: If you travel rarely but plan to do a trip in the near future – but not sure of the dates and may need to cancel, using points to “buy” a ticket gives more flexibility. You can cancel and get all point redeposited and point never expire. If you buy a ticket and cancel, the Travel Funds they give you will expire a year after you first made the reservation. Also, if you buy tickets for someone else with points and then cancel, the points go back to you – travel funds are only used for the person on the ticket.

  • Arne Gallagher says:

    At least one good thing if you buy the points that are about the same price as the value of the points is you can book flights at the cheap “Wanna Get Away” price with points and be able to cancel the flight and get the points redeposited. You can still cancel the cheap flight if you bought it with cash, but you would only then get a credit to use later. So, this helps you reserve and cancel flights for about the same price but be able to cancel without any lingering aftereffects of canceling.

  • Although this might be a savings for those with a family who like traveling on Southwest, I avoid them so this is definitely a no-go for me.
    I will say that since there are always award seats available, this is a better bet for getting a cheap flight than on some of the other airlines. Especially if you intend to use them for a flight to Hawaii (Which may be a more expensive flight.)

  • This is not a great time to buy miles. Better to wait so you aren’t sitting on a bunch of miles and facing devaluation.

  • I’m still curious what rate Southwest is going to use when they allow travel funds to be converted to points.

  • I do not think it is a good idea to buy points in this context (who knows when we will be able to travel in peace of mind again) unless the offer is not extremely profitable.

  • Southwest is probably one airline that will survive the current catastrophe so I might actually buy some points at this rate.

  • Great info!!! I have been waiting for the past few months to find an offer like this one! I am planning a trip and I am in need of some extra points… hope to make this deal on time

  • I think it only makes sense if you pay for the points purchase with a Southwest VISA card and you get the extra points for that also.

    I’m going to give it a try as we are a family of 5 and it costs us a lot for airfare each time we travel.

  • It’s clearly really tough for the airline industry in this pandemic. The industry will clearly bounce back but is a question of timing… Providing the airlines stay solvent! I have to say I have been pleasantly pleased how the airlines that I had flights booked for have accommodated either a reschedule or refund. As they have treated me fairly I am more inclined to invest a few air miles which will help their cash flow and myself in the long run.

  • I wouldn’t buy points now, unless it is to top up for a very specific reward redemption. Even though it may be debatable depending on the price of the ticket.

  • Liam Maloney says:

    I would generally choose a SW flight over other airlines due to their lack of baggage and seat fees, but would not buy points at any airline right now.

  • Yeah I wouldn’t ever buy points unless you have an immediate need to use them. Buying them is converting the most liquid asset (cash) into the most illiquid (airline points).

  • Not a good deal. This goes for Jetblue and most other airlines that have flexible point prices depending on the cash price.

  • I don’t think its worth it, I’d rather transfer points from my credit card to use them right before booking a flight instead of pre-paying in case I might book a southwest flight.

  • Florencia says:

    Beyond the fixed value of the points, it does not seem to me a good decision to buy miles in this context (in which unfortunately some companies will disappear after the covid 19 crisis)

  • Points promotions need to be properly analized. This one isnt worth it. Sometimes they might look like a risk and difficult to believe, that ones are the ones i like the most!

    • Can I ask what you do find to be worth it? I never find it worth it, bit I also can’t justify business class when I can get more trips in economy.

  • Planning on holding off for now as no trips are currently in the works via Southwest.

  • It’s interesting, but you have to do the math before

  • Thank you for the analysis! Not reason to buy this at this promotional price.

    • Same here. I just do not find it comfortable nor safe to travel in 2020.

    • I love the work and effort that AW puts into these posts letting us know where to find the maximum value and what the sweet spots are. I never would have thought cheap flights with a layover would be a criteria but now I know.

  • wow so it seems like their points program isnt the best. seems like proper investigation needs to be done before buying points. this is a very good post and i will hold off on buying points with them.

    • SW has no business class and their award pricing is tied to the cash price so you’ll consistently get around 1.5cpp – certainly good but nothing lucrative if you’re used to large redemption rates.

    • It’s not the best but they are consistent. They’re a no-frills airline and you’ll know what you’re getting every time.

  • I’ve bought Southwest points before, but I’m definitely not buying them now, I really don’t know when I’ll able to use them. Anyway some could find it rentable.

    • I wonder why airlines are offering point purchase sales when travelers very much resist against traveling.

      • @Charles, it’s all about them being terribly cash-strapped right now because of the very resistance to traveling out there that you mention. They are so desperate for cash that they are selling miles at steep discounts. It should be an opportunity for someone with disposal income. Pay for future travel now at a discount.

        • I’m concerned that since they are so cash strapped, they’re likely to devalue at some point down the track, cancelling out the benefits of any savings now.

          • I think airlines are still competing with each other and trying to win over consumers though. I don’t think any one of them wants to be the one to shoot themselves in the foot.

        • It is not an opportunity, unless you already have a planned trip, because it is not known if the miles will be devalued later.

      • The fact that they offer it means people do it.