What’s A Southwest Point Worth To You?

Combine this post with the last few hotel reviews, and it looks like I’m slumming it!

I’ve flown Southwest in the past.  But, it’s only out of necessity.  I don’t view Southwest like Spirit Airlines.  My sister loves Spirit.  I would never fly them.  Southwest, on the other hand, has a great business model.  It’s just not one that fits me.  I want all my domestic air travel to contribute to my ability to fly to exotic international donations.  Southwest can’t do that for me.

I do (did) value Southwest points for us to buy tickets for family members.  I’ve given a bunch away to family and friends while I hoard my more valuable miles.  Serena and Ron get my apologies, as they just used the last of my Southwest credits.  Love you guys!

Now that I don’t have any Southwest points left, I took a few minutes to figure out where I should credit my car rentals going forward.  I don’t rent many cars for leisure, so don’t see much value there.

Up until recent changes in the Southwest program, I thought it represented a great value for crediting car rentals to.  It took less than 20 car rentals to earn a free ticket, and sometimes much less with promos.  Under the new system, it would take me about 25 car rentals to earn a free ticket.  I generally rent about 30 cars a year, so this means about a year before I will be able to effectively use any of these points.  I can’t bring myself to buy Southwest points to top off a reservation, either.  I had to do that this weekend for my cousins and got a little nauseous.

Crediting them to AA gets me a worse conversion rate.  Based on an average car rental price of $250, I figured it would take 45-ish car rentals to earn a free ticket.  Longer to earn a free ticket, but amassing points in a program where I can readily dispense awards.  And, frankly, with the pace of Southwest accruals now, it’s really more like 2 years before I can redeem, as I’m unlikely to give away ONE ticket.

I’m leaning towards AA, but need to do a bit more research.  Some people have suggested Virgin Atlantic as an alternative.  I believe I have a Flying Club membership, though I don’t think I’ve ever used it.

What’s a Southwest point worth to you?  For those that rent from Hertz, where do you “park” those points?

About the Author

My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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1 Comment

  1. To me Southwest points have NEGATIVE value. Since if I accumulated enough of them, I might at some point decide to fly Southwest. And that would seriously detract from my happiness.

    As for where to credit car rentals..
    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfromthewing/2012/01/10/best-current-rental-car-rewards-offers/

    I credit one-day Avis rentals to Virgin Atlantic for the flat 1000 miles per rental regardless of rental length. I credit three-day Avis rentals to US Airways, there’s an offer that’s set to expire March 31 but that keeps getting extended for 3000 US Airways miles on a 3+ day rental (requires using coupon code MUAA044 which does not influence the rate).

    I stopped paying attention to Hertz when their bmi relationship ended, that had given 1700 destination miles per rental and of course a bmi mile was perhaps the most valuable currency out their with their cash and points award chart (with the BA acquisition of bmi, may she rest in peace).

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