Southwest Rapid Rewards Program: The overall Guide

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Known for low fares, no cancellation fees and free checked bags, Southwest Airlines is regarded as the biggest “low-cost” carrier in the us. Additionally it is the largest concerning passengers served: In 2017, the Dallas-based airline carried over 156 million passengers – surpassing the person tallies of yank Airlines, Fuel prices and United Airlines.

Point value

  • Based on our most up-to-date analysis, NerdWallet values Rapid Rewards points at the average of 1.7 cents per point.
  • Depending regarding how you redeem points for Wanna Go away fares, redemption values could include 1.5 cents per point to over 3 cents per point.
  • See the way we achieved this value.

Today, the airline serves 99 U.S. destinations and possesses routes to Mexico, Mexico and also the Caribbean?- with a devoted fleet of Boeing 737s. The airline carries a major presence such cities as Chicago, Nevada, Baltimore, Denver and Dallas.

Based on our research, we value Rapid Rewards points with an average of merely one.7 cents each. For this reason as well as the program’s customer-friendly policies, including two free checked bags approximately 50 pounds each on every flight and group boarding, Southwest is the most popular loyalty program for families.

But this program it not just for families: With tiered rewards for repeat business, which can include priority boarding and also the Companion Pass, there’s lots of value in this particular program for anybody who frequently flies with Southwest.

In this article

  • Earning?Rapid Rewards points?whenever you fly
  • Earning Rapid Rewards points having a credit card
  • Earning Rapid Rewards points through partners
  • Buying additional Rapid Rewards points
  • Transferring bank card points to Rapid Rewards
  • Good redemption options
  • Bad redemption options
  • Rapid Rewards tiers and benefits
  • How to earn Rapid Rewards elite status
  • Companion Pass
  • Credit cards that earn Rapid Rewards points
  • Methodology

How to earn Rapid Rewards points

Instead of rewarding traditional airline “miles,” Rapid Rewards operates on a points system. You can earn points a few ways: by flying on Southwest, by shopping and dining with partners, or having a Southwest Rapid Rewards visa or mastercard.

Points don’t expire provided that you make one qualifying transaction through Southwest or perhaps partner every 2 years. And in case you do have a Southwest debit card, your points won’t expire provided your card account remains open.

Earning?Rapid Rewards points?when you fly

The variety of points you’ve made for that flight is determined by the asking price of the ticket, the kind of fare you’re buying, as well as your status level inside the Rapid Rewards program. All fares include two free checked bags about 50 pounds each, no change fees and reusable funds for about 12 months for those who cancel your flight.

Status level Status bonus Points earned per $1 spent, by fare class
Basic None Business Select: 12.
Anytime: 10.
Wanna Avoid: 6.
A-List 25% Business Select: 15.
Anytime: 12.5.
Wanna Avoid: 7.5.
A-List Preferred 100% Business Select: 24.
Anytime: 20.
Wanna Get Away: 12.

    Southwest doesn’t have any airline partners and isn’t a member of an airline alliance, to ensure you can’t earn Rapid Rewards points on other airlines. However, you may use suggests book hotels, cruises, rental cars or go Hawaii and around the world aboard 50 plus airlines via the More Rewards platform.

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    Earning Rapid Rewards points that has a credit card

    Southwest offers four co-branded cards through Chase: three credit score cards and another card.

    A NerdWallet favorite is a Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit-based card. It includes 2 points per $1 spent with Southwest Airlines and Rapid Rewards hotel and hire car partners, and 1 point per $1 invested on the rest. It comes with a sign-up bonus that can get you a long way toward earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass: Earn 40,000 points as soon as you spend $1,000 on purchases inside the first 3 months your bank account is open. The annual fee is $99. The handcrafted card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. As well as every year, cardholders receive a 6,000-point anniversary bonus.

    Other Southwest plastic card options may work more wholesome depending on features you are searching for.

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    Earning Rapid Rewards points through partners

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      Buying additional Rapid Rewards points

      Generally, you should buy Rapid Rewards points at a rate of 2.75 cents each, however it is not advisable. NerdWallet values Rapid Rewards points in a average of a.7 cents each, so you’ll lose considerable value by getting points instead of earning them.

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      Transferring plastic card suggests Rapid Rewards

      Two credit card rewards programs provde the possibility to transfer suggests Rapid Rewards: Diners Club and supreme Rewards?.

      Diners Club cardholders can convert Diners Club Rewards points to Rapid Rewards points for a price of just one.34 Diners Club suggests one Rapid Rewards point, by using a minimum transfer of 6,719 Diners Club points for 5,000 Rapid Rewards points.

      If you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards? from a Chase Sapphire® Card, it’s also possible to convert those points to Ultimate Rewards? on a one-to-one rate. You should transfer a minimum of 1,000 points, plus in blocks of 100 points above the minimum.

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      How to redeem Rapid Rewards points

      You can redeem points on Southwest’s website for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards and much more. Rapid Rewards points are usually redeemable for international flights on other airlines, while Southwest doesn’t have any airline partnerships.

