Posted by William Charles on May 20, 2019
Credit Card Offers

Published on May 20th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Can Be Used To Book Southwest Airlines Flights

When Chase changed the Chase travel portal to use Expedia as the back end users lost the ability to book low cost carriers such as Southwest. It’s now possible to book Southwest flights again via phone (same as before). Chase UR points are worth 1.25¢ if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or 1.5¢ per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Keep in mind you can also transfer points to Southwest at a rate of 1:1, Southwest points are worth 1.28¢ per point but you don’t pay taxes on award flights so the value can be significantly higher. Keep in mind if you do book through the Chase travel portal you’ll earn Southwest points back on the flight itself.

Hat tip to HealthyGrain via VFTW



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projectx
projectx

Can’t hurt to have the option but I’ve consistently found redemption values at 1.5cpp or higher for the total booking with RR points, even during peak travel periods. Given the ease of cancellation with RR points I can’t see a reason to use URs. Unless a massive devaluation hits, of course.

Mike
Mike

RR points are redeemed at 78 points per $ of BASE fare regardless of price. For cheaper flights, the taxes make up a bigger portion of the price, so it looks like you are getting a better deal booking those with points than more expensive flights.

Good option to look at unless you have RR points to burn first, then use those first.

Mike
Mike

Only reason I would think of is the flight credit towards A-List status or CP if you’re close to qualifying, & if you think it’s worth it

Katie Hernandez
Katie Hernandez

So should I be transferring UR to RR, or booking via phone/CSR? I have tons of UR, and little RR, but want to book SW flights.

VL
VL

Always compare both options. Whatever is cheaper… but keep in mind greater flexibility when book with RR direct. Unless booking through Chase ends up being WAY cheaper, I would go with RR direct booking.

Robert Unferth
Robert Unferth

The difficulty, or impossibility, of changing anything with Chase is a real downer when it comes to Southwest.

RedEyes
RedEyes

So if 90% of my possible flights are to be with SouthWest .. should I bother working to acquire UR points? Is there a better set of credit cards to use?

Outlying Anomaly
Outlying Anomaly

We’re in the same boat w/ 90% of travel on Southwest. I acquire as many UR points as possible and transfer 1:1 to Southwest as I need them. We’ve also on our third Companion Pass (year 5). I love flying for $5.60!

Tammy Richards
Tammy Richards

so are you able to use transferred UR points to count towards the points needed for s companion pass?

Outlying Anomaly
Outlying Anomaly

Tammy Richards, no, you can’t and sorry if I implied that. I or my spouse gets two SW credit cards (when they’ve got the appropriate levels of signup bonuses) to earn the CP. We use those 110,000+ RR points to travel for free (aka $5.60), as well as lots of other Chase UR-earning cards over time. Gotta keep the RR bucket full lol.

FreeIsGood
FreeIsGood

Chase Freedom Unlimited (+ Reserve) nets you 2.25% back for travel on regular purchases.

If you are using those for swa, it’s a close decision whether that’s really worth it over the Citi 2x – depends on spending habits.

Shawn D
Shawn D

Yes, you should bother working to acquire UR.

You should be looking to acquire SW RR through Chase specific cards but you should also be looking at UR earning Chase cards as well. With certain cards, UR can be transferred to SW and other travel partners, and also used to book other travel.

RedEyes
RedEyes

Thanks …

FamilyOnABudget
FamilyOnABudget

I have scheduled Southwest through Chase in the past and have not had trouble making changes directly with southwest. I believe once it is booked it functions like any other southwest trip booked with cash in regard to cancellations/changes. That may have changed recently but I doubt it.

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

So if you book directly with Southwest, you get your points refunded with no expiration date. However, if you book through Chase, you get a travel voucher with a window of time to use it in.

Tall T
Tall T

I’d also like to know this, if anyone has experience.

Jeremy
Jeremy

+1

Patrick
Patrick

This is fine, but the real gem will be getting the ability to book Spirit flights back in play.

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

Is Chase planning to put all MSers on Boing 737 MAX 8 ?

Alex
Alex

Haha thank you for this; gave me a good laugh

sonia
sonia

lmaooooo

Pete
Pete

Do you know if the same can be done with other carriers like spirit and frontier?

Don B
Don B

I tried about a week ago without any luck. Maybe this change will help bring Spirit and Frontier back into play.

TRB
TRB

So far, the benefits of moving to Expedia has paid off for me. I have been able to book tours with Walks of Italy for our upcoming trip with a 1.5 redeemtion rate. The wife and I used our points from Freedom’s 5% back at Lowes for 15k (new Shed for the yard) to book a Vatican Tour.

We plan on both getting the Freedom Unlimited deal with 3x points when back from the trip and then transfer over to our CSRs for the 1.5x bonus. For a net 4.5x. We would have used them for the trip but they have the foriegn transaction fees.

Mike K
Mike K

This is great news. This is really beneficial for trips to Mexico, as the taxes on the award tickets really eat into the redemption value. Booking by using UR points directly circumvents taxes, gets you 1.5 cents per (which is usually about the same as points, or better), and you earn points on SW.

Any word on LCCs like Norwegian? I was able to book them back in the day, before Expedia. I assume they have been off the radar for Chase since then.

MoreSun
MoreSun

I hope this means if Expedia & UA break-up this Fall we’ll be able to book UA with URs via phone!

Brian
Brian

I just called Chase to book a flight Southwest domestic flight. Called the main UR travel number listed on the site. They took my information and transferred me to a SW booking specialist. After the booking I inquired about booking a Spirit flight and I was told they were able, they would just have to transfer me to another specialist. I did not have an actual Spirit flight to book so I did not follow up any further.

Brian
Brian

To add to my DP. Chase(Expedia?) said they were not able to add my Rapid Rewards number and I would have to call Southwest. When you pull the reservation up on the SW website it says “Your reservation contains modifications that prevent you from changing it online.”. So you do have to actually call in to Southwest. Chase also said they were able to add KTNs although I forgot to ask the rep to add it.

Zack
Zack

DP, I just tried booking a Spirit flight over the phone, and they said they couldn’t do it.

veeRob

Zack Did you try to HUCA?

Outlying Anomaly
Outlying Anomaly

it would have to be a huge points difference for me to start using the UR phone number to buy SW tix. The ease of changing and canceling flights with RR points is SO much better than dealing with travel funds and dealing with “confirmation number/expires in a year” hell if you have multiple people to buy tix for.

Since I book every flight one way for each person, I can’t also imagine the hassle of having to call and make all of those changes. If I see a flight go down in price, I want to move quickly. And I don’t want my refund in travel funds. I want it in points.

EastSideBK
EastSideBK

+1 booking one way flights for each person individually.

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