Should You Convert Southwest Airlines Vouchers Into Rapid Rewards Points?

Filed Under: Southwest

Southwest Airlines vouchers can now be converted into Rapid Rewards points. Is this an opportunity you should take advantage of?

Basics of converting Southwest vouchers into points

As of today, 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?

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 value the points.

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 this:

  • 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
  • However, you can always make this decision at a later point, since you have until December 15, 2020

In the case of my mom’s voucher, we’ll almost certainly 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.

If you have Southwest ticket credits, do you plan on converting them into points?

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

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