Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

How to use, transfer, and redeem Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points in 2023<!-- wp:html --><p class="headline-regular financial-disclaimer">Our experts answer readers' credit card questions and write unbiased product reviews (<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/personal-finance-editorial-standards#rating-credit-cards" class="not-content-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here's how we assess credit cards</a>). In some cases, we receive a commission from <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/our-partners" class="not-content-link" target="_blank" rel="noopener">our partners</a>; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.</p> <p class="headline-regular financial-disclaimer non-affiliate-disclosure">The information for the following product(s) has been collected independently by Business Insider: Chase Freedom Flex℠. The details for these products have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.</p> <p>Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points for award travel can come with incredible perks and savings, such as the ability to bring a friend for free wherever you fly.</p> <p class="copyright">Daniel Knighton via Getty Images</p> <p>Southwest Airlines offers one of the most traveler-friendly loyalty programs in the industry.<br /> Southwest's coveted Companion Pass lets you bring a friend for free on every trip you take.<br /> A current promo plus your holiday spend can help you earn this buddy pass for 2024 and 2025. </p> <p>How are we in our holiday era already? With the year's end right around the corner, you're probably shopping for flight deals if you haven't already booked your holiday season travel. And if you're based in the United States, chances are high that you've considered flying Southwest.</p> <p>Southwest Airlines operates more than 4,000 flights a day between 120 destinations throughout the US, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Aruba, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic.</p> <p>While the airline's cash fares are often very reasonably priced, you can spend even less by using Southwest Rapid Rewards points to book epic vacations without paying more than a few dollars for government-imposed taxes and fees. Less money spent on travel means more cash for gifts, meaningful experiences with the people you love, and holiday treats for yourself. </p> <p>Here's everything you need to know about earning, redeeming, and maximizing your Southwest points.</p> <p class="headline-regular financial-disclaimer">We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.</p> <h2>Your Guide to Southwest Points</h2> <p>Southwest is beloved by many travelers for everyday perks such as two free checked bags per person, choose-your-own seating, and priority boarding for active military personnel and families with young children.</p> <p>Southwest's Rapid Rewards loyalty program offers members even more benefits, especially if you hold one of Southwest's three simple tiers of elite status.</p> <p>Rapid Rewards members earn points that never expire, with no blackout dates for award travel, unlimited award availability, easy earning opportunities through a suite of co-branded credit cards, and partnerships with other travel rewards programs such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards® system. </p> <p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-points-value">Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.4 cents</a> each on average, according to Insider's <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/what-are-points-miles-worth-value">points and miles valuations,</a> because it's so easy to redeem your points for free flights. </p> <p>If you're starting from scratch, you'll start your journey to Southwest award travel by signing up for a free Southwest Rapid Rewards account. Once you have an account, you can earn or redeem miles on every flight you take, as well as through a number of other activities we'll explore below. The more points you earn, the more you'll be able to save on flights, hotels, car rentals, dining, and other travel expenses.</p> <h3>The Southwest Companion Pass</h3> <p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-use-southwest-companion-pass">Southwest's Companion Pass</a> program is my favorite travel perk in the world. This incredibly valuable benefit allows you to bring a travel companion of your choice on any Southwest flight you take, for as long as you hold the Companion Pass, which typically lasts through the end of the calendar year. All you need to pay for your friend's ticket are the mandatory taxes and fees imposed on all flights, which can be as low as $5.60 one way on most domestic routes. </p> <p>Better yet, you can even use the Companion Pass on award flights you book for yourself, as long as there's seat availability on the plane for your travel buddy.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-companion-pass">Southwest Companion Pass guide</a> explains how you can earn and use this amazing benefit, which requires earning more than 100,000 points within a calendar year in order to qualify. </p> <p>A <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-rapid-rewards-personal-credit-cards-limited-time-offer-2023-10">current Southwest promotion</a> can easily get you more than halfway toward earning a Companion Pass valid for 2024<em> and</em> 2025.   </p> <p>Here's what you should know about earning Southwest points so you can take full advantage of award travel opportunities. </p> <h3>How to Earn Southwest Points</h3> <p>Earning Southwest points is easy, especially with the right strategies. The most direct ways to earn Rapid Rewards points include:</p> <p>Buying flights through SouthwestSpending on a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cardBooking hotels, vacation packages or rental cars through SouthwestDining out with restaurant partners within the <a href="https://www.rapidrewardsdining.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Southwest Rapid Rewards dining program</a></p> <p>You can also get Rapid Rewards points through the following ways:</p> <p>Transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards or Marriot Bonvoy credit cardsShopping through the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/online-shopping-portals-maximize-rewards">Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal</a> while making online purchasesBooking hotel stays through <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/strategies-earn-points-and-miles-without-credit-card">Rocketmiles and crediting rewards</a> to Southwest</p> <p>While there are many ways to earn Southwest points, not all points count toward earning A-List or A-List Preferred elite status, or earning the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-earn-the-southwest-companion-pass">Southwest Companion Pass</a>. </p> <p>Non-qualifying points include:</p> <p>Purchased pointsPoints transferred from other Rapid Rewards members, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Diners ClubPoints converted from other loyalty programs (hotels, car rental companies, online surveys)Tier, flight, or partner bonus points</p> <h3>Southwest Credit Card Basics</h3> <p>The fastest way to accrue Southwest points is by opening one of the best Southwest credit cards. Each card comes with a lucrative welcome bonus that will give you a great head start toward building your points balance.</p> <p>There are three personal cards and two business cards to choose from. And earning the welcome bonus on any of the three Southwest consumer cards will get you more than halfway to the 135,000 Rapid Rewards points you need to earn the Companion Pass for 2024 and 2025. </p> <h4><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-rapid-rewards-plus-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card</a></h4> <p>The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is a great choice if you're just starting out. It's currently offering a generous welcome bonus of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card - Intro Bonus. </p> <p>It comes with perks like 3,000 bonus points on your account anniversary (worth about $42 based on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/what-are-points-miles-worth-value">Insider's valuations</a>), two EarlyBird check-ins per year, and 25% back on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi.