You can now redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points via its online portal for travel on Southwest. However, it appears that only Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fares are currently available to book via the portal. While this change may not be appealing to customers who wish to book a Business Select fare or even a refundable ticket with the airline’s Anytime fare, it is beneficial for those hoping to snag a base fare or the airline’s Wanna Get Away Plus fare.
But again, since Southwest is slashing the value of Rapid Rewards points from a projected 1.4 cents apiece to 1.3 cents apiece, point transfers from Chase to Southwest are about to become less advantageous.
But now, you can potentially get a better redemption rate by redeeming your Chase points directly in the Chase portal for Southwest flights. After navigating to the Chase portal, search for your Southwest flight the way you’d book any other flight through the Chase portal.
The value of your Chase points when used for airfare in the portal will differ based on the card you have:
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Even if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, it’s still almost certainly a better use of points to book directly in the Chase portal instead of transferring to Rapid Rewards. That’s because you’ll generally earn Rapid Rewards points when you use Chase points to book Southwest flights in the Chase portal and include your Rapid Rewards number on your reservation. As a reminder, you can’t earn Rapid Rewards points on award travel (i.e., when you book by transferring Chase points to Rapid Rewards).
So, in the sample screenshot above, a general member would earn 358 Rapid Rewards (the base fare is $59) on this Wanna Get Away fare. That option certainly beats the 5,650 Rapid Rewards points plus $5.60 (and no opportunity to earn points) Southwest is slotted to charge for this flight from 2024.