Wondering what the value of Southwest points is? You may be surprised to find out that the short answer is, “It varies.” The value per point varies based on how you use them (while using your points for a flight is the most common way to redeem them, there are other options), and even when considering flights, not all flight redemptions provide the same value.

In general, though, depending on how you use your Southwest points, you can get 0.5 to 1.5 cents in value for each one. Let us walk you through the ways to use your Southwest points so you can see their worth in each scenario.

**Table of contents**

## How to determine the value of a point based on the flight cost

Before we get started, we’ll spend a lot of time talking about the value in “cents per point.” Let’s understand what that is first.

Imagine a flight costs $100. If booking that flight with points costs 1,000 points, then your points would be worth 1 cent each. To find this number, divide the paid fare (remembering to subtract any award fees) by the number of points required.

A $200 flight requiring 10,000 points plus $10 in fees would look like this:

$200 – $10 = $190. $190 divided by 10,000 = 0.019, which is 1.9 cents per point.

You can use this same math when redeeming points for flights, gift cards, rental cars, or anything else.

## The value of Southwest points when booking flights

Now that we know how to calculate the redemption value, let’s look at the actual ways to use Southwest points and the value provided by each redemption.

Before we go too far, it’s worth explaining that Southwest Rapid Rewards uses a different way of calculating the points required to book a flight than you might find in other airline programs. For example, other programs might have an award chart that requires X amount of miles when flying from Los Angeles to Miami during peak tourist season and then have a different, lower rate in the slow season. Southwest doesn’t do that.

Instead, the number of points increases when cash costs for a ticket are high, and they fall when cash prices fall. So it’s worth knowing that the number of points you need for a flight will change when the cash price of the ticket changes.

Your first thought is probably using Southwest points for Southwest flights. Luckily, this is where you’ll typically find the most value. However, the exact value depends on the type of fare you’re booking.

Let’s look at a sample flight between two of Southwest’s traditional hubs: Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) to William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston. You could pay as much as $209 or as little as $79, depending on which of Southwest’s four fare types you choose. Your preference will depend on the perks you want, such as priority boarding, premium drinks, and inflight Wi-Fi being included in your ticket cost.

When redeeming points, you’ll pay as much as 14,970 or as little as 4,932 points for your ticket. Notice that all of these options require you to pay $5.60 in government taxes. You’ll pay that per ticket, no matter which fare type you choose.

Remember that we’ll subtract the $5.60 from the cost of the ticket, and then we’ll divide by the points required to book the ticket. In the end, we get the following values for our redemptions:

- Business Select fare: 1.36 cents per point
- Anytime fare: 1.38 cents per point
- Wanna Get Away Plus fare: 1.44 cents per point
- Wanna Get Away fare: 1.49 cents per point

This ticket is typical of Southwest points redemptions on its own flights. Usually, you’ll get the best value using points for the cheapest Wanna Get Away tickets. The most expensive Business Select tickets usually present the poorest value for your points.

### Southwest points value for international flights

Did you know that you can use your Southwest points for international flights on other airlines? These include partners like British Airways, American Airlines, JetBlue, and more. If you want to use your points to fly somewhere Southwest can’t take you, the points are worth 1 cent apiece on average.

### Southwest points value for hotel bookings

It’s possible to use your Southwest points for hotels, but this tends to provide poor value — usually half a cent per point or less. For example, you could pay 111,400 Southwest points for a two-night stay at the InterContinental Miami.

However, you could book that same stay for $409 by going to the hotel’s website. This provides a value of 0.37 cents per point — pretty bad compared to other options.

### Southwest points value for car rentals

Rental cars present another travel-related option for using your Southwest points. Rental values range from 0.5 to 0.85 cents per point. With such a wide range, it pays to check the cost of renting directly from the rental agency against the cost in Southwest points. The value varies, and you should do the math before completing your booking.

### Southwest points value for transportation

The final travel option for your points is transportation. This could be a ride to the airport, a ferry, or picking you up from a cruise port. Prices vary greatly, though points are generally worth 0.5 to 0.6 cents each here.

### Southwest points value for other redemptions

Aside from travel, you can redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards, and experiences.

The Southwest More Rewards page lets you redeem points for clothes, travel gadgets, tech for your home, and other merchandise. You’ll get around 0.4 to 0.5 cents per point on these redemptions, so they’re not a great deal unless you have more points than you know what to do with.

When redeeming points for gift cards, you’ll typically pay 9,400 points for a $50 gift card. These are available from numerous brands, such as Nike, AMC Theatres, CVS, and more. You’ll get a redemption value of 0.53 cents per point — slightly better than redeeming for merchandise, but still not a great use of points.

Of all the ways to use your points, redeeming them for experiences will be the most variable. These packages will include hotel accommodations for two guests at a four-star property, but the value you assign to the other elements will be subjective. What value do you place on CMA tickets or SNL tickets without waiting in line?

The best way to summarize this is that you can use Southwest points for experiences that may not have a price. Only you can decide what value these options provide.

What does this all mean? Your Southwest points are typically worth the most for Southwest flights and the least for merchandise. Among Southwest flights, you won’t always get the same value for points, but you’ll generally get the best value on Wanna Get Away fares.

## The best use of your Southwest points

- Southwest Airlines flights — especially Wanna Get Away fares
- Experiences that you can’t put a price on
- International flights with partner airlines

## The worst use of your Southwest points

- Merchandise
- Gift cards
- Hotels
- Rental cars

## Frequently asked questions about Southwest points

### How much are 10,000 Southwest points worth?

You can often find flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu for around 8,000 points per person, but finding them under 10,000 points is very common. Cash prices for those tickets run from $125 to $150, so 10,000 Southwest points would be worth $150 in this situation.

### How much are 50,000 Southwest points worth?

If you can get yourself to Hawaii for 8,000 points each way, you could book three round-trip tickets from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back for 50,000 points. That same ticket would cost around $250, so 50,000 points would be worth $750 here.

### How much are 100,000 Southwest points worth?

If we use the numbers from sample flights above, points are worth anywhere from 1.36 to 1.49 cents apiece. That would make 100,000 points worth anywhere from $1,360 to $1,490 toward Southwest flights.

### How many Southwest points does it take for a free flight?

The answer changes when the cash cost of the ticket changes. Southwest ties the value of its points to the cash cost of a ticket, but there are some general rules you can expect to follow when using points. You’ll typically need around 67.1 points for every dollar of a Wanna Get Away fare. For Wanna Get Away Plus, the average is 69.4 points. Anytime fares typically require 72.5 points per dollar, and Business Select fares require 73.5 points per dollar.

### Do Southwest points expire?

No, Southwest points do not expire as long as your Rapid Rewards account is open.

### Can you use Southwest points to book flights on other airlines?

Yes, you can use Southwest points to book flights on other airlines. Points are typically worth 1 cent each here.

## Summary

You can redeem your Southwest points for more than just travel, including merchandise, gift cards, and experiences. What your Southwest points are worth depends on how you use them. Generally speaking, they’ll be worth the most when used for Southwest flights. And while it might not be the answer you’d expect, points are usually worth the most toward Southwest’s cheapest fares — Wanna Get Away tickets.

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