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Rapid Rewards devaluation coming April 17, 2015

Rapid Rewards devaluation coming April 17, 2015

Old Feb 12, 15, 12:51 pm
  #1  
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Exclamation Rapid Rewards devaluation coming April 17, 2015

A small note in the February 2015 Report, leads to this link:

https://www.southwest.com/html/rapid...am-update.html

"We created Rapid Rewards® because we think you deserve to actually feel rewarded. And, from time to time we must make some updates to our program. Beginning April 17, 2015, the number of Rapid Rewards Points needed to redeem for certain flights will vary based on destination, time, day of travel, demand, fare class, and other factors. However, there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate. And don’t forget that when fares go on sale, so do the points needed for redeeming for a reward flight on those fares."

I'm sure it won't work in our favor

(Thread title changed by moderator from "changes" to "devaluation", which is admittedly a conjecture at this point but is a necessary heads-up)

Last edited by nsx; Feb 12, 15 at 1:16 pm
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Old Feb 12, 15, 12:51 pm
  #2  
 
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Southwest jumping up redemption points needed on 4-17-15

Just got this e-mail.

Program Updates
We created Rapid Rewards® because we think you deserve to actually feel rewarded. And, from time to time we must make some updates to our program. Beginning April 17, 2015, the number of Rapid Rewards Points needed to redeem for certain flights will vary based on destination, time, day of travel, demand, fare class, and other factors. However, there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate. And don’t forget that when fares go on sale, so do the points needed for redeeming for a reward flight on those fares.

As an active Rapid Rewards® Member, you know first-hand about the great benefits of our frequent flyer program including:
Unlimited reward seats
No blackout dates
Points that don’t expire

You may also know that we’re all about creating flexibility for you to use your Rapid Rewards Points:
We don’t charge a fee of any kind if you wish to change or cancel your reward flight at any point.
We don’t charge a fee of any kind for you to use your points, even if you are redeeming at the last minute.
And, there is no minimum point balance requirement to redeem for reward travel.

One thing we’ll never change is our continued goal to bring you the best rewards program in the business.

Thank you for your business and continued loyalty.
bakablonde is offline  
Old Feb 12, 15, 12:55 pm
  #3  
 
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That does not sound good.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 12:57 pm
  #4  
 
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oh no, here we go again
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:02 pm
  #5  
 
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Rapid Rewards changes coming April 17, 2015

It sounds like changes are being implemented in about 2 months, but, they can't provide specific details?

For the first RR 2.0 Devaluation, notice began 9/23/2013 for a 3/31/2014 implementation. And, notices contained the specifics. Here's that thread: [Wiki] WN 14% Devaluation of RR2 points for WGA redemption effective March 31, 2014

For these vague changes, notice began 2/12/2015 for a 4/17/2015 implementation. And, notices contained no specifics.

Is Southwest following Delta's lead and obfuscating the details/requirements of award redemptions?

the rest of the update reads:

As an active Rapid Rewards® Member, you know first-hand about the great benefits of our frequent flyer program including:
Unlimited reward seats
No blackout dates
Points that don’t expire1

You may also know that we’re all about creating flexibility for you to use your Rapid Rewards Points:
We don’t charge a fee of any kind if you wish to change or cancel your reward flight at any point2.
We don’t charge a fee of any kind for you to use your points, even if you are redeeming at the last minute3.
And, there is no minimum point balance requirement to redeem for reward travel.

One thing we’ll never change is our continued goal to bring you the best rewards program in the business.

Thank you for your business and continued loyalty.

Last edited by FindAWay; Feb 12, 15 at 1:15 pm
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:09 pm
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Maybe they will be increasing the redemption rates for international destinations?
Nirvana91 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 15, 1:21 pm
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Points needed to redeem for certain flights will vary based on destination, time, day of travel, demand, fare class, and other factors.
What "other factors" are even possible?

Where the points are already completely linked to cash value, a devaluation should not happen. This is just the company saying, “Sorry, there are too many points out there and we’re going to confiscate XX% of your points in April.”
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:22 pm
  #8  
nsx
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My reaction reading this news was unprintable.

