Update 12/14/20: Reminder you have until December 15th to make the conversion.
Update 9/7/20: Today is the last day to cancel a flight to get travel funds with an expiration date of 9/7/22 (needed for this conversion). You have until December 15 to make the conversion but if the travel funds expiration date is after 9/7/22 you won’t be eligible.
Southwest travel funds can now be converted to Southwest points at a rate of 1.282 cents-per-point. For example, if you have $128 in travel funds, you can convert those to become 10,000 Southwest points.
There are lots of angles here to play with, I’ll mention a few that people are discussing:
- Keep your travel funds from expiring by converting them to points which don’t expire.
- Points will hopefully be able to be redeemed for gift cards at some future date, and converting travel funds to points will facilitate that.
- Unlock your travel funds from being tied to a specific person by converting them to points which can be used to book for anyone.
- You can increase the value of your travel funds by converting to points and then booking. For example, if you have $128 in travel funds, you can convert those to become 10,000 Southwest points, and then go book Southwest flights worth around $140 for a small gain, theoretically. Note: booking rates vary, but you should end up gaining slightly by converting travel funds to points.
- You can try buying cheap Southwest tickets and hopefully get the AmEx incidental airline credit, then convert the tickets to travel funds, and then convert the travel funds to points which won’t expire.
- You can essentially convert your Membership Rewards points to Southwest points at a rate of 1.2 Southwest points for each MR point, more details on that here.
There are downsides since points value can fluctuate and points can not be used to cover taxes/fees, but overall there are certainly many positives to consider here.
The end-date for conversion is currently showing as December 15, 2020, so you might consider waiting a few months and deciding then. Also note that only travel funds with a 9/7/22 expiration date are eligible to be converted to points. Any cancellations you make through 9/7/20 will have the 9/7/22 expiration date. So be sure to finish any schemes of racking up travel funds in the coming few weeks, and then you’ll have another two months to decide if you want to convert the travel funds to points.
Hat tip to chicago_churner and to FM