How to Redeem Southwest Points – NerdWallet

Southwest Rapid Rewards is one of the best frequent aviator programs out there for no-frills travelers who prefer simplicity. That ’ s largely due to the fact that its points are a delightfully low-maintenance currency. rapid Rewards points never expire, and the value of Rapid Rewards points closely mirrors cash prices for airfare ; you don ’ t need to worry about whether you got a dear or bad redemption when booking Southwest flights. And though redeeming Rapid Rewards points for airfare tends to be the best redemption, you ’ re not limited to just that. There are a handful of ways to redeem Southwest points — but not all redemptions are created adequate. While we prize a rapid Rewards compass point as being worth 1 penny, you ’ ll typically only get that when you redeem your points for Southwest flights. other redemptions — such as a fresh couple of headphones or an external flight with a non-Southwest airline — tend to be less than ideal. here are the primary ways to redeem Southwest points, by and large ordered from best to worst. » Learn more : Your usher to earning Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points

How to redeem your Southwest points for flights

1. Login to your Rapid Rewards account

Booking flights with Rapid Rewards points is easy. Simply voyage to Southwest ‘s web site and click the jaundiced login push button. once you ‘ve entered your credentials, you will be directed to your dashboard.

2. Input your flight details

enroll your dates, destination, number of passengers and whether you would like to book round-trip or one-way. You can toggle to looking at award flights ahead of searching by clicking “ Points. ”redeeming southwest rapid rewards points for flights note that you can besides do this on the adjacent screen.

3. Click search and browse flight availability

Budget-conscious travelers know to refer to Southwest ‘s Low Fare calendar if your dates are compromising and you are looking for the best deal. If you skipped toggling to the points view in the stopping point step, you can besides do that here. commercial enterprise Select fares tend to cost the most in both dollars and points, but come with built-in benefits like preferable board. You can besides redeem your points for an Anytime or Wan na Get Away menu.

4. Select your flight and input your payment details

once you ‘ve found the mighty trajectory for you, navigate to the future page and input your personal travel details. If you are a ball-shaped entrance / TSA PreCheck member, be sure to add in your Known Traveler Number so you can get through security faster on your day-of change of location. Since the cost of your trip is covered by your points balance, you will lone be on the hook to pay the $ 5.60 in government taxes and fees. These can be paid for with a credit menu, PayPal or a Southwest locomotion voucher.

Redemptions beyond flights

If you ‘re a rapid Rewards credit cardholder, you can besides entree the airline ‘s on-line shop portal vein, known as the More Rewards platform.

Nerdy tip:

We don’t generally recommend redeeming your Southwest points for gift cards or other items as you tend to get bad value relative to our estimated value of 

1 cent


If these are redemptions you believe you will pursue frequently, we recommend that you bookmark that particular web page URL linked above. The airline makes it queerly unmanageable to find your way to this portal from its web site, so its easier to head there directly. You can read more about why we do n’t suggest rapid Rewards members purchase endow cards or trade with their points in our article : Southwest ’ south More Rewards : A neutralize of Points ?

The best Southwest points redemptions, ranked

here ‘s a cheeseparing attend at all of the ways you can redeem Southwest points.

1. Best redemption: Southwest Airlines flights

One of the most straightforward ways to redeem Rapid Rewards points is by booking Southwest flights — not to mention it ’ s one of the best values of your points. quite than pricing flights using distance-based award charts like some airlines, Southwest ’ s redemption rate directly correlates to the fare ’ s cash-price. This means the higher the fare, the more points it will “ cost ” you. Southwest airfares are divided into three categories, all of which are redeemable with points :

All tickets are eligible for two free checked bags and no change tip, and credits are reclaimable for up to 12 months after issue if a aviator needs to cancel their tag. To redeem your Rapid Rewards points for flights, log in to the Southwest web site and make indisputable the “ Points ” option is selected on the search ( not “ Dollars ” ). You can use your Southwest points to book flights for anybody, not equitable yourself.

Nerdy tip:

Some types of tickets, such as senior, infant, child, military and government fares, are not eligible to be purchased with points.

2. Okay redemption: Booking international flights on Southwest (if you have a Southwest credit card)

While many other airlines let unconstipated members use their miles to reserve award flights on other airlines, don ’ thyroxine expect that here. Southwest is n’t separate of an airline confederation and doesn ’ t have any formal airline partnerships, sol most people can only use rapid Rewards points to fly Southwest. however, if you have a Southwest accredit card, you can use your points to script international flights with non-Southwest airlines via the Southwest More reward platform. This on-line shopping portal vein enables users to purchase products beyond Southwest flights, including external flights on other airlines. According to our analysis of the Southwest More Rewards program, the monetary value to book an external flight on points ( based on our valuation of rapid Rewards at 1 cent ) is inactive a 50 % markup compared with if you just paid for the flight in cash. But, if you have a short ton of Southwest points to burn and don ’ t expect using them on a Southwest flight, this could be an o choice.

3. Subpar redemption: Redeem Southwest points for gift cards (for cardholders)

The Southwest More Rewards portal site besides allows Southwest credit card holders to exchange their points for gift cards to restaurants, department stores, retailers and more. You ’ ll normally find big, nationally brands like Olive Garden, Buffalo Wild Wings, Staples, PetSmart and Macy ’ sulfur on the number. While it can be reasonably fun to poke around on the More Rewards portal site, these redemptions typically tend to provide a poor rate of return. Most endow tease redemptions cost 15,000 points for a $ 100 gift batting order ( a 0.6 cent per point rate ), though you can find the casual better distribute or smaller increments of options . unfortunately, Rapid Rewards members are no longer able to redeem Southwest points for an Amazon endow card as they have in the past.

4. Bad redemption: Physical products (if you have a Southwest credit card)

The worst thing you can possibly buy with your points on the Southwest More Rewards platform — again, only available to Rapid Rewards credit cardholders — is physical stuff. We ’ ra talking electronics, home and garden tools, locomotion indemnity, favored gifts, coffee and sunglasses. And it ’ s all generally a bad deal. According to our analysis of More Rewards products, physical items are marked up an astounding 161 % on average, versus purchasing them for their retail price. Unless you ‘re despairing to buy one of the items, brusque on cash to buy it through traditional means and otherwise not planning to use your points, omission this choice.

5. A redemption that feels good: Give them to charity

Can you donate Southwest points ? Yes — Southwest allows you to give your points to one of about a six charity organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Student Conservation Association. To donate your Southwest points to charity, navigate to Southwest ’ s contribution page and follow the instructions from there. deoxyadenosine monophosphate far as what you get out of it, well, let ’ s say you get some quick fuzzies. otherwise, there ’ s not a long ton of value, specially since points donated to charity won ’ thymine count toward your reservation for improved condition in the rapid Rewards Program. Donated points besides won ’ triiodothyronine count toward any Companion Pass qualification or Southwest elect status appellation. Your contribution won ’ t tied count toward your account activity. ampere far as whether your contribution is tax deductible, Southwest says you should consult your tax adviser.

Redeem Southwest points wisely

Southwest ’ s rapid Rewards platform offers a variety of opportunities for redemption, from straightforward flights to one of Southwest ’ s more than 100 destinations in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. If you don ’ triiodothyronine want to fly, you ’ ve got some other options as well, but in order to maximize your value, it is best to use your rapid Rewards points on Wan na Get Away fares for Southwest flights.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel recognition card that prioritizes what ’ s authoritative to you. here are our picks for the best change of location credit cards of 2022, including those best for :

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