Southwest Rapid Rewards is a good points program for people who want to easily use their points for economy flights.
The number of points needed for a flight is directly connected to the cash price of a ticket. The cheaper the ticket, the fewer points are required.
There are several ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points including credit cards, hotel stays, rental cars, online shopping, dining at restaurants, and even on your electric bill.
Flying on Southwest Airlines
As expected, you can earn Rapid Rewards points by flying with Southwest.
Southwest has three different ticket classes:
- Wanna Get Away: 6 points per dollar.
- Anytime: 10 points per dollar.
- Business Select: 12 points per dollar.
A-List elite members earn a 25% points bonus on flights and A-List Preferred members earn a 100% points bonus on flights. (We detail elite status below).
Points are earned based on the ticket’s base fare, which excludes taxes.
We created a calculator to help you figure out how many points you will earn on your next flight.
You can customize the calculator by clicking in the blue boxes, entering your value, and hitting enter.
Southwest Airlines Credit Cards
Southwest has several credit cards that you can earn lots of points with sign up bonuses and other spending.
Southwest’s personal credit cards are the:
Southwest business credit cards are the:
Chase only allows you to have one personal and one business card. You can open up both within the same year and almost earn enough points for a Companion Pass, which is detailed below.
Transferring Points to Southwest
You have to main options when transferring points to Southwest, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers instantly to Southwest at a 1 to 1 point ratio.
Marriott Bonvoy points transfer within 24 hours at a rate of 3 Marriott points to 1 Southwest point.
Plus, if you get a bonus for transferring in increments of 60,000 Marriott points, which equals 25,000 Southwest points.
You can also book a Marriott Travel Package, which gets you 7 nights at a Marriott hotel and either 50,000 or 100,000 Southwest points.
Other Transfer Options:
- Hyatt– 5,000 Hyatt points converts to 2,400 Rapid Rewards points. Plus, there is a bonus when transferring 50,000 Hyatt points, which converts to 30,000 Rapid Rewards points.
- Choice Hotels– 6,000 Choice Privileges points converts to 1,800 Rapid Rewards points.
- Best Western– 5,000 Best Western points converts to 1,200 Rapid Rewards points.
- Radisson– You can convert Radisson Rewards to Rapid Rewards at a rate of 10 to 1 (e.g., 2,000 Points = 200 Rapid Rewards)
You can earn Southwest points by clicking through the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal before visiting a store’s website.
Some stores have really high earn rates like 4,500 points for switching to AT&T Internet or 2,700 points on your first cooking box from Sun Basket.
You can see the stores that offer the most points by clicking here and then clicking “Stores by earn rate.”
You can also add the Google Chrome Rapid Rewards Shopping button so that you can get reminders to easily activate points directly at over 850 stores.
Eating at Restaurants
You can link any credit card to the Rapid Rewards Dining program to automatically earn points every time you pay using that card at participating restaurants.
You earn 3 points per dollar if you opt-in for dining emails and one point per two dollars if you opt-out of their emails. Plus you earn 10 points for every review you complete.
You can also check our their bonuses section to earn extra points when you sign up.
The two best ways to earn Southwest points for hotel stays are via Southwest Hotels and RocketMiles.
Both can be very lucrative for those people who prefer to earn airline miles rather than hotel points and are willing to forgo hotel elite status benefits.
We compared both websites and found that Southwest Hotels generally offered more points, but had higher prices.
In the example below, Southwest Hotels was $80 higher, but offered 8,000 more points for our four-night stay.
You can also earn points with a flight and hotel package with Southwest Vacations.
We found the price of the hotel was $80 less than the RocketMiles price when deducting the cost of the flight. However, the Southwest points from the hotel was 5,000 points less than RocketMiles.
You may want to price out all three websites to see what is the best option for you.
Do you want to save money or do you want to earn more points?
Southwest’s other hotel partners award points based on a “hotel stay,” rather than by the number of nights.
I would generally avoid these partners unless you are staying only one night.
You still get your elite benefits, but you forgo hotel points.
Marriott– You can earn 600 Rapid Rewards points for every stay at Marriott.
Hyatt– You can earn 600 Rapid Rewards points for every stay at Hyatt.
Choice Hotels– You can earn Rapid Rewards points instead of Choice Privileges points. Just give your Rapid Rewards number at check-in.
MGM Grand– You can earn 600 Rapid Rewards points for every stay at MGM Resorts.
Best Western– You can earn Rapid Rewards points instead of Best Western points when you stay at Best Western hotels. Just set your Best Western earning preference to Partner Rewards -> Southwest Airlines.
You can earn 600 Rapid Rewards points for each car rental at:
Some rental programs charge a “Frequent Flyer” surcharge of $1 per day, which minimizes the benefit of earning Southwest points.
Southwest occasionally runs promotions to make earning points with rental cars worth it.
Tours and Experiences
You can earn 1 point per dollar spent on Southwest Experiences, which is not a very good earn rate.
However, Marriott uses the same company (PlacePass) for these tours and you can earn 5 Marriott points per dollar spent on these experiences.
Plus, you could transfer Marriott points to Southwest at a better rate than you would earn by booking directly with Southwest Experiences.
Southwest partners with two electric companies so that you can earn Rapid Rewards points.
NRG– NRG is located in IL, MA, MD, NJ, and PA. You can earn 10,000 points for enrolling, and two points per dollar spent on your energy bill.
Reliant– Texas residents can earn 15,000 points with a Reliant Secure 24 plan and 500 additional points per month for the next 24 months.
Other Ways to Earn Southwest Points
Gas at Marathon– You can earn 1 point per gallon of fuel purchased. Plus 40 cents per gallon off your first fill up.
Rewards for Opinions– You can earn points by taking surveys including a 500 point bonus after your first survey.
e-Rewards– e-Rewards is another survey company where you can earn Rapid Rewards points.
Emergency Assistance Plus– You can earn 1,200 points for every year your renew ($169 per year) in their emergency medical assistance program.