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Act fast: Book last-minute Southwest award tickets with a 20% discount

Sept. 15, 2020
5 min read
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This morning, Southwest launched an award sale that's offering a 20% discount on all award bookings made through Sept. 17. This sale is valid on all Southwest flights that are set to depart on or before Oct. 31. This makes it an excellent deal for those booking a last-minute fall trip that's set to depart in the next six weeks.

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How to book Southwest flights with a 20% discount

To take advantage of this sale, enter the promo code "SAVE20NOW" in the "promo code" box that's located at the bottom of the search box. Make sure to select the points button at the upper right-hand corner of the box to search for award flights. Once your search is ready to go, click the search button to view your flight options.

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Searching for Southwest Award Flights with a Promo Code
(Image courtesy of Southwest)

All flight options will reflect the discounted sale price. The sale applies to all classes of travel, but we recommend sticking with the Wanna Get Away fare to get the best deal. Then select the flight you'd like to book and follow the on-screen prompts to book your flight as normal.

Southwest Flight Options with Discount Applied
(Image courtesy of Southwest)

Related: Southwest vs Allegiant: What it’s like to fly a low-cost airline during a pandemic

This sale is a great deal for fall travel

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

As discussed, this sale is an excellent deal for booking fall travel -- if you have made the choice you want or need to again take to the sky. I

t effectively gives Southwest Rapid Rewards points a valuation of up to 1.8 cents per point during the sale, up 20% from TPG's most recent valuation. Remember, though, Southwest award tickets are priced based on the cash cost of the ticket, so more expensive flights will cost more points.

Related: What it's like to fly in the U.S.

This deal is even more valuable if you have a Companion Pass. With this pass, you can bring a companion with you on all flights, so this discount effectively gives you a larger relative discount as you'll save points on two tickets.

Not sure yet if you'll want to travel this fall?

No worries — Southwest has an industry-leading change and cancellation policy. You can book a ticket now and cancel for free if plans change. If this happens, you'll receive your points back in-full and be refunded all applicable taxes and fees.

If you're already booked on a flight that's covered by the sale, check to see if the award price has gone down. If it did, cancel and rebook your ticket to get the points difference credited to your Southwest account. Just make sure to use the promo code when rebooking.

Related: Battle of the Airlines: Why I think Southwest Airlines is the best

Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points

There are plenty of ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points. The easiest way if you need points in a hurry is to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards. These points transfer to Southwest immediately at a 1:1 ratio. I generally recommend against transferring to Southwest if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® and can book travel at 1.5 cents per point, but this sale gives more value than booking at 1.5 cents per point by calling the Chase Travel Portal.

You can also earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points using a cobranded Southwest credit card. Southwest offers a suite of personal and business credit cards with Chase, and each has different benefits, welcome bonuses, and — in some cases — an annual points bonus.

Related: The best Southwest Airlines credit cards for family travelers

Bottom line

All in all, this sale is an excellent way to redeem your Southwest Rapid Rewards points at a discount if you have fall travel on the horizon. The airline has an ultra-flexible cancellation policy, so you're able to cancel if your plans don't pan out. Likewise, check if you're eligible for a points refund if you're already booked on a flight set to depart before Oct. 31 if the award cost has now gone down and you rebook.

Feature courtesy of Denver International Airport

Featured image by Peter Scott Barta

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Cons

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  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees