Rapid Rewards® - Southwest Airlines

Rapid Rewards®
Southwest Airlines was founded in 1966 and incorporated as the Air Southwest Co. in 1967! The year 1971 saw the airline commence scheduled flights from Dallas Love Field and the organization adopting its new identity as the Southwest Airlines Co.

In 1975 the Southwest Airlines Co; extended its flight schedules to cities throughout Texas, and shortly afterward started flying to neighboring states. The 1990s saw the beginning of this airlines service to the East and Southeast regions!
  • Pros
  • No blackout dates
  • No cancellation fees
  • Cons
  • No stopovers
  • Low number of partner airlines
  • Fees & Charges
  • Phone booking fee
    $25
  • Expiration: Points expire 24 months since last activity.
  • For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.

Transfer Partners

1,000
Chase points
1 : 1
1,000
points
Instant
1,000
Hyatt points
2.08 : 1
481
points
56 days
1,000
SPG&MRT points
3 : 1
+ 15,000 bonus
333
points
42 days
1,000
Choice points
3.33 : 1
300
points
42 days
1,000
BW points
4.17 : 1
240
points
7 days
1,000
LQR points
5 : 1
200
points
56 days
1,000
Carlson points
10 : 1
100
points
42 days
The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to Rapid Rewards®.
Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines and Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines
No alliance
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance

Program Review

This heading is contributed to by the fact of the Southwest Rapid Rewards program being designed towards providing the most benefits for budget-conscious USA members. If you’re a Frequent Flyer between the major cities in and around America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, this airline offers you in excess of 4,000 flights a day to one-hundred destinations!

As a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, you can earn points for each dollar you spend on:

  • Flights with Southwest
  • Hotel partners
  • Car rental and retail partnerships

The Chase Visa Advantages

Your advantages with Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase include earning more points with your everyday purchases and those made from Southwest Airlines and its partners.

Use your Rapid Rewards points to:

  • Pay for merchandise
  • Gift cards 
  • Costs of air travel on any Southwest flight

Southwest credit card holders can use their points for:

  • Booking award flights
  • Hotel Stays
  • Car rentals
  • Cruises
  • Experiences, such as Spa packages. And Wine Tasting

Your Southwest Rapid Rewards Program 

Your Southwest Rapid Rewards program offers 4-Membership Tiers: 

1. BASIC 

Membership benefits include earning and using points and no-charge checked bags! When you accept your free enrollment into the Rapid Rewards program, you can start earning points on Southwest flights: 

  • "Business Select" fares – 12-points-per-dollar
  • "Anytime" fares - 10-points-per-dollar
  •  "Wanna Get Away" fares - 6-points- per dollar

They are points that also contribute towards Tier Qualifying Points; enabling you to achieve a higher membership status!

2. The “A-LIST”

To achieve the A-List status requires you to fly 25-flight segments. These are defined as one-way trips, including layovers and connections via Southwest. Alternatively, you may accrue 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points during the course of one-calendar-year. 

Benefits include earning and using points, no charge checked bags, and: 

  • Priority boarding and seating
  • Expedited security

Your A-List status entitles you to earn:

  • A points bonus of 25-percent over and above the base points you collect from each flight
  • You will be complemented with a same-day standby facility, prioritized boarding, and Fly-By Access
  • Authorized bypass of queues at ticket counters and airport checkpoints, at designated airports
  • Access to a dedicated A-List Members reservations phone-line 

Maintenance of your A-List membership requires requalification every year!

3. “A-LIST PREFERRED” Membership

Upon your having flown 50-flight segments or earned 70,000 Tier Qualifying Points during one calendar year, you become eligible for A-List Preferred membership. 

  • This level entitles you to earn double bonus points, over and above the base points you receive for every flight you take
  • Your access to all of the benefits awarded on the A-List status will continue
  • Available free in-flight Wi-Fi
  • Access to a dedicated A-List phone contact number

Maintaining your A-List Preferred benefits requires your meeting a minimum flight-segment or a Tier-Qualifying Points requirement every year

4. Companion Pass Status

You naturally retain all of the benefits awarded and associated with previous membership tiers and to maintain your Companion Pass status, you need to re-qualify each year! This high-level status is achieved with flying one-hundred flight segments or earning the determined number of Qualifying Points within one calendar year.

This status of membership allows for:

  • One companion of your choice to accompany you for free, excluding applicable taxes and fees, for one complete year whenever you fly. You are required to purchase or redeem points for your own ticket
  • You may designate your companion online
  • Change your benefits recipient companion on three occasions during a calendar year

Your companion is not eligible to earn Rapid Rewards points for you as a member. If you select a companion, who is also a Rapid Rewards member, that person does not earn points for the flight.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Commitment

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program is structured around the dedicated concept of ensuring members earn their reward flights easier and faster. Whether you are earning or redeeming points for a flight, we are committed to providing you with the best quality service and maximum benefits!

Following your completion of the enrollment form, you receive your account number. This must be provided on every occasion when you fly with Southwest Airlines, for you to receive Rapid Rewards points for your flight, or on a vacation package.

Earning Rapid Rewards Points

As a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, you can benefit from earning two-points for every dollar you spend is a Chase Visa credit card holder, for:

  • Southwest flights
  • Southwest hotel and car rental partners
  • Earn one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases

Southwest hotels partnerships include: 

  • World of Hyatt
  • Best Western
  • Marriott
  • Choice
  • Starwood
  • Shopping portals and restaurants across the United States

Also, one of the best transfer partners is Chase Ultimate Rewards with 1:1 transfer ratio.

Marathon is an established partner of Southwest Airlines, which means you can also gain a point per gallon of gas you purchase at designated gas stations. A further points-earning advantage is the accrual of points by participating in market research surveys. 

Earning Tier-Qualifying-Points is only by way of those accumulated from Southwest flights or through the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards. All of which will contribute towards your achieving higher membership status. Should you not have earned the minimum points needed to redeem a reward, you can purchase points by visiting the Southwest Airlines website.

Redeeming Your Points

Redeeming your points for your free flight is made easy and convenient for you to travel to any location serviced by Southwest Airlines. Every day, on every flight, there are available “reward seats” without “blackout dates” restrictions, which means a faster redemption process for you!

For your security and service quality, to redeem your accumulated points towards a free flight, your ticket must be purchased either from the Southwest Airlines website or by phone from a customer service representative. 

A point to remember is that the number of points needed to cover the cost of a flight can vary because of fare type, destination, time and other influencing factors!

What is the Best Travel Destination You Would Fly to on Southwest Airlines? 

Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!