</p> <p>With an annual fee of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card - Annual Fee, you'll also earn 2x points on Southwest flights, bookings with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit and rideshares, and cable, phone, internet, and select streaming services, plus 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.</p> <p><strong>Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-rapid-rewards-plus-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card review</a></strong></p> <h4><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-southwest-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card</a></h4> <p>Offering the same welcome bonus, points-earning opportunities, and perks as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card - Annual Fee and increases your earnings to 3x points on Southwest purchases.</p> <p>You'll also receive 6,000 bonus points on each card anniversary (worth around $84 in Southwest airfare) and be able to earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) to put toward earning A-List elite status.</p> <p><strong>Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-southwest-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card review</a></strong></p> <h4><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-rapid-rewards-priority-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card</a></h4> <p>The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card comes with many of the same features as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, including the same welcome bonus, 25% back on inflight Wi-Fi and drinks purchases, and the chance to earn TQPs toward A-List elite status.</p> <p>It throws in extras like 7,500 bonus points on each card anniversary (worth about $105 in Southwest flights), a $75 Southwest travel credit per year, and four upgraded boardings to use per year (based on availability). The annual fee is Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card - Annual Fee and you'll have the same earning opportunities as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.</p> <p><strong>Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-rapid-rewards-priority-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority credit card review</a></strong></p> <h4><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-premier-business-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card</a></h4> <p>With an annual fee of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card - Annual Fee, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card offers Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card - Intro Bonus. It also comes with 6,000 Southwest points on your card anniversary, (worth around $84 in Southwest airfare), two EarlyBird check-ins per year, up to $500 annually in fee credits (for points transfers), 25% back for inflight Wi-Fi and drinks purchases, and the ability to earn TQPs toward elite status.</p> <p>Cardholders also earn 3x points on Southwest flights as well as 2x points for each dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, on local transit or rideshares, and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-premier-business-card-review">Southwest Premier Business card review</a></strong></p> <h4><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-performance-business-credit-card-review">Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card</a></h4> <p>Ideal for frequent business travelers, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card comes with a welcome bonus of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card - Intro Bonusto offset the annual fee of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card - Annual Fee.</p> <p>Other perks include 9,000 anniversary points (worth about $126 in Southwest flights); up to 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits annually; a $100 credit every four years to use toward <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-global-entry-tsa-precheck-credit-card">Global Entry or TSA PreCheck</a>; up to $500 annually in fee credits (for points transfers); four upgraded boardings per year (based on availability); and the ability to earn tier-qualifying points toward elite status.</p> <p>Cardholders also earn 4x points on Southwest flights; 3x points per dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners; 2x points on local transit and ridesharing services; advertising via social media and search engines; and cable, phone, and internet services. They also earn 1 point per dollar spent outside of these bonus categories.</p> <p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-performance-business-credit-card-review">Southwest Performance Business credit card review</a></p> <p>Note that just four of the five available co-branded credit cards offer Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) toward A-List status as a benefit. If this is a major concern, you may want to forego applying for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card in favor of one of the others.</p> <p><strong>Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest</strong></p> <p>Those who prefer flexible rewards can transfer <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/guide-earning-using-chase-ultimate-rewards-points">Chase Ultimate Rewards points</a> to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio since the airline is one of <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-ultimate-rewards-points-transfer-partners">Chase's transfer partners</a>. You can earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points by opening one of these <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-chase-card">Chase travel credit cards</a>:</p> <p>Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - Intro Bonus. Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-sapphire-preferred-card-review">Chase Sapphire Preferred card review</a>.Chase Sapphire Reserve®: This <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-premium-credit-cards">premium credit card</a> comes with a welcome bonus of Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Intro Bonus. Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-sapphire-reserve-credit-card-review">Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review</a>. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/who-can-qualify-for-small-business-credit-card">Small-business owners</a> can earn a generous Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - Intro Bonus right now. Read our <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-ink-business-preferred-card-review">Chase Ink Business Preferred card review</a>.</p> <p>You can also <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-transfer-chase-ultimate-rewards-points">transfer points to any of the Chase cards</a> mentioned above, from no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards cards such as the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-freedom-flex-credit-card-review">Chase Freedom Flex℠</a>, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-freedom-unlimited-review">Chase Freedom Unlimited®</a>, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-ink-business-cash-credit-card-review">Ink Business Cash® Credit Card</a>, or <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/chase-ink-business-unlimited-credit-card-review">Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card</a> From there, transfer your Chase points directly into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account at a 1:1 ratio. </p> <p><strong>Transfer points from Diners Club or hotel loyalty programs</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.dinersclubnorthamerica.