Until October 10, 2013, Southwest has announced a distance based fare sale for travel from December 4-18 and January 7 through February 12. When Southwest has their distance based fare sales like they did back in June, they are often some of the best prices they offer if you are smart about your route choice. It looks like the current sale isn’t quite as nice as the one in June because while the prices have stayed the same, the distance bands have changed a bit to make a lot of routes bump up into the next bracket. Here is a chart showing you where you could fly from Ft. Lauderdale for what price in points and cash.
Another great thing about this type of sale is that it applies to both cash and points bookings. Southwest is one of my favorite ways to fly domestically due to two free checked bags and they allow you to cancel and rebook flights with no fees or penalties up until the day of travel. This lets you rebook if you have a drop in fares or a great sale comes up.
An example of what you could do with this sale is a long weekend in New Orleans from Ft. Lauderdale for only 10,561 points and $5! You could also do it for $197 if you would rather pay cash, but I think this is a decent use of points getting you 1.8c a point.
Southwest also currently has 4 different credit cards you can get all with a 50,000 point bonus. This bonus is enough for five of these New Orleans getaways. Two personal cards, the Chase Rapid Rewards Plus ($69 Annual Fee) and Chase Rapid Rewards Premier ($99 Annual Fee). Two business cards, the Chase Rapid Rewards Plus Business ($69 Annual Fee) and Chase Rapid Rewards Premier Business ($99 Annual Fee). These cards normally only appear for a limited time so if you want to get a bunch of Rapid Rewards points fast they are a great way!