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        Good redemption options

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          Bad redemption options

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            Rapid Rewards elite status tiers

            You can sign up to the Rapid Rewards program without cost, which allows you to earn points toward elite status and award flights. Within the A-List and A-List Preferred tiers, you get more points and will enjoy some additional perks.

            Rapid Rewards tiers and benefits

              A-List A-List Preferred
            Points bonus 25% more points on each flight 100% more points on each flight
            Airport benefits Priority check-in.
            Priority boarding.
            Access to “Fly By” expedited security lanes at select airports.
            Free same-day standby through airport support service agents
            Priority check-in.
            Priority boarding.
            Access to “Fly By” expedited security lanes at select airports.
            Free same-day standby through airport customer care agents.
            Additional perks Dedicated A-List customer service line. Free in-flight WiFi.
            Dedicated A-List Preferred customer service line.

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            How to earn Rapid Rewards elite status

            To attain A-List or A-List Preferred status, you ought to fly a certain variety of “qualifying one-way flights” or earn a particular variety of “tier qualifying points” in the 365 days. You have elite status the instant you earn it, and it’s good over the next yr.

              A-List A-List Preferred
            To earn this status, you will need to EITHER fly: 25 qualifying one-way flights 50 qualifying one-way flights
            OR earn: 35,000 tier qualifying points 70,000 tier qualifying points
            • A qualifying one-way flight is identified as an excursion from origin to destination, including any connections. In case you are flying from Chicago to Chicago Midway Airport, it counts as the single one-way flight no matter whether the flight is nonstop or maybe you have got to change planes.
            • Tier qualifying points are counted differently from Rapid Rewards points. Even if you can get Rapid Rewards points to all kinds of ways (as described above), there are just two approaches to earn tier qualifying points:
              1. Purchasing tickets for Southwest flights.
              2. While using Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Debit card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Charge card. With either card, you cash in on 1,500 tier qualifying points for every single $10,000 spent, around 15,000 tier qualifying points every year.

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            Companion Pass

            The Southwest Companion Pass is among the most useful and sought-after perks in virtually any frequent flyer program. The pass allows a guest to fly together with you nearly absolutely free (you’ll have to spend taxes and security fees originating in $5.60 one way) from the minute you’ve made it through the next season. To generate the pass, you should either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points within a twelve months. Qualifying points for Companion Pass include points earned from buying Southwest tickets, points earned with Southwest cards and base points earned from select Rapid Rewards partners.

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            Credit cards that earn Rapid Rewards points

            Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

            • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines purchases directly together with the airline.
            • 2 points per $1 invested in purchases with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
            • 1 point per $1 used on any other purchases.
            • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
            • $149 annual fee.
            • $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
            • Up to four upgraded boardings each and every year (dependant on availability).
            • 20% back on qualifying in-flight purchases.
            • Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for every single $10,000 spent, as many as 15,000 points each year:?You’ll earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases as many as $100,000 in purchases annually which equal 15,000 TQP. TQPs can be used to count toward qualification for Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status.

            Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

            • 2 points per $1 used Southwest Airlines purchases directly while using airline.
            • 2 points per $1 spent on purchases with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
            • 1 point per $1 invested on all your other purchases.
            • 6,000 bonuses after your Cardmember anniversary.
            • $99?annual fee.
            • Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for any $10,000 spent, around 15,000 points a year: You’ll earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases approximately $100,000 in purchases annually which equal 15,000 TQP. TQPs are often used to count toward qualification for Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status.

            Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

            • 2 points per $1 used on Southwest Airlines purchases directly together with the airline.
            • 2 points per $1 used purchases with Rapid Rewards hotel and rental-car partners.
            • 1 point per $1 spent on all purchases.
            • 3,000 bonuses after your Cardmember anniversary
            • $69?annual fee.
            • This card will not offer tier qualifying points (TQPs).

            Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

            • 2 points per $1 used Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and hire car partner purchases.
            • 1 point per $1 invested in all the other purchases.
            • $99 annual fee.

            METHODOLOGY

            The calculated valuation of these points is based on a projected redemption rate, not just a credit card rewards earn rate. Therefore, possibly these particular numbers don’t match the rewards rates on our credit card finder tool. Continue reading depending on how we estimated these points values.

            To determine the estimated valuation of Rapid Rewards points, we sampled prices in the cash and points between November 2019 and April 2019 on the preferred 25 one-way domestic routes flown by Southwest by passengers enplaned, according to data from the U.S. Dot. What’s more, we sampled prices within cash and points during the same timeframe on 20 randomly selected international one-way routes beginning in the us, selected from Southwest’s newest route map.

            For domestic and international flights, what exactly value averaged 1.7 cents for Wanna Go away fares, with overall value ranging from 1.5 cents to three.1 cents per point.

            To determine the need for your miles for particular flights, divide the cash value of check in (less any applicable taxes and costs if you ever redeem miles) by way of the quantity of miles needed for the flight. If check in would cost either $100 or 15,000 miles + $10 in taxes/fees, the mathematics could be these:

            ($100 C $10) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per mile

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