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Diners Club</a> members can also transfer Club Rewards points to Southwest — 1,500 Club Rewards points, for instance, would convert to 1,200 Southwest points. It's also possible to redeem points earned through participating hotel loyalty programs if you'd rather put them toward flights than hotel stays, though redemption rates are pretty low:</p> <p>5,000 Best Western Rewards points = 1,200 Southwest points6,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,800 Southwest points2,000 Radisson Rewards America points = 200 Southwest points50,000 Radisson Rewards America points = 5,000 Southwest points100,000 Radisson Rewards America points = 10,000 Southwest points9,000 <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-earn-redeem-marriott-points">Marriott Bonvoy points</a> = 3,000 Southwest points30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 10,000 Southwest points60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 20,000 Southwest points90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 30,000 Southwest points120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 40,000 Southwest points5,000 <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-earn-redeem-hyatt-points">World of Hyatt points</a> = 2,400 Southwest points50,000 World of Hyatt points = 24,000 Southwest points</p> <p>Note that World of Hyatt throws in an additional 6,000 Southwest points as long as you're a member, while Marriott Bonvoy adds 5,000 Southwest points for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.</p> <p><strong>Fly with Southwest to earn more points and elite status</strong></p> <p>The more you fly with Southwest, the more points you'll earn, especially since each of the carrier's three ticket categories lets you earn different amounts of points. You'll reach A-List status by flying 25 one-way qualifying flights or earning 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points in a calendar year, providing access to priority boarding, check-in, and security lanes, same-day standby seats, and 25% earning bonuses.</p> <p>A-List Preferred status can be reached by flying 50 one-way qualifying flights or earning 70,000 TQPs in a calendar year, giving you access to the same benefits as A-List status, plus complimentary inflight Wi-Fi and 100% earning bonuses.</p> <p>Speaking of earning bonuses, those without any status can earn 12x points by booking Business Select fares, 10x points for Anytime fares, 8x points for Wanna Get Away Plus fares, and 6x points for Wanna Get Away fares. For instance, a $220 Business Select fare would yield 2,640 Southwest points, while a $200 Anytime ticket would yield 2,000 Southwest points, and a $100 Wanna Get Away ticket would yield 600 Southwest points.</p> <p>Rapid Rewards members with A-List status, meanwhile, have higher points-earning potential with 15x points on Business Select fares, 12.5x points on Anytime fares, 10x points on Wanna Get Away Plus fares, and 7.5x points per dollar on Wanna Get Away fares. You could potentially earn 3,300 points on a $220 Business Select fare, 2,500 points on a $200 Anytime fare, or 750 points on a $100 Wanna Get Away fare.</p> <p>Those with A-List Preferred status can earn even more points — 24x points for Business Select fares, 20x points for Anytime fares, 16x points for Wanna Get Away Plus fares, and 12x points for Wanna Get Away fares — meaning you could earn 5,280 points for a $220 Business Select ticket, 4,000 points for a $200 Anytime ticket, or 1,200 points for a $100 Wanna Get Away ticket.</p> <p><strong>Book hotels and rental cars with Southwest's travel partners</strong></p> <p>You can earn from 1 point per dollar (up to 10,000 points) by booking overnight stays through <a href="https://www.southwesthotels.com/explore-destinations.en-us.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Southwest Hotels</a>, or up to 10,000 Southwest points per night by booking your trip through <a href="https://www.rocketmiles.com/rm/southwest/en/?utm_source=southwest&utm_medium=partner-page&utm_campaign=southwest-partner-page" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rocketmiles</a>. Southwest also partners with Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels, Radisson Rewards America — which lets you earn a whopping 20 Radisson points per dollar — World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and MGM Resorts International, providing plenty of options to redeem Southwest points for free hotel stays all over the world.</p> <p>If you're a member of Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, or MGM Resorts International's M Life Rewards, remember to add your Rapid Rewards number to your account if you want to earn Southwest points instead of hotel points on paid stays (you'll have to choose one or the other).</p> <p>There's also a chance to earn 600 Southwest points by booking car rentals through Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty, which also lets you earn 600 points if you've parked three times at a Thrifty airport parking location within a 12-month period. Use Southwest Rapid Rewards discount number CDP205418 when booking with Hertz to score access to extra perks like discounts of up to 30%.</p> <p><strong>Book packages through Southwest Vacations</strong></p> <p>You can rack up Southwest points by booking flight and hotel, flight and car rental packages, or other travel activities through <a href="https://www.southwestvacations.com/deals/vacation-special-offers#!/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Southwest Vacations</a>. There are often limited-time promotions, deep discounts, perks like complimentary breakfast, and resort credits to use during your stay.</p> <p><strong>Earn Southwest points through Rapid Rewards Dining</strong></p> <p>Join <a href="https://www.rapidrewardsdining.com/earn/new-member-bonus?utm_source=SW&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=2020_Partner_Landing_Page&utm_content=external" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rapid Rewards Dining</a> and you can earn 3 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants and bars near you — you'll only earn 1 point for every 2 dollars spent if you don't sign up to receive emails. New members who spend at least $25 dining out and complete a restaurant review within the first 30 days can snag a 1,000-point bonus.</p> <p>Reviewing restaurants earns you 10 points a pop, while you'll score 500 bonus points once you reach 1,500 points, plus 300 additional points each time you hit the 1,000-point mark.</p> <p><strong>Utilize Rapid Rewards Shopping and other retail partnerships</strong></p> <p>When you indulge in some much-needed retail therapy through the <a href="https://rapidrewardsshopping.southwest.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rapid Rewards Shopping portal</a>, you'll <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/online-shopping-portals-maximize-rewards">get access to coupons, deals, and bonus points</a> at more than 850 online retail stores like Apple, Macy's, and Old Navy.</p> <p>For example, you can earn 1,000 Southwest points by purchasing gourmet flower arrangements and gifts over $29.99 (before shipping and taxes) from 1-800-Flowers before December 31, 2023. Enter <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com/?amazonTrackingID=biauto-53270-20&h=70920083f6c2b333aec1e1917136dc95239dd79b7ad57d0d76297c302a277d1b&postID=620e4b143c3f8b7c3651f012&postSlug=personal-finance%2Fhow-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points&site=bi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.southwest.com%2Fhtml%2Frapidrewards%2Fpartners%2Fshop-and-dine%2F1800Flowers.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">promo code RR22</a> and provide your Southwest Rapid Rewards account number at check-out to receive the bonus — the same goes for purchases made from Harry & David when you use <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com/?amazonTrackingID=biauto-53270-20&h=608c2cbefb6533c1b64ec1cd37264c2dbcf63fd03f0b9e9a46e3e677bd58b79b&postID=620e4b143c3f8b7c3651f012&postSlug=personal-finance%2Fhow-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points&site=bi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.harryanddavid.com%2Fh%2Fpartnerships%2Fsouthwest" target="_blank" rel="noopener">promo code SW44</a> through December 31, 2023.