Under any circumstances, I’m not a big fan of buying any miles or points. While there are some opportunities to get back more than what you pay, you have to know where those places are. For example, if I need IHG points, I’m willing to buy them at 1/2 cent each because I know that I will most likely be able to redeem points at that value. However, if I’m looking to buy Alaska points at two cents each, I’ll pass. Because, for me, I’m not going to be able to put those points to good use. Others will surely disagree with me on this one, but Your Mileage May Vary 🙂
When I received an email from Southwest offering to sell points, I was going to delete it. I gave it a second look because this offer looked better than others I’ve gotten from them. You can buy Southwest points with a 75% bonus until September 28th.
I didn’t know how much Southwest usually sold points for, so I clicked on the link and did some research.
It normally costs 2.75 cents to purchase one Southwest Rapid Rewards point. With this bonus offer, any purchase over 5,000 points earns a 75% bonus. That means you’re buying points for 1.57 cents each.
When redeeming Southwest points for award tickets, here’s the value you’ll get:
- Wanna Get Away – 76-78 points per dollar
- Anytime and Business Select – 78 points per dollar
That’s approximately 1.3 cents per point. So why should you purchase points for more than they’re worth?
The primary use of this promotion would be to add enough points to your account to make a redemption. Since you’re not able to combine points and cash for a ticket, if you don’t have enough points in your account, you can’t use them. So if you have a decent amount of Southwest points that you want to liquidate but not enough for a ticket, this is a way to add those extra points. A problem with this is that the number of points needed for a Southwest Award ticket depends on the cost of the ticket. If you don’t know the price, how do you know the number of points you’ll need in your account?
Since Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, it would be a better idea to move some points to your account when you need them instead of purchasing them from Southwest in advance.
While a 75% bonus on purchased points sounds like a good deal, it’s rarely a good deal to buy in advance when dealing with fixed value points program like Southwest.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary