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southwestlogoLast month I wrote about how Southwest Airlines is changing the way their points are valued, as well as some additional speculation on what that might mean.

Beginning April 17, 2015, the number of Rapid Rewards Points needed to redeem for certain flights will vary based on destination, time, day of travel, demand, fare class, and other factors. However, there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate. And don’t forget that when fares go on sale, so do the points needed for redeeming for a reward flight on those fares.

If you’ll remember, Southwest devalued their currency from a point being worth 1.67 cents (60 points per $1 of fare) to 1.43 cents (70 points per $1 of fare) back in 2014.  Southwest has a (pseudo-) fixed rate of Rapid Rewards, though it’s not QUITE 1.43 cents

(SEE ALSO: How much are Southwest Rapid Rewards points REALLY worth?)

The reason for that is that the points required are based on the cost of the BASE fare, excluding any airport taxes and fees

(SEE ALSO: Comprehensive guide to Caribbean airport taxes and fees)

Which is why for our recent trip to somewhere warm, we chose to go to Puerto Rico, because it galled me to have to pay $100 (times 2!) for my “free” tickets.

Change coming this week

That press release was back in February, and April 17th has snuck up on us!  It’s this Friday!  So if you want to guarantee the current point levels, you’ll want to book by Thursday.  There’s really no downside to using your Southwest points speculatively, since they offer free changing / refunds on tickets.

I know that the Points of Life is looking at some of Southwest’s international flights.  I’ve been looking at a few flights, but haven’t pulled the trigger on anything – what about you?


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