</p> <p>Other retail partnerships we've seen have included:</p> <p>Wine delivery service <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com/?amazonTrackingID=biauto-53270-20&h=c5c923cb89df6134cb886e10693c407202b9e64dd450712c9b2bc9c6df0f0dc3&postID=620e4b143c3f8b7c3651f012&postSlug=personal-finance%2Fhow-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points&site=bi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.southwest.com%2Fhtml%2Frapidrewards%2Fpartners%2Fshop-and-dine%2Flaithwaiteswine.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Laithwaites</a>: Earn 2,000 Southwest points when you join the wine club, plus two extra bottles, two Dartington Crystal stemless wine glasses, and 1,000 bonus points on future shipments. You'll also earn 3x points on any non-club purchases made through the website.<a href="https://www.myeaplus.com/southwestairlines" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Emergency Assistance Plus</a>: Earn 1,400 Southwest points each year you're a member. This service provides medical evacuation and assistance, as well as transportation home, companion assistance, and other emergency services should you ever need them while traveling.Rapid Rewards members living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois can earn 10,000 points by <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com/?amazonTrackingID=biauto-53270-20&h=117f6e41c1a6eb6af3a321dc1d36d0b22cf315be222db01a9723d7b88925302d&postID=620e4b143c3f8b7c3651f012&postSlug=personal-finance%2Fhow-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points&site=bi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.southwest.com%2Fhtml%2Frapidrewards%2Fpartners%2Fhome-and-lifestyle%2Fnrg.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">switching to NRG</a>, as well as 2x points per dollar on their energy bill.Texas residents who sign up for the <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com/?amazonTrackingID=biauto-53270-20&h=cf14a6cf3b04c95e58e9320382c31f43434e6003257e995f281aa9b110a4eb3f&postID=620e4b143c3f8b7c3651f012&postSlug=personal-finance%2Fhow-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points&site=bi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.southwest.com%2Fhtml%2Frapidrewards%2Fpartners%2Fhome-and-lifestyle%2Freliant.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reliant 24 Secure</a> plan receive 15,000 Southwest points on top of the 500 points per month they'll earn over 24 months, for a total of 27,000 points.</p> <p><strong>Keep an eye out for bonus points promotions</strong></p> <p>Check the Southwest Airlines website often to see which partners are offering special points bonus promotions throughout the year. You may end up scoring extra points for booking car rentals, hotel stays, and Southwest Vacations packages, among other <a href="https://affiliate.insider.com/?amazonTrackingID=biauto-53270-20&h=f33c805f8afc7d92aa53e80784a2ecb41168ffa37be0baf13d71891521ee8e61&postID=620e4b143c3f8b7c3651f012&postSlug=personal-finance%2Fhow-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points&site=bi&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.southwest.com%2Frapidrewards%2Fpromotions%3Fclk%3D2071030" target="_blank" rel="noopener">current bonus offerings</a>.</p> <p><strong>Earn Southwest points by taking online surveys</strong></p> <p>You can earn points by taking online surveys through E-Rewards — $15 worth of E-Rewards yields 300 Southwest points, $25 worth of E-Rewards yields 600 Southwest points, $50 worth of E-Rewards yields 1,200 Southwest points, and $100 worth of E-Rewards yields 2,400 Southwest points.</p> <p>Rewards for Opinions also gives you 500 bonus points for signing up and doing your first survey within 90 days. Keep in mind the points earned from these won't go toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass or achieving A-List or A-List Preferred status.</p> <p><strong>Score bonus points by buying them through Southwest</strong></p> <p>If you're a few points shy of your goal, you can always purchase more at the going rate is $60 for 2,000 points. Be on the lookout for specials or bonus promotions that offer an even bigger bang for your buck, Note that points must be purchased in increments of 1,000 and there is a daily purchase limit of 60,000 points.</p> <p>Southwest also offers a points subscription program that lets you pay a certain amount each month for points and provides quarterly bonuses. The 30K plan, which yields 1,875 points per month and 7,500 bonus points per year, costs $56.25 per month. The 40K plan, which yields 2,333 points per month and 12,000 bonus points per year, costs $69.99 per month. The 80K plan, which yields 4,333 points per month and 28,000 bonus points per year, costs $129.99 per month. </p> <h3>How to Use Southwest Points</h3> <p><strong>Use Southwest points for flights in the US and abroad</strong></p> <p>Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, family vacation, dream honeymoon, or an epic solo trip, Southwest points can be used to book flights around the US as well as 10 other countries throughout the Caribbean and Central America. Here's a look at some sample redemption options for non-stop, roundtrip Wanna Get Away fares:</p> <p>New York (LGA) to Los Angeles (LAX), from 11,332 pointsSan Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL), from 15,598 pointsBaltimore (BWI) to Aruba (AUA), from 24,734 pointsChicago (MDW) to Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD), from 19,422 pointsDenver (DEN) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR), from 24,734 points Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS), from 5,644 points</p> <p>Note that Southwest does not have any airline partnerships and does not belong to any airline alliance, though the carrier does offer excellent perks like points that never expire, no blackout dates, two free checked bags, and unlimited award availability, making it a valuable choice for your next flight.</p> <p><strong>Qualify for a Southwest Companion Pass</strong></p> <p>To get the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/southwest-companion-pass-timing">Southwest Companion Pass</a>, you must earn 135,000 qualifying Southwest points or fly 100 eligible one-way flights, each of which must happen within a calendar year. After that point, a friend or family member can tag along with you for free (less the price of taxes and fees) whenever you book a paid or award flight.</p> <p>Southwest credit card holders receive a "boost" of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each year (only one boost per member, regardless of how many Southwest cards you have).</p> <p>Best of all, if you plan the timing of it just right, by earning it in January, for instance, you'll have the rest of the year as well as the following year to use it, effectively giving you two years to take advantage of this amazing perk.</p> <p><strong>Redeem Southwest points for hotels, car rentals, gift cards, and more</strong></p> <p>Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card members have exclusive access to the More Rewards portal, which lets you use Southwest points to shop for hotels and resort stays, rental cars, tours, shows, concerts, and other events and experiences, as well as gift cards, beauty products, fashion jewelry, and merchandise you may not want to pay cash for.</p> <p><strong>Transfer Southwest points to a friend or donate them to charity</strong></p> <p>If you have more than 2,000 Southwest points in your account, you can transfer them to other Rapid Rewards members, though they must be transferred in increments of 1,000 points and there's a 60,000-point daily limit. Note that there's a transfer fee of $5 for every 500 points transferred, so this is not a good deal.</p> <p>You can also donate Southwest points to worthy causes like Team Rubicon, the Student Conservation Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Polaris, the Honor Flight Network, the United Negro College Fund, or the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.</p> <div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-earn-redeem-southwest-points">Business Insider</a></div><!-- /wp:html -->

