Southwest Rapid Rewards are among the best in the airline industry. In fact, we would go as far as saying that they are predominantly more beneficial and lucrative than almost any other airline rewards points currently on the market. For one, no one can argue that Southwest Airlines offers some of the best and friendliest customer service around, the most entertaining flight crews and the most efficient boarding process available. And did we mention the free checked luggage? Everyone loves free checked luggage; especially when it comes with inexpensive airline tickets and a great flight crew. We really don’t even feel it’s necessary to carry on talking about how good the Southwest Rapid Rewards plan is with all that already mentioned, but sometimes people want a little more detail (please…I know I had you all at free checked luggage).
The Southwest Rapid Rewards point system is superior to other airlines for many reasons, and we’re going to discuss all that right here. But first, we are going to tell you all that there is to know about the Southwest Rapid Rewards program so you can become a pro before the end of the day. Call it a lesson in earning airline miles, free trips and cool things that other people aren’t getting because they’re too lazy to sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards program.
What You Need to Know about Southwest Rapid Rewards
There are always a few things that you need to know about something like this, and we like to get those things out of the way first. Why? Because we feel that sometimes the negatives are deal breakers, and it makes sense – to us – to get potential deal breakers out of the way before we continue on to all the good things about Southwest Rapid Rewards. We don’t want you saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” only to get to the end of this post and see something that makes you change your mind. We’re all about getting to the point.
What you need to know about Southwest Rapid Rewards points is that they never expire – on one condition; you have to fly at least once every 24 months to maintain an active account. Without an active account, your Southwest Rapid Rewards points become void and you can no longer use them. Remember – fly once every two years and you are good to go. To add a bit of good news into the conversation, you can use your Southwest Rapid Rewards to book travel at any time as the company does not bother with any blackout dates.
Another piece of bad news is this; there are no direct transfer partners associated with Southwest or Southwest Rapid Rewards. What this means is that you will not have the option to transfer your point to other airlines or hotels or anything of that nature. You will, however, be able to use the More Rewards option from Southwest Rapid Rewards to book travel on other airlines and hotels with the same points you earn through your Southwest Rapid Rewards points membership.
All your points come with a monetary value. Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth one cent each. This means you’ll earn $1 in free travel for every 100 points you earn. That’s not too bad considering how easy it is to earn points and how many points you can earn on certain purchases when you use your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card and account. It makes for easy earning, easy redemption and easy living.
The most important thing to know about the Southwest Rapid Rewards program is that there are three levels. Each one has something to offer customers that love the airline with the most noticeable planes, and each one is just a little bit better than the level prior. Let’s start here.
Any Southwest Rapid Rewards members that fly 25 one-way flights throughout the year or earn at least 35,000 Tier Qualifying points in a year are considered A-List passengers with the Southwest Rapid Rewards system. Each flight must meet all the qualifications that are required by Southwest to earn this level. Once Southwest Rapid Rewards members reach the A-List tier, they begin earning even more awesome perks such as the following:
- Priority boarding on every flight
- An earning bonus of 25% on each flight
- Priority for standby flights
- A-List Member only phone line with excellent and quick customer service
- Access to priority check-in at the airport with priority security lane access – this cannot be beat
To reach this tier in the Southwest Rapid Rewards system, just double up all that you did to become an A-List tier level member. This means you’ll need to fly either 50 on-way flights throughout the year or earn more than 70,000 points throughout the year. Once you do this, you’ll earn everything that the A-List members earn, along with the added bonus of earning a few additional perks such as the following:
- 100% earning level on each flight
- A-List Preferred member phone line
- Free wi-fi on all flights
Southwest Companion Pass
Here is where things get really, really awesome in the Southwest Rapid Rewards system. If you are the kind of traveler that is always on the go – always on the go – you will earn something called the Southwest Companion Pass through the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. All you have to do is fly 100 one-way flights in the course of one year or earn more than 110,000 qualifying points in a year. When you reach either milestone, you then earn a free companion ticket for every single flight you take for the rest of your year as well as the entire following year after earning a companion pass.
