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Be Strategic with Frequent-Flier Points and Mileage Awards

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By Tom Parsons

If you want to fly on a short-haul trip, you can get an unbelievably good deal if you’re a frequent flier on Southwest. With other airlines, you would have to use 25,000 miles for domestic travel, even if you’re just going to Oklahoma City.

The average traveler earns six points for every dollar spent on Wanna Get Away fares, so for every $100 you spend on a ticket, you earn 600 points.

You would have to fly four times on $250 tickets to earn a free short-haul trip if you cash your points in during a sale. Compare that to 10 to 12 round trips it would take to earn 25,000 miles if you were flying on other airlines.

The big winners are elite business travelers on Southwest who can earn up to 24 points per dollar spent if they buy the right ticket, which is Business Select.

While Southwest wants to take care of the leisure traveler, it also wants to cater to the elite travelers who travel once or twice a week and pay big dollars for tickets. The airline does this by allowing them to earn points and free tickets faster.

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