Our experts answer readers’ credit card questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess credit cards). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

The information for the following product(s) has been collected independently by Business Insider: Chase Freedom Flex℠. The details for these products have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points for award travel can come with incredible perks and savings, such as the ability to bring a friend for free wherever you fly.

Southwest Airlines offers one of the most traveler-friendly loyalty programs in the industry.
Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass lets you bring a friend for free on every trip you take.
A current promo plus your holiday spend can help you earn this buddy pass for 2024 and 2025. 

How are we in our holiday era already? With the year’s end right around the corner, you’re probably shopping for flight deals if you haven’t already booked your holiday season travel. And if you’re based in the United States, chances are high that you’ve considered flying Southwest.

Southwest Airlines operates more than 4,000 flights a day between 120 destinations throughout the US, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Aruba, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic.

While the airline’s cash fares are often very reasonably priced, you can spend even less by using Southwest Rapid Rewards points to book epic vacations without paying more than a few dollars for government-imposed taxes and fees. Less money spent on travel means more cash for gifts, meaningful experiences with the people you love, and holiday treats for yourself. 

Here’s everything you need to know about earning, redeeming, and maximizing your Southwest points.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Your Guide to Southwest Points

Southwest is beloved by many travelers for everyday perks such as two free checked bags per person, choose-your-own seating, and priority boarding for active military personnel and families with young children.

Southwest’s Rapid Rewards loyalty program offers members even more benefits, especially if you hold one of Southwest’s three simple tiers of elite status.

