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Your New Favorite Airline

travel hacking Nov 05, 2021

I posted a blog recently called, Your New Favorite Hotel. In that blog I talked about the difference in point values between several hotel chains.

I'd like to do the same thing for airlines.

Flying can be expensive, especially when you're taking your kids. It's really important to maximize every single point you can when it comes to airline rewards. Doing this will help you be able to travel nearly free with the whole family.

In this blog, I want to talk primarily about domestic travel.

What airline has the highest value point redemptions? Let's take a look.

Delta Airlines - worth 1.1 cents per point

  • For a $350/flight, it would require 31,819 points

United Airlines - worth 1.3 cents per point

  • For a $350/flight, it would require 26,923 points

American Airlines - worth 1.4 cents per point

  • For a $350/flight, it would require 25,000 points

Southwest Airlines - worth 1.5 cents per point

  • For a $350/flight, it would require 23,334 points

Southwest Rapid Rewards points are some of the most valuable points out there. While the data above only looks like they are marginally better, there's something Southwest offers that other airlines simply can't compete with.

It's called the Companion Pass.

You've probably heard of it. Basically if you earn the Companion Pass, you can take a companion with you for free anywhere you go (for nearly 2 years if you apply for this the way I teach). This basically doubles the values of the points.

The Companion Pass is so valuable, it's often referred to as the "holy grail" of travel rewards.

My wife and I both have a Companion Pass, so anytime we travel, our kids fly free as companions (and we use points for our tickets).

For domestic travel, it's hard to beat Southwest if you're playing the travel rewards game. And once you get the Companion Pass, it's game over in terms of the value of the points!

You may say, "Hang on a minute, though. I thought you had to put $125,000 in spend on the Southwest card or go on 100 trips in order to qualify for the Companion Pass." That's certainly the traditional way to go about getting the Companion Pass.

The good news is that there are creative hacks you can use to get the Companion Pass without having to spend $125,000 on your Southwest card or take 100 trips. I'll share more in a future blog post or you can check out my Travel Hacking Course where I go into this in greater detail.

As of today, several of the personal Southwest cards have a 100,000 point bonus when you complete qualifying activities. At 1.5 cents per point, that's $1,500 in free airfare!

It's hard to beat Southwest's benefits!

*Note: If you plan to get the Companion Pass, you need to be careful in how & when you apply for the Southwest cards to maximize their benefits (I discuss this more in the Travel Hacking Course). If you're not interested in the Companion Pass, this is a great opportunity to apply for the Southwest card while this 100,000 point bonus lasts. It is the highest bonus ever offered for this card.


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