Let’s just talk about this for one more second; a free companion ticket for a year (or more if you earn this before your qualifying year is up). That’s not just a free ticket for a friend. That’s a free ticket for a friend or family member every single time you fly for a year. That’s half your vacation paid for each and every time you fly. It’s a good deal, and it’s just one of the many reasons the Southwest Rapid Rewards point system is among the best in the land.
How to Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
If you’re not sure how to go about earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points, you should know that there are several ways you can earn these points and make the most out of your rewards beginning today. By signing up for a Southwest Rapid Rewards points account, it is so easy to get started right now earning points and making the most of you account. Here is how you can do it.
- You already know that you can fly and earn points, but did you know that you can book specific fares with your Southwest Rapid Rewards point account and get even more points for every dollar you spend? What if I told you that you could earn 6 points for every dollar you spend when you book a Wanna Get Away fare instead of two points or one point for that purchase? You can earn 6 times faster this way, which only makes it even more beneficial to sign up for the Southwest Rapid Reward points program. But that’s not even the best of the best. If you choose to pay a little bit more for an Anytime Fare, you will earn 10 points for every dollar you spend. That means you spend $100 on a ticket and earn 1000 points; that’s a lot of earning and a lot of benefit, if you ask us. If you choose to purchase a Business Select ticket, you will earn 12 points for every dollar you spend. That’s a big deal, and it makes a huge difference in how well your Southwest Rapid Rewards points work for you.
- When you decide to do your shopping online through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping partners, you will learn that you can earn points for every dollar you spend there, too. It makes it easier for you to earn points with your card and get to the rewards part of your experience that much faster.
- When you sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards account and then sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Program, you earn even more when you eat. You’ll earn 3 points for every dollar you spend through the program, which is significantly higher than any other points you will earn through other airline partners. Did we mention that you will earn these points when you use any major credit card, and not just a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card? Fill out a restaurant review following your experience, too, and earn more points.
- Buy Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
- Sometimes you might find that you are a few points shy of reaching a free ticket or milestone with your Southwest Rapid Rewards card or membership, so you can buy more points. You can buy them for $2.75 a piece so that you can get those last few miles in to earn more free stuff and extras.
- Diners Club
- Anyone who has a Southwest Rapid Rewards card or membership is also able to take their Diners Club membership points and convert them into Southwest Rapid Rewards points. This makes earning much easier since the combination can add up quite quickly. Get yours converted today and start reaping the benefits of this very beneficial partnership.
How to Make the Most of Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
Airline programs such as this are great, but they’re even better when you know how to make the most of them. Sure, it’s easy to earn points when you fly with each mile that you encompass, but it’s even easier to do this when you earn your miles after paying for your ticket with your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. This card is great for earning miles and making the most of everything that you do within the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. Let’s find out just what you will earn using the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card and how it will benefit you in conjunction with your Southwest Rapid Rewards program.
- Spend $1,000 in the first three months following the activation of your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card and earn 25,000 bonus points
- Earn an addition 6,000 bonus points each year on the anniversary of your account opening
- For every $10,000 you spend on the card, earn an addition 1,500 tier qualifying points to help you earn a higher level of membership with the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card
- Double your points earned when you book flights, hotels and rental cars when you use your Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card
- Earn 1 point on every other purchase you make with this card
There is an annual fee of $99 associated with this card, but spending money with the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card is much easier than you think. For those who do not fly often enough to increase your tier membership throughout the year (even though you could really earn these tier upgrades quite easily if you fly only four times per month, which is quite easy for many business travelers), you can earn them this way.
Let’s do the math. If you want to earn the 35,000 points necessary to become an A-List Southwest Rapid Rewards tier member, you could spend $35,000 on everything but flights, hotels and rental cars on your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card throughout the year. If you pay all your monthly expenses with the card and then use that cash to pay off your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card in full each month, you’d need only spend $2,916 per month – between your mortgage, utilities, gas, groceries and other monthly expenses, this should be quite easy.
