The Devaluation Walls Are Closing In!


Save the date:

April 15th Southwest will do who knows what to its redemption chart.

June 1st: Club Carlson will have a bouncer at the door allowing you in only for one night.

So the question becomes what to do before then and how to do it in the most efficient way?

The challenge is utilizing both SWA and CC at the same time internationally in a country that I have yet to frequent.

Step 1: Where Does SWA fly abroad within these parameters? 

Consulting the Trip Report: Southwest Companion Pass Round 3 (round 1 & round 2 are here), this is where I most want to go:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Belize City, Belize 

SWA isn’t servicing the Belize route yet so that rules out Belize City. I’ve been to Mexico too many times so Mexico City will have to wait.

Step 2: Where Is Club Carlson? 

Step 2.1: Where Is a Good Club Carlson? 

Short answer: not in many places and certainly none worth MS’ing (yes that’s a word) 10k in order to get one free night in the US. But let’s stay on task. Is there one in Jamaica?

Sort of.

Really, the new CC wants 44k for one night, not two, at the Radisson JFK Airport? Never mind that no one would stay two nights at an airport hotel but really? And if I keep the card with the annual fee, I have to spend 10k in a year to get one night at JFK Airport? Hello, Club Carlson, are you mad, are you mad, are you mad?

How about Dominican Republic? Nada.

With no options, this is when things get interesting. This is when the real points players thrive and when the pretenders pay.

Here are the burning questions that will keep me clicking and searching well into the night:

  • Do I combine SWA and CC and go somewhere I’ve already been? Has to be a ridiculous value.
  • Do I prioritize SWA and go to somewhere I’ve already been and speculatively book a property in a better location like Corsica with Club Carlson?
  • Do I use my SWA points to fly to Miami, stay a couple of days then use Avios to go to Club Carlson destinations with Radisson Barbados being the front-runner?

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. But I will figure it out before April 15th because that’s what I do.



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