What if I told you there was a secret spot on the Southwest web site where dirt cheap fares were hidden? I look at travel deals all day long, but I still didn’t know about this discovery until recently!
Using this tool, I was able to easily find amazing deals such as roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Dallas, TX, for just 4400 miles + $10 in taxes, to Richmond, VA or Chicago, IL for around 7K points, to Boston, MA for 8K points and many more! If you used American or United Miles for these flights it would cost you 25K of your hard earned (or not so hard earned) miles!
I hope I have you excited now, so let’s get right to it. First you select the Flight section from the Southwest web site.
Next choose the “Search by Map” option.
A map of the U.S. will then pop up and there are three different things you need to select to get to where the deals are. The first spot is to enter your home airport in the “From” section. Southwest doesn’t fly out of Miami where I live so I put in Ft. Lauderdale which is their closest hub. Since I always travel for free, I change the “Show Fares” option to points instead of dollars. Then since I am just looking for the good deals I drop the “One-way trip price” slider down to around 8K. If your schedule is flexible, make sure your departure dates is on a Tuesday or Wednesday since this is where Southwest typically has their cheapest fares. If you want to check a certain date such as a long weekend, then enter that date in the Depart section.
This shows me all of the flights that are under 16K round trip. I chose this number because it is a good savings off of the 25K domestic coach prices that United, American and Delta charge. Looking at the above map, the ones that you should be looking for are 1) cities that you would like to visit to see friends or just sightsee 2) cities that stand out due compared to their neighbors with the same relative distance. For example, Dallas for 2214 Miles, or New Orleans for just 3451 Miles, Boston for 4493, or Las Vegas for just 7098 all look enticing to me! When you find a city that you like, click on the miles price and this box will pop up.
Click on View Flights and Book and then a screen will come up with all of the flights for that day and the the miles prices for each of the flights. There will often be more than one flight that has the lowest price so pick the best one!If you are flexible with your dates you can often find the same cheap price on the return flight as well!
When to use this tool?
I like to use this tool when I know I want to go to one of several friends but want a great value for my points. I also use this when I am looking for a good way to use my points since it makes it easy to spot the good deals.
But what if you know which specific city you want to go to, but want to find the best time to go there for the lowest amount of points? To do that, you will have to wait for our next article…
What if I don’t have any Southwest Rapids Rewards Points?
Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards which means you can use transfer points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus cards. They also have their own Chase Rapids Rewards Visa that has a current sign up offer of 25K but often offers 50K so be on the lookout.
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