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Good Deal or Not?

strgth
Active Member

I just received an email to buy points at a 65-75% discount. Is this a good deal or not? I know I've read a few Community subject matter experts (SMEs) posts stating to only purchase points when you need a few but the timing was when it was only a 40% discount. I need some for a trip next year.

13 REPLIES 13

Re: Good Deal or Not?

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

I don't think buying points is ever a good deal UNLESS you need just a couple thousand to get you enough to purchase a fare. 

 

So here is the question: which is cheaper?

  • Buy some points to top off what you need to book the trip on points (cost for those points)
  • OR the cost of booking one way on points and then paying for the return leg in cash? With SW it is easy to book the outgoing and incoming lets separately, and there is no difference in the cost if you do that.

Simply, is it cheaper to buy the extra points or book part of your trip in cash. Every situation is different, but I think that's the key question to help you decide.

 

Good luck!

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Good Deal or Not?

strgth
Active Member

@elijahbrantley wrote:

I don't think buying points is ever a good deal UNLESS you need just a couple thousand to get you enough to purchase a fare. 

 

So here is the question: which is cheaper?

  • Buy some points to top off what you need to book the trip on points (cost for those points)
  • OR the cost of booking one way on points and then paying for the return leg in cash? With SW it is easy to book the outgoing and incoming lets separately, and there is no difference in the cost if you do that.

Simply, is it cheaper to buy the extra points or book part of your trip in cash. Every situation is different, but I think that's the key question to help you decide.

 

Good luck!

 


Elijah, thank you. I sent you a DM with another question. For this one, what if it costs $247 for 14,850 pts but a one leg fare (international) is $284 (14,359 pts)? Isn't that a good trade off?

Re: Good Deal or Not?

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

@strgth Sorry I have not gotten back to you on that. It was a lot to process -- LOL! 

 

I am not 100% sure to how answer about this specific scenario. Since the $ values are so close, a variable would be how many points you have to buy at a time. i.e. can you buy just what you need?

 

I totally understand trying to get the best deal, but for me, the $40 isn't worth the process of buying points. I have no experience buying points, but my question would be: how quickly do they deposit, and what if the fare goes up between now and then?

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Good Deal or Not?

strgth
Active Member

@elijahbrantley wrote:

I don't think buying points is ever a good deal UNLESS you need just a couple thousand to get you enough to purchase a fare. 

 

So here is the question: which is cheaper?

  • Buy some points to top off what you need to book the trip on points (cost for those points)
  • OR the cost of booking one way on points and then paying for the return leg in cash? With SW it is easy to book the outgoing and incoming lets separately, and there is no difference in the cost if you do that.

Simply, is it cheaper to buy the extra points or book part of your trip in cash. Every situation is different, but I think that's the key question to help you decide.

 

Good luck!

 


Right now Person A is concentrating on purchasing the departing leg with points. Persons A-E will each purchase their own returning leg with cash.

Re: Good Deal or Not?

jksobonya
Rising Star

Most will say don't buy points, as the $ / point conversion isn't worth it and you are better off spending your $ on the flight itself. As for me, I've purchased points a few times in the past when I needed a couple thousand to get a free flight. To me, paying $50 or so for the points and getting the flight for "free" (well, $50) was worth it to me compared to what the flight would have cost me if I paid for it at full cost. Although, that was before I really cared about getting to A-List status, and flights purchased with points do not qualify for A-List, so that is something else to consider. 

 

--Jessica

Re: Good Deal or Not?

gsking
Rising Star

The simple answer is... when 65% off,  the price you're paying for the points is about even.   Nothing gained or lost. 

 

But... points to me aren't the same as cash. 

 

 

I never use them for myself,  because I won't accrue MORE points or any A List status progress.

 

I use them for OTHER people who don't need to accrue points or A list status.

 

Or more importantly if I cancel that person's flight,  I don't get any travel funds locked up with them. 

 

So having a stockpile of points in those cases is useful.   

 

From a cost basis,  points can also save you some value on very short flights,  since you don't pay taxes on that ticket.   A $49 flight can be as low as like 3800 points,  so you eek out a few more $  per point than using them on more expensive flights. 

Re: Good Deal or Not?

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Also, remember that you earn points when you pay $ for a flight. You don't when you pay with points.

Re: Good Deal or Not?

strgth
Active Member

Thank you everyone for the insight. So here is one scenario (NOTE: no one in the scenario is interested in accumulating points.; if anything, they're trying to use them up):

 

SCENARIO 1:
1. 5 ppl (Persons A-E) traveling internationally (Caribbean) in Summer 2022
2. The lowest departure fare at this time is 6059 points
3. Person A has enough points to cover departure fare for Persons A-D but is 2,000 points short to cover departure fare for Person E
4. Person E is 1840 points short from purchasing their own departure fare
5. All 5 people are NOT frequent travelers including Person A with the most points

 

QUESTIONS
1. When is the best time to purchase airfare for international travel? 6, 3, 2 months prior?
2. Should Person E purchase 2000 points to top off so that they can purchase their departure fare using their existing points OR Should Person E transfer 2000 points to Person A? Which option avoids the highest cost per transaction? What’s the calculation?
3. When points are used to purchase a fare, how are points refunded when cancel a: 1)WGA, Anytime, or BS fares? How are the taxes and fees refunded when cancel?

Re: Good Deal or Not?

gsking
Rising Star

That is a very cheap fare.   I say jump on it.   You'll get a rebate if it goes down. 

 

I'd have E buy the extra points on sale and book their own ticket.   Transfer isn't worth the cost. 

 

The cost of taxes will be high,  particularly on the return.   They are paid in cash.   But fortunately,  all points and cash paid for taxes are refunded in kind if anything is canceled.   No risk.