Southwest Airlines promotion: Earn double the points on summer flights from $49 one-way

May 13, 2020

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Editor’s note: At TPG, we paused traveling to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Local and federal governments around the globe are now debating the appropriate levels of isolation and distancing. Before booking that next trip, we recommend you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions. TPG is continuing to publish deals, reviews and general travel news to inform and prepare you for that trip, whether it is next month or next year.


Southwest Airlines has launched a new promotion where it will award summer travelers twice the Rapid Rewards per flight booked now through Aug. 31, 2020. The best part? Fares start at a low of $49 one-way.

Here’s a look at some of the deals:

Denver (DEN) to Salt Lake City (SLC) for $49 one-way:

Boise (BOI) to Sacramento (SMF) for $49 one-way: Atlanta (ATL) to Tampa (TPA) for $49 one-way: Albuquerque (ABQ) to Phoenix (PHX) for $49 one-way:

Rapid Rewards-earned points are calculated using base fare, so members will earn the following:

  • 12 bonus points per dollar spent on Business Select® fares
  • 10 bonus points per dollar spent on Anytime fares
  • 6 bonus points per dollar spent on Wanna Get Away® fares

Bonus points are in addition to the standard flight points earned through Rapid Rewards, but they will not count toward A-List, A-List Preferred or Companion Pass qualification. However, the double earning is unlimited in this promotion.

You can register for this promotion on Southwest’s website now through Aug. 31.

Related: Airline social distancing policies 

If you’re not sure you’ll feel comfortable enough to fly again this summer, you can book with confidence knowing that Southwest has always had a flexible change and cancellation policy. You can easily delay your trip at no extra cost beyond the ticket price or cancel it altogether and use the funds towards a future trip. If anything, booking a potential summer trip is something positive to look forward to amidst all this uncertainty.

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Should you take advantage of this promotion?

If you’re already planning to book post-coronavirus travel with Southwest, you should definitely register for this promotion. TPG values Southwest miles at 1.5 cents per point, so you’ll earn $7 worth of miles per one-way flight and $14 per round-trip flight.

On the other hand, we don’t recommend booking travel now just to earn bonus miles. While you can always cancel and change Southwest flights fee-free, the airline isn’t offering cash refunds on these tickets. Canceling a ticket will only result in future flight credit.

Related: Airline coronavirus change and cancellation policies: A complete list

Keep in mind that holding this flight credit can be risky even if you’re a Southwest loyalist. Like much of the travel industry, Southwest isn’t in the best financial position right now. It has been forced to slash capacity and request a government bailout in response to the coronavirus-fueled travel downturn. If the airline went belly-up, you could be left with worthless travel credit and no way to get a refund.

Further, we’re still not sure when it will be safe to travel again. If the coronavirus outbreak isn’t contained quickly, you could be stuck with this credit for a long time.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Southwest Rapid Rewards

Bottom line

It’s nice to see Southwest offer bonus points for booking future travel. The summer still may be too soon to fly, but things are changing on a daily basis, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Related: Now may be the time to book future travel 

We don’t recommend booking travel now solely to earn bonus miles. If earning miles is your goal, check out our complete guide to earning Southwest Rapid Rewards for less risky ways to do it.

Featured photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

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