Rapid Rewards members earn points that never expire, with no blackout dates for award travel, unlimited award availability, easy earning opportunities through a suite of co-branded credit cards, and partnerships with other travel rewards programs such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards® system. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.4 cents each on average, according to Insider’s points and miles valuations, because it’s so easy to redeem your points for free flights. 

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll start your journey to Southwest award travel by signing up for a free Southwest Rapid Rewards account. Once you have an account, you can earn or redeem miles on every flight you take, as well as through a number of other activities we’ll explore below. The more points you earn, the more you’ll be able to save on flights, hotels, car rentals, dining, and other travel expenses.

The Southwest Companion Pass

Southwest’s Companion Pass program is my favorite travel perk in the world. This incredibly valuable benefit allows you to bring a travel companion of your choice on any Southwest flight you take, for as long as you hold the Companion Pass, which typically lasts through the end of the calendar year. All you need to pay for your friend’s ticket are the mandatory taxes and fees imposed on all flights, which can be as low as $5.60 one way on most domestic routes. 

Better yet, you can even use the Companion Pass on award flights you book for yourself, as long as there’s seat availability on the plane for your travel buddy.

Our Southwest Companion Pass guide explains how you can earn and use this amazing benefit, which requires earning more than 100,000 points within a calendar year in order to qualify. 

A current Southwest promotion can easily get you more than halfway toward earning a Companion Pass valid for 2024 and 2025.   

Here’s what you should know about earning Southwest points so you can take full advantage of award travel opportunities. 

How to Earn Southwest Points

Earning Southwest points is easy, especially with the right strategies. The most direct ways to earn Rapid Rewards points include:

Buying flights through SouthwestSpending on a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cardBooking hotels, vacation packages or rental cars through SouthwestDining out with restaurant partners within the Southwest Rapid Rewards dining program

You can also get Rapid Rewards points through the following ways:

Transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards or Marriot Bonvoy credit cardsShopping through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal while making online purchasesBooking hotel stays through Rocketmiles and crediting rewards to Southwest

While there are many ways to earn Southwest points, not all points count toward earning A-List or A-List Preferred elite status, or earning the Southwest Companion Pass

Non-qualifying points include:

Purchased pointsPoints transferred from other Rapid Rewards members, Chase Ultimate Rewards, or Diners ClubPoints converted from other loyalty programs (hotels, car rental companies, online surveys)Tier, flight, or partner bonus points

Southwest Credit Card Basics

The fastest way to accrue Southwest points is by opening one of the best Southwest credit cards. Each card comes with a lucrative welcome bonus that will give you a great head start toward building your points balance.

There are three personal cards and two business cards to choose from. And earning the welcome bonus on any of the three Southwest consumer cards will get you more than halfway to the 135,000 Rapid Rewards points you need to earn the Companion Pass for 2024 and 2025. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is a great choice if you’re just starting out. It’s currently offering a generous welcome bonus of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – Intro Bonus. 

It comes with perks like 3,000 bonus points on your account anniversary (worth about $42 based on Insider’s valuations), two EarlyBird check-ins per year, and 25% back on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi.

With an annual fee of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – Annual Fee, you’ll also earn 2x points on Southwest flights, bookings with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit and rideshares, and cable, phone, internet, and select streaming services, plus 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.

Read our Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Offering the same welcome bonus, points-earning opportunities, and perks as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has an annual fee of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card – Annual Fee and increases your earnings to 3x points on Southwest purchases.

You’ll also receive 6,000 bonus points on each card anniversary (worth around $84 in Southwest airfare) and be able to earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) to put toward earning A-List elite status.

Read our Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card comes with many of the same features as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, including the same welcome bonus, 25% back on inflight Wi-Fi and drinks purchases, and the chance to earn TQPs toward A-List elite status.

It throws in extras like 7,500 bonus points on each card anniversary (worth about $105 in Southwest flights), a $75 Southwest travel credit per year, and four upgraded boardings to use per year (based on availability). The annual fee is Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card – Annual Fee and you’ll have the same earning opportunities as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

Read our Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority credit card review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

With an annual fee of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – Annual Fee, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card offers Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – Intro Bonus. It also comes with 6,000 Southwest points on your card anniversary, (worth around $84 in Southwest airfare), two EarlyBird check-ins per year, up to $500 annually in fee credits (for points transfers), 25% back for inflight Wi-Fi and drinks purchases, and the ability to earn TQPs toward elite status.

Cardholders also earn 3x points on Southwest flights as well as 2x points for each dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, on local transit or rideshares, and 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.

Read our Southwest Premier Business card review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Ideal for frequent business travelers, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card comes with a welcome bonus of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card – Intro Bonusto offset the annual fee of Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card – Annual Fee.

Other perks include 9,000 anniversary points (worth about $126 in Southwest flights); up to 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits annually; a $100 credit every four years to use toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck; up to $500 annually in fee credits (for points transfers); four upgraded boardings per year (based on availability); and the ability to earn tier-qualifying points toward elite status.

Cardholders also earn 4x points on Southwest flights; 3x points per dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners; 2x points on local transit and ridesharing services; advertising via social media and search engines; and cable, phone, and internet services. They also earn 1 point per dollar spent outside of these bonus categories.

