Promo: 20% Off When You Redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

Filed Under: Awards, Southwest

If you have any Southwest Rapid Rewards points, this is a great time to redeem them.

Southwest offering 20% off award tickets

Southwest Airlines is offering a 20% discount when you redeem Rapid Rewards points for flights:

  • This is valid for bookings made through Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • This is valid for travel through Saturday, October 31, 2020
  • Use promotion code SAVE20NOW at the time of booking

Even if you’re not sure you’ll be able to travel, keep in mind that Southwest has no change or cancelation fees, so you can always book a Rapid Rewards ticket now, and then cancel it later.

Southwest is also blocking one third of seats through October 31, so if you are flying during this period, you’ll be assured you won’t be on a full flight (and personally that’s something I’d value significantly).

This is lucrative for a revenue based program

Southwest Rapid Rewards is a revenue based frequent flyer program. This means that the number of points required for a ticket is based on how much a ticket would cost in cash.

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

Because of that, there’s ordinarily not a way to get outsized value with Rapid Rewards points, since the points cost is correlated to the cash cost of a ticket. So to be able to redeem Rapid Rewards points for more value is awesome.

For Wanna Get Away fares you’re going from needing 76-78 points per dollar, to needing 61-63 points per dollar, give or take.

For example, take a $69 “Wanna Get Away” fare from Tampa to New Orleans.

That usually costs 4,524 Rapid Rewards points plus $5.60, while during this promotion it would cost 3,620 Rapid Rewards points plus $5.60. That’s like getting over 1.7 cents of value per Rapid Rewards points, which is great.

Bottom line

If you’re going to be traveling in the coming weeks, then it’s definitely worth considering Southwest’s Rapid Rewards sale. Usually it’s hard to get outsized value with a revenue based frequent flyer program, so promotions like this can really make a difference.

Add in Southwest blocking seats and offering free cancelations on award tickets, and it could just be worth booking something speculatively.

Will you be taking advantage of this Southwest Rapid Rewards promotion?

  1. Did you see the new Ultimate Rewards promo for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card — 5% cash back on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal? Definitely beats the current 3% with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

  2. @Trophet

    Really!! Even with proper and prudent precautions? Hope you have not been to a supermarket in the last 6 months

  3. Lately my southwest redemptions have been coming in at 1.3 cents per point. A definite devaluation since before the pandemic that has been underreported. (It has to do with taxes)

  4. How can we apply this to bookings already made for travel during that time period? Can we call Customer Service and have them apply it? If we cancel and rebook, we won’t get same rate. Thoughts?

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