How to Redeem Southwest Points for Hotels

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The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is best known for award flights on Southwest Airlines.

But did you know you can also use Southwest points to book free hotel stays? It’s a great way to maximize the value of your hard-earned points.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to redeem Southwest points for hotels, look at the best hotel redemption options, and give tips on earning more Southwest points quickly.

Overview of Redeeming for Hotels

Here’s a quick overview of how redeeming Southwest points for hotels works:

  • Southwest partners with numerous hotel chains to offer free night redemptions.
  • You book hotel awards by transferring Southwest points to hotel loyalty programs.
  • Each hotel program has its own redemption rates – usually between 3,000 – 60,000 points per night.
  • There are no blackout dates or restrictions when booking with points.
  • Additional guests and fees are paid separately in cash.

So Southwest points transfer to hotel partners at a fixed conversion rate for free night awards. You’re not limited to specific properties or dates either.

Hotel Partnerships to Know

Southwest has partnered with over a dozen popular hotel chains to enable point transfers. Here are some key programs to leverage:

1. World of Hyatt

  • High-end luxury resorts
  • Ideal for aspirational stays
  • Awards from 5,000 points per night

2. Marriott Bonvoy

  • Largest portfolio of hotels worldwide
  • Diverse range from budget to luxury
  • Redemptions from 5,000 points per night

3. IHG One Rewards

  • Massive footprint with Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and more
  • Strong rewards especially on lower-tier hotels
  • Redemptions start at just 5,000 points

4. Best Western Rewards

  • One of the world’s largest hotel groups
  • Budget to mid-range options
  • Redemptions from 8,000 points per night

Check each program for full details on redeeming for hotels with transferred Southwest points.

How to Transfer Southwest Points to Hotels

The process to transfer Southwest points is straightforward:

  1. Log into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account online or via app.
  2. Locate the “Partners” section and click “Hotels”.
  3. Select the hotel loyalty program you want to transfer points to.
  4. Enter the number of Southwest points to transfer in increments of 1,000.
  5. Provide your hotel rewards program member number.
  6. Confirm the transfer details and submit.

The transfer is usually instant with points showing in your hotel account within minutes ready for booking.

Note any transfers are irreversible so be sure on how many Southwest points to move over.

Tips for the Best Hotel Redemptions

Here are some tips to maximize value when redeeming Southwest points for hotels:

  • Transfer only the exact number of points needed rather than your full balance. This preserves flexibility to use Southwest points for flights too.
  • Target high-end properties where room rates can exceed $500+ per night. That delivers profits of 5 cents or more per point.
  • Check citywide events when prices spike. Redeeming for pricey rooms provides outsized value.
  • Consider airport properties for long layovers. Even mid-tier brands cost $150+ per night near airports.
  • For budget stays, target brands like Holiday Inn Express that regularly run $100+ per night.
  • Take advantage of fifth-night free perks offered by many programs on longer stays.
  • Compare cash and award rates to determine the best value redemption option.

Running the numbers for your preferred hotels ensures you stretch Southwest points to the fullest on hotel awards.

Best Uses of Southwest Points for Hotels

To maximize Southwest points, consider using them for:

1. High-End Hyatt Redemptions

  • Park Hyatt New York: 30,000 points
  • Park Hyatt Maldives: 25,000 points
  • Grand Hyatt Kauai: 20,000 points
  • Andaz Maui: 25,000 points

These costs $500+ per night if booking with cash.

2. Pricey Marriott Stays

  • Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay: 50,000 points
  • W South Beach: 40,000 points
  • JW Marriott Cancun: 40,000 points
  • Marriott Stanton South Beach: 50,000 points

Many run $400+ or much more during peak demand.

3. Convenient Airport Hotels

  • Holiday Inn Express Chicago O’Hare: 15,000 IHG points
  • Hilton Garden Inn Dallas DFW: 32,000 Hilton points
  • Four Points LAX: 12,000 Marriott points
  • Hyatt Place Albuquerque Airport: 8,000 World of Hyatt points

Ideal for lengthy layovers or storm delays.

Limitations to Know

A few limitations to note when redeeming Southwest points for hotels:

  • No Southwest elite benefits or perks provided on hotel stays.
  • No promotions or discounts like fifth night free when booking via Southwest transfer.
  • No changes or cancellations allowed on hotel awards booked with Southwest points.
  • Additional guests and fees must be paid separately in cash at check-in.
  • Minimum 5 night stay may be required at some hotels.
  • Resort fees are not waived and still apply on free night awards.

So while Southwest transfers unlock hotel awards, you don’t get full elite privileges as with direct hotel program membership.

Tips for Earning More Southwest Points

Since Southwest points transfer at a fixed 1:1 ratio, here are tips to rack up a healthy balance quickly:

  • Open one or both Southwest personal credit cards and meet minimum spend requirements for sign-up bonuses of 35,000 – 100,000+ points.
  • Complete referral offers where existing cardholders can refer friends to new cards for bonus points.
  • Take advantage of limited time increased offers where bonus points are boosted on Southwest credit cards.
  • Register your company or organization for Southwest’s business credit cards that come with lucrative welcome bonuses.
  • Purchase Southwest gift cards during periodic promotions that offer bonus points per dollar spent.
  • Shop through Southwest shopping portals where you earn extra points for online purchases with retailers.

Leveraging credit cards and special offers allow you to amass Southwest points rapidly for transfer to free hotel nights.

Putting it All Together

The key takeaways for redeeming Southwest points for hotels:

  • Transfer Southwest points to leading hotel programs like World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy
  • To maximize value, target expensive high-end properties and peak dates
  • Transfer only the exact number of Southwest points needed for each booking
  • Stack promos and credit cards to quickly earn more Southwest points

With some strategic planning, you can enjoy luxury hotel stays across the world courtesy of your hard-earned Southwest points.


I'm Jennifer Tuffen, a travel enthusiast and storyteller, six years and 10+ countries deep into a journey of discovery and cultural immersion.