SouthWest reward points ??

Tigger2ntinkerbell

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
I just received an email from SW, figuring it was junk.
Went to the main website, and sure enough I have a little over 43,000 points.
Do I need 50, 000 points to get a free airline ticket??.
I'm not understanding how this program works.
Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
 

easyas123

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 4, 2018
No, you can book with point and don't need 50,000 points to do so. If you sign into your account online, and are on the site, go thru the motions of booking a flights. Select "points" instead of "$", and it will tell you how much each leg of the flight costs in points. As long as you have enough points for the ticket, you are good to go.
So lets say for instance a flight from LAS to DEN, round trip, was 23,500 points. You could book that using points from your pool of 43,000 points, and you'd have a balance of 19,500 points to use later.
You can book flights for others using your points as well, I just booked my husbands flight to MCO with points from my account, since my account had more than his.
And say you have 43,000 points, and the trip you want to book is 50,000 points - well you can book one leg of your flight with points (as in a one way booking), and then book another one way and pay cash for the second leg of your flight.
You can't use your points for the taxes or government fees...I forget the exact terminology, but it usually ends up being $5-$10 per r/t ticket I have to pay out of pocket for.


I find Southwest to be very accommodating and the points very easy to use.
 

Tigger2ntinkerbell

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
I thought you have to accumulate 50,000 before you could book any free flight.
I'll have to go in the system and see how many points it is from Detroit to Orlando.
Thanks for your help.
 
  • shoreward

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2014
    Check the below Southwest link for their low fare calendar, but log into your account first. Select your dates, and you will be able to see the fare in points for different flights for the date you select from the calendar. Keep in mind that these are real time costs and can change very quickly - they are not guaranteed until actually booked. Also note that there is no penalty if you need to cancel or change a Southwest points booking. If changed, you just pay the fare that shows when you make the change; if cancelled, the points and fees can just be redeposited back into your account, without any fees or penalty.

    https://www.southwest.com/air/low-fare-calendar/select-dates.html?adultPassengersCount=1&currencyCode=POINTS&destinationAirportCode=MCO&originationAirportCode=DTW&passengerType=ADULT&returnAirportCode=&selectedFlight1=2019-03-01&selectedFlight2=2019-03-08&tripType=roundtrip
     
    Last edited:

    Queen of the WDW Scene

    It's only MY opinion, YOU decided to quote it.
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2016
    You need however many points the flight you want requires if you want to pay in all points.
    Depending on the flight that could be as few as 4,000something points.
    You could also book one way on points and the other cash if you want.
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    Points needed for flights are per person. You will also pay the 911 fee ($5.60 per ticket) out of pocket when you book with points.

    Honestly I get so much bang for my buck with Southwest points, I don't even bother with any other loyalty programs for airlines. I had $15K points sitting on my account and was able to book 3 one-way tickets from Orlando to Boston when the Wanna Get Away fares were released.
     
  • pooch

    Still feeling special!!
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Haven't paid for a flight to Orlando in years!! I put my whole life on my SWA card & then pay in full each month. Average points for a RT for me is 11,000.
     

    BellaBaby

    (Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2007
    Ok, so I have somewhere around 19,500 pts. I've already booked our return trip from Fl. on Southwest. I had been holding out & looking at flights TO Fl for our end of May trip. I didn't even realize I had the points. Anyway, say the flight is 14,500 pts, can I pay for my flight with points, and use the remaining 5,000 pts for my husband and pay the remainder of his and the kids with cash all on the same one-way booking?
     

    dakotix

    DIS Dad #852 from Central Massachusetts
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2012
    We use this all the time. If you go on their site and look at the available fares, you can switch from $ to points. There you will see the range of costs associated with using points. Depending on the flight you can snag a ticket for roughly 6,000-12,000 points each way. For example we are three people traveling next week and bought tickets (Round trip) at a cost of about 32,000 points.
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    Ok, so I have somewhere around 19,500 pts. I've already booked our return trip from Fl. on Southwest. I had been holding out & looking at flights TO Fl for our end of May trip. I didn't even realize I had the points. Anyway, say the flight is 14,500 pts, can I pay for my flight with points, and use the remaining 5,000 pts for my husband and pay the remainder of his and the kids with cash all on the same one-way booking?
    Unfortunately Southwest doesn't work like the Hilton Points + Cash program. You have to have enough points to cover the flight fully (or purchase enough points to cover the flight) and book cash tickets separately.

    I ended up booking 3 one way flights using points (I didn't have enough to cover 4 one way tickets) for me and the boys. Then I booked my husband a separate one-way flight with cash. We have two separate reservation numbers. I was willing to choose less desirable flight times to get the absolute lowest points requirement on the flight so as many tickets as possible would be booked under points.
     
  • BellaBaby

    (Im)patiently waiting for next trip to Disney!!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2007
    Gotcha. So I'll have to book separately from the rest of the fam. If I buy EBCI immediately for both bookings will I have a chance at getting a boarding position near my family do you think?
     

    EACarlson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2019
    If you purchase EBCI in a relatively short order and it's not the first day fares are available, you should be within two or three numbers. My wife and I flew from MKE to DEN in Nov for 17,000 points roundtrip. If you can be flexible you can find some amazing deals. If our AMEX points transferred to SW I would have booked our Disney trip with them.
     

    pooch

    Still feeling special!!
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Boarding position is based on check in time not purchase time. If you check in your family first, then yourself immediately after, you should be close. Then they can just let the people between you go ahead of them & wait for you OR board and save you a seat.
     

    EACarlson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2019
    EBCI order is based on when EBCI was purchased. The first person for a flight that purchases EBCI will be A16, the next A17 and so on until T-36.
     

    pooch

    Still feeling special!!
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Sorry, that is correct. But once positions are assigned, if they are not right together, everyone can wait for the later position or board & hold a seat.
     

    EACarlson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2019
    I would buy the EBCI for the larger group first, then do yours after. The rest of the family shouldn't have any problems if they leave a middle seat open, especially if you have EBCI as well. There are some people that have an issue with seat saving, and SW isn't going to make someone move because one person was saving a seat that another passenger took.
     

    kristenrice

    NOT just an ambulance driver
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2006
    Ok, so I have somewhere around 19,500 pts. I've already booked our return trip from Fl. on Southwest. I had been holding out & looking at flights TO Fl for our end of May trip. I didn't even realize I had the points. Anyway, say the flight is 14,500 pts, can I pay for my flight with points, and use the remaining 5,000 pts for my husband and pay the remainder of his and the kids with cash all on the same one-way booking?
    You can buy more points to complete a booking using points. This is not always the way to do it, depending on how many points you need, but you may want to look into it.

    For example, let's look at a ticket that costs $136 or 8,200 points. If you have 5000 points, you could buy 4,000 points for $120 and then book the ticket with the points. You would save $16 and the ticket would be FULLY REFUNDABLE because, when you book with points, you can cancel at any time and the points just go back into your account. They have no expiration and they can be used by anyone at any time on any SWA flight.
     

    EACarlson

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2019
    According to SW, if you don't earn any points all points will be removed from the account after 24 months. Not a difficult thing to do to earn a few points doing a survey or using their shopping portal to extend the expiration another 24 months.
     

    siren0119

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2018
    According to SW, if you don't earn any points all points will be removed from the account after 24 months. Not a difficult thing to do to earn a few points doing a survey or using their shopping portal to extend the expiration another 24 months.
    I also have Rapid Rewards dining, which is linked to my credit cards. If I eat at a restaurant that participates, I get a couple of SW points that keeps my points active! Don't even have to do anything extra for it.
     

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