Southwest Rapid Rewards: What to Know – NerdWallet

For people who like broken fares and hate fees, Southwest Airlines is one of the best airlines out there — and the Southwest Rapid Rewards program is one of the best airline loyalty programs to take advantage of all of its benefits. It ‘s free to join — and you should, as it ‘s the only way for you to earn points every clock you fly Southwest ( which you can turn around and use for future flights ). And since points do n’t expire, even if you fly southwest every few years only, you ‘ll distillery finally rack up adequate points for the sum to be worth something. Southwest Airlines is considered the biggest low-cost aircraft carrier in the U.S. in terms of passengers served. It flies to about 100 destinations in the U.S. and Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. With a huge footprint, it ‘s relatively easy to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points and redeem those Southwest rewards for future travel. Southwest ’ s customer-friendly policies is one main feature that sets it apart from Delta, American Airlines and United. The airline allows two release checked bags astir to 50 pounds each on every fledge and group boarding. Southwest is our favorite commitment program for families.

Southwest besides offers the Companion Pass, which allows you to bring a acquaintance with you for free ( aside from taxes and fees ). In addition, the airline has no change fees, which allow for last-minute flexibility. here ‘s everything you need to know about Southwest Rapids Rewards.

Southwest Rapid Rewards sign-up

Before you can start earning points with Southwest, you ’ ll indigence to sign up for a rapid Rewards patronize fly account. It ’ mho free to join, and you can register here.

How much Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth

Based on our most recent analysis of actual award flight redemptions, NerdWallet values Southwest Rapid Rewards points at 1.4 cents each. Read more about how we arrived at these figures. This is a baseline value for Southwest points, based on real-world data collected from hundreds of economy routes, not a maximize value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 1.4 cents or more in value from your Southwest points. Unlike some other airlines, the value of Southwest points doesn ’ thymine truly change from flight to flight, as the airline offers no award graph. If the price of a airplane ticket goes up, so does the total of points needed to script the flight. Because of this, Southwest doesn ’ metric ton actually have “ sweet spots ” for prize bookings. For most people, this makes it easy to decide to record flights with points because you ‘ll generally get the same value for your points every fourth dimension. To determine the value of your miles for specific flights, divide the cash value of the ticket ( less any applicable taxes/fees if you redeem miles ) by the number of points required for the fledge. indeed if the ticket would cost either $ 100, or 15,000 points + $ 10 in taxes/fees, the mathematics would be as follows : ( $ 100 – $ 10 ) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per orient.

Southwest Airlines vs. competitors: How it stacks in 2022

Southwest came in third base place out of nine airlines in our most holocene analysis on the best airline loyalty programs. hera ‘s a closer look at how rapid Rewards competed across categories to earn its rank :

How to earn Rapid Rewards points

You can earn Rapid Rewards points several ways : by flying on Southwest, by shopping and dining with partners, or by spending on a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. Southwest is besides a transfer collaborator of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® platform.

Earning Rapid Rewards points when you fly

The count of points you earn for a flight depends on the price of the tag, the type of do you ’ ra bribe, and your condition floor within the rapid Rewards program. All fares include two loose checked bags up to 50 pounds each, no change fees and reclaimable funds for up to 12 months if you cancel your flight or fully refundable flights depending on the type of do booked. Southwest sells three different types of fares, and each earn a different number of Rapid Rewards points .

  • Wan na Get away : The cheapest fares are competently named “ Wan na Get Away. ” These fares have no extra benefits from those listed above and earn 6 Rapid Rewards points for every $ 1 spent in base airfare .
  • Anytime : Anytime fares are a short more flexible than Wan na Get Away fares because canceled trips can be refunded to the original shape of payment or used toward another flight for up to 12 months. Flyers besides earn 10 Rapid Rewards points for every $ 1 spent on base airfare .
  • business choose : For travelers who want the Southwest luxury experience, Business Select fares are the most expensive but offer the most benefits. In addition to the above perk up, Business Select passengers can use the priority security lane at the airport ( where available ) after checking in. At the gate, Business Select flyers are guaranteed to be among the first 15 people to control panel. And in the air, these passengers besides get one release complimentary premium swallow of their option. Business Select customers besides earn the most rapid Rewards, earning 12 points per $ 1 spent on free-base airfare .

Earning Rapid Rewards points with a credit card

Southwest offers five co-branded accredit cards through Chase : three consumer credit cards and two commercial enterprise cards. We discuss the citation cards above that earn rapid Rewards points in-depth late in this article.

