Reader Question: Should I transfer Southwest Points to AirTran Credits?

Joanne writes:

"I have accumulated approximately 55,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards. I see that I have a Southwest flight credit that is expiring, and Southwest wants me to use 18,000 points to create a reward flight. I have my eye on a roundtrip award to Phoenix that costs 29,000 points. Is it worth it to do this? I am so confused. Any help is appreciated."

I can sympathize with Joanne's confusion.

Free Giveaway, 15 AA Miles per Dollar for Breast Cancer Donation, Always Get Southwest Group A

There are some great deals and tips kicking around the web that were already written up perfectly. I have added a few notes, and hopefully the aggregation will be useful.

1) Mile Nerd flags the opportunity to earn 15 American Airlines miles per dollar on donations during October--Breast Cancer Awareness Month--to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Donate through the link on this page. Full terms and conditions:

If you were already intending to donate, this is a great deal.

Anatomy of an Award: How to Book an Award on Southwest

Update 10/13/14: Southwest awards now cost 70 points per dollar of the cash fare instead of 60. Taxes are now $5.60 per direction within the United States instead of $2.50 per flight. Everything else is the same.

The other day I helped a friend book a roundtrip Southwest award from Los Angeles to Denver for 11,761 Rapid Rewards and $5, taking advantage of a 1,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer to make up a shortfall of points in her account. For some people, this post will be very basic.

Forum Buzz: Southwest 40% Off Sale

Southwest Holding Huge Winter Fare Sale

The Southwest forum on FlyerTalk is buzzing about Southwest's recently announced "Big Winter Sale." Fares to most cities are a whopping 40% off which creates some incredible values in the Southwest route network. To take advantage of the sale, you must book by midnight on Thursday, October 11 and fly 11/28 - 12/12 or 1/7 - 2/14 excluding Sundays.

To book, simply go to the main Southwest home page and enter your city pairs.

Forum Buzz: End of Aeroplan, Hilton Points, and More

Update: Oops, the normal Hilton card gives only Silver status. Thanks for the correction.

Here are some of the day's hot topics being discussed on the message boards at FlyerTalk and milepoint.

50,000-60,000 HHonors Point Sign up Bonuses with American Express HHonors cards

A poster in this FlyerTalk thread has come across big-number sign up bonuses for the two different American Express Hilton credit cards.