Buy Southwest Rapid Rewards Points With 75% Bonus

Buy Southwest Rapid Rewards Points With 75% Bonus

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Deal History
Up to a 75% bonus on purchased points October 5, 2021 November 16, 2021
Up to a 40% discount on purchased points September 7, 2021 November 21, 2021
Up to a 65% bonus on purchased points July 27, 2021 August 26, 2021
Up to a 45% discount on purchased points June 18, 2021 July 6, 2021
Up to a 75% bonus on purchased points April 22, 2021 May 28, 2021
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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards is offering a promotion on purchased points. The concept of a revenue based frequent flyer program selling points has always been strange to me, so let’s take a look at the details (but I’ll say up front that this is an offer you probably shouldn’t take advantage of).

Southwest Rapid Rewards selling points with a bonus

Through Tuesday, November 16, 2021, Southwest is offering a bonus when you purchase Rapid Rewards points. While different accounts may have access to different offers, the accounts I manage show a tiered bonus of up to 75%, as follows:

  • Buy 5,000-9,000 points, receive a 65% bonus
  • Buy 10,000-14,000 points, receive a 70% bonus
  • Buy 15,000+ points, receive a 75% bonus

Southwest lets you buy at most 60,000 Rapid Rewards points per day, though there’s no annual limit on how many points you can buy. Southwest ordinarily charges 2.75 cents per purchased Rapid Rewards point.

If you were to buy 60,000 points with a 75% bonus, you’d be looking at paying $1,650 for 105,000 points, which is a cost of 1.57 cents per Rapid Rewards point.

As far as Southwest’s promotions on purchased Rapid Rewards points go, this one is among the better offers we’ve seen.

How much are Southwest points worth?

Southwest Rapid Rewards is a revenue based frequent flyer program, and the number of points required for a flight is directly correlated to the revenue cost of a flight. Back in April 2021, Southwest devalued Rapid Rewards points, and now you need to redeem roughly 83 Rapid Rewards points for each dollar of airfare on Southwest.

In other words, each Rapid Rewards point is worth somewhere around 1.2 cents towards the cost of a ticket on Southwest Airlines.

Is buying Southwest Airlines points worth it?

Let me cut to the chase — there are few situations where it makes sense to purchase Rapid Rewards points. Even at the discounted cost, there’s not usually value in buying points for ~1.57 cents each when you can only redeem them for ~1.2 cents each.

There are three potential scenarios I’d like to address, including the main scenario where I think it could make sense (but not really), which is to build up a balance of Southwest points, given the flexibility this provides.

Buying points to top off for an award

Some might buy Rapid Rewards points in order to top off their account so they have enough points for a Rapid Rewards award ticket. I guess this might be worth it to some if you need a small number of points, though personally I’d just keep collecting points and then redeem with your next ticket.

Buying points with Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is one of the best values in domestic travel. It ordinarily requires earning 125,000 qualifying points in a year, and if you get this, you can always have a companion travel with you for just the standard taxes, regardless of whether you’re booking a cash ticket or redeeming points.

For those with a Companion Pass, buying Southwest points could get you outsized value:

  • You could buy points for 1.57 cents each
  • You could then redeem them for 1.2 cents each towards travel and have a companion fly with you, meaning you’d get 2.4 cents of value

However, there’s still absolutely zero reason to do that. You’d be better off just booking a paid ticket and then having a companion fly with you.

For what it’s worth, buying Southwest Rapid Rewards points doesn’t count towards Companion Pass qualification.

There is value in having a stash of Southwest points

There is one major benefit in general to paying for a ticket with Southwest Rapid Rewards points rather than cash. While Southwest Airlines has no change fees on both revenue and award tickets:

  • If you cancel a revenue ticket then you need to reuse that travel credit within a certain amount of time, and also the same passenger has to travel
  • If you cancel an award ticket then the Rapid Rewards points go back into your account and can be used for anyone at any future point in time

I do think there’s big value in having a stash of Rapid Rewards points. I use this when I speculatively want to book travel (including for friends and family), since there’s no downside. Meanwhile if you cancel a revenue ticket, the same passenger still has to use the credit within a limited period of time.

Which credit card should you buy Southwest points with?

If you’d like to buy Southwest Airlines points, note that purchases are processed by, meaning they don’t count as an airfare purchase for the purposes of credit card spending.

Therefore I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach a minimum spending requirement, or otherwise, a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review), Citi® Double Cash Card (review), or Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (review).

Citi® Double Cash Card
Learn More Terms Apply.
  • Earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase, earn 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase
  • $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Learn More Terms Apply.
  • Earn 3% Cash Back on Dining
  • Earn 3% Cash Back at Drugstores
  • Earn 1.5% Cash Back On All Other Purchases
  • $0
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Learn More Terms Apply.
  • Earn 2x Venture miles on every purchase
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary
  • $395
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Learn More Terms Apply.
  • Earn 2x Venture miles on every purchase
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit
  • $95
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • 2x points on purchases up to $50k then 1x
  • Access to Amex Offers
  • No annual fee

See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.

Other ways to earn Rapid Rewards points

If you’re looking to earn Southwest Airlines points, there are a couple of best ways to do so:

Bottom line

Southwest is selling Rapid Rewards points with up to a 75% bonus, which brings the cost down to 1.57 cents per point.

Personally the only circumstance under which I think it makes sense to buy Southwest points is if you’re trying to build up a future stash so you have flexibility for booking speculative tickets. But short of that, there’s not much value, in my opinion. On the plus side, at least this is a better value than Southwest Airlines’ new Rapid Rewards points subscription.

Under what circumstances do you think it’s worth buying Southwest Airlines points?

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