Southwest Rapid Rewards

#6 in Best Airline Rewards Programs

Overview

The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is most beneficial for budget-minded travelers based in the United States who frequently fly to major cities around the U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Southwest offers more than 4,000 flights a day to 100 destinations. By becoming a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, you'll earn points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights and with the airline's hotel, car rental and retail partners. If you have one of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase Visa, you can earn additional points on Southwest Airlines and partner purchases and by making everyday purchases. You can use your Rapid Rewards points to pay for merchandise, gift cards, hotel stays, car rentals and the cost of air travel on any Southwest or international partner flight. If you are a Southwest credit card holder, you can also use points to cover the cost of experiences like wine tastings, cruises and spa packages.

Pros & Cons

  • No blackout dates

  • Rapid Rewards Points can be earned on flights and hotels

  • Points can be earned for participating in market research surveys

  • Southwest's only flights outside the U.S. are to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

  • Seat restrictions may apply for award travel

  • Points and cash cannot be combined to cover flight costs

Rankings

Southwest Rapid Rewards is ranked No. 6 in the Best Airline Rewards Programs. U.S. News evaluated 9 frequent flyer programs offered by airlines based in the United States across several indicators of excellence. Read more about how we rank rewards.

Southwest Rapid Rewards is ranked as:

3.93

Scorecard

  • 4.0Network Coverage »
  • 4.0Ease of Earning Free Flight »
  • 3.5Award Flight Availability »
  • 3.5Additional Benefits »
  • 4.5Airline Quality »
  • > 2,000No. of Daily Flights »

Points

By enrolling in the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, you'll earn points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights. These points can be used to cover the cost of air travel on Southwest Airlines and international flights operated by partner carriers like Delta Air Lines and British Airways. Additional redemption options, such as hotel stays, retail items, gift cards and car rentals, are available as well. What's more, members with a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card or a Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card can use accrued points to pay for spa packages, golf trips and more.

  • Points Do Not Expire

Can Earn Points On:

  • Air Travel

  • Hotel Stays

  • Credit Card

Can Use Points On:

  • Booking Flights

  • Hotel Stays

Membership Levels

The Southwest Rapid Rewards program has four membership tiers: basic membership, A-List, A-List Preferred and Companion Pass.

See details about how membership works

The Fine Print

  • Rapid Rewards Points never expire.
  • The number of Rapid Rewards Points needed to redeem for flights varies based on factors like destination, time, day of travel, demand and fare class.
  • You cannot use your points to book tickets through a travel agent or a third-party website.
  • Bonus points cannot be used to qualify for an elite tier or Companion Pass status.

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