Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Program

by Michael P

Of all the discounted airlines available, my most favorite has to be Southwest (JetBlue is a close second).  First of all, Southwest does an excellent job with branding, as I know exactly who they are and where I can go to buy tickets (only at  Second, they offer flights to just about everywhere I need to go, which is a great convenience and last but most important, their flights are the usually the least expensive and they don’t charge for your first checked bag. Now, I can use the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to make my flights even more rewarding.

Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Program Details

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card Review

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program can net you free roundtrip flights!

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program offers participants a way to earn points on their flights with Southwest Airlines. Here are some benefits of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program:

  • Unlimited reward seats.
  • No blackout dates.
  • Your points don’t expire**.
  • Earn points for every dollar you spend.
  • Redeem for International flights and more.

The amount of your fare determines how many Rapid Rewards points you earn on your flight. You can also earn points by making purchases through partners. You can redeem your points for Southwest Airlines flights with no blackout dates, and also use them for international travel, cruises, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and more.

One of the best benefits: your points don’t expire, giving you more time to accrue and redeem your rewards points.** There is a small caveat – your points don’t expire as long as you have a flight or Partner earning activity every 24 months. See the application page or Terms of Service for more details.

More Southwest airlines perks: You will be able to check your bags for free and you will not be subjected to blackout dates. Your points never expire and you can earn unlimited reward seats. The final perk is one of the best – you will not have to pay any additional fees if you need to change your flight. This means you can book the early bird fares and change your trip dates later if your plans change (a rare feature in this day and age!).

Earning & Redeeming Rapid Rewards Points

The new program allows you to earn more points based on the type of fare, and how much you spend. Here is the current chart, courtesy of Southwest Airlines:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program

As you can see, the Business Select® fare earns you twice as many points as the Wanna Get Away® fare. You can earn additional points by shopping online through the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal, spending money on qualified purchases through partners, and through other Southwest Airlines promotions. Some partners include hotels and rental car agencies, the Rapid Rewards Dining program, and more.

Redeeming your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points is easy – simply log in to your Rapid Rewards account on and follow the instructions. You can redeem your points for travel, hotels, rental cars, shopping, gift cards, and more.

Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Credit Cards. Southwest Airlines has partnered with Chase to offer different versions of the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Credit Card. These cards offer additional ways to earn Rapid Rewards points, and may include a sign up bonus from time to time These offers vary and change frequently, so please visit for more information.

Who Should Get This Credit Card:

If you are a frequent flier and Southwest is your preferred airline, then take a look at this card. Niche credit cards like the Southwest Airlines card are great simply for the bonus opportunities and the specific rewards program.  Southwest doesn’t fly everywhere, so make sure you check to see if there are hubs near you and if so, consider signing up for this card.

Photo credit: Ack Ook

Published or updated March 28, 2013.
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brucebucks

I love my southwest credit card. It is the only airline I travel on, so it only makes sense for me to have their credit card. I earn double points whenever I buy a ticket with the card. All my larger purchases go on this card in order to try to earn more points towards those free tickets. Thanks for the post.


2 vernon e staley

I recently tried to us my rapid rewards for a flight with my wife . I was unable to find out how many points I have nor could I book a flight using my points what ever I may have, The gentlman did help me get flight booked and I was able to use one of my ticketless awards. . I should have quite a few points accoumulated . Please let me know how to get answers and how I can take advantage of the Rapid Rewards Plan Thank you V.E. Staley


3 Craig Ford

When you’re searching for flights you can select to be shown prices in either dollars or points. Just click on points and you’ll know exactly how many points are required.
With 50,000 points you can stretch that out to as many as 10 one ways depending on where you are flying.


4 Jon -- Free Money Wisdom

I am going to have to check this out! I have a girlfriend who lives across the country and these reward programs are bank for me. Plane tickets get pricey. Great post!


5 Ryan

Tickets are pricey, Jon. My family and I are flying Southwest next month – unfortunately, we had already purchased our tickets when I found out about this deal! I can still apply for the card and just use the tickets next time I fly, but I don’t know when that will be.


6 Craig Ford

This is the best current domestic credit card offer so if you want some flights this is the card to go for.


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