Earning Rapid Rewards points through partners

Southwest has a robust list of non-airline partnerships, allowing you to earn points for your spending on lease cars, hotels or a corner of visualize pears from Harry & David .

  • Hotels : You can earn Rapid Rewards points at some hotel chains. At most hotels, you earn 1 point per $ 1 spend, but it ’ s potential to earn more count on where you stay. See partner hotels here .
  • car rentals : The gain rate at cable car lease companies varies. For example, Alamo is presently offering 600 rapid Rewards points for a rental. See collaborator cable car rental agencies here .
  • denounce and dining : earn points at more than 800 retailers when you shop through the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal site. meanwhile, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program allows you to earn up to 3 points per $ 1 spent at participating restaurants, plus bonus points for submitting restaurant reviews. Both are excellent ways to earn ( and double-dip ) points earning, specially if that ‘s outgo you ‘re doing anyhow .
  • Gas at Marathon natural gas stations : rapid Rewards members can earn 1 decimal point for every gallon of Marathon fuel they purchase, plus extra points on blue-ribbon in-store purchases and other specify achievements through the MakeItCount program. To earn, members must sign up ahead of time and choice Rapid Rewards as their earn partner .
  • Switching electricity providers : Members in some states can besides earn a sign-up bonus and ongoing bonuses when they switch their world power service to NRG Home or Reliant. Check the Rapid Rewards web site to see if your home is eligible .
  • Taking surveys : Participate in market inquiry and gain points when you share your opinion via the e-Rewards and Rewards For Opinions platforms .

unfortunately, Southwest doesn ’ thyroxine have any airline partners and international relations and security network ’ metric ton a extremity of an airline alliance, so you can ’ thymine earn Rapid Rewards points by flying on early airlines.

Transferring other points to Rapid Rewards

Two credit card rewards programs offer the opportunity to transfer points to rapid Rewards : Diners Club and Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Diners Club cardholders can convert Diners Club Rewards points to Rapid Rewards points at a rate of 1,500 Diners Club points to 1,200 Rapid Rewards points. If you earn pursuit Ultimate Rewards® from a Chase Sapphire® Card, you can besides convert those points to rapid Rewards at a one-to-one rate. You must transfer a minimal of 1,000 points. You can besides transfer points from rental car and hotel programs to Rapid Rewards, though — unless you do n’t anticipate using those points in their original shape — the substitution rate is pretty badly, so we do n’t typically recommend this. » Learn more : 16 ways to earn Southwest points

Buying Rapid Rewards points

broadly, you can buy Rapid Rewards points at a rate of 2.75 to 3 cents each, but it ’ s not advisable. Since we value Rapid Rewards points at an average of 1.4 cents each, buying points at these prices is a about constantly a badly cover. One exception to the rule is if you have a particular redemption in beware and motivation to top off your history. » Learn more : When it makes sense to buy airline miles

Do Southwest points expire?

Southwest Rapid Rewards points do n’t expire. however, if you opt to close your account, the points in your score will be terminated.

How to redeem Rapid Rewards points

Anyone who is a rapid Rewards member can redeem points on Southwest ’ s web site for flights. To book flights on Southwest, go to the booking tool on Southwest ‘s web site and login to your rapid Rewards account. then, accede your travel data and choose the choice to see the do in points quite than dollars. If any fare classes are sold out for a given flight, that will be indicated in the results. While all fare options are available, prices in points are directly tied to their cash price.

Good redemption options

here are some of the highest value ways to redeem Southwest points .

  • Southwest Wan na Get Away flights : The best direction to use rapid Rewards points is toward Wan na Get Away fares aboard Southwest, which is the lowest of the Southwest do classes .
  • International flights : Southwest is primarily known for its flights within the conterminous U.S. and Hawaii. But do n’t overlook its international flights to destinations in Central America and the Caribbean .

Bad redemption options

avoid outgo your points in the airline ’ s More Rewards portal vein, which you have access to if you have a Rapid Rewards credit card. here, you can purchase non-Southwest operate on international flights, hotels, rental cars, merchandise and endow cards. however, these tend to be a severe share. When we searched for gift card rewards, values were american samoa low as 0.6 cent per period — less than half of the value of using points for the average flight. This makes getting endowment cards and other items from a merchandise store a bad use of points.

Southwest A-List status

You can sign up for the Rapid Rewards loyalty program for complimentary, which allows you to earn points toward Southwest elite condition — differently known as a-list — and award flights. At the a-list and a-list Preferred tiers, you earn more points and enjoy some extra perks. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Southwest has made it easier for loyalists to earn elite status for 2022. Read all about Southwest ’ s elect condition requirements for 2022.

