Southwest Promotion: Buy Rapid Rewards Points With A Bonus Of Up To 50%

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Southwest has come out with a promotion whereby Rapid Rewards members can purchase Rapid Rewards points with a bonus of up to 50% through 10 November 2017 (what bonus you get is dependent on what Southwest has targeted you for).

Buy Southwest Rapid Rewards Points With A Bonus Of Up To 50%

To access this promotion you’ll need to be logged in to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account and from there things are pretty simple.

I was only targeted for a 40% bonus but the promotion seems to work in the same way regardless of what bonus you were targeted for:

Buy 5,000 or more Rapid Rewards points and get a bonus of up to 50%

  • Points can be purchased in blocks of 1,000
  • A daily maximum of 60,000 points can be purchased by a Member with no annual maximum.
  • Transactions are non-refundable and non-reversible.
  • Purchased points and bonus points do not count towards A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass qualification.
  • Prices are in U.S. Dollars and include all applicable taxes.
  • Please allow 72 hours for points to post to the applicable Rapid Rewards account.

The Math

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying 5,000 Rapid Rewards points or the full daily 60,000 point allowance as you’ll still buy points a the same cost/point (I like that).

If you were targeted for the full 50% bonus this is how the math plays out (for example):

  • 10,000 points earns 5,000 bonus points at a cost of $275
  • 15,000 points for $275 ~ 1.83 cents/point

If, like me, you were only targeted for a 40% bonus your offer would see you buying points at ~1.96 cents/point.

Should You Buy Southwest Rapid Rewards?

Southwest bases the price of its awards on the going cash rate for the flight. This means that when fares are high, the cost of awards goes up and, unsurprisingly, when fares are low, the cost of awards goes down.

This sets Rapid Rewards aside from the legacy airlines’ reward programs that are yet to go fully revenue-based (something we already know Delta would like to do)

The nature of the Rapid Rewards program means that the value you get from your points balance will vary from flight to flight and will depend on the cabin you normally fly in.

Taking a randomly selected trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco as an example:

The cash fare is $162.96….

a screen shot of a flight schedule

….while if you were to pay for the exact same flights with Rapid Rewards points it would set you back 9,014 points & $11.20 in taxes:

a screenshot of a phone

In this example, using Rapid Rewards points instead of cash would see you get a return of ~1.68 cents/point spent.

That doesn’t make buying points in this promotion a particularly good idea.

That was the “wanna get away” pricing and things only get worse if you want to book a more flexible ticket.

An “anytime” ticket for the same flights cost 38,098 Rapid Rewards points + $11.20 and the corresponding cash fare is $437.95 so, once you take taxes into consideration, you only be getting 1.12 cents/point in value….which is terrible if you bought points at over 1.8 cents each.

Bottom Line

Put simply, it’s not worth buying Southwest Rapid Rewards points in this promotion to purchase an award outright.

The only time it may be worth it is if you need a few Rapid Rewards points to top up an account for an award you’re ready to book.

If, for example, you’ve already earned 70,000 points from flying on Southwest or from credit card spend and you need another 7,000 points to book two of the anytime awards I mentioned above, the $137.50 you’d need to buy the points may be worth it to you.

Note: processes Rapid Rewards purchases so you won’t earn any bonus points from a credit card with an airline/travel category bonus.