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Old 04-11-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
ZimTheMouse
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You CAN use American Express points on Southwest Airlines!

Hoping this topic will help some of you save money!

As you may be aware, Southwest Airlines opted out of the American Express Membership Rewards back in 2009/2010. So no longer can a cardholder transfer points to their Southwest Rapid Rewards account, nor can a cardholder use Membership Rewards website to purchase travel on Southwest. I have points that I want to use, and I figured there MUST be a way to make it work, so I called Membership Rewards and asked the question.

Here's what they told me:

Book a Southwest Airlines trip and pay for it with your American Express card. Once you receive your American Express bill, simply call AMEX and tell them you wish to use your points (some or all) to pay for this travel. You will receive $1.00 credit for every 100 points in your account applied right then and there! So if you have 25,000 points, that translates to a $250 credit. 50,000 points translates to a $500 credit.

Pretty cool, huh? I plan to use my Rapid Rewards points to pay for one ticket and my Membership Rewards points to help offset the balance for my other tickets.

Happy traveling!!
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Sep '03 Port Orleans Riverside
Dec '04 - Beach Club
Jun '05 - Disneyland
Dec '11 - Coronado Springs
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Oct '12 - Art of Animation - Little Mermaid
May '13 - Caribbean Beach Resort
Feb '14 - Offsite (Buena Vista Palace) and POFQ
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
ccgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZimTheMouse View Post
Hoping this topic will help some of you save money!

As you may be aware, Southwest Airlines opted out of the American Express Membership Rewards back in 2009/2010. So no longer can a cardholder transfer points to their Southwest Rapid Rewards account, nor can a cardholder use Membership Rewards website to purchase travel on Southwest. I have points that I want to use, and I figured there MUST be a way to make it work, so I called Membership Rewards and asked the question.

Here's what they told me:

Book a Southwest Airlines trip and pay for it with your American Express card. Once you receive your American Express bill, simply call AMEX and tell them you wish to use your points (some or all) to pay for this travel. You will receive $1.00 credit for every 100 points in your account applied right then and there! So if you have 25,000 points, that translates to a $250 credit. 50,000 points translates to a $500 credit.

Pretty cool, huh? I plan to use my Rapid Rewards points to pay for one ticket and my Membership Rewards points to help offset the balance for my other tickets.

Happy traveling!!
Oh man!!! I wish I knew this last month! I booked two RT tix totalling around $500 and have 50K points. That means I could have gotten those tickets for free.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #3
lost*in*cyberspace
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Originally Posted by ccgirl View Post
Oh man!!! I wish I knew this last month! I booked two RT tix totalling around $500 and have 50K points. That means I could have gotten those tickets for free.
It's always a good idea to read the rules for these programs so you understand how to use your points to your benefit:

https://www212.americanexpress.com/d...d0faad94RCRD#5

Are any airlines unavailable on the American Express Travel site?

To use Pay with Points to book with Southwest Airlines, please call Membership Rewards® Land & Sea at 1-800-268-3205 and select option #2. If you are looking for any other airline and it is not shown in your search results on the website, please call American Express Travel at 1-800-297-2977.
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
ZimTheMouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
It's always a good idea to read the rules for these programs so you understand how to use your points to your benefit:


Are any airlines unavailable on the American Express Travel site?

