Southwest Rapid Rewards: a complete guide

If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to Southwest Rapid Rewards, look no further. This article will tell you everything you need to know about this popular airline rewards program.


Redeem points for flights and more!

Southwest Rapid Rewards logo
Discover every detail about the Southwest Rapid Rewards. Source: Southwest

Have you ever been intrigued by those who say they travel for free? If you fly Southwest Airlines frequently, you can earn enough points to redeem flight discounts through Southwest Rapid Rewards program.

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Cheap Southwest Airlines flights

Learn how to find Southwest Airlines cheap flights using a few simple tips. These tips include booking early, avoiding peak travel days, and much more.

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about the Southwest Rapid Rewards program – from how to sign up to how to redeem your points for free travel. Let’s get started!

What is the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, and what are the benefits of joining?

Southwest Airlines is a major American airline headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is known for its low-fare structure and unique customer service approach.

The airline offers many perks that have made it popular with travelers, such as free checked bags, no change fees, and a flexible cancellation policy.

Southwest has been around for about 50 years and serves more than 100 destinations across the United States.

As Southwest continues to grow, it remains committed to providing its customers with an affordable and enjoyable travel experience.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Program

The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is the frequent flyer program offered by Southwest Airlines.

It’s free to sign up for and is packed with many benefits:

  • Unlimited Rewards seats;
  • Companion Pass;
  • Easy to earn points on your flights or everyday purchases;
  • Points don’t expire;
  • Cardholders can redeem points for gifts, discounts, car rentals, hotels, and more.
  • Terms apply.

You can earn points by flying Southwest, using their credit card, or even shopping with its partners.

There are two tiers of membership – A-List and A-List Preferred.

  • A-List members get priority boarding, free same-day flight changes, and a 25% earning bonus on all Southwest flights;
  • A-List Preferred members get all of the above plus a 100% earning bonus on all Southwest flights.
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Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Don't miss this detailed Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card review if you want to learn about the benefits, perks, bonuses, and drawbacks. Check it out now!

Is there a limit to how many points you can earn each year?

New York, USA - 27 September 2020: Southwest Airlines mobile app logo on phone screen close up, Illustrative Editorial.
How many points can you make? Read on to find out! Source: Adobe Stock

Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be earned in many ways, including by flying on Southwest Airlines, using a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card, or through partner programs.

There is no limit to the number of points earned each year. Earning points faster is possible by taking advantage of bonus offers and promotions.

Do Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire?

Yes, Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire after 24 months of inactivity. However, there are plenty of ways to keep your account active and prevent your points from expiring.

For example, you can earn points by flying on Southwest Airlines or using a Southwest credit card.

You can also earn points by shopping at partner merchants or participating in partner programs.

Also, you only need to have earned these points in the last two years, and they will be safe. So, try not to keep your earnings inactive.

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How many points do you need to get a free flight?

The average amount of points you’ll need to get a free flight on Southwest Airlines is about 6,600 to 58K. This is valid for a one-way economy class ticket.

For example, if you want to fly from NY to LA, you’ll need about 21K points; from LA to Cancun, it would be 58K points to travel for free with Southwest Airlines.

Four ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - May 8, 2013: Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 airliner flying past a rainbow as it departs McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
The easiest way to fly with discounts is using Southwest Airlines. Keep reading! Source: Adobe Stock

1. Using a Southwest credit card

There are a few ways to get points using a Southwest credit card. First, you can use your card to make purchases and earn points for every dollar you spend.

Also, you can take advantage of special promotions and events to earn bonus points.

Additionally, you can transfer points from other programs into your Southwest account.

2. Flying with Southwest

By flying with Southwest, you can earn points according to the fare type, price, and status in the Rapid Rewards program.

There are four different types of fares when flying with Southwest: Business Select, Anytime, Wanna Get Away, and Wanna Get Away Plus.

  • Business Select: this is perfect for those who want premium perks, the most flexible travel options, and priority boarding. They also come with premium drink coupons. Those who select this fare will also earn 12 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent;
  • Anytime: this is a good choice for those who want the flexibility to change their travel plans without paying a fee. This fare also includes preferred boarding. You get 10 points per dollar;
  • Wanna Get Away: Wanna Get Away fares are the cheapest option, but they’re non-refundable and have limited availability. They don’t share the benefits of the Anytime and Business Select options. You get 6 points on the dollar;
  • Wanna Get Away Plus: these are a bit more expensive than Wanna Get Away fares, but they come with some added benefits, like additional Rapid Rewards points and the ability to refund or cancel your ticket without penalty. You’ll get 8 points on the dollar.

3. Earning a status

You can earn status with Southwest by flying with Southwest Airlines. As mentioned, there are two main tiers:

  • A-List: 25% earning bonus;
  • A-list Preferred: 100% earning bonus.

4. Through Partners

Another way to earn points is through Southwest Partners.

  • Hotels: Some hotel chains, such as Best Western and Rocket miles, offer 1 point on the dollar you spend with them;
  • Shopping and Dining: By purchasing through Southwest Rapid Rewards, you can earn points in almost a thousand retailers. Also, their Dining Program offers up to 3 points at eligible restaurants. Plus, if you submit reviews, you can earn even more;
  • Car rentals: Many car rentals are related to Southwest Rapid Rewards program;
  • Buying gas at Marathon gas stations: Earn 1 point on gas and selected items.

How to redeem points for flights and other rewards?

Southwest Rewards customers can use their points to book flights and other rewards. To redeem your points, log in to your account on the website and follow the prompts.

You can use your points to book a flight or choose from various other rewards, such as hotel stays, rental cars, and more. The process is straightforward and quick.

Start getting discounts at Southwest by applying for their credit card: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. See full review!

Southwest Plus card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card review

Are you thinking about getting a Southwest credit card? Get the lowdown on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card review before applying.

About the author

Suzana Brito

I'm a Language Studies graduate and have always been interested in writing and sharing knowledge. By creating content about finances and related products, I believe in contributing to people achieving financial freedom and their goals in life.

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