Hands-down, Southwest Airlines is one of the best airlines out there! It’s one of my favorites. They offer perks to customers that other airlines aren’t offering. However, when you become a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, it takes everything up a notch. I signed up for a Rapid Rewards account years ago, and I’ve been enjoying its benefits of it. Point programs are a bit tricky because every airline has different rules.
Therefore, you may be wondering, “Do Southwest points expire”? Well, I’ll explain the answer to that question and give you more insight into what to expect as a Rapid Rewards member. Check out the content below.
The Bottom Line Upfront
The bottom line is, Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program is incredible. This airline makes earning points so simple. Not only that, but I like that there aren’t a lot of tiers to achieve. There are only two, and both of those tiers provide pretty good benefits.
Not to mention, Southwest has partnered with numerous companies, which makes earning and redeeming points a breeze. Even if you don’t fly with Southwest often, it’s beneficial to sign up for a rewards account anyway.
Do Southwest Points Expire?
No, they don’t, which is excellent news! Southwest is one of the only airlines that I know of that don’t have an expiration date on their points. This means you can save up your Rapid Rewards points and use them whenever you want, without worrying about them disappearing.
For me, that’s a big deal because I choose different airlines for different reasons. I fly United when I want to use my Chase Ultimate Rewards points, British Airways to fly to Europe, and Southwest to fly domestically or to the Caribbean. If Southwest points expired, that would be a big inconvenience because I would have to use them within a certain time frame or lose them.
Not only do Southwest points not expire, but there are no blackout dates. That means that you can use your points to book a flight on any day, at any time. This is great news if you’re trying to book a flight during the peak travel season, when flights are usually more expensive.
How to Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
There are several ways to earn rewards points. Here’s a look at each option:
Book Southwest Flights
One of the most common ways to earn points is by booking flights with Southwest. You’ll earn points based on the fare class that you fly in and the price of the ticket. Each fare class earns a different number of points per dollar. The Wanna Get Away tickets earn 6 points per dollar, Wanna Get Away Plus passengers get 8 points, Anytime tickets earn 10 points per dollar, and Business Select tickets earn 12 points per dollar.
Earn With Southwest Partners
Southwest is partnered with a number of hotels, rental car companies, and other retailers. You can earn Rapid Rewards points by shopping with these partners. Here’s a closer look at your options:
Southwest is partnered with hotel brands like Best Western, Choice Hotels Hyatt, Marriott, and MGM. You can earn points by booking a room with one of these partners.
The protocol for earning points is slightly different for each hotel. But in most cases, you just have to provide your Rapid Rewards account number during booking. I really like this because it’s a very passive way to earn points. You don’t have to change your booking habits or do anything out of the ordinary.
You can earn Rapid Rewards points by renting a car from companies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Hertz. For most car rentals, you can earn 600 points per rental. Just be sure to provide your Rapid Rewards account number when you book.
Shopping and Dining
In addition to hotels and rental cars, you can also earn points by shopping and dining with Southwest partners. Southwest is partnered with over 800 retailers, including Sephora, Macy’s, and Staples. When you shop online with these retailers, you can earn points.
Also, when you join Rapid Rewards dining, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent. This is such an easy way to earn points, since you’re probably already eating out regularly!
Would you believe it if I told you that you could want points for necessities like electricity and gas? Well, Southwest is partnered with NRG and Marathon gas stations. You can earn points by signing up for a residential plan with NRG. And, you’ll earn points every time you gas up at Marathon. This partnership is a game-changer!
As a Rapid Rewards member, you’ll also have the opportunity to take surveys and earn points. The Rewards for Opinions panel is a great way to voice your opinion and earn some extra points. Southwest is also partnered with the E-rewards opinion panel.
One of the best ways to rack up points is by using a Southwest credit card, and they have four options, which include:
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card
This card has a $69 annual fee, and it earns 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You’ll also earn 2 points per dollar rideshares, phone services, and more. With this credit card, you’ll get 2 early-bird check-ins, 25% back on in-flight purchases, and more.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
This card has a $149 annual fee, and it earns 3x the point on all Southwest flights. You’ll also earn 2x the points on internet, cable, and phone services. With this card, you’ll get 4 upgraded boardings per year when available, a $75 annual travel credit, plus more. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
This card has a $99 annual fee, and it earns 3x the points on all Southwest purchases. You’ll also earn 2x the points on hotels and rental cars. With this credit card, you’ll receive unlimited tier qualifying points, as well as a $500 fee credit for point transfers.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
This card has a $199 annual fee, and it earns 4x the points on all Southwest purchases. You’ll also earn 3x the points for hotels and rental cars. With this card, you’ll receive Global Entry, Wi-Fi credits, early-bird check-in, and 4 upgraded boardings per year. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees.
