Should You Convert Southwest Airlines Vouchers Into Rapid Rewards Points?

Should You Convert Southwest Airlines Vouchers Into Rapid Rewards Points?

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Back in August, Southwest Airlines introduced the ability to convert vouchers into Rapid Rewards points. This is a reminder that today is the last day to do so — if you have any remaining Southwest vouchers, you’ll have to make a decision today.

Should you convert Southwest vouchers into points?

Basics of converting Southwest vouchers into points

Since August, Southwest Airlines travel funds can be converted into Rapid Rewards points:

  • This can be done through December 15, 2020
  • You must be a Rapid Rewards members to take advantage of this (signing up is free and instant)
  • This is only valid for travel funds expiring September 7, 2022 (which is when vouchers from tickets canceled during the pandemic expire)
  • This is only valid for tickets purchased directly from Southwest Airlines
  • The names on the travel funds and Rapid Rewards account must match exactly
  • Travel funds from corporate tickets (SWABIZ) aren’t eligible for conversion, unless it has specifically been requested by the company

At what rate can you convert travel funds into points?

At the time of posting, Southwest travel funds can be converted into Rapid Rewards points at the same rate at which you’d be able to purchase tickets today. As a general rule of thumb:

  • Southwest Airlines Wanna Get Away fares cost 76-78 points per dollar
  • Southwest Airlines Anytime fares cost 78 points per dollar
  • Business Select fares cost 78 points per dollar

This means that Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed for somewhere around 1.3 cents each towards the cost of a ticket, which is in line with how I valued points at the time.

What’s the process like?

First customers can check the expiration date and amount of their travel funds by going to the “View Travel Funds” section of southwest.com.

Once you know your travel fund situation, you can log into your Rapid Rewards account at this link to start the process of converting credits into points. If your travel funds weren’t already linked to your Rapid Rewards account, then you just have to add your confirmation number.

The voucher balance will then be displayed, along with how many points you could get.

For example, I pulled up my mom’s travel funds, for a trip we were supposed to take back in April. The option was to convert a $204.98 credit into 15,988 points.

This was initially an “Anytime” fare, so as expected, the credit converted into points at a ratio of 78 points per dollar.

Is converting credits into points worth it?

There are pros and cons to converting travel funds into Rapid Rewards points, so which option is better?

The benefit of travel funds is that:

  • When you redeem your travel funds towards a ticket you’ll still earn Rapid Rewards points, as if you paid cash for the ticket

The benefits of Rapid Rewards points are that:

  • Rapid Rewards points never expire, while the travel funds expire in 2022
  • You can redeem your Rapid Rewards points for anyone, while with travel funds only the original passenger can be booked

My personal take is that unless you’re certain that you’ll book a ticket on Southwest for travel by September 2022, you should convert the voucher into Rapid Rewards points.

In the case of my mom’s voucher, we decided to convert it into points. We don’t know when she’ll fly Southwest again, and this gives us lots more flexibility.

Bottom line

It’s fantastic to see Southwest allowing Rapid Rewards members to convert ticket credits into points at a “fair” rate. Converting credits into points gives people a lot more flexibility, since there’s no expiration for points, and you can redeem them for anyone.

This opportunity has been around for months, and is expiring today (unless it’s extended), so now is the time to make a decision.

If you have Southwest ticket credits, have you converted them into points (or will you today)?

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  1. sacrxy

    @Kristen:
    You can use a Southwest LUV voucher to book for anyone. It is fully transferable.

  2. Thomas

    @Kristen, if you convert the $300 to southwest points you will be able to use the points to book flights for anyone. If you keep it as $300 voucher, only your daughter can use the funds.

  3. Kristen

    My daughter who is 14 had a school trip cancelled and the funds converted to voucher for $300. My daughter will never use this, is there a way to book a family trip and use that $300 for the whole thing. I paid the money for the initial ticket and I really do not want to be out that money.

  4. John Perdue

    Does this logic make sense? As you indicated, when you redeem your travel funds towards a ticket you’ll still earn Rapid Rewards points, as if you paid cash for the ticket. So if you bought a $200 ticket with Travel Funds, you should earn about 14,400 points.  Now you would have that ticket and STILL HAVE 14,400 points earned for buying that ticket with cash?

  5. Sean Kay

    Does converting the voucher to travel funds count towards your A-List target? I can get the required 35K to be A-list if I convert my $480 voucher...anyone know if this would count?

  6. DL

    The only problem is possible devaluation. I'll not convert mine since I have no problem using the fund. But I'll do the conversion for my mom and my kid since they are less frequent travelers.

  7. Traveller Tom

    Converting to points has one other BIG advantage. If you book far ahead like I do, you can cancel anytime. If booked with points all the points simply return to your account. If any portion was paid with travel funds the refund adds to the travel funds total, but retains the original expiry date of the original travel funds. So much less time to use them. Travel funds expiry dates are based upon when you...

    Converting to points has one other BIG advantage. If you book far ahead like I do, you can cancel anytime. If booked with points all the points simply return to your account. If any portion was paid with travel funds the refund adds to the travel funds total, but retains the original expiry date of the original travel funds. So much less time to use them. Travel funds expiry dates are based upon when you bought the tickets and not the actual travel date and normally expire in 1 year from the original booking date.

  8. Jimmy Gottfredson

    Wow, giving close to full value is pretty fair by Southwest. Not a bad deal if you want use the ticket for someone else.

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sacrxy

@Kristen: You can use a Southwest LUV voucher to book for anyone. It is fully transferable.

Thomas

@Kristen, if you convert the $300 to southwest points you will be able to use the points to book flights for anyone. If you keep it as $300 voucher, only your daughter can use the funds.

Kristen

My daughter who is 14 had a school trip cancelled and the funds converted to voucher for $300. My daughter will never use this, is there a way to book a family trip and use that $300 for the whole thing. I paid the money for the initial ticket and I really do not want to be out that money.

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