Southwest 40% off sale on points

I just got an email to save 40% on purchased points. I’ve never done, is it worth it? What’s the math on when it makes sense to buy points vs buying a seat with cash?
When I clicked the link it wants me to sign in. It’s listed on their homepage as well:

It’s better than buying them straight up, but it’s still not a 1:1 so it tends to still be more costly than buying your fare on cash and earning the points (because you don’t earn points when buying points). It’s decent to do if you think you’ll find yourself in a situation where you’d prefer to book on points (trip is uncertain, booking is a backup for another booking) where you’d want a full refund vs having (what do they call them?) travel dollars that have to be used by a specific deadline.

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I bought points with the 40% off. I knew what the average price was for my flights and looked at flights with the price to see how many points it would be. I bought 30,000 points at 40% off for $453.75. I book each leg of my flight separately. The flight home for three people was 29,274 points. In dollars that would have been $450. That left me with 726 points remaining at a cost value of $3.75. The math worked out for me.

I would never buy points at full cost. Also booking on points allows me to get points back if the flight goes down rather than having a credit in dollars that I may not even get to use.


With this offer points are 1.8 cents each; they can usually be redeemed for around 1.4 - 1.5 cents each.

I have tried to purchase points in the past and for some reason the purchases never went through. I took it as a sign.

I much prefer booking with points due to the flexibility, but it’s better to earn them through cash purchases, credit cards etc.


I used my Southwest credit card so I earned points when I bought the points. I just won’t earn points for the flight.

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Right right that’s what I meant. Sorry I wasn’t clear :slight_smile:

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Our next trip is in March 2023, with flights opening for booking in a couple of weeks on July 21. I’ll have to run the numbers super fast on opening day before booking and paying with cash and see if it’s worth it to buy the points instead.

Hi, another area where these points sales might be helpful is if you have some points already and want to book a flight but don’t have enough points. This helps people like me without a lot of points. For example, awhile back I had 7,500 or so points and that was not enough to book anything. I needed like 15,000 points to book one leg so with the point sale I bought some points and then had enough to book it. It would take me so long to accumulate enough points since I don’t fly often and use the “wanna get away” fares which don’t give you as many points.

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I view booking on purchases points (when I can get them at 40-45% off) as a discount on refundable fares. When you use a credit card to pay the 9/11 security fee it goes back to your card. Also any points discount you get can go back into your bank for future use for you and others.
Unless my flight is booked super quickly at the lowest price I know the price will usually go down. And often it’s more than 10 percent.

It varies slightly depending on the flight but points are worth between 1.3 and 1.6 cents per point.

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