How Much Are Southwest Points Worth

How Much Are Southwest Points Worth
Latest posts by Candis Pope (see all)

Regarding airlines, Southwest is at the top of my list! It’s one of the few airlines that doesn’t charge for checked bags, and the customer service is always top-notch. I’ve been a happy customer for years, and one of the things I love most about Southwest is its Rapid Rewards program.

I’ve got you covered if you’re contemplating signing up for a Southwest Rapid Rewards account. In this article, I’ll answer the question, “How much are Southwest points worth?” and explain how to use them to your best advantage. 

The Bottom Line Upfront

When it comes to Southwest Airlines, the benefits are endless. But if you want to leverage your money when booking fares with Southwest, you need a Rapid Rewards account. Rapid Rewards is one of the most rewarding loyalty programs out there. Southwest points are worth about 1.5 cents per point and add up quickly! Trust me, I’ve booked free flights simply by utilizing my membership with Southwest. My pockets appreciated it!

How Much are Southwest Points Worth?

The amount of points you get per dollar depends on the fare class of your ticket. 

  • A standard Wanna Get Away ticket will get you six points per dollar
  • Wanna Get Away Plus is 8 points
  • Anytime fares are 8 points per dollar
  • Business Select is 12 points.

Regarding the breakdown of Southwest Airlines’ points worth, it’s about 1.5 cents. That means that 1,000 points are worth about $15.

While this value isn’t the highest, it’s still pretty good. Southwest doesn’t provide an exact award chart, but Rapid Rewards points are connected to a specific cash amount. That means that when flight prices go up, so do the number of points required.

How to Make Your Points Go Further

rapid rewards program

However, there are a few things that you can do to make your points go further. One way is to book your flight during Southwest’s off-peak travel times. Traveling during these periods requires fewer points, which means you’ll get more value for your points.

Another way to get more value from your Rapid Rewards points is to use them for international flights. Southwest doesn’t fly to many international destinations, but the ones they do fly to are expensive. This means you can get a lot of value for your points by using them for these flights.

In addition to using points for international flights, it’s a good idea to make sure you are logged into your rewards account when booking international trips. You definitely want to make sure that you earn points for those flights. If you’re looking to maximize the value of your Rapid Rewards points, it’s essential to understand how they work and what you can do to get the most value from them. With some planning, you can get value from your points and save money on your next Southwest flight.

Buying Points

Buying Points Rapid Rewards

If you’re ever short on points, buying them is a good idea. I usually do this trick when I have an upcoming trip. I’ll look at my account and see how many points I need to get a free flight to my destination. If I only need a few thousand, I’ll buy the points I need. In most cases, the cost of purchasing points is much cheaper than booking a flight. 

Buying points may sound backward, but it makes a lot of sense if you think about it. This is especially true since Southwest regularly runs specials on points.

If you buy 3,000 to 9,000 points, you’ll get a 30% discount, 35% off for 10,000 to 14,000 points, and 40% off when you buy over 15,000 points. Generally, 3,000 points are $90. But if there’s a special going on, it’s $63. Other examples include $84 for 4,000 points, $105 for 5,000, and  $126 for 6,000.

When you log into your Rapid Rewards account, you’ll see a complete list of prices on the Buy Points page.

The Benefits of Southwest Rapid Rewards

Not only does Southwest offer points for booking flights, but there are other perks, including the following:

No Blackout Dates

There are never any blackout dates when you want to redeem your points for a flight. This is great because it means you’ll never have to worry about not finding a flight when you want to travel. This is a big deal because I like to travel on holidays, and sometimes it can be hard to find flights.

No Seat Restrictions

No Seat Restrictions In Plane

Another great thing about Southwest is that there are no seat restrictions. Therefore, you can book any seat on the plane, even if it’s the last one. This is a big perk because it means that you won’t have to worry about not being able to find a seat on the plane.

Points Don’t Expire

One of the biggest perks of Rapid Rewards is that Southwest points don’t expire. Therefore, you can save your points and use them whenever possible. This is a massive benefit because it means you can use your points when it’s convenient for you. I love that there are no blackout dates, and they don’t expire with Southwest!

Ways to Earn Rapid Rewards Points

In addition to booking flights, there are other ways to earn Rapid Rewards points. You can also earn points by doing the following:

Shopping Online

You can earn points by shopping online through the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal. All you have to do is log in to your account and click on the “Shop & Dine” tab. Then, you’ll be able to browse through all of the participating retailers and earn points for your purchases.

