I was opening my American Express statement the other day, it’s the only statement I still get on paper because of tax documentation reasons, and I was saddened to learn that effective July 1st, 2010, I would no longer be able to convert my American Express Membership Rewards points into Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credits. 🙁
For years, I’ve been saying that the Rapid Rewards point, which costs 1,500, is probably the optimal product to convert your Membership Reward points to because it was such a favorable conversion. A Rapid Rewards ticket is worth about $300+ on eBay and at 24,000 Membership Rewards for a rewards ticket, you’re getting a $300+ item for around $240 in rewards. 24,000 reward points converts to 16 rapid rewards points which in turn converts to a single ticket.
Southwest changed its Rapid Rewards program a little bit behind the scenes, making it a little less awesome, but still made it a great deal. It was especially good for us since we live so close to Baltimore Washington International Airport, one of their hubs.
Thankfully they told us in advance, about three months, and Rapid Reward tickets are good for a full year from date of issue. If you can’t use it within a year, you can extend it for a $50 fee. It looks like we’ll be converting the bulk of our points in June!