Now let’s say you spend about $1000 per month on hotels, rental cars and/or flights using your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. That means you’ll earn 2,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points every month. That’s 24,000 points in one year, which means you’d need only spend another $916 per month on other purchases using your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card to earn your 35,000 annual points to become an A-List traveler. It’s really very simple.
How does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Membership Compare to Other Major Airlines?
Many of you might wonder how you can get the most out of your Southwest Rapid Rewards membership, and that is easy. You join and you spend. But what about other airlines? Southwest is not the only airline in the country that offers great customer service and easy flights, and some other airlines even offer more comprehensive routes. So how does that work? Well, let’s take a look at a few other airline rewards point programs to see how they compare to the Southwest Rapid Rewards points program.
Some of the different airlines and their reward programs offer more points than Southwest, more perks than Southwest and even more flights than Southwest. However, they all fall short o the Southwest Rapid Reward program in that they each have different fine print options that Southwest does not have. Read on to find out – when compared to other domestic airline reward programs – how Southwest Rapid Rewards is superior to other reward programs.
- Delta SkyMiles – This is a great program, but it doesn’t quite compare to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. Instead of earning points for every mile you go, you earn points on every dollar you spend. Nice, sure, but most people want to fly for as little as possible as far as possible. Let’s take this scenario into consideration. You want to make a 3,000 flight across the country and you have to choose between a Southwest Rapid Rewards program flight that’s worth 6 points for every dollar and costs $300 or a Delta flight that costs $300. The number of miles you earn with Delta depends on your membership level, and most people are general members that only earn 5 miles for every dollar spent. You spend $300 with Delta and you get 1,500 miles. You spend $300 with Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card and you get 1,800 miles for the purchase and you get another 3,000 miles from the actual flight for a total of 4,800 miles rather than just 1,500 miles. See the distinction?
- American Airlines AAdvantage – Unlike Southwest Rapid Rewards members, you only earn points with American Airlines based on the number of miles you fly rather than the number of miles and the number of dollars you spend. That’s a downfall unless you also choose to sign up for the American Airlines credit card. You can do this to maximize the number of points that you earn, but you will not get as much with this airline as you will with the Southwest Rapid Rewards airline program and credit card. For example, you can earn points with the AA credit card, but not as many as you earn with the Southwest card, and fares are a lot less expensive with Southwest in almost every scenario.
- Jet Blue True Blue – The Jet Blue True Blue Program is also a good one, but it still does not compare to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. For one, Jet Blue is best for only passengers that enjoy travel on the east coast of the USA as flights elsewhere are more limited and less convenient. There are fewer flights available for Jet Blue True Blue members than there are for Southwest Rapid Reward members, which makes this airline just a little less special than Southwest. Additionally, there is only one member level, so you will never have the ability to earn more when you spend more and travel more. Finally, unlike Southwest Rapid Rewards and its lack of blackout dates, Jet Blue does sometimes put blackout dates into effect for travelers who want to fly with their partner airlines.
- United Mileage Plus – With United, you get a long list of available flights and cities that the airline services, which is a huge plus for this airline. Also, very much like the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, you also get to earn multiple points for every dollar spent when you book travel through this airline. Unlike the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, however, your mileage does expire after 18 months if you are not active on your account. Another reason that United doesn’t quite match Southwest Rapid Rewards in terms of benefit and likability is the fact that there is a long list of stipulations and fine print that go along with booking reward travel. There are a limited number of reward seats on any given United flight versus unlimited reward seats when you book through Southwest Rapid Rewards. And finally, with the partner airlines that service United, you are limited to the number of miles you are able to earn. When you fly with Southwest Rapid Rewards points and programs, there is no limit to the number of points you can earn. This is not true of United.
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