Southwest Airlines appears to be promoting their hotel booking website, and is now offering up to 10,000 Rapid Rewards points per night when you book with them. Southwest’s booking portal is actually a partnership with Booking.com, which is owned by Priceline, so you’re not really booking a night through Southwest, per se.
I searched through a dozen of cities through the next few months, and couldn’t actually find a hotel that is offering 10,000 points per night. However, many come pretty close. For example, you can book the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and earn 8,000 Rapid Rewards points per night.
I can consistently get about 1.5 cents per Rapid Rewards point, so just booking one night here will yield me 8000 * 0.015 = $120 in value! This is a pretty good deal, especially since the portal shows you the Standard Rate that the hotel charges (~$300). Just make sure to enter your Rapid Rewards number when you book.
However, there are a few things to note when booking through third-party websites. You will not be able to take advantage of any members-only rates that hotel chains offer, and you will not earn hotel points from the stay. With some hotel chains (like Hilton), you will also not receive elite benefits when you book through third party websites like Southwest’s portal.
You should also check out Rocket Miles, which allows you to earn airline miles and points through hotel stays. RocketMiles is also owned by Priceline, so you can actually get the same offer on many hotels. Here is the same offer—8,000 Southwest points with a night—on RocketMiles’ website.
There have been pretty consistent reports that Southwest points earned through regular bookings with RocketMiles do count towards the companion pass (but not A-List). However, any “bonuses,” like first booking, sign-up, or referral bonuses do not appear to count. I am not entirely sure whether this “promotion” is categorized as regular earnings, or if the points will count as a bonus. I’d tread carefully, though it’d be a nice bonus if the stays can help you earn the Companion Pass! Note also that this is only for RocketMiles; there hasn’t been enough reports about whether bookings through SouthwestHotels.com counts towards the companion pass.
And if you prefer another airline’s miles, some properties are also offering the same number of miles in other currencies. For example, you can earn 8,000 United MileagePlus miles instead of 8,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points with the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. I know some of you can definitely derive far better than 1.5 cents per mile with United! If you’re new to RocketMiles, sign up using my referral link to earn 1,000 bonus miles with your first booking.
Not all hotels are offering lucrative bonus miles when you book with them, so make sure you check what the bonus for your desired hotel is. This promotion is also not for everyone, especially if you would rather earn hotel points. But with the right combination, you can earn a ton of points through this promotion!