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Southwest Airlines uses variable award flight pricing so it can be a little tricky to estimate the redemption value of your points. But you can anticipate a relatively high value. Here are several examples of how far 50,000 Southwest points can take you.
Southwest offers: Earn Points with the Southwest Credit Card Offers
How Much Are Southwest Points Worth?
Depending on the itinerary, Southwest Rapid Rewards can be worth between 1 cent and 1.5 cents. As a result, 50,000 Southwest points are typically worth between $500 and $750 in award flights within the United States or one of the airline’s international destinations.
Limited-time offer: New Southwest Airlines (consumer) credit cardholders can earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The three consumer Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards that come with the enhanced bonus are:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
The redemption value differs by fare type. Ballpark estimates are the following:
- Wanna Get Away: 1.2 to 1.5 cents
- Wanna Get Away Plus: 1.4 cents
- Anytime: 1.4 cents
- Business Select: 1.3 cents
However, your mileage can vary for your desired route. Although, these are some of the best redemption rates the author could consistently find for each fare type when researching flight prices for this article.
Since this discount carrier uses variable pricing, you may need to play with your travel times and flight dates to get the best deal for your preferred route.
A basic Wanna Get Away fare can be your best option for most flights as you can get a high redemption value and redeem the fewest points. You also get to enjoy two free checked bags and the flexibility of open seating.
Compared to legacy airlines, Rapid Rewards has a competitive price to similar main cabin fares. However, Southwest points can be a tad more valuable as other miles programs tend to be closer to the 1-cent mark as first class and business class seats tend to have higher values.
Use the Southwest Low Fare Calendar
Thankfully, the airline provides an easy-to-use Low Fare Calendar to switch between the cash price and points requirement quickly. You can also compare rates by calendar day without having to launch multiple search tabs or constantly re-enter your filters like other airlines tend to require.
Examples of Redeeming 50,000 Southwest Points
Here are some examples of redeeming up to 50,000 Rapid Rewards.
Dallas to Cancun
Points can be worth 1.5 cents on an entry-level Wanna Get Away fare between Dallas-Love Field (DAL) to Cancun (CUN) or 1.3 cents in Business Select. A one-way fare can be found for as little as 10,790 points, plus $43.59 in taxes and fees.
This particular travel corridor requires connecting through another airport, usually Houston, to reach Cancun and you can still pay a low rate.
Los Angeles to Honolulu
West Coast residents can enjoy affordable flights to Hawaii as Southwest offers some of the best award flights to this tropical state. It’s possible to book a roundtrip for less than 50,000 Rapid Rewards.
Wanna Get Away fares between Los Angeles (LAX) and Honolulu (HNL) range from 11,036 miles in the fall months to 27,382 on peak summer travel days, plus $5.60 in fees and taxes each way.
Even in the busy June and July travel months, you can find one-way fares for 19,000 or lower before school goes back into session.
Nashville to Hawaii
Let’s say you live east of the Mississippi River but want to fly to Hawaii. You will shell out more points as it’s a longer flight distance than hopping on a nonstop flight from the Pacific Coast, but you can still get a roundtrip fare for just under 50,000 points.
For instance, a Monday-to-Monday award itinerary in August 2023 can only require 45,188 Rapid Rewards between Nashville (BNA) and Honolulu. Weekend departures can push you over the 50k Rapid Rewards threshold.
Baltimore/Washington and Punta Cana
Suppose you live in the Washington, D.C. metro area and want a Caribbean escape. In that case, you can fly from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) for approximately 28,718 points (plus $121.15 in taxes and fees) roundtrip in late August 2023.
The redemption value is approximately 1.2 cents for this sample fare, which isn’t as valuable as some other possibilities but is still competitive.
Typically, it’s worth using points when your redemption value is 1.2 cents or higher for Southwest Airlines award flights.
Phoenix to Puerta Vallarta
A roundtrip flight between Phoenix and Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta can only require 20,252 points plus $129.48. This trip can be a perfect opportunity to escape the summer heat of the high Sonoran desert while easily reaching a tropical resort.
In comparison, a trip between Phoenix and Honolulu with similar travel dates costs 34,200 points. This fare is still affordable but opting for Mexico in this situation allows two people to travel for under 50,000 points.
Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale
Midwest residents can also enjoy competitive beach trip rates between Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and Ft. Lauderdale (FLL). A roundtrip fare starts at 11,440 points plus $11.20 between these airports with a Wanna Get Away redemption rate of 1.2 cents.
Flying into FLL instead of Miami International Airport (MIA) is a little cheaper (11,440 points versus 16,182 points). You also get to avoid the hustle and bustle of Miami, as Ft. Lauderdale is less crowded.
In addition to visiting southern Florida, a roundtrip flight only costs 11,440 points to visit Orlando (MCO) or Tampa (TPA) if you want to visit these cities instead for different attractions.
Chicago to Puerto Rico
It’s also possible to book a roundtrip flight between Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) for under 20,000 Rapid Rewards plus $11.20.
This is one of the more affordable Caribbean routes when your travel originates from the central United States. For example, a roundtrip flight from Chicago to Montego Bay, Jamaica requires around 30,000 points or more (plus $148.02 in fees and taxes).
If you live in the Chicagoland area or can easily reach this Midwestern juggernaut, you can also compare Southwest flight prices from Chicago-Midway Airport (MDW). This alternate airport can have more destination options plus affordable pricing.
Summary of How Much 50,000 Southwest Points Are Worth
Many travelers like Southwest Airlines for their affordable flights and two free checked bags to exciting destinations. Your airline miles can also be worth more than going through competing carriers or a credit card booking portal. Having 50,000 Southwest points lets you easily book a roundtrip fare for two people to many locations.