Southwest Rapid Rewards Devaluation
Is it too early in the holiday season to use the term bag humbug? Probably, but it just feels right for an airline devaluation. While this Southwest Rapid Rewards devaluation could have been worse, it just seems like this is now a regular occurrence with Southwest. That is particularly frustrating because their program is already revenue based. With airfare still sky high much of the time they are getting more points for their flights as it is. That is the natural devaluation right there! Let's look into the details of this little double dip devaluation they have going now.
Details Of The Devaluation
Here is what they had to say about the Southwest Rapid Rewards devaluation in this month's Rapid Rewards statement. This was first noticed by Danny the Deal Guru.
Notice: Starting on January 1, 2024 for flights purchased using Rapid Rewards points, the number of Rapid Rewards points required per dollar of base fare will increase by approximately 4%. This change will not affect Rapid Rewards Members who book travel prior to January 1, 2024.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Devaluation: ToP Thoughts
While I give Southwest credit for alerting their members to this months ahead of time it is still disappointing to see. Not too long ago it was possible to get 1.5 cents – 1.6 cents per Rapid Rewards point when factoring in taxes and fees. This will likely drop it down to the 1.3 cents per point or less on average.
Like I said above, that is before you factor in that many flights already cost more than they used to since the dollar cost has increased. This seems to be a race to the bottom for the US airlines. They seem hellbent trying to get firmly to that 1 cent per point bar. That is the main reason that we always say to collect transferrable currencies instead of airline miles.
I would try to make some speculative bookings before the end of the year if you have points in your account. You might as well grab the what you can before the devaluation and save some points. Overall a 4% devaluation isn't the end of the world though. It just stings a bit more with higher cash fares. That, plus Southwest losing its competitive advantage with other airlines offering free changes etc. and they are not what they once were.
Let me know what you think of this Southwest devaluation over in the ToP Facebook Group.