Southwest A-List benefits

Having a-list condition on Southwest can sweeten the conduct for your next escape. Benefits include :

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 board .
  • Access to “ Fly By ” expedited security lanes at choose airports .
  • rid same-day standby through airport customer service agents .
  • Priority check-in .
  • precedence board .
  • Access to “ Fly By ” expedited security lanes at blue-ribbon airports .
  • free same-day standby through airport customer service agents .
Additional perks
  • Dedicated a-list customer service telephone credit line .
  • free in-flight WiFi .
  • Dedicated a-list customer service call line .

How to earn A-List on Southwest

To attain a-list or a-list Preferred status, you must fly a certain act of “ qualifying one-way flights ” or earn a certain number of “ grade qualifying points ” in a calendar year. You gain elite status ampere soon as you earn it, and it ‘s good through the future calendar year. To earn a-list condition, you must fly 25 qualifying one-way flights or earn 35,000 tier qualifying points. A list Preferred ‘s requirements are doubled : Fly 50 qualifying one-way flights or earn 70,000 tier qualifying points. A qualifying one-way flight is defined as a trip from lineage to address, including any connections. so if you ’ ra flying from Los Angeles to Chicago Midway Airport, it counts as a single one-way escape regardless if it ‘s nonstop flight or you have to change planes. Tier qualifying points are different from rapid Rewards points. Although you can obtain rapid Rewards points in all sorts of ways ( as described above ), there are alone two ways to earn tier qualifying points :

  • Purchasing tickets for Southwest flights .
  • Spending on a Southwest recognition wag, including the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card or the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. With all cards, you earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $ 10,000 spend, up to 15,000 tier qualifying points per year .

How much is A-List status worth?

NerdWallet did a comprehensive psychoanalysis of airline elect status programs to determine the dollar value of each tier, including Southwest ’ s a-list and a-list Preferred condition. NerdWallet estimates that the perks of Southwest a-list status are worth $ 123, and A-List Preferred condition perks are worth $ 984. To arrive at these dollar figures, we made many assumptions about how each condition was used. Check the methodology in the connect above for a more detailed breakdown.

Southwest deals and when to pay cash

Southwest much runs do sales and allows you to search trajectory deals by specific destination. In addition, the airline besides sends out e-mail ad trajectory deals for arsenic humble as $ 59 each way . If you have Southwest points and you see that there ’ s a fare sale going on, it ’ s a full opportunity to redeem your points. Since the value of Southwest points remains constant and there is no prize chart, using points for a flight will never result in an outstanding redemption. That ’ randomness why it ’ randomness smart to keep your eyes out for these dart sales ( typically found in your inbox ). If you don ’ t have enough points to script the award ticket, paying cash — particularly if you ’ re getting a fledge deal — could hush be a well rate since you ’ ll besides earn points on that flight. » Learn more : When flying Southwest can save you money and prison term

The Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is a valuable and sought fringe benefit of the rapid Rewards program. The pass allows a guest to fly with you closely for free ( you ‘ll both have to pay taxes and security fees starting from $ 5.60 one manner ) from the meter you earn it through the next calendar year. To earn the communicate, you must either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar class. Qualifying points for Companion Pass include points earned from buying Southwest tickets, points earned with Southwest credit cards and points earned from choose Rapid Rewards partners . Nerdy tip : If you apply for a Southwest credit tease when there is a high sign-up offer, you can earn the Companion Pass even faster . note that, presently, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card are besides offering a Companion Pass in their welcome bonus.

Credit cards that earn Rapid Rewards points

Southwest offers three personal and two business cards from Chase.

Southwest personal credit cards

All of the airline ’ s personal recognition cards are similar in that they each earn the postdate :

  • 2x points on local theodolite and commutation, including rideshares, Internet, cable, telephone services and blue-ribbon streaming, and with Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners .
  • 25 % spinal column on in-flight purchases .
  • 1x point on all other purchases .

however, the cards differ in their ability to earn extra bonus points based on spend in specific categories. here ’ s how these shake out .Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our column team. The scoring formula takes into account the type of card being reviewed ( such as cash binding, locomotion or counterweight transfer ) and the card ‘s rates, fees, rewards and other features .

Learn More

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ( annual fee : $ 149 ) : Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $ 1,000 on purchases in the foremost 3 months .

  • 7,500 anniversary points each year .
  • 3x points on Southwest purchases .
  • 2x points on local transit and permute, including rideshares .
  • 2x points on internet, cable television, earphone services and choose stream .
  • $ 75 Southwest change of location credit each class .
  • 4 upgrade Boardings per class when available .
  • 1,500 TQPs toward A-List condition for every $ 10,000 you spend up to 15,000 TQPs per class .
  • No extraneous transaction fees .

