Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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On January 1, 2024, Southwest Airlines points will be worth 4% less thanks to a change in the Rapid Rewards program. Overall, this change is fairly minor, though it still represents a devaluation in the program since it will now cost more points to redeem for your next flight.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Updates
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards loyalty program is somewhat unique for U.S.-based carriers as the airline’s miles are worth a fixed cash amount of approximately 1.4 cents per point. Whatever the cash cost of the ticket is what you’ll pay in the equivalent amount of points. With current pricing, you’d be able to purchase a $140 flight for about 10,000 points, but come January 1, 2024, you’ll need to pay 10,400 points for that same flight thanks to the 4% increase. This change drops the value of the points to 1.35 cents per point in 2024.
Overall, this is a fairly minor change, though you’ll still need more points than before to redeem. If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, these can transfer to Southwest instantly, so it’s fairly easy to acquire more points if you need them.
Book Now Before the Change
Prior to the end of 2023, points will still be worth the current amount of 1.4 cents, so if you want to make plans for next year, it’s best to do that now while the points still have more value. Southwest allows you to cancel tickets prior to departure at no fee, so you don’t risk anything for booking tickets now. If you need to change it after January 1, 2024, you’ll pay whatever the new prevailing rate is.Hot Tip:
Since Southwest’s points are worth a fixed cash equivalent, it’s hard to get any outside value out of these points, unlike many other frequent flyer programs where there are sweet spots for redemption.
After January 1, 2024, you’ll need to pay 4% more for your Southwest point redemptions. If you want to avoid this, book your tickets now before the changes come into play. You’ll be able to reinstate your points without any charge should you need to cancel.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.