Friday is Last Day To Transfer Hotel Points for Southwest Companion Pass

You have two more days (including today) to transfer hotel points to Southwest for the purposes of earning a Southwest Companion Pass. Friday, March 31 is the cutoff. After Friday, any points transferred to Southwest will not count as "qualifying" towards the Companion Pass. That includes Marriott Travel Packages.

The Southwest Companion Pass, if you're unaware, is one of the best deals in travel. If you have the Southwest Companion pass, you can designate a companion who flies for just the taxes on every Southwest flight you fly.

Miles With Free (or Almost Free) Change & Cancellation Fees

There are lots of obvious reasons why miles are better than cash, like the ability they give us to book mini palaces on planes that look like this...

Etihad First Class Apartment on an A380

...or the loose routing/stopover/open jaw rules of some programs that allow us to see more places on one trip.

But what about the smaller perks we often overlook? Like free or nearly free change and cancellation fees?

Southwest Rapid Rewards Devaluation Again! This Time No Notice

Southwest has mildly devalued its Rapid Rewards points by about 3%. What's alarming isn't the size of the devaluation, it's that:

Southwest gave no notice, only some sleuthing by FlyerTalkers sussed it out
This is the third devaluation in third years, something which is completely unnecessary for a revenue-based program like Southwest

The Devaluations
Southwest points used to be redeemable for any "Wanna Get Away?" fare at a rate of 60 points per dollar of the fare.

Southwest Announces Massive Devaluation, Effective April 17

Southwest currently has a purely fixed-value rewards program. For every dollar of the base fare, you have to redeem 70 Rapid Rewards to get your ticket (plus you pay a $5.60 per direction government tax on each redemption.)

That's about to get worse, much worse in my opinion.
Current Rapid Rewards Scheme
Let's look at an example. Here are the pries for tickets from Los Angeles to Tampa this March. They vary greatly by day from $207 to $334 to $607.

If you select a day with $211 fares, not all fares that day are $211.

How to Exploit the Southwest-Airtran Merger

Deal originally posted April 22, 2012. Deal ends November 1, 2014. Post updated 10/13/14:

Southwest Airlines and Airtran Airways' three-year merger is almost complete. For over two years, transfers have been allowed between Southwest's Rapid Rewards loyalty program and Airtran's A+ loyalty program.

These transfers present an arbitrage opportunity that caps roundtrip award flights at 19,200 Southwest points (the normal cost of a $274 award.)

This is a cool trick that can save you major Rapid Rewards.

Southwest 40% Bonus on Purchased Points, Worth It?

Until July 31, 2014, you get a 40% bonus when purchasing Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

You can buy points here and the bonus is automatically coded into the purchase.

With the 40% bonus, the all in price is 1.96 cents per point, and you can buy in increments of 1,400 points.

Is buying Southwest Rapid Rewards for 1.96 cents each a good deal?

There are very few circumstances in which I would buy Southwest Rapid Rewards for 1.96 cents each.

Southwest points can be redeemed for any Wanna Get Away?

50,000 Rapid Rewards + $50 Statement Credit

Commenters are not having success with calling in. Writing a Secure Message is still untested. If you want a 50k offer, just wait a few months. They pop up every few months.
I got an email from Southwest over the weekend with the subject "Get 2 Roundtrip Flights along with a $50 statement credit for EarlyBird Check-In" that advertised the best Southwest credit card offer I've ever seen.

The offer is for 50,000 Rapid Rewards (worth over $700 in free Southwest flights) after spending $2,000 in the first three months after opening the account.

Massive Southwest Devluation Happens Monday, How to Beat It

Southwest Rapid Rewards points are currently worth 1.69 cents each. Starting Monday, March 31, 2014, they will be worth about 1.44 cents each.

What is the exact devaluation?

Among the Six Types of Frequent Flyer Miles, Southwest has a fixed-value program. For every dollar of the “Wanna Get Away?” base fare, you have to spend 60 Rapid Rewards for an award ticket.

So a $220 Southwest ticket with a $200 base fare would be 12,000 Rapid Rewards + $5 in taxes as an award.

Forum Buzz: American Airlines Buy Miles Bonus, Southwest to Puerto Rico

American Airlines Escalating Bonus on Miles Purchases

According to this post on MilePoint, through November 15th American Airlines is offering up to 12,000 bonus miles when you purchase AAdvantage miles. The maximum number of miles you can purchase in a calendar year (and also through this promotion) is 40,000.

To purchase, follow this link and input your AAdvantage information.

As you can see from the terms and conditions page below, the highest bonus is earned when you purchase between 36,000-40,000 miles.