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SWA changing point redemption rates

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Joe, Sep 23, 2013.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Got this today from SWA:

    We want to inform you of an upcoming change to the Rapid Rewards® Program that will affect the number of points needed for reward travel. Wanna Get Away® reward flight bookings made on or after March 31, 2014 will require 70 points per dollar. This is an increase from the 60 points per dollar currently required. Anytime and Business Select® reward flight redemption rates, as well as the points per dollar you earn when flying, will remain the same as they are today.
     
    Christmas
  2. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Joe, you are fast! This email just hit my inbox, but of course if the emails are sorted alphabetically, I am near the end, lol.
     
  3. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I never knew that the "exchange rate" was posted. I just always figure it out by looking at the cash price of a ticket, then changing it over to the points screen to see what it "costs" in points, and figuring it out that way.

    Right now it hardly ever works out to exactly 60 points/dollar. I just looked at prices. The Wanna Get Away price on the one flight I looked at worked out to 52 points/dollar for the equivalent cash price. But what I find strange is that the Business Class conversion rate for that flight is much higher. 115 point/dollar. It has always been that way too.

    So I wonder if they are going to a straight across the board conversion rate.
     
  4. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty native Texan; born and bred.

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    The price of the ticket when using points is the base price as I understand it so the tax is not figured in. Not sure if true but I like you did the math and it didn't work out but came closer to the base price (you still pay the security fee however)
     
    1st Super Bowl DT...Panthers / Browns no doubt
  5. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Ouch. That's a 17% devaluation, on top of the 20% devaluation when they changed the system from credits to points.

    At least they're not saying it's for our convenience.
     
  6. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    In the old system I found it very hard to figure the value of a coupon. I would book a flight to Las Vegas seven weeks in advance. The cash price would be $250. But if I booked seven days away, the cash price would be $500.
    Still only costing one of my flight coupons for either. So how much was it worth?

    Where I think the new system is better for me is on the short flights. If I flew to Oklahoma City, it would cost me a coupon, but the cash price would have been only $120 or so. Not really worth using up a "valuable" coupon. Now with the points I can just "use a little."

    I do like being able to use points on any flight. At the end of the flight credit program it was getting difficult to find a flight that the coupons could be used for. It seems like I spent hours on the phone with a Southwest agent one time trying to figure an agenda that I could fly my family using coupons. Now I can do it all quickly on line.

    What I really miss is the free drink coupons that would come with each flight coupon. I wish we could use points to buy drink coupons. I don't understand why they don't do that.

    I have a friend that uses his card for business too. We have frequently said that we don't know how they, Chase and Southwest, do it, giving the value like they do. I have never found another card that gives the percent return on purchases like this Chase card does.
     
  7. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    wow, I just got this email also and I haven't flown SWA in 15 years.
     
  8. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    Good stuff Chuck.
     
  9. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft High-Roller

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    Or that we asked for it.
     
  10. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    They effectively just stole $400 from my account. Bad business Southwest. I could understand them doing this to future earnings, but to devalue points already earned is like stealing.
     
  11. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Crap. Why did you have to say this?
    I had to go check my balance and calculate my "loss."
    $600.
    Crap.
     
  12. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    No kidding. I feel for the people that have 500k+ in there. Now I just have to make a decision on whether to just bite the bullet and keep building them, or cancel their card and start using a different one. I utilize their shopping portal, their dining portal, as well as all my car rentals and many hotel stays. I hate to have to switch them all over, but it might be for the best.
     
  13. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft High-Roller

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    I'd love for somebody to do that math (because I'd probably have to re-invent the wheel to do it myself) but I'd be willing to wager that even with a reduced value the return on the southwest rewards credit card is still better than other rewards credit cards so long as southwest is just as viable an option for you as other airlines.
     
  14. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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    I saw got this too....probably the catalyst I need to possibly change airlines and ($$'s for points) credit cards. This in itself wouldn't drive me away but I've always loved SW beacuse they had NS flights from our airport in VA to LAS as well as the return. They dropped both NS flights a few months back and now it's approx 8 hours w/ at least one plane change and sometimes another stop thrown in.

    I do love SW's booking/changing canceling policy and the 2 free bags but thier cost cutting has really f-ed up their schedules.

    Anybody have suggestions for an airlines with good flights from the east coast?
     
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