Southwest Performance Business credit card review

Note that just four of the five available co-branded credit cards offer Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) toward A-List status as a benefit. If this is a major concern, you may want to forego applying for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card in favor of one of the others.

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest

Those who prefer flexible rewards can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio since the airline is one of Chase’s transfer partners. You can earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points by opening one of these Chase travel credit cards:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Intro Bonus. Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred card review.Chase Sapphire Reserve®: This premium credit card comes with a welcome bonus of Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Intro Bonus. Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Small-business owners can earn a generous Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card – Intro Bonus right now. Read our Chase Ink Business Preferred card review.

You can also transfer points to any of the Chase cards mentioned above, from no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, or Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card From there, transfer your Chase points directly into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account at a 1:1 ratio. 

Transfer points from Diners Club or hotel loyalty programs

Diners Club members can also transfer Club Rewards points to Southwest — 1,500 Club Rewards points, for instance, would convert to 1,200 Southwest points. It’s also possible to redeem points earned through participating hotel loyalty programs if you’d rather put them toward flights than hotel stays, though redemption rates are pretty low:

5,000 Best Western Rewards points = 1,200 Southwest points6,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,800 Southwest points2,000 Radisson Rewards America points = 200 Southwest points50,000 Radisson Rewards America points = 5,000 Southwest points100,000 Radisson Rewards America points = 10,000 Southwest points9,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 3,000 Southwest points30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 10,000 Southwest points60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 20,000 Southwest points90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 30,000 Southwest points120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 40,000 Southwest points5,000 World of Hyatt points = 2,400 Southwest points50,000 World of Hyatt points = 24,000 Southwest points

Note that World of Hyatt throws in an additional 6,000 Southwest points as long as you’re a member, while Marriott Bonvoy adds 5,000 Southwest points for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.

Fly with Southwest to earn more points and elite status

The more you fly with Southwest, the more points you’ll earn, especially since each of the carrier’s three ticket categories lets you earn different amounts of points. You’ll reach A-List status by flying 25 one-way qualifying flights or earning 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points in a calendar year, providing access to priority boarding, check-in, and security lanes, same-day standby seats, and 25% earning bonuses.

A-List Preferred status can be reached by flying 50 one-way qualifying flights or earning 70,000 TQPs in a calendar year, giving you access to the same benefits as A-List status, plus complimentary inflight Wi-Fi and 100% earning bonuses.

Speaking of earning bonuses, those without any status can earn 12x points by booking Business Select fares, 10x points for Anytime fares, 8x points for Wanna Get Away Plus fares, and 6x points for Wanna Get Away fares. For instance, a $220 Business Select fare would yield 2,640 Southwest points, while a $200 Anytime ticket would yield 2,000 Southwest points, and a $100 Wanna Get Away ticket would yield 600 Southwest points.

Rapid Rewards members with A-List status, meanwhile, have higher points-earning potential with 15x points on Business Select fares, 12.5x points on Anytime fares, 10x points on Wanna Get Away Plus fares, and 7.5x points per dollar on Wanna Get Away fares. You could potentially earn 3,300 points on a $220 Business Select fare, 2,500 points on a $200 Anytime fare, or 750 points on a $100 Wanna Get Away fare.

Those with A-List Preferred status can earn even more points — 24x points for Business Select fares, 20x points for Anytime fares, 16x points for Wanna Get Away Plus fares, and 12x points for Wanna Get Away fares — meaning you could earn 5,280 points for a $220 Business Select ticket, 4,000 points for a $200 Anytime ticket, or 1,200 points for a $100 Wanna Get Away ticket.

Book hotels and rental cars with Southwest’s travel partners

You can earn from 1 point per dollar (up to 10,000 points) by booking overnight stays through Southwest Hotels, or up to 10,000 Southwest points per night by booking your trip through Rocketmiles. Southwest also partners with Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels, Radisson Rewards America — which lets you earn a whopping 20 Radisson points per dollar — World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and MGM Resorts International, providing plenty of options to redeem Southwest points for free hotel stays all over the world.

If you’re a member of Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, or MGM Resorts International’s M Life Rewards, remember to add your Rapid Rewards number to your account if you want to earn Southwest points instead of hotel points on paid stays (you’ll have to choose one or the other).

There’s also a chance to earn 600 Southwest points by booking car rentals through Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty, which also lets you earn 600 points if you’ve parked three times at a Thrifty airport parking location within a 12-month period. Use Southwest Rapid Rewards discount number CDP205418 when booking with Hertz to score access to extra perks like discounts of up to 30%.

Book packages through Southwest Vacations

You can rack up Southwest points by booking flight and hotel, flight and car rental packages, or other travel activities through Southwest Vacations. There are often limited-time promotions, deep discounts, perks like complimentary breakfast, and resort credits to use during your stay.

Earn Southwest points through Rapid Rewards Dining

Join Rapid Rewards Dining and you can earn 3 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants and bars near you — you’ll only earn 1 point for every 2 dollars spent if you don’t sign up to receive emails. New members who spend at least $25 dining out and complete a restaurant review within the first 30 days can snag a 1,000-point bonus.

