Southwest 25% Rapid Rewards Points Buy, Gift, Transfer Bonus – Worth It?

by on April 24, 2014 · 14 comments

in Buy Miles Promotions, Southwest

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Now through May 31, 2014, Southwest is offering a 25% bonus when you buy, gift or transfer Rapid Rewards points. Points can be purchased, gifted, or transferred in blocks of 500 with a minimum initial purchase or transfer of 2,000 points and a daily maximum of 60,000 points.

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Normally Southwest Rapid Rewards points cost 2.75 cents apiece to purchase for yourself or gift, but with this promo, they cost 2.0625. Transferring points usually costs 1 cent per point, but with this promo, it’s 0.75 cents.

So then the question becomes, is it worth it? You get the best value from your Rapid Rewards points on Wanna Get Away fare redemptions. Southwest recently devalued these from 60 points per $1 in airfare to 70 points per $1 in airfare – so you’re getting a value of 1.4 cents per point. In that case, buying points doesn’t make much sense unless you just need a couple hundred or thousand to top up your account for a specific redemption.

Transferring miles might make more sense since it costs you less than half the value you’d get per point on a Wanna Get Away redemption, but again, I wouldn’t go transferring huge amounts of points because if you’re doing that, you might as well just use the points in your current account to book whatever fare you’re thinking of rather than sending them to someone else and paying for it.

This could make sense if you are part of a pair that has a Companion Pass and you have more points in your account than the Companion Pass holder. In that case, you could transfer your points for 0.75 cents each to the Companion Pass holder and they could redeem for an award and bring you along – two tickets for the price of one, and a situation that actually brings your transfer-points cost to 0.375 cents per point.

As always, though, do the math for yourself and figure out if taking advantage of this makes sense for you. There are some other great options out there that might make better sense for you. For instance, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account at a 1:1 ratio instantly and for free, so that’s a better option to top up your account if you can.

Not only that, but it looks like there’s still a live application to the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa where you can earn 50,000 bonus points when you apply and spend $2,000 in 3 months, plus those points are Companion Pass eligible, so if you’re looking for ways to stock up on points, that’s another great option.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Will

    Do points purchased in this fashion count towards the companion pass requirement?

  • Justin

    They don’t…I checked this with Southwest. Darn it. :)

  • Vinay

    You don’t need to transfer your points to the companion pass holder. You can just book the ticket for the companion pass holder with your points and then he/she can you add as a companion .. so essentially you are paying nothing to use your points for the companion benefit ..

  • Avi

    Thanks for evrything
    I have a amex bussnies platunum
    What’s the best way to downgrad I used the points already and it’s 3-4 month I have the card and I whnna get back a litil of my annual fee is that still possible ? Or just cancel the card what’s the best way

  • PJ

    AMEX everyday card zero fees 10K points for 1K spend ; basically they paid me to avoid fees on my Business gold after in 2012 Business Gold helped dodge annual fees on Amex Premier Gold which came with 75K in 2011 hottest give away by AMex.

  • Josh

    If you transfer points from Chase sapphire preferred to Rapid rewards points do they get the 25% bonus?

  • thepointsguy


  • Shagge

    You can still transfer points from Southwest to AirTran – 1,200 points equals 1 AirTran credit. If you are traveling to a Caribbean international designation this is typically cheaper than buying the ticket outright on the AirTran site.

  • Patricia M

    Hi, I was really excited about the potential for getting a companion pass as I got the 50,000 credit card bonus and my partner has enough points to transfer to me to reach 110,000. BUT, when I called Southwest, the representative told me that transfer points don’t qualify for points earned towards the 110,000 point requirement. Did I get misinformation from the agent or is your article incorrect? Thanks!

  • thepointsguy

    How is the article incorrect? I don’t say anywhere that transfer points are eligible for Companion Pass qualification?

  • Matthew Jerabek

    I received a app for Chase Visa Southwest Rapid Rewards card, $99 annual fee, you get 50,000 points after spending $3000? I called to ask if I could travel anytime from Tampa to Seattle around Christmas, both Chase representatives and Rapid Rewards reps said of course, call to book once you have the points. Fast forward to August, the points required to travel in Dec. 202,430. Of course this is a bait and switch neither Chase Visa or Southwest will honor the round trip for free offer. Since calling on Rapid Rewards I have found out there never was a time 50,000 points would give you two round trip tickets at Christmas. In fact the rep Julie stated maybe in March 2014? three months before I even applied.

  • JoJo

    I am at a loss trying to transfer about 400,000 Hliton Points into my Southwest for CP. Any suggestions?

  • Angela

    Do NOT get the Chase Rapid Rewards Visa! I am currently in a dispute with them that has escalated all the way to the BBB. Go with a different points card.

  • S.

    I don’t understand why I need to pay to gift or transfer my points to my wife. We both share the same SW card, pay the same amount, but when it comes to transfer/gift points we need to pay extra,

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