How to Easily Redeem Your Southwest Flight Credits

SAVING & SPENDING - TRAVEL
Thanks to Southwest’s generous cancellation policy, you might have flight credits waiting to be used.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
Man on a plane who used Southwest travel funds

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To redeem your Southwest flight credits, you can use them to book any available cash flight or to pay for the taxes and fees on award flights. One of the places you can check your flight credits is the Southwest website.

Southwest flight credits are a form of flight credits that you might receive from one of the features we love most about Southwest Airlines. This feature is the ability to cancel a flight and receive the unused funds in the form of flight credit.

Let's explore how to make the best use of your Southwest flight credits and how to check the credits available to you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Southwest flight credits are funds toward future flights that you can earn when you cancel a Southwest reservation up to 10 minutes before the scheduled flight departure.
  • You can redeem your Southwest flight credits through the Southwest website, mobile app, phone, or at a Southwest ticket counter. They can cover cash flights as well as taxes and fees associated with rewards travel.
  • Southwest flight credits don’t expire, so you don’t have to worry about losing them if you don’t use them.
  • Southwest allows you to transfer flight credits to someone else if your canceled fare was a Business Select, Anytime, or Wanna Get Away Plus fare.

What are Southwest flight credits?

Southwest flight credits are essentially travel funds you can apply toward future flights. They aren't the same thing as airline miles you earn from one of the air carrier's co-branded Chase credit cards. A passenger earns these flight credits when they cancel a Southwest reservation up to 10 minutes before the flight is scheduled to take off.

You can redeem your flight credits by going to the Southwest website at Southwest.com, by phone, through the mobile app, or at a Southwest ticket counter for future flights. You can reach Southwest customer service at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).

You can also use Southwest flight credits to cover any taxes and fees associated with rewards travel. And since Southwest doesn’t charge cancellation fees, the entire cost of your canceled ticket can be put toward your next flight; you’ll pay only if there’s a fare difference.

Do Southwest flight credits expire?

Southwest flight credits no longer expire. Southwest has eliminated expiration dates on all Southwest flight credits unexpired on or created on or after July 28, 20222. 

Keep in mind that other forms of Southwest travel funds, such as gift cards or LUV vouchers, might have expiration dates. The expiration date is typically listed on the card or travel voucher, or you can check the expiration date online.

Can I transfer Southwest flight credits?

Southwest allows you to transfer flight credits to someone else in certain cases. This feature is available for customers who buy their flights using the Wanna Get Away Plus fare, as well as the Anytime or Business Select fares.

Both the sender and the receiver of the flight credit must be Rapid Rewards Members. To access the transferable flight credits associated with your Rapid Rewards account, you need to log in to your account and select “My Account” from the menu options at the top of the page for desktop or scroll down to “My Travel Funds” at the bottom of the page for mobile and the Southwest app.

Next, select “Payment” from the menu options within your account. Any available transferable flight Credits and flight credits in your account should be listed.

Other types of Southwest travel funds

Keep in mind that you can also receive other forms of travel funds from Southwest, this includes:

  • Southwest gift cards you received or bought
  • Southwest LUV vouchers you received for inconveniences on past trips

These can be used similarly to Southwest flight credits, but different rules may apply.

How to use Southwest flight credits

To use your Southwest flight credit, follow these steps:

  1. Access your flight credits: You can do this through My Account by selecting the Payment tab on southwest.com or “Check Travel Funds” on mobile.
  2. Write down your original ticket confirmation number: You might need this when making your new reservation.
  3. Browse and select your new flight: Search for the flight you’d like to take to begin the booking process.
  4. Apply your flight credit: You should see an option to apply a flight credit or other travel funds in the payment section. You can do so by entering the confirmation number associated with the flight credit.
  5. Make sure you got a confirmation: After applying your flight credit and completing your booking, you should receive a confirmation of your payment and new booking.

You can also call Southwest or visit a ticket counter to redeem your unused funds.

How to make the most of your Southwest flight credits

Sometimes, your Southwest flight credits won’t be enough to cover the cost of your flight. This can be frustrating, especially if you weren’t planning to travel and just want to make use of your funds. But with Southwest Rapid Rewards, you’ll always earn bonus points toward future travel when you have to make a purchase.

