Get a 20% bonus when you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest
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Today, Chase launched its third-ever transfer bonus and its first to Southwest. You can get a 20% bonus on transfers to Southwest Rapid Rewards between today, Oct. 1, and Oct. 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
This is not a targeted offer and Chase cardholders with an eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card can take advantage of the offer. You can transfer points to Southwest in increments of 1,000 points, equal to 1,200 points with the 20% bonus.
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This bonus isn’t hard-coded into the transfer ratio on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Instead, it looks like the bonus is processed by Southwest, so you will see the bonus when you log into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account.
I did a test transfer of 1,000 points and immediately saw 1,200 Rapid Rewards points in my account. The 200 bonus points is listed as a separate line item in the “Points activity” page on Southwest’s website.
Is this a good deal?
Southwest Rapid Rewards prices award tickets dynamically based on the cash cost of the flight. So the higher the cost of the flight in cash, the more points you’ll spend.
TPG values Southwest Rapid Rewards points at 1.5 cents per point and Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2.0 cents per point. With this transfer bonus, you’re effectively getting 1.8 cents per point from your Ultimate Rewards points.
While still under our Ultimate Rewards valuation, it can be a great deal if you have a Southwest Companion Pass that lets you take a companion with you on all Southwest flights for just the cost of taxes. This effectively boosts the valuation to 3.6 cents per point.
This can be a great deal for solo travel, too. I generally recommend that those with a Chase Sapphire Reserve stay away from Southwest transfer redemptions as they can redeem points towards cash flights at 1.5 cents per point and earn redeemable points on their flights. (Though you have to call Chase to book Southwest flights via Chase at 1.5 cents per point.) That said, since this transfer bonus gives you a higher point value than a cash flight redemption booked via Chase, I recommend transferring points to Southwest to book Rapid Rewards tickets while this transfer bonus is in effect.
Should I speculatively transfer my points?
We rarely recommend transferring points before you have a specific redemption in mind. With this bonus, however, I think it’s worthwhile for Companion Pass members to transfer more points than immediately needed if they plan to fly Southwest with a companion over the next year. A 20% bonus means more flights in the future, and having a Companion Pass effectively doubles the value of your points.
Thankfully, this isn’t a one-time bonus — you can make as many transfers as you’d like to Southwest before the promotion ends on Oct. 31. There’s no pressure to transfer all of your points at once, so you have time to plan out your late-2020 and 2021 travel before you transfer.
And since we all know things can change these days, know that Southwest allows for free award redeposits and changes. While you won’t be able to move the points all the way back to Chase, you can put the points back in your Rapid Rewards accounts if your travel plans don’t work out.
It’s great to see Chase and Southwest launch a lucrative transfer bonus — the first Chase has ever offered to Southwest. This is an excellent way for Southwest loyalists to get more value from their Ultimate Rewards points and Companion Pass. If you don’t have a Companion Pass, or aren’t a Southwest regular, consider how much you’ll really fly Southwest before transferring points. A 20% transfer bonus is exciting, but probably not worth moving over a ton of points if you don’t have specific plans on how you’ll use them.
Featured photo by Edward Russell/TPG
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.