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account the type of tease being reviewed ( such as cash back, change of location or symmetry remove ) and the card ‘s rates, fees, rewards and other features .

Learn More

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ( annual fee : $ 99 ) : Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $ 1,000 on purchases in the beginning 3 months .

  • 6,000 anniversary points each year .
  • 3x points on Southwest purchases .
  • 2x points on local transportation system and commutation, including rideshares .
  • 2x points on internet, cable, telephone services and choice pour .
  • 2 early Bird Check-Ins each year .
  • 1,500 TQPs toward A-List status for every $ 10,000 you spend up to 15,000 TQPs per year .
  • No alien transaction fees .

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our column team. The scoring recipe takes into explanation the type of card being reviewed ( such as cash binding, travel or symmetry transfer ) and the menu ‘s rates, fees, rewards and other features .

Learn More

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ( annual fee : $ 69 ) : Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $ 1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months .

  • 3,000 anniversary points each year .
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases .
  • 2 early Bird Check-Ins each class .
  • 2x points on local anesthetic passage and change, including rideshares .
  • 2x points on internet, cable, phone services and choice streaming .

Southwest business credit cards

Southwest ’ second business credit cards parcel the following points earning structures :

  • 2x points on local anesthetic transit and commute .
  • 1x point on all early purchases .
  • No foreign transaction fees .

In accession, the cards earn extra points in these categories :New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our column team. The scoring recipe takes into account the type of card being reviewed ( such as cash bet on, travel or poise transfer ) and the poster ‘s rates, fees, rewards and other features .

Learn More

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card ( annual fee : $ 199 ) : Earn 80,000 points after you spend $ 5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months .

  • 9,000 anniversary points each year .
  • 4x points spent on Southwest Airlines purchases .
  • 3x points spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and cable car partners .
  • 2x points spent on social media and search engine advertise, Internet, cable and telephone services .
  • 4 promote Boardings per class when available .
  • In-flight Wi-Fi credits .
  • ball-shaped entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit .
  • 1,500 TQPs toward A-List status for every $ 10,000 you spend. There is no earnings utmost .

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card"

NerdWallet rating  NerdWallet ‘s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring convention takes into account the type of card being reviewed ( such as cash back, travel or libra transfer ) and the card ‘s rates, fees, rewards and early features .

Learn More

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card ( annual fee : $ 99 ) : Earn 60,000 points after you spend $ 3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your report is open .

  • 3x points spent on Southwest purchases .
  • 2x points spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental spouse purchases .
  • Two early Bird Check-Ins each year .
  • 25 % back on in-flight purchases .
  • 1,500 TQPs toward A-List condition for every $ 10,000 you spend up to 15,000 TQPs per year .

