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(UPDATE 5/14: Reposting as the last day to buy Southwest points with the current 50% bonus promo is Thursday the 16th)

Southwest is offering an up to 50% bonus on buying, gifting or transferring points through May 16th.

The Promotion

Below are details of the promotion:

  • Offer is valid between April 9, 2019, 12:00:01 a.m. CST and May 16, 2019, 11:59:59 p.m. CST.
  • Rapid Rewards® Members will get up to 50% bonus when they buy or gift Rapid Rewards® points in a single transaction. 5,000 points to 9,000 points purchase threshold must be met on a per transaction basis in order to qualify for a 30% bonus. 10,000 points to 14,000 points purchase threshold must be met on a per transaction basis in order to qualify for a 40% bonus. 15,000 or more points purchase threshold must be met on a per transaction basis in order to qualify for a 50% bonus.
  • Points must be purchased in blocks of 1,000 and a daily maximum of 60,000 points can be purchased by a Member with no annual maximum

If you purchase the maximum allowed, you will receive 60,000 points plus 30,000 bonus points for a total of 90,000 points. The total cost is $1,650, about 1.83 cents per point.

Remember that you can only redeem Southwest points for a fixed amount – usually though not always for about 1.33 cents per point.

(SEE ALSO: Yes, you CAN get 2.55 cents per Southwest point!)

So obviously buying points at 1.83 cents per point and redeeming them at 1.33 cents per point is not a winning strategy!  I’d say the only real opportunities where this might make sense is if you have multiple accounts with points in them and don’t have enough to book your flights and need to consolidate.  One option would be to have the individual accounts buy flights for individual people, but that doesn’t always work out for flying.

If you have questions about whether or not this makes sense for you, send me an email or post over in our free Points With a Crew miles and points Facebook group

Conclusion

Purchased points can represent great value sometimes. But as always, you need to crunch the numbers to ensure it makes sense.  (SEE ALSO: When does buying airline miles make sense?  ONLY in these 3 instances)

During the past two years, Southwest has offered bonus on purchase points about four times a year, and the maximum bonus ranged from 30% to 50%. So the current promotion is about the highest it’s ever been. As I always say, if you don’t have an urgent need for Southwest points, I would recommend waiting for the next promotion with higher bonus.  I generally would only buy Southwest or any other type of miles or points if you have a specific short-term need for them.

When you need to change a flight, it’s super easy.  Login to your Rapid Rewards account online, and modify the trip.  If your new flight selection needs more points, you’ll have to pay the difference.  If the new flight is less points than your original flight, you’ll get the difference refunded back to your account instantly!

There are no change or cancellation fees for Southwest flights, even with their cheapest fares!  This is a fantastic feature, and I took full advantage back when I had my Companion Pass for 2016 and 2017.

Buy, gift or transfer Southwest points here with a 50% bonus through May 16th (I may receive a commission if you buy points through this link)

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