Deals going on right now:

You’ll earn 3,500 points when you shop the holiday bonus through Southwest.

Dining Out

Dining Out

You can also earn points by dining out at participating restaurants. With Southwest’s dining option, you’ll earn 3 points for every dollar you spend. I appreciate this option because it allows me to earn points even when I’m not flying.

Deals going on right now:

When you sign up with Southwest Dining, you’ll earn 1,000 points in your first 90 days!

Home & Lifestyle

There are also a few ways that you can earn points by making purchases for your home and lifestyle. With the Rapid Rewards Home & Lifestyle program, you can earn points for things like getting gas at Marathon gas stations and paying your energy bills through NRG.

Deals going on right now:

NRG: After 60 days as an active NRG Home customer,  you’ll get 10,000 enrollment bonus points.

Reliant Energy: When you switch to Reliant on the Reliant Secure 24 plan, you’ll get 15,000 enrollment bonus Rapid Rewards Points after signing up. Plus, you’ll receive 500 extra points each month for the next 2 years.

Marathon Gas: As a Make It Count rewards member, you’ll get y 5 CentsOff on every gallon of fuel and 1 point for every gallon purchased.


Southwest Hotel Partnership

Southwest is partnered with several hotels, and you can earn points by staying at any of these hotels. You’ll earn points by staying at hotels brands like Marriott, Choice hotels, Hyatt, Radisson, and more.

Deals going on right now:

Southwest offers a number of deals when you book hotels through them. For instance, you could save up to 50% or earn up to 10,000 points per night.

Rental Cars

Much like the hotels, Southwest has a partnership with numerous rental cars. They’re partnered with Avis, Budget, Hertz, and more. I make sure to use this option because it’s an easy way to earn points.

Deals going on right now:

There are several deals you can get by booking rental cars through Southwest. Sometimes, you can earn up to 2,400 points and get an additional 30-35% off rental car prices.

Southwest Credit Cards

If you want to rack up Southwest points, your best bet is to get a credit card. Here’s a look at the options:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

Annual fee: $69

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a good option if you’re a loyal Southwest customer. You’ll get 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases. Plus, you’ll receive Rapid Rewards points on hotel and car rental purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on every other purchase. 

After your cardmember anniversary, you’ll also get 3,000 bonus points. Not to mention, you’ll get 25% back on all in-flight purchases. This card comes with 2 Early-bird check-ins per year as well. Furthermore, you’ll receive 2 points per every dollar spent on phone services, rideshares, and more,

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Annual fee: $149

With this card, you’ll get 3X points on all Southwest Airlines purchases. Also, you’ll receive 2X points on car rentals and hotel purchases and 1X points on everything else you buy. This card offers 7,500 bonus points after your membership anniversary.

Other card benefits include a $75 Southwest Annual Travel Credit, 4 Upgraded Boardings each year (upon availability), and 25% back on in-flight purchases. You’ll get 2 points per every dollar spent on phone services, internet, and cable. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Annual fee: $99

This Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card comes with the same perks as the personal card but with extra benefits. With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You’ll also get 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

You’ll receive 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary and 25% back on all in-flight purchases. This credit card also comes with 2 Early-bird check-ins per year. Like the other cards, you’ll receive 2 points per every dollar spent on phone services, internet, cable, and more. Plus, you’ll get a $500 fee credit for point transfers.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Annual fee: $199

This card works great for business owners who fly with Southwest a lot. You’ll collect 4 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 3X Rapid Rewards on hotel and car rental purchases. Not only that, but you’ll receive 1 point per $1 spent on every other purchase.

Furthermore, you’ll get 9,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, and you’ll also receive 25% back on all in-flight purchases. 

Diner’s Club

Southwest partnered with Diner’s Club, making it easy for members to change their Diner’s Club points to Rapid Rewards points. Simply log in to your Diner’s Club account and connect it to your Rapid Rewards account. Once that’s done, you can transfer your Diner’s Club points to Southwest. Generally, 1,500 club reward points convert to 1,200 rapid rewards points.