Reviewing restaurants earns you 10 points a pop, while you’ll score 500 bonus points once you reach 1,500 points, plus 300 additional points each time you hit the 1,000-point mark.

Utilize Rapid Rewards Shopping and other retail partnerships

When you indulge in some much-needed retail therapy through the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal, you’ll get access to coupons, deals, and bonus points at more than 850 online retail stores like Apple, Macy’s, and Old Navy.

For example, you can earn 1,000 Southwest points by purchasing gourmet flower arrangements and gifts over $29.99 (before shipping and taxes) from 1-800-Flowers before December 31, 2023. Enter promo code RR22 and provide your Southwest Rapid Rewards account number at check-out to receive the bonus — the same goes for purchases made from Harry & David when you use promo code SW44 through December 31, 2023.

Other retail partnerships we’ve seen have included:

Wine delivery service Laithwaites: Earn 2,000 Southwest points when you join the wine club, plus two extra bottles, two Dartington Crystal stemless wine glasses, and 1,000 bonus points on future shipments. You’ll also earn 3x points on any non-club purchases made through the website.Emergency Assistance Plus: Earn 1,400 Southwest points each year you’re a member. This service provides medical evacuation and assistance, as well as transportation home, companion assistance, and other emergency services should you ever need them while traveling.Rapid Rewards members living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois can earn 10,000 points by switching to NRG, as well as 2x points per dollar on their energy bill.Texas residents who sign up for the Reliant 24 Secure plan receive 15,000 Southwest points on top of the 500 points per month they’ll earn over 24 months, for a total of 27,000 points.

Keep an eye out for bonus points promotions

Check the Southwest Airlines website often to see which partners are offering special points bonus promotions throughout the year. You may end up scoring extra points for booking car rentals, hotel stays, and Southwest Vacations packages, among other current bonus offerings.

Earn Southwest points by taking online surveys

You can earn points by taking online surveys through E-Rewards — $15 worth of E-Rewards yields 300 Southwest points, $25 worth of E-Rewards yields 600 Southwest points, $50 worth of E-Rewards yields 1,200 Southwest points, and $100 worth of E-Rewards yields 2,400 Southwest points.

Rewards for Opinions also gives you 500 bonus points for signing up and doing your first survey within 90 days. Keep in mind the points earned from these won’t go toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass or achieving A-List or A-List Preferred status.

Score bonus points by buying them through Southwest

If you’re a few points shy of your goal, you can always purchase more at the going rate is $60 for 2,000 points. Be on the lookout for specials or bonus promotions that offer an even bigger bang for your buck, Note that points must be purchased in increments of 1,000 and there is a daily purchase limit of 60,000 points.

Southwest also offers a points subscription program that lets you pay a certain amount each month for points and provides quarterly bonuses. The 30K plan, which yields 1,875 points per month and 7,500 bonus points per year, costs $56.25 per month. The 40K plan, which yields 2,333 points per month and 12,000 bonus points per year, costs $69.99 per month. The 80K plan, which yields 4,333 points per month and 28,000 bonus points per year, costs $129.99 per month. 

How to Use Southwest Points

Use Southwest points for flights in the US and abroad

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, family vacation, dream honeymoon, or an epic solo trip, Southwest points can be used to book flights around the US as well as 10 other countries throughout the Caribbean and Central America. Here’s a look at some sample redemption options for non-stop, roundtrip Wanna Get Away fares:

New York (LGA) to Los Angeles (LAX), from 11,332 pointsSan Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL), from 15,598 pointsBaltimore (BWI) to Aruba (AUA), from 24,734 pointsChicago (MDW) to Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD), from 19,422 pointsDenver (DEN) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR), from 24,734 points Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS), from 5,644 points

Note that Southwest does not have any airline partnerships and does not belong to any airline alliance, though the carrier does offer excellent perks like points that never expire, no blackout dates, two free checked bags, and unlimited award availability, making it a valuable choice for your next flight.

Qualify for a Southwest Companion Pass

To get the Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 135,000 qualifying Southwest points or fly 100 eligible one-way flights, each of which must happen within a calendar year. After that point, a friend or family member can tag along with you for free (less the price of taxes and fees) whenever you book a paid or award flight.

Southwest credit card holders receive a “boost” of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each year (only one boost per member, regardless of how many Southwest cards you have).

Best of all, if you plan the timing of it just right, by earning it in January, for instance, you’ll have the rest of the year as well as the following year to use it, effectively giving you two years to take advantage of this amazing perk.

Redeem Southwest points for hotels, car rentals, gift cards, and more

Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card members have exclusive access to the More Rewards portal, which lets you use Southwest points to shop for hotels and resort stays, rental cars, tours, shows, concerts, and other events and experiences, as well as gift cards, beauty products, fashion jewelry, and merchandise you may not want to pay cash for.

Transfer Southwest points to a friend or donate them to charity

If you have more than 2,000 Southwest points in your account, you can transfer them to other Rapid Rewards members, though they must be transferred in increments of 1,000 points and there’s a 60,000-point daily limit. Note that there’s a transfer fee of $5 for every 500 points transferred, so this is not a good deal.

You can also donate Southwest points to worthy causes like Team Rubicon, the Student Conservation Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Polaris, the Honor Flight Network, the United Negro College Fund, or the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

By