Yesterday, I wrote about the current Southwest sale going on. While it is true they are fairly common, I am always up for saving more money or points, especially on flights I already bought! But, did you know you can save 5% on any Southwest flight you buy, during a sale or not? Here are a couple of ways to make sure you are getting the best price on your Southwest tickets!
How to Save At Least 5% On Any Southwest Flights
While 5% may not sound like a lot, it can add up when your family is going on vacation or you are buying a lot of tickets! With these two tips, you can start saving 5% on all your future Southwest flights.
Save 5% Through Office Supply Stores – ?!
That might sound a little strange but it is very true! In fact, your actual value of your savings may be even more than just 5% depending on how you do this. Here is what you need to know.
The Chase Ink Plus (no longer available for new applicants) and the Chase Ink Business Cash cards both offer 5% back on spending at office supply stores, up to a certain amount each calendar year ($50,000 per year on the Ink Plus and $25,000 per year on the Ink Cash). While this 5% can be redeemed for cash back, it can also be used as travel points for even greater value.
The reason that is important is because stores like Office Max (and other office supply stores) sell Southwest gift cards. These work just like spending your cash when it comes to buying tickets except you can purchase them at the office stores using the credit cards above and get 5% back on your purchase!
If you have the Chase Ink Business Cash, you receive that 5% back as points for cash back. But, you can convert that into points for travel or travel partners just by transferring those points to a Chase Sapphire Preferred account, Chase Sapphire Reserve account, or Chase Ink Plus/Preferred account. In those accounts, you can book travel with your points and get a 1.2 cent per point value (1.5 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Reserve) which will increase your savings on Southwest to a minimum of 6%.
If you transfer to travel partners, it is possible to get much more in value. In fact, you can even transfer to Southwest and get a minimum of 1.5 cents per point! That turns your little gift card purchase into future travel redemptions – $7.50 worth of points for every $100 you buy.
Save a Minimum of 5% With eBay
eBay often has various deals on their gift cards sold by their big sellers. Those deals many times include Southwest gift cards. I have bought gift cards in the past on eBay for at least 7% and sometimes up to 15% discount! The normal discount is between 8 – 10%.
The best part is that if you have an eBay account, you can get those sale prices! But, if you have one of the Chase Ink cards mentioned above, you should be able to get that 5% back on these as well! For the longest time, purchases made through PayPal Digital Gifts (the seller of the Southwest gift cards) have registered as being in the 5% categories for the Chase Ink cards. That means you can get that 5% on top of the discount that PayPal Digital Gifts is offering!
This is certainly the best way and it allows you to save up to 19% on your Southwest tickets when you combine the Chase card purchase and the great sales that go on. But, with these gift cards, the limit is 3 so you will be limited with only purchasing $300 when these sales happen.
- Southwest gift cards do not have an expiration date.
- Up to four Southwest gift cards can be applied toward one reservation. For international reservations, a maximum of three Southwest gift cards can be applied per passenger on each reservation. Our payment system limits the total form of payments, so if the balance of the itinerary is more than the amount of all four gift cards, you will only be able to use three of your gift cards so that the balance can be paid with another form of payment that will cover the balance of the reservation (i.e. credit card).
- Southwest gift cards can only be used on customer airfare (not group travel)
- Domestic oversized and excess baggage, sales tax, security fees, passenger facilities charges, pet fare, and unaccompanied minor service charge may be paid for with a Southwest gift card.
- A Southwest gift card redeemed for travel is not refundable. If travel is not taken, the funds will be held as travel funds with an expiration date. If applied with any other accepted form(s) of payment, the earliest expiration date of all forms of payment applies.
- That does not mean you do not get the amount back when you cancel but that it is converted into travel funds that do have an expiration date.
Being able to save even more on Southwest prices is always a great deal. Using these two simple steps, you can start saving 5% more on your Southwest travel – even more if you use the tips above! That makes the regular Southwest sales an even better value if you have these gift cards sitting in your pocket ready to go. 🙂
There are some other opportunities for additional savings on gift cards using other credit cards as well but they are normally for certain categories during certain quarters or with Amex Offers that are offered for various stores (like for the recent Lowes offer where you would get $10 back on $50 spent and they sell Southwest gift cards).
Edit: Check out reader Patrick’s comment below on paying even a small portion with the Chase Sapphire Reserve (if you have it) and why.