If your Southwest flight credits aren’t enough to cover the cost of your upcoming flight, consider using a Southwest credit card to cover the difference. Chase is the credit card issuer for the Southwest credit cards, but you'll earn Southwest rewards, not Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll rack up some serious Southwest points and perks through one of these credit cards, which are known for being some of the best airline credit cards

For example, a Southwest credit card can even help you earn the Companion Pass faster, which lets you take a travel companion with you for free on all your Southwest flights, excluding taxes and fees. You can also use flight credits in conjunction with Rapid Rewards points or with a Southwest gift card.

Southwest’s cancellation policy is extremely generous and is just one of the reasons we love the airline. Even though their cards are some of the best travel credit cards, you’ll need to be aware of the rules associated with redeeming your Southwest flight credits and keep track of any information you’ll need to access your funds. With these tips in mind, you can worry less about canceling flights because of a travel disaster and start putting your funds toward your next travel adventure.

Southwest flight credits FAQ

How many Southwest travel funds can I use?

You can use up to three forms of payment per Southwest transaction, including travel funds and vouchers. As long as your travel funds are valid for the flight date and passenger(s) in question, you can apply as many as three separate vouchers to the same purchase.

It’s important to note that because Southwest only allows up to three forms of payment per transaction, your combined vouchers must cover the entire cost of the flight(s), including fees and taxes. If you don’t have enough flight credits to pay the entire balance — or are using LUV vouchers, which require taxes and fees to be paid separately — you’ll be limited to using two vouchers. In that case, you will need to use an alternate form of payment, like a travel credit card, for the balance.

Can I use my flight credits on the Southwest app?

Yes, you can use flight credits (as well as LUV vouchers and Southwest gift cards) when booking a flight through the Southwest mobile app.

As with all other Southwest booking platforms, you are limited to a total of three payment options per booking. If you are using multiple flight credits or LUV vouchers to book a flight, you’ll need to ensure they cover the full cost (airfare plus any government fees, taxes, or charges).

Otherwise, the maximum number of flight credits or vouchers you can use per booking is two. That is so you can cover the difference with a credit card or other payment method without exceeding the three-payment-method maximum.

Should I convert my Southwest flight credits to points?

If you have Southwest flight credits, you’ll have the option to convert travel funds into Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Depending on how you plan to use those funds, this may or may not be a good idea.

If you plan to book a flight prior to your funds’ expiration, converting might not make sense. In many cases, you could lose money on the funds-to-points conversion, which gives you less flight for your money.

However, there are some cases in which converting might be the right idea. This is the case if:

  • You have existing Rapid Rewards points but are slightly short of how many you need to book the desired flight. Converting funds to points would give you a large enough balance to book the trip you want.
  • You book flights for your family, friends, or other groups. The flight credits are linked to your name and can be used only for your own flights. Rapid Rewards points can be transferred, shared, or used to book flights for others.

How do I extend my Southwest flight credits?

Southwest flight credits that were created on or after July 28, 2022, never expire, so you no longer have to worry about extending your flight credits. 

Can I transfer my Southwest flight credits to someone else?

Yes, Southwest enables you to transfer flight credits to someone else as long as your fare type is a Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime, or Business Select. Also, keep in mind that both you and the receiver of the flight credit must be Rapid Rewards Members.

Southwest flight credits: bottom line

If you've had canceled flights with Southwest, you might be sitting on a list of valuable Southwest flight credits. These credits are a flexible way to book future travel, covering both cash flights and the taxes and fees on award flights. The best part? They don't expire, giving you the freedom to plan your next adventure on your own schedule.

Generous Welcome Bonus

4.5

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Current Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$69

Rewards Rate

2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners; on local transit and commuting, including rideshare; and on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming; plus 1X points on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Lindsay Frankel Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based freelance writer who specializes in credit cards, travel, budgeting/saving, and shopping. She has been featured in several finance publications, including LendingTree. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors, playing music, or cuddling with her rescue pup.
Yahia Barakah, CEPF Yahia Barakah, CEPF, is a Senior Editor at FinanceBuzz and has created finance-focused content since 2011. As a Certified Educator of Personal Finance, he has a background in institutional investment and asset management, as well as a deep passion for financial literacy.

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