At NerdWallet, we try that can assist you make monetary selections with confidence. To do that, many or the entire merchandise featured listed here are from our companions. Nonetheless, this doesn’t affect our evaluations. Our opinions are our personal.
Southwest, like many different airways lately, has eschewed a standard award chart in favor of a fare-based award system. For vacationers, meaning the variety of factors you’ll want for a flight can fluctuate relying on the fare kind, demand, vacation spot and different elements.
So what does that imply for you in case you’re attempting to determine what number of miles you’ll want to your subsequent journey? We’ll assist demystify Southwest Airways’ award system on this simple information.
A fare-based award system
Whereas some airways use a distance- or zone-based award chart dictating what number of miles you’ll must redeem an award flight, Southwest Airways doesn’t. As an alternative, the redemption price is tied on to the price of the fare. Check out the chart beneath to see what we imply.
As you possibly can see, the bottom variety of factors required for an award flight on a given day relies on the bottom money value of the identical flight.
In case your journey plans are versatile otherwise you catch certainly one of Southwest’s fare gross sales, you may get a fairly whole lot on award journey. If not, you would possibly get caught shelling out much more of these hard-earned factors than you anticipated.
» Be taught extra: Southwest Speedy Rewards: The whole information
What you could find out about Southwest Airways awards
1. No blackout dates
Southwest Speedy Rewards has no blackout dates or capability controls on award flights. Which means you’re extra more likely to discover a seat on the flight you need, while you need, regardless of what number of award seats have already been offered. If a flight will be bought in money, it may be reserved with factors.
2. No change or cancellation charges
Whether or not you’re reserving with factors or money, Southwest permits free modifications. All you need to do is pay the fare distinction, if there may be one. In case you cancel a Wanna Get Away money ticket, your fare can be refunded within the type of journey dollars that have to be redeemed inside 12 months. Enterprise and Anytime money fares will be refunded to the unique cost kind.
three. The three fare varieties
Southwest presents three fare varieties: Wanna Get Away, Anytime and Enterprise Choose. All three embrace two free checked luggage and cost no charges to vary your reserving.
Wanna Get Away fares require fewer factors and appear to fluctuate in price greater than Anytime fares.
Enterprise Choose comes with extra advantages like precedence boarding, a precedence safety lane at choose airports, and complimentary premium drinks.
Speedy Rewards A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked standing
Fly with Southwest typically and also you’ll discover extra factors aren’t the one advantages you’ll obtain to your loyalty. Southwest rewards its members with two elite tiers: A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked, together with the flexibility to earn the Companion Cross after a sure variety of miles flown.
Members who fly 25 qualifying one-way segments or earn 35,000 tier qualifying factors per calendar yr obtain A-Record standing. A-list members get entry to some fairly helpful perks:
Precedence check-in and, at sure airports, precedence safety lane entry.
25% incomes bonus.
Free same-day standby.
A devoted A-list member telephone line.
Southwest A-Record Most well-liked
A-Record Most well-liked standing is granted to members who fly 50 qualifying one-way flights or earn 70,000 tier qualifying factors per calendar yr. A-Record Most well-liked members obtain the identical advantages as A-Record members do, with these extras:
100% incomes bonus (as a substitute of 25%).
Free inflight Wi-Fi.
Southwest Companion Cross
Speedy Rewards members who handle to fly 100 qualifying segments or earn 110,000 qualifying factors obtain the coveted Southwest Companion Cross. This invaluable profit allows you to designate a journey companion, who then will get to journey with you freed from cost.
The Companion Cross is legitimate by the calendar yr after it’s earned. For instance, in case you earn the Companion Cross in October 2019, it’s legitimate by December 2020.
You don’t should earn 110,000 factors by way of flying to qualify for the Companion Cross. Factors earned from Southwest co-branded bank cards additionally qualify towards this requirement.
» Be taught extra: Airline elite standing: Is it value It?
Southwest Airways bank cards
If you wish to get a head begin on the Companion Cross or simply wish to load up on Speedy Rewards factors, think about certainly one of Southwest’s bank cards. The Southwest Speedy Rewards® Plus Credit score Card, Southwest Speedy Rewards® Premier Credit score Card and Southwest Speedy Rewards® Precedence Credit score Card are the three client playing cards.
All three playing cards at present provide 40,000 factors after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. You’ll earn 2 factors per greenback on Southwest purchases and 1 level per greenback on every little thing else.
As for the variations, the Southwest Speedy Rewards® Plus Credit score Card comes with a $69 annual price and presents a further three,000 factors in your account anniversary.
The Southwest Speedy Rewards® Premier Credit score Card rewards you with 6,000 factors, elite-qualifying factors and no international transaction charges however prices $99 per yr.
The Southwest Speedy Rewards® Precedence Credit score Card presents essentially the most bang to your buck. There’s a $149 annual price, however you’ll obtain 7,500 further factors in your anniversary, an annual $75 Southwest journey credit score, 20% again on in-flight purchases and 4 upgraded boardings per yr. That is helpful, since Southwest doesn’t do assigned seating.
If it’s the Southwest Speedy Rewards® Premier Enterprise Credit score Card or New! Southwest Speedy Rewards® Efficiency Enterprise Credit score Card you’re after, you’ll get extra factors in your pocket. The Premier presents 60,000 after $three,000 in spending within the first three months and the Efficiency nets you 80,000 after $5,000 in spending.
The underside line
Whereas Southwest Airways’s lack of award chart doesn’t enable for lots of room for planning and may fluctuate tremendously the place the price of award journey is anxious, the airline does provide a whole lot of different advantages. And due to off-peak journey and frequent fare gross sales, vacationers can nonetheless discover respectable offers on award journey with Southwest.
The best way to maximize your rewards
You need a journey bank card that prioritizes what’s essential to you. Listed here are our picks for one of the best journey bank cards of 2019, together with these greatest for:
Planning a visit? Try these articles for extra inspiration and recommendation:
Discover one of the best journey bank card for you
Which Southwest Airways bank card ought to I get?
Southwest Speedy Rewards Plus evaluation: Stable rewards for much less