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Reduced Value of Southwest Points

New Arrival

Anyone else notice that the true value of Rapid Rewards points has gone down dramatically?


I am a long time SW customer who always uses this airline if at all possible. I am extremely disappointed in the continuing reduction in the value of Rapid Reward Points in the last year or two. In the past, I have gotten a lower priced, one way ticket for 6-8,000 points. I just booked a one way flight that the dollar prices was $98. I was charged OVER 11,000 points each way. 


Today I received a SW email offering a deal (?) to purchase points at a reduced rate. The "regular" cost for 11,000 points was $302.50. The sale price was $196.63. That means if I purchased the points as the "special offer discount" and then purchased my tickets, I'd be paying $196.63 each way for tickets that are available for $98. 


It makes no sense. I have a SW credit card and try to accumulate points whenever I can. Now it seems like it's not worth the effort and their TRUE value is going down rapidly.


Not a happy customer. I will be shopping other options and may take my business elsewhere.


Re: Reduced Value of Southwest Points

Rising Star

Folks like to beat the proverbial drum that "purchasing points" is rarely worth the cost you pay to obtain them and how many points you need to redeem a flight. It's often just better to purchase the flights and get points in the traditional way instead of buying them. The only exception IMO is if you can make a minimal point purchase to fully redeem a flight with points - say $50 or less - I'd say go ahead and buy them. But many don't even do that. 


For what it's worth, RR points did decrease in value 6% a couple of months ago. Search the posts - several have been made about it. 



Re: Reduced Value of Southwest Points

New Arrival

Glad to see I'm not the only one. I was just running through the math on the value of this point purchase offer. Based on an upcoming travel plan, the cost in points to book the travel is at a rate of about 75 points per dollar.


Buying points for that travel would require 45,000 points, or so. According to the offer, the base price for those points would be $1237.50 (36 points per dollar). The 45% off puts it at $680.63 (66 points per dollar).


It's cheaper to just purchase the travel outright. Nothing about this is a deal.

Re: Reduced Value of Southwest Points

Active Member

And, it gets worse. If you buy a ticket with cash, you earn more points and you get credit towards status. If you buy with points, you earn nothing and you get nothing other than your flight.


Historically, I've only been interested in using miles for international business class tickets. In three years of flying Southwest, I've never used points. I need to burn some at some point before they get devalued even more.

Re: Reduced Value of Southwest Points

Active Member

I'm not a fan of purchasing points, but the points I accumulate via the SW credit card, or shopping portal, or for dining cost me nothing to get.  These points are a benefit for buying something I was going to buy anyway and also allows me to obtain the companion pass!


While the value of the points has decreased, it still allows my family of 4 to fly essentially for free.  I'll continue to keep my business with SW because of this and am thankful for the rewards.

Re: Reduced Value of Southwest Points

Top Contributor

Purchasing large numbers of points is just plain DUMB


Even at the heavily discounted level, they cost more than you will get when you cash them in to buy a ticket.


If you need to buy a small number to have enough points to buy your flight  - OK.

Anything else makes no sense.

Re: Reduced Value of Southwest Points

Top Contributor

1) Southwest has devalued Rapid Rewards points multiple times. Generally they do so about every 2 years.


2) Points are sold through a 3rd party who presumably would like to make a profit. Even though they buy them from Southwest at a discounted rate, they'll always sell them for more than their value.