Rewards Points Tiers
There are two tiers that you can earn points in— the Rapid Rewards program and the Companion Pass. The Rapid Rewards program has two different membership levels: A-List and A-List Preferred.
With A-List, you’ll get priority boarding, 25% earnings bonus, free same-day standby, and dedicated customer service line. To qualify for A-List status, you must fly 25 qualifying one-way flights or earn 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points in a calendar year.
With A-List Preferred, you’ll get all of the benefits of A-List, plus a 100% earnings bonus, priority check-in, and free first and second checked bags. To qualify for A-List Preferred status, you must fly 50 qualifying one-way flights or earn 70,000 Tier Qualifying Points in a calendar year.
This isn’t a tier per se, but the Companion Pass is one of the most valuable perks that Southwest offers. With the Companion Pass, you can choose one person to fly with you for free (excluding taxes and fees) every time you buy or redeem points for a flight.
You can earn the Companion Pass by flying 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 125,000 Companion Pass Qualifying Points in a calendar year.
How to Redeem Rapid Rewards Points
Once you’ve accumulated some Rapid Rewards points, it’s time to start redeeming them! You’ll be able to redeem them for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and more. Not only will your points be good for travel-related expenses, but you can also use them for gift cards, shopping, and dining.
You can get gift cards from Lowes, Target, Best Buy, and more. You can also shop with your points at the Rapid Rewards Marketplace. Plus, your points can be used towards fun experiences like wine tastings, cooking classes, cruises, and spa packages. It’s safe to say that becoming a Rapid Rewards member has a lot of benefits and perks! Not only will you be able to rack up points quickly, but you’ll also have a ton of options for redeeming them.
So, if you fly Southwest often, make sure to sign up for the Rapid Rewards program! I absolutely love this rewards system because it’s simple, yet it offers a lot. Not only that, but I can’t fly with Southwest all the time. There are certain countries that they don’t fly to, which means that I have to choose another air carrier. But the good news is, I can use my Southwest points for an array of things, not just free flights.
To redeem your points for flights, simply log into your Rapid Rewards account and search for flights. You’ll see the point value next to the flight price, and you can book your flight with points.
If you want to redeem your points for something other than flights, you can do so by logging into your Rapid Rewards account and going to the “Use Points” tab. From there, you can browse through the different redemption options and find one that best suits your needs.
Question: Can I give my reward points to someone else?
Answer: Yes. To gift or transfer your points, log in to your Rapid Rewards account and click on the “Manage” tab. From there, select an option from the ” Rapid Rewards Buy, Gift & Transfer page”. Then, enter your recipient’s information, and choose how many points you would like to gift.
Question: How are my points calculated?
Answer: You’re given points on your net fare, which is the base fare of the ticket minus any taxes, fees, and other surcharges. Then, you’re provided a certain number of points per dollar spent on the flight. Essentially, you’re only rewarded for the base amount of your ticket, not the final price.
Question: Can I buy Rapid Rewards Points?
Answer: Yes, you can! You can purchase Rapid Rewards points. The price will vary depending on how many points you’re buying and when you’re buying them. I like to purchase points from time to time. Doing so offers me a better deal—especially when I’m really close to the number of points that I need to get free airfare. The price that I pay for points is much less than the full price of a ticket, so it makes sense to buy them.
My Final Thoughts on Rapid Rewards Points
In my opinion, signing up for a Rapid Rewards membership just makes sense. Actually, being a Southwest Airlines frequent flyer makes even more sense. They’re such a good airline, and signing up for Rapid Rewards is guaranteed to enhance your flying experience.
Even if you don’t have a lot of points, Southwest offers some great deals on one-way tickets, and every passenger gets two free checked bags! That’s unheard of in the airline industry! Well, I hope this article encouraged you to start earning those Southwest reward points. Which freebies are you most excited about redeeming your points for?