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I almost dropped to the floor when I saw a blog post from Mommy Points stating that Southwest sent out a newsletter indicating a devaluation on how you redeem their points. The email stated:
“We created Rapid Rewards® because we think you deserve to actually feel rewarded. And, from time to time we must make some updates to our program. Beginning April 17, 2015, the number of Rapid Rewards Points needed to redeem for certain flights will vary based on destination, time, day of travel, demand, fare class, and other factors. However, there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate. And don’t forget that when fares go on sale, so do the points needed for redeeming for a reward flight on those fares.”
It is quite a cryptic message with little information, but it is essentially saying that some routes will require more points to redeem for a free flight. I immediately called Southwest to try to find out more information and the representative I spoke to said that she doesn’t know much more than what the letter states, but that a second newsletter will go out on February 19th. She also mentioned that how you earn points will not change, just how you redeem points. She also made it seem that you would still be able to cancel and change flights with no fee, so that is good.
I am disappointed in the anticipated devaluation as it wasn’t even a year ago when Southwest changed their points redemption structure. Southwest has a fixed redemption structure and back in April 2014 they changed it from 60 points = $1 towards a flight to 70 points = $1 towards a flight. While 10 points doesn’t seem like a lot, you not need to use 15% more points which is a lot! Typically when a massive devaluation takes place you do not see another one for a few years, not one year later. Hopefully it will be nothing dramatic, but at this point everything is speculation.
Hopefully the newsletter that comes out next Thursday will help clarify what will actually be happening. Stay tuned….