IMHO this is a huge mistake by Southwest. It's much worse than the first devaluation of points. That devaluation was a loss of 1/7th of the value per point. This one could be a lot worse. It makes the value of your points a complete unknown, at the same time opening the door to unlimited devaluation without notice, continuing forever. I could hardly imagine a more adverse change to the program.

The only possible ray of sunshine is the statement "there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate". If that means that the low buckets of WGA fares will remain at 70 points per dollar, Southwest needs to come out and tell us that. Immediately and unambiguously. Otherwise we will presume the worst.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Nirvana91 View Post
Maybe they will be increasing the redemption rates for international destinations?
It could be.

Or, they could make only flights departing between 1:19pm & 2:37pm local time on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from airports with IATA codes that end in vowels to airports with IATA codes that end in consonants price at 2x the 70pts/$1 ratio of other flights, unless the flight is the second non-stop between such destinations on that day, in which case, it will price at 3x the ratio.

To me, it is the lack of transparency and vagueness in the announcement that is scary.

Another random guess is that flights with less than [__] seats remaining at WGA fares will price as AT award rates. And that all Friday/Sunday WGA flights will price at 80 pts/$1.

I *hope* that this is simply changes to language with zero real changes implemented.
FindAWay is offline  
Old Feb 12, 15, 1:23 pm
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However, there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate.
I bet WGA fares will change but Anytime and Business Select fares will stay the same...since no one redeems for those fare buckets anyway.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
What "other factors" are even possible?
Other factors could include whether booked online or over the phone. Whether the person booking has A-List/A-List Preferred status. Etc.

Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
Where the points are already completely linked to cash value, a devaluation should not happen. This is just the company saying, “Sorry, there are too many points out there and we’re going to confiscate XX% of your points in April.”
+1. ^ As I said with the first RR 2.0 devaluation:

Originally Posted by FindAWay View Post
It is WN's destruction of our faith in the stability of the system that causes the most angst.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
My reaction reading this news was unprintable.

IMHO this is a huge mistake by Southwest. It's much worse than the first devaluation of points. That devaluation was a loss of 1/7th of the value per point. This one could be a lot worse. It makes the value of your points a complete unknown, at the same time opening the door to unlimited devaluation without notice, continuing forever. I could hardly imagine a more adverse change to the program.

The only possible ray of sunshine is the statement "there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate". If that means that the low buckets of WGA fares will remain at 70 points per dollar, Southwest needs to come out and tell us that. Immediately and unambiguously. Otherwise we will presume the worst.
I agree - this sounds pretty bad, is poorly phrased, and was terribly delivered.

I'm thinking that:
  1. Rapid Rewards 2.0 existed from 3/1/2011-1/26/2014 (60 pts/$1 RR redemptions - with 3 month advance notice);
  2. Rapid Rewards 2.0.1 existed from 1/27/2014-3/30/2014 (Earnings/Redemptions changed to Base Fare Only {formerly Base Fare + Excise Tax} - with no advance notice) (edited to add);
  3. Rapid Rewards 2.1 existed from 3/31/2014-4/16/2015 (70 pts/$1 RR redemptions - with 5+ month advance notice); and
  4. Rapid Rewards 2.2 will exist from 4/17/2015-[???????] (To be explained - with 2 month advance notice).

At this pace of devaluation, should I expect another devaluation before the end of 2015 with only a 3 week advance announcement?

Last edited by FindAWay; Feb 13, 15 at 11:11 am
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:39 pm
  #13  
nsx
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The WGA fare category contains several buckets, from very cheap to almost Anytime fare. I believe that the intent of this change is to charge more points per dollar in the higher buckets and keep the lowest buckets at 70 points per dollar.

If this is correct, I highly recommend that Southwest say so ASAP to head off a major panic among members. The current announcement sets the value of points completely adrift. It will result in many cut up Southwest Visa cards if some reassurance is not forthcoming this week.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:46 pm
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Sucks. During the last devalue, I predicted a move toward 100 points per dollar. Would not be surprised to see it headed there, although probably take a couple more of these moves.
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Old Feb 12, 15, 1:46 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
It will result in many cut up Southwest Visa cards if some reassurance is not forthcoming this week.
My WN Visa is already not used for anything other than the 14-month "convenience check" @ 0% interest with 2% fee.

Not good, WN. I am heading over to their Facebook page right now to vent my displeasure and to tell them they better announce details SOON.
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