Rapid Rewards Revaluation: Southwest’s Wanna Get Away Awards Now Cost More

Southwest has announced a revaluation of Rapid Rewards redemptions today. Although there are some improvements, this represents a devaluation for the majority of people.

Southwest

In the past, Wanna Get Away fares offered the best value for your Rapid Rewards points as they could be redeemed for ~1.38cpp. Redemptions for Business Select and Anytime fares offered far less value at ~0.83cpp and ~1cpp respectively.

Southwest has revalued all three types of fares today, with the cost of Business Select and Anytime fares going down, but with Wanna Get Away fares going up.

As of today, Business Select and Anytime fares will now be valued at ~1.28cpp, so that’s a definite improvement. However, Wanna Get Away fares will now be valued between 1.28cpp and 1.32cpp.

Seeing as the vast majority of Southwest customers redeem their points for Wanna Get Away fares, that represents a devaluation. The change is between 5-8% so it’s not a huge devaluation, but it’s a devaluation nonetheless.

Question

What are your thoughts? Will this change your Southwest flying habits?

h/t View From The Wing

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

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BarrySuperwormThe new true value of Southwest points, 2018 edition. How to get up to 1.9 cents per point value. - Frequent MilerSueSuecavedweller Recent comment authors
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Jason
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Jason

This is the 3rd or 4th devaluation since they changed the program in 2011. It was 60X, now it’s 78X. That’s a huge devaluation considering its a revenue based program.
Considering most people earn 6 pts per dollar, that’s only a 7.7% ROI. A far cry from the old buy 4 get 1 or buy 8 get 1. When they changed the program, it was a 10% ROI. Now it’s buy 13 get 1.

a. Nonymous
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a. Nonymous

Depending on the route, even with the devaluation, it costs fewer miles/points on SWA than many other airlines. For example, you can’t go anywhere on Frontier for less than 10,000 miles. Plus SWA gives you the first two bags for free. That’s worth a LOT of miles/points.

Belinda
Guest
Belinda

I’m on a wait and see with this. Lots of times with Southwest it looks bad then ends up being favorable to me. Back in the day, with paper reward tickets, they were good for any flight anytime. That wasn’t sold out of course. Well I mostly redeemed last minute. Like on Tuesday flying on Thursday. Then they went to something else…I can’t even keep track anymore…so I started planning ahead because I could no longer afford all the points or whatever it took to redeem last minute. Well I noticed my points were allowing me to fly a lot more often than the old way. I just had to plan ahead…or go to low demand places. Like go to Vegas the week after New Years…low demand. Or go to Denver in the summer when no ski season. It’s all good. So now I noticed I don’t even care about the points so much. I paid $45 hou to mco o/w last fall for several trips. Who cares what the redemption is at that rate. I just paid cash. ‍♀️ Or more likely used a discounted gift card . Or maybe a gift card from an annual travel fee reimbursement. Basically the only thing I care about points anymore is to earn the companion pass and to pay for other people’s tickets. But I’m really trying to wean myself off the latter

nikdro
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nikdro

Making this change ahead of announcing Hawaii flights I’m sure…

SueSue
Guest
SueSue

That’s exactly what I thought!

Gray
Guest
Gray

So, basically they went to a more-or-less fixed value on awards (there seems to be a little bit of fudge on the WGA awards but otherwise it’s pretty much fixed)? As long as they don’t do an overall devaluation again, this isn’t really the end of the world…but it would sure be nice if revenue-based programs would stick to their valuation.

Bob
Guest
Bob

I just bought 4 tickets last Monday, and I looked up on the point prices. All flights are to/from AUS.

Before —> After
6817 ($116) —> 7386 ($116)
5679 ($99) —> 6152 ($99)
8306 ($147) —> 8998 ($147)
19654 ($301) —> 20171 ($301)

CPP Devaluation:
1.7 cpp —> 1.57 cpp
1.74 cpp —> 1.61 cpp
1.77 cpp —> 1.63 cpp
1.53 cpp —> 1.49 cpp

Lost opportunity cost when converting pints to dollars at 1.67 cpp (my valuation of it):
$36 out of $663 in flights cost I’ve saved for those flights or about 5%.

Sucks that my companion pass just posted today for me to receive this news, but it’s not like I could’ve done anything else, and at least I booked all the flights last week.

Barry
Guest
Barry

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can book your Southwest flight through the Chase travel portal and get 1.5 cents of airfare per Ultimate Rewards point. You also get Rapid Rewards points for your paid flight. You’ll need to call Chase to book a Southwest flight through the travel portal.

Superworm
Guest
Superworm

After you get the ticket booked, can you go in and add your companion?

Barry
Guest
Barry

I haven’t done this myself, but there was a good article on the Points Guy website which says that it can be done.

Ben
Guest
Ben

The title of this post
1) Doesn’t make any sense
2) Is contradicted by the first sentence

Between this post and the Barclays Arrival Premier nonsense, I’m not sure about you guys…

cavedweller
Guest
cavedweller

Same thing with all of them .Read ur Blogs do ur Homework all have a sweet spot .Then transfer ur points there ..Citi AA card was 40k in 2011 and 4ok nonstop ORD>CDG rt Now 60K card and 60K for same trip..

CHEERs

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[…] this week we reported that Southwest had changed the value of their points when redeemed for flights. They slightly reduced the value of points applied to Wanna Getaway Fares, but greatly increased […]