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My fellow business travelers often question my choice of Southwest, a discount carrier, for my business travel when I could just as easily choose “full service” carriers like American or United out of the Chicago market. The month of February is a great example of the massive earning potential for business travelers who choose Southwest.
Southwest has two stackable promotions currently in play through the end of February that make flying Southwest ridiculously awesome this month.
Let’s start stacking
The first of the stack is a double points promotion for corporate travelers booking through SWABIZ described here. On a Business Select ticket, double the base points.
The second of the stack is the newly released double points on all bookings through May promotion. On a Business Select ticket, double the base points.
As a business traveler who selects Southwest as their primary carrier, an A-List Preferred membership is more attainable than other top tier elite statuses from the legacy carriers. A-List Preferred members earn double the base points on Business Select Tickets.
Take advantage of one of the very best tricks in the game and you will find yourself with a companion pass that doubles the value of your points since your companion flies free with you on reservations booked with points. In my case, I travel with my companion 99.9% of award redemptions so this is an effective doubling of all points earned.
I had a business need to fly from Denver to the East Coast on one day notice so I booked a 500 USD Business Select ticket. Here is the math.
- A Business Select ticket earns 12 points per dollar.
- Double the base points for Promo #1 to get to 24 points per dollar
- Double the base points for Promo #2 to get to 36 points per dollar
- Double the base for being an A-List Preferred member to get to 48 points per dollar
- Double the entire points earned for the effective total due to all redemptions being combined with the Companion Pass and arrive at 96 points per dollar
- Divide total points by 60 because Southwest uses fixed redemption rates to determine the value of points earned in ‘Wanna Get Away’ fares
The bottom line
I love Southwest. This one way flight I booked earns a whopping 800 USD in points! Solo traveler? You are still earning 400 USD in value for a 500 USD ticket. High frequency travelers should compare their earning rates on legacy carriers. How often do you earn 16000 United or American miles on a 500 USD one way flight?