Before you jump in, here are the things to know before getting a Southwest circuit board. » Learn more : The best airline credit cards right now frequently asked questions How do you get detached Southwest points ? There are enough of ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points including from flights, hotels, car rentals, shopping and dine. You can besides earn Rapid Rewards points by using a Southwest credit card . Can I use Southwest points for hotels ? Yes, if you have a Southwest accredit card, you could redeem your points for hotels through the More Rewards portal. however, this is n’t a good habit of your points. We ran the data on many hotel redemptions through More Rewards and found that you ’ vitamin d be paying 80 % above what you would pay if you booked immediately from the hotel. In addition, you ’ five hundred be getting below our baseline estimated value from your points . Is it worth it to buy points on Southwest ? For the most part, purchasing points is a bad theme. You can buy Southwest points for 2.75 to 3 cents each, but NerdWallet values Southwest points at 1.4 cents each. so if you ’ ra buy points, you ’ re overpay. One of the entirely times it makes sense to buy points is if you need to top up a specific redemption and there is no other way to quickly earn those points . How does the Southwest Rapid Rewards program work ? The Southwest Rapid Rewards course of study enables members to earn Rapid Rewards points by flying with Southwest Airlines, spending money on spouse brands — which include World of Hyatt, Alamo, Avis and Hertz — or spending money on a Southwest credit card. then, you can redeem those rewards for hotel stays, rental cars, exclusive experiences, external flights and gift cards. It ’ randomness complimentary to enroll in the Southwest Rapid Rewards program . How do I use Southwest Rapid Rewards points ? by and large, the best means to use Southwest Rapid Rewards points is for Southwest flights. To book airfare on points, search for your flight as common on Southwest ’ s site, but select the button to search in points rather than dollars. then, select the fledge you want, go through the usual checkout process and points will be deducted from your on-line report . Do Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire ? Southwest Rapid Rewards points do n’t expire ; however, if you close your account, you ’ ll besides lose the points tied to that account . How many points are needed for a loose flight on Southwest ? by and large speaking, you need about 3,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points to book a flight that differently has a $ 49 cash fare. NerdWallet values one point at 1.4 cents, so that trope can help you estimate how many points you might need for a free flight. Divide the price of your ticket in cash by that figure to get a approximate range calculate of how many points you would need for a loose flight . How much is 15,000 Southwest points worth ? Based on NerdWallet ’ mho valuation of one point at 1.4 cents, 15,000 Southwest points is worth about $ 210. however, remember that points are made-up currencies and their value can vary based on how you redeem them ( flights tend to be a good value, while physical goods like magazines tend to be a frightful measure ) . Is Southwest Rapid Rewards worth it ? It ’ south dislodge to enroll in Southwest Rapid Rewards ( you ’ ll just need to hand over your e-mail address ). adenine long as you intend to fly on Southwest a few times in your life sentence, it ’ randomness normally worth signing up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards. You ’ ll roll up points for your flights that you can then use to book free flights in the future. Throw in Southwest ’ s best-in-class 1.4 cents point evaluation ( plus the fact that points don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate exhale ) and the Southwest Rapid Rewards program is one of the best airline rewards programs out there. How do you get release Southwest points ? There are plenty of ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points including from flights, hotels, car rentals, denounce and dining. You can besides earn Rapid Rewards points by using a Southwest citation card. Can I use Southwest points for hotels ? Yes, if you have a Southwest credit card, you could redeem your points for hotels through the More Rewards portal. however, this is n’t a thoroughly manipulation of your points. We ran the data on many hotel redemptions through More Rewards and found that you ’ five hundred be paying 80 % above what you would pay if you booked immediately from the hotel. In addition, you ’ vitamin d be getting below our baseline estimated respect from your points. Is it worth it to buy points on Southwest ? For the most contribution, purchasing points is a bad idea. You can buy Southwest points for 2.75 to 3 cents each, but NerdWallet values Southwest points at 1.4 cents each. then if you ’ rhenium buying points, you ’ rhenium overpay. One of the only times it makes sense to buy points is if you need to top up a particular redemption and there is no other means to cursorily earn those points. How does the Southwest Rapid Rewards program cultivate ? The Southwest Rapid Rewards broadcast enables members to earn Rapid Rewards points by flying with Southwest Airlines, spending money on partner brands — which include World of Hyatt, Alamo, Avis and Hertz — or spending money on a Southwest accredit card. then, you can redeem those rewards for hotel stays, rental cars, exclusive experiences, international flights and giving cards. It ’ s release to enroll in the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. How do I use Southwest Rapid Rewards points ? generally, the best way to use Southwest Rapid Rewards points is for Southwest flights. To book airfare on points, search for your flight as common on Southwest ’ s web site, but select the release to search in points rather than dollars. then, select the flight you want, go through the common checkout process and points will be deducted from your on-line account. Do Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire ? Southwest Rapid Rewards points do n’t expire ; however, if you close your history, you ’ ll besides lose the points tied to that report. How many points are needed for a free flight on Southwest ? broadly speaking, you need about 3,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points to book a flight that differently has a $ 49 cash menu. NerdWallet values one point at 1.4 cents, so that figure can help you estimate how many points you might need for a unblock escape. Divide the cost of your ticket in cash by that calculate to get a ballpark estimate of how many points you would need for a absolve flight. How much is 15,000 Southwest points worth ? Based on NerdWallet ’ s valuation of one luff at 1.4 cents, 15,000 Southwest points is worth about $ 210. however, remember that points are made-up currencies and their measure can vary based on how you redeem them ( flights tend to be a good prize, while physical goods like magazines tend to be a severe prize ). Is Southwest Rapid Rewards worth it ? It ’ mho free to enroll in Southwest Rapid Rewards ( you ’ ll precisely need to pass over your e-mail address ). adenine long as you intend to fly on Southwest a few times in your life, it ’ mho normally worth signing up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards. You ’ ll roll up points for your flights that you can then use to reserve release flights in the future. Throw in Southwest ’ s best-in-class 1.4 cents period valuation ( plus the fact that points don ’ triiodothyronine exhale ) and the Southwest Rapid Rewards program is one of the best airline rewards programs out there.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what ’ s important to you. here are our picks for the best travel accredit cards of 2022, including those best for :

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