When you think of redeeming Southwest points, does Europe and Hawaii come to mind? If it doesn’t, you’re in luck. I am going to show you how to redeem your Rapid Rewards on partner airlines.
These partner redemptions only get you 1 cent per point, not anything to shout-about. If you redeem your Rapid Rewards points for Southwest flights you can expect around 1.5 cents per point. So, is a 50% loss in value worth it to travel outside Southwest’s reach? Let’s see.
You can use the Southwest partner flight search to find options to Hawaii. I compared multiple itineraries on Google Flights and then Southwest, pricing matched on them all. That is good news.
There is a great sale from Sacramento to Maui for as little as $366 round-trip. During this sale, you can book a United Airlines flight using your Southwest Rapid Rewards. You can book with all major airlines, and again, pricing will match what you can find in the “open market”.
$300 partner flight requires 30,000 Southwest points.
$450 flight on Southwest requires ~around~ 30,000 Southwest points.
If Europe is on your radar, it is nice to know you can redeem your Rapid Rewards to hop-the-pond. At the same 1 cent per point, you can find many flights on all the major carriers.
This example on Star Alliance carriers, from San Francisco to Amsterdam, is a great deal!
The cash price of this example flight from SFO to AMS is $378, so you’ll need to redeem 37,836 Rapid Rewards.
How to book
Step 1: Visit this page and click Explore Rewards
Step 2: You will land on the above page, first click the “Sign In” link.
Next, hover on “Travel”, then click “International Flights + Hawaii”
Step 3: In the top right, you may be signed in even if it says “log in”. If you did sign-in on the page before, you can click “Book Travel Now”
Step 4: Plug-in your flight details and search. Once your results show, make sure to click the “Complete Trip” tab to see total pricing.
Is it a good deal?
I would not personally redeem my Rapid Rewards in this way. I have Companion Pass which gives two-for-one travel on Southwest flights. Companion Pass, although it would be amazing, does not apply on these partner bookings.
Since you net 50% less value when redeeming on partners, I would not suggest this as a first choice. If you don’t have any desire for Southwest’s destinations, well, redeeming a 1 cpm may be better than having them collect dust.