To use Pay with Points to book with Southwest Airlines, please call Membership Rewards® Land & Sea at 1-800-268-3205 and select option #2. If you are looking for any other airline and it is not shown in your search results on the website, please call American Express Travel at 1-800-297-2977.
Agree, it's always good to read the rules, but I saw conflicting information so that is why I called Membership Rewards. The answer I posted above is what they told me and without any hesitation. I feel very confident that the information was good.
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Sep '03 Port Orleans Riverside
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Jun '05 - Disneyland
Dec '11 - Coronado Springs
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
ZimTheMouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccgirl View Post
Oh man!!! I wish I knew this last month! I booked two RT tix totalling around $500 and have 50K points. That means I could have gotten those tickets for free.
You should call AMEX and see if they will give you credit. I bet they will! Would love to hear if you were successful.
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'80s, '90s - WDW (Multiple Offsite, POR, CBR)
Sep '03 Port Orleans Riverside
Dec '04 - Beach Club
Jun '05 - Disneyland
Dec '11 - Coronado Springs
Feb '12 - Disneyland
Oct '12 - Art of Animation - Little Mermaid
May '13 - Caribbean Beach Resort
Feb '14 - Offsite (Buena Vista Palace) and POFQ
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
lost*in*cyberspace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZimTheMouse View Post
Agree, it's always good to read the rules, but I saw conflicting information so that is why I called Membership Rewards. The answer I posted above is what they told me and without any hesitation. I feel very confident that the information was good.
Yes, I'm sure it was. My point was that it is important to understand the rules for your CC point programs - it helps you use your points a lot more efficiently.
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Old 04-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
girli565
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Originally Posted by ccgirl View Post
Oh man!!! I wish I knew this last month! I booked two RT tix totalling around $500 and have 50K points. That means I could have gotten those tickets for free.
You should call Amex, They are really great and would probably give you the credit! I adore Amex customer service.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
ccgirl
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I agree, I should call. I love Amex service too..that is why I have been a customer for 20 years. I will admit, I do not use the rewards program to my full advantage. Guess I will put that on my list for tomorrow.
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Old 04-12-2012, 09:37 AM   #9
mickeygaga
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I think they will go back two statements to apply your points. I love AMEX and always fly Southwest. I always apply as many points as I can to receive some kind of credit when we charge our airfare. Good luck
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
ZimTheMouse
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Originally Posted by mickeygaga View Post
I think they will go back two statements to apply your points. I love AMEX and always fly Southwest. I always apply as many points as I can to receive some kind of credit when we charge our airfare. Good luck
Wow! Great to see a post from someone who has actually done this. I just booked our vacation today and will call AMEX when I get my statement next month!
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'80s, '90s - WDW (Multiple Offsite, POR, CBR)
Sep '03 Port Orleans Riverside
Dec '04 - Beach Club
Jun '05 - Disneyland
Dec '11 - Coronado Springs
Feb '12 - Disneyland
Oct '12 - Art of Animation - Little Mermaid
May '13 - Caribbean Beach Resort
Feb '14 - Offsite (Buena Vista Palace) and POFQ
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:35 PM   #11
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Oy vey! that is one of the worst uses of points I have ever heard! For 50,000 AMEX points you could have gotten a free ticket to Europe!
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:12 AM   #12
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Oy vey! that is one of the worst uses of points I have ever heard! For 50,000 AMEX points you could have gotten a free ticket to Europe!
One ticket to Europe, or 3 to Disney, or a week at the Pop, etc. and so on.... to each their own perhaps....
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:26 AM   #13
ZimTheMouse
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Wink

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Originally Posted by mickeygaga View Post
One ticket to Europe, or 3 to Disney, or a week at the Pop, etc. and so on.... to each their own perhaps....
And Europe is soooooooo overrated. Cool people go to Disney.
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Sep '03 Port Orleans Riverside
Dec '04 - Beach Club
Jun '05 - Disneyland
Dec '11 - Coronado Springs
Feb '12 - Disneyland
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #14
IBelieveInTheMagic
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Oy vey! that is one of the worst uses of points I have ever heard! For 50,000 AMEX points you could have gotten a free ticket to Europe!
Just curious - where are you seeing this? If my math is correct 50,000 is @$500 so a ticket to Europe for that would be cheap Is that one way?

Love both Amex and Southwest so thanks OP for the reminder

Heather
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
prncess674
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Originally Posted by IBelieveInTheMagic View Post
Just curious - where are you seeing this? If my math is correct 50,000 is @$500 so a ticket to Europe for that would be cheap Is that one way?

Love both Amex and Southwest so thanks OP for the reminder

Heather
points for dollars is putting a value of a penny a point which in the frequent flyer world is a terrible return on investment. AMEX has partnerships with many airlines and most airlines charge only 50,000 miles for a roundtrip economy ticket from the US to Europe. You need to think a bit outside of the box. AMEX transfers 1 point = 1 mile and partners with Air France (SkyTeam) and Air Canada (Star Alliance) which each offer US-Europe tickets for 50K miles.

A ticket NYC-Munich is easily over $1,000 dollars and a much better use of miles. If you really want to maximize the value of your miles you can get a business class ticket to Europe for 100,000 miles, which if you were to purchase that ticket you would be paying between $3K and $8K.

You need to learn your alliances, AirFrance miles can be redeemed for any SkyTeam airline and Air Canada can be redeemed for any Star Alliance flight.

http://www.skyteam.com/en/About-us/Our-members/
http://www.staralliance.com/en/about/member_airlines/
http://www.oneworld.com/member-airlines/

Another great option right now is there is a 50% bonus on British Airways Avios points from AMEX. BA partners with American Airlines so right now you get 1500 Avios points for 1000 Amex points. Avios uses a distance based system, so using the Avios calculator it is 7,500 Avios points (15,000 round trip) for DFW-MCO-DFW. So for 10,000 AMEX MR you can get a ticket to Disney, much better than the 50,000 someone blew for a SWA ticket. You could buy 5 tickets to Disney verses the one the poster above got.

Last edited by prncess674; 04-13-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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