Rapid Rewards Tiers

Southwest has three tiers for its Rapid Rewards program- A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass. Here’s a closer look at each one:


Southwest A List

The A-List is the first tier of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. You must fly 25 qualifying one-way flights or earn 35,000 qualifying points in a calendar year to achieve this level. Once you reach this level, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • 25% bonus points on all flights
  • Priority boarding
  • Free same-day standby
  • Dedicated customer service line

A-List Preferred

Southwest A List Preferred

The A-List Preferred is the second tier of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program. You must fly 50 qualifying one-way flights or earn 70,000 qualifying points in a calendar year to achieve this level. Once you reach this level, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • 100% bonus points on all flights
  • Priority boarding
  • Free same-day standby
  • Dedicated customer service line
  • Priority Lane and Express Lane

Companion Pass

Companion Pass

The Companion Pass is Southwest’s highest tier. To achieve this perk, you must fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. If you can, it’s a good idea to try and reach this tier because it has many incredible benefits. Companion Pass allows you to bring one person to fly with you each time you buy or redeem points for a flight. Plus, your companion’s flight is free of charge, excluding taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way.

There are a few rules and guidelines for using Companion Pass, which you can learn more about here under the “What are the Rapid Rewards Rules and Regulations” tab.

Why You Should Fly With Southwest Airlines

While I’m on the topic of Rapid Rewards, I think it’s necessary to shine a light on Southwest as an airline. While this airline doesn’t fly to as many destinations as other air carriers, it should be your top choice for domestic flights within the U.S. and the Caribbean. Here’s what I love about Southwest:

Two Free Checked Bags

There aren’t too many airlines that allow you to check two bags for free, but Southwest is one of them. This is a huge perk because it can save you money. It’s pretty annoying to fly with airlines that charge you for every little thing, but Southwest doesn’t do that.

No Change or Cancellation Fees

Southwest Airlines

Another great thing about Southwest is that they don’t charge you for change or cancellation fees. This is so important because life happens and plans change. With other airlines, you’re stuck paying a pretty penny if you need to change your flight. However, with Southwest, you can cancel or change your flight without penalty.

Remember that you’ll have to pay the difference if your new flight costs more. On the other hand, if you find a flight that’s less than the original one, Southwest will refund the difference or provide it as a flight credit.

Affordable Fares

Southwest always has affordable fares. When you book a flight with Southwest, you can rest assured that you’re getting a great deal. They also offer $59 flights often, which is an unbeatable price.

Another way that you can maximize your points is by checking the Southwest Low Fare Calendar. Before I book a flight, I always check this calendar. It shows the lowest rates for the entire month. So, if you can be flexible with your schedule, you’ll save a ton of money. This is the way to do it if you want to go on a trip and use as few points as possible. When it comes to booking flights, I stretch my points the same way I stretch my dollars.

Alternative Rewards Programs

American Airlines

American Airlines AAdvantage miles are worth roughly 1.5 cents. However, that’s when you redeem them for economy fights. The value range is between 1-1.5 cents. But overall, you’ll get a minimum of 5 base miles per dollar on American flights. The number of points needed to book a flight differs depending on your status with American Airlines. Here’s a look at American’s flight award chart. It provides a breakdown of the points needed for flights.


As a JetBlue rewards program member, you’ll earn up to 3 base points per dollar spent. The value for JetBlue points is between 1.08 to 1.5 cents, and it’s always fluctuating. Current flight prices impact the rate of redemption. Therefore, booking your flights with points when the fares are low is best because the number of points required will also be low. JetBlue has a Best Fare Finder tool that you can use to help you find the best deals on flights, which will ultimately preserve your points.


With Delta SkyMiles, you’ll earn a base of 5 miles per dollar spent on average. Delta miles are worth about 1.3 cents, but the value can range from 0.77 to 1.99. Although SkyMiles is a pretty good program, Delta doesn’t offer an award chart or anything like that. But as always, you can look for discounted flights to preserve the number of points that you need for your flights. Delta’s current Flight Deals page on its website provides some of the lowest fares they offer.


Question: How long does it take for points to post to my account?

Answer: Points usually post to your account within 72 hours of your flight. After your trip, you can check the “My Flight Activity” page to see if your points have been posted.

Question: Can I transfer points to another person?

Answer: Yes, you can! You can transfer points to another Rapid Rewards account by logging into your account and going to the “My Account” tab. Then, you’ll select the manage tab and click on ” Buy or transfer points.”

Question: What is the best way to use my points?

Answer: The best way to use your points is by booking a flight. However, you can also redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards, excursions, and more.

My Closing Thoughts on Southwest Rapid Rewards

I really enjoy Southwest’s reward program.  I think it’s a great way to earn points and very easy to use. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to earn points. Well, I hope this article was helpful. If you’re hesitant about signing up for an account, don’t be! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how simple it is to earn points. Thanks for reading!