Today’s question comes from Beth on Facebook, a long-time friend-of-PWaC and faithful blog reader. She writes about an upcoming trip in a few weeks:
I’ll have to buy a flight on Southwest to get back, but on the Wednesday I’d be flying down, I nearly have enough points to get that flight free. But not quite enough. Like 30 points short. And I don’t think anything I bought with my Southwest credit card would post in time to book the flight. Do you know of any other ways to get super small bonus points in a day or so? Do you think they’d help me out if I called them? I could buy 2,000 points for $55, but I’m looking for the hack option first.
How to get Southwest points, FAST!
I shared a few suggestions, but I thought I’d also open it up to you readers, to see if there was anything to get Southwest points that I missed. Beth is right that the 2,000 points for $55 is not a great option and should only be used as a last resort.
I asked about what the deadline was, since the trip isn’t for a few weeks. Southwest’s point prices are tied to the value of the fare. It used to be that it was 60 points to $1, and then the price was raised to 70 points to the dollar, and most recently, Southwest changed the rules, where they can change the multiple for any given fare, date or route
(SEE ALSO: Guess which Southwest flights now cost more than 70 points / $?)
The good news is that Southwest has a very liberal change / cancellation policy. If the price drops after you book your award, you can call and get a refund of the difference in points
Exploring the options to get Southwest points
Southwest buy points, Southwest transfer points and Southwest gift points options
One option is to buy Southwest points, transfer Southwest points and gift Southwest points. As Beth mentioned in her email, the cost to buy 2,000 points is $55, which is generally speaking, not a good deal. The cost to gift points is the same, but for some reason transferring Southwest points is cheaper. You can transfer points from one user to another for $10 / 1,000 points, with a minimum of 2,000 points. Again, I’m not entirely sure what the difference between “gifting” Southwest points and “transferring” Southwest points, and why you’d ever want to gift Southwest points for nearly 3 times the cost, but …. okay! This was the same thing I ran into when planning my 10,000 Hilton HHonors points giveaway
Transferring from Chase
The best option would be if Beth had a Chase Sapphire or other premium Chase card. If you do have a Chase premium credit card, you can transfer Chase points 1:1 to Southwest Airlines, and the transfer happens instantaneously, with no-fee. You can also transfer to United, Hyatt, British Airways, Amtrak and many more, and it’s one of the reasons I think Chase points are the best ones out there. I would transfer them myself from my Chase account, except that Chase has been known to crack down on people transferring between people other than immediate family members
Credit card spend
Beth is right that you won’t be able to get Southwest points quickly using the credit card – the points only post when your monthly statement posts
Southwest shopping portal
Another good way to get Southwest points is through the Southwest shopping portal
(SEE ALSO: Earning miles through shopping portals)
(SEE ALSO: Why you might lose money from shopping portals)
Shopping portals are a great way to earn extra miles and points, but again, those points usually do take a little bit of time, and oftentimes you have to follow up (and fight!) to get your miles.
Those were my ideas to get Southwest points fast – what are yours?
That was about the extent of my ideas on how to get Southwest points fast. I also thought that it was possible that Beth might be able to call in to Southwest and see if they might let her pay the remaining balance in points with a credit card, but I don’t have any specific experience with that
What about you? Do you have any ideas on how to get Southwest points fast?
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Pretty easy to see what the difference between buy, gift or transfer.
Buy – you buy for yourself, increase in points to you.
Gift – you buy for someone else, increase in points to someone else.
Transfer – you transfer your own points to someone else. No points are being bought here. Decrease in your points, increase in someone else’s.
Thanks Blake – I don’t know why I was having a hard time seeing the difference between gift and transfer – I was seeing them both as points that you had going to someone else, but your explanation makes it all clear!! 😀
Convert Marriott points to SW miles. Not the best use of Marriott points…
Transfer from hotels to Southwest. Generally not the best idea, but their rates are not awful. I think (if I remember correctly) that Choice hotel has the best rates? Then followed by Hyatt. So if you have a ton of Amex points, you can transfer them to Choice, then to Southwest for a decent enough rate (but not great).
I needed around a 100 points and called ask asked for them. no problem. done
Asked whom? Southwest or Chase?
You can also just go negative in your account. I booked a ticket with American last November when I was about 500 miles shy of the required amount. I called American’s booking line and asked if I could book or if I had to buy miles (which is ridiculously expensive) or if I could get advanced credit for a flight I knew I would be taking in December. She just said she would book with miles and send my account negative, which wasn’t a big deal. The catch was I had to book through her and not the website, which charged a $35 agent booking fee. It was still significantly cheaper than the $85-$150 I would have paid to buy the needed miles.
That’s a great idea Brandon. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes phone agents will waive the phone booking fee if you ask. Specifically, American’s policy (as of a few months ago) is that they will waive the phone booking fee if you’re booking something that can’t be booked online.
$15 e-Rewards Currency = 300 Rapid Rewards Points but points usually take about a few days to a week to post, in my experience. 500 points for new users after first survey.
I have found that points come through fairly quickly from Rapid Rewards. That’s probably the shopping portal you referred to. Of course if you don’t need anything, there’s no real reason to go shopping.
Here are my Links to Southwest Rapid Rewards 50,000 Bonus Applications. Remember if going for the companion pass, to complete your $2000 spending sometime after the end of the year. Thank for using my Links!!