Southwest Airlines is currently running a targeted promotion through which you can purchase Rapid Rewards points and receive a discount — up to 45% in our experience.
Let’s take a look at the details of this offer and discuss whether it makes sense or not.
It appears there are 2 versions of this promotion. One offers a flat 40% discount on any purchases that exceed 3,000 points. The other offers a tiered structure where you’ll earn a larger discount as your purchase more points. Both versions are valid until May 20, 2022.
Some important notes:
- You must purchase a minimum of 1,000 points.
- The daily maximum you’re able to purchase is 60,000 points. You can, however, repeat this daily, so if you want to purchase more than 60,000 points, you can make multiple transactions over several days.
- Purchased points do not count toward elite status or earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.
- You can purchase points as a gift, so you could use this promotion to top off another member’s account if you wish.
As we said above, the offer appears to be targeted, and you’ll need to log into your Southwest account to see which offer the airline has chosen for you.
Is It Worth It?
Even with a maximum discount of 40% or 45%, this promotion isn’t enough to make it a great deal.
Southwest Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based program, meaning you’ll receive a fixed value for each point you redeem. If you purchase a “Wanna Get Away” fare (the airline’s cheapest tickets), you’ll receive about 1.2 cents of value per point. And if you maximize either version of this promotion, you’ll be paying about 1.5 cents per point.
Because the points you purchase are actually more expensive than the redemption, you’ll want to keep point purchases to a minimum when dealing with Rapid Rewards. In most instances, it only makes sense to purchase Rapid Rewards points if you have a need to top off your account for a redemption you’ve been planning. In fact, it often makes more sense to purchase a ticket with cash since you can earn Rapid Rewards points on the transaction.
Hot Tip: Want to learn more about Southwest’s loyalty program? Check out our full review of Southwest Rapid Rewards.
Because you generally can’t get outsize value from Rapid Rewards, it usually isn’t a good idea to purchase Rapid Rewards points, even with a discount. However, if you’ve been planning a redemption for a while and simply need to close the gap between what’s in your account balance and the cost of the ticket(s), this is an opportunity to do so with a discount.
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