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I’ll be very quick and to the point here.

Your Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth about 6% less than yesterday.

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Your average redemption yield will now be more like 1.2 – 1.4 cents per point vs. 1.3 – 1.5 cpp yesterday.  It will still vary slightly by route / date.

This was done overnight and with no notice. 

Generally, I’ve long advised that if you are redeeming Chase points and have a Sapphire Reserve card, you are better off using the portal for 1.5 cpp and also earning Rapid Rewards. But if you had a Sapphire Preferred card or an Ink Business Preferred, where you receive 1.25 cents per point in the travel portal vs 1.5cpp on the Reserve, transfers to Rapid Rewards still worked out better. Now, you may find that even on those cards, a portal beats using Rapid Rewards.

Now, I think it truly stinks for a program already tied to the price of a ticket with zero potential hugely outsized value redemptions to devalue. Since it’s already tied to the ticket price, they do not ever need to adjust. I have to assume they did this simply because this will result in a net ~6% gain on their booked liabilities for points. I.e. This looks good to the bean counters, but bad to us.

And just in case you needed another reason to not ever buy points, here you go…

Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Preferred® Card Earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points (worth up to $750 or more!) when you spend $4,000 in 3 months. How to apply for this offer.


Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.



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