Southwest Airways can now be booked via the Chase Journey Portal. Is it a great deal?

Replace 11/20/23: Over the weekend we did a take a look at reserving of a Southwest Wanna Get Away Plus fare utilizing Final Rewards from Nick’s account within the Chase Journey Portal. The excellent news is that we have been capable of verify that it’s doable to use a companion move to those tickets. The dangerous information, as we feared, is that Nick was not capable of make adjustments to the ticket via the app/Southwest web site. It gave him a pop-up message, telling him that every one adjustments should be processed although the journey company (on this case, Chase). When he cancelled, the funds weren’t processed as a Southwest credit score, however as a Chase Journey credit score (which means that it might solely be used in direction of a reserving with Chase Journey). With this being the case, I’d desire to not use Chase for even reasonably speculative bookings.

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Southwest Airways normally can’t be discovered on on-line journey websites like Expedia, Google, and so forth. It is because it desires us to buy tickets straight from its personal web site, so it might keep away from having to pay commissions to a 3rd celebration. This has traditionally utilized to the varied financial institution journey portals as nicely, corresponding to Chase, Amex and Citi.

This week, a Reddit person found that Southwest is now showing as an choice on the Chase Journey Portal. Southwest is a switch companion of Chase Final Rewards, so it’s lengthy been doable to make use of Chase factors to ebook Southwest flights. What makes this an fascinating alternative is that Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use their factors to buy journey at 1.5 cents every via the portal, which now applies to Southwest as nicely. As well as, buying via Chase Portal counts as a paid fare, so that you’d earn further Speedy Rewards factors that you simply wouldn’t earn if reserving an award flight.

Speedy Rewards factors are price ~1.4 cents every in direction of reserving its flights, whenever you consider charges and taxes. Because of this, theoretically as a Sapphire Reserve cardholder, it ought to be a greater deal to buy via the Chase Journey Portal than to switch factors to Southwest and ebook award flights straight.

Let’s see if it truly is.

The Deal

  • Southwest flights can now be bought via the Chase Journey Portal

Issues to Know

  • Southwest gives straightforward cancellation and your Speedy Rewards factors will go proper again into your account. Should you ebook via Chase, a cancellation can be processed as a credit score with Chase Journey that’s good in direction of future bookings (as an alternative of your initially transferrable factors or a credit score to your Southwest account).
  • If a fare drops in worth, you’ll be able to simply rebook with Southwest. Once more, this can be a problem with Chase, as you’ll must contact them to course of the change and the distinction in worth will find yourself as a Chase Journey credit score.
  • Flights booked via the Chase Journey Portal with Final Rewards will earn Southwest Speedy Rewards factors and 5x Final Rewards for reserving via the journey portal. Southwest award tickets which are booked straight won’t.
Nick and Greg would nonetheless be capable of journey collectively on a companion move in the event that they booked via the Chase Journey Portal

Chase Journey Portal vs.

It seems to me like Chase solely has entry to Southwest’s two lowest fares courses: Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus.

Right here’s what a comparability seems like between Chase and Southwest on a continuous, one-way flight between Seattle and San Jose. First, the fares which are listed on Chase:

In two circumstances, Chase is providing each Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fares. All three Wanna Get Away tickets are pricing at $104.

Right here’s what we see for a similar flight on

Fascinating. Each of the Wanna Get Away Plus fares that Chase is providing are the identical worth as Southwest. However 2/3 of the most affordable Wanna Get Away fares are 14% larger.

Should you examine the factors costs on the one flight that does have an equal Wanna Get Away worth, the 11:10am, reserving via Chase will price you 6,932 Final Rewards factors:

Reserving via Southwest will price you 6,879 Speedy Rewards factors + $5.60, seemingly much less factors than Chase:

The rationale why that is the case is that Southwest factors are solely price 1.2 cents per level (cpp) in direction of the base fare. However, Southwest waives most of the taxes and costs on an award ticket, which is why the worth tends to be nearer to 1.4cpp when all is alleged and achieved. Reserving via Chase, you’re paying for all of these charges, regardless that the factors are literally price extra in “money worth.” The cheaper a ticket is, the upper a proportion of the whole price these charges will are typically.

It also needs to be famous that reserving via Chase would earn you an extra 482 Speedy Rewards factors as a result of it counts as a paid fare. So, in actuality, it will really price 7,361 factors to ebook by way of Southwest. Reserving via Chase would prevent 429 factors or about $6.44 in worth primarily based on our Cheap Redemption Worth for Final Rewards. Add within the $5.60 that you’ve got pay in taxes on the Southwest award ticket and the distinction is nearer to $12 on a $104 fare.

The dearer the fare is (and thus, the decrease a proportion of the whole price charges and taxes are), the bigger that quantity turns into. However, the share distinction appears to be by no means be greater than 6-10%.

Fast Ideas

In my fast spin round Southwest fares on the Chase Portal, it appeared like the vast majority of the dearer Wanna Get Away Plus fares have been the identical worth as reserving direct with Southwest. The vast majority of the cheaper Wanna Get Away fares have been dearer.

To my thoughts, it may not be price utilizing Final Rewards to ebook Southwest flights via the portal if:

  • The fare that you simply wish to buy is cheaper on Southwest. The distinction in price will most certainly offset the distinction in level worth and never be well worth the bother
  • You’re not sure should you’ll really be taking the flight. The effort to make adjustments/cancel may not be well worth the factors financial savings.

Within the occasion that the costs are equal and also you’re moderately certain that you simply’ll be taking the flight, it might be price contemplating, particularly after Southwest devalues their factors on January 1st. After that, I’d count on the unfold between the factors price of reserving with Final Rewards straight vs. transferring to Southwest to develop nearer to 9-13%. On dearer redemptions, that juice is perhaps well worth the squeeze.

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