Whether you want to fly around the United States or to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, Southwest has you covered as the biggest low-cost carrier in the world.
If you love to fly free (who doesn’t?!), join the Southwest Rapid Rewards loyalty program! You’ll earn points for flights, shopping, dining, and more which can be redeemed for free travel.
The more points you earn, the better. In this guide, we’re going to show you how it’s possible to earn over 100,000 Rapid Rewards points in no time.
Table of contents
Table of Contents
Why Would You Want to Earn 100k Points?
During peak travel season, Southwest has more than 4,000 daily departures from cities across the U.S. That’s a ton of flight options from which to choose to help you redeem all your Rapid Rewards points!
With so many Rapid Rewards points to spend, you may want to experience a domestic flight with the best seats on the plane in Business Select.
Plus, those 100,000+ points will really come in handy when using the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass!
1. Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
One of the best ways to get your hands on Rapid Rewards points is by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
You can use one of 6 Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to earn tons of points. To transfer points to your Rapid Rewards account, you will need to have one of the 3 premium Ultimate Rewards cards (i.e. one with an annual fee).
Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. |
This sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $450 annual fee.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you 3% cash-back on all purchases in your first year (up to $20,000 spent), then 1.5% on all purchases after that. Just know that you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.|
Recommended Chase Cards (Business)
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and comes with a whopping 80,000 sign up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Also, if you pay for your cell phone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year.|
|Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. In addition, get up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses. A simple, $0 annual fee card.|
Hot Tip: Check out our Transfer Partner Tool for quick calculations on point transfers.
2. Use Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards
Southwest Airlines has partnered with Chase to offer Southwest Airlines credit cards.
Note that since April 5, 2018 you cannot get more than one Southwest consumer cards at the same time. You also cannot get a second if you already have one of the cards or have received a new cardmember bonus on either card in the last 24 months. This rule does not apply to the Southwest business card.
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card|
|Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card|
|Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Perofrmance Business Credit Card|
Unfortunately, you cannot earn bonus Rapid Rewards points for adding authorized users to these cards.
Hot Tip: Check out 8 valuable benefits of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.
3. Diners Club International
Are you a Diners Club member? While not the most well-known rewards program, Diners Club point can also be transferred to Southwest Airlines.
Diners Club members earn a Club Rewards point for every $1 spent on their card. Their high-end card even earns 3X points per $1 spent in categories such as grocery stores, restaurants, and drug stores.
You’ll receive 1,200 Rapid Rewards points for every 1,500 Club Rewards points transferred.
Unfortunately, it has been a few years since Diners Club accepted applications for new cardmembers, but if you have one you can take advantage of their rewards program to help you book Southwest award flights.
4. Use Rental Car Partners
Earn 600 points per rental when you book a car through Alamo, Budget, Avis, Hertz, Thrifty, Payless, Dollar, or National. If you rent a car a few times per year, it’s possible to add approximately 2,000 points to your Rapid Rewards account!
Even better, check out special offers for rental cars. Current offers for Rapid Rewards members include 1,200 to 2,400 bonus points plus up to 35% off rentals through January 2018!
5. Rapid Rewards Dining
Enroll in the Southwest Dining Rewards program and earn Rapid Rewards points for dining out at participating restaurants. Link up to 6 credit cards to your account to maximize your potential!
The minimum number of points you can earn is 1X points per $2 spent at the restaurant (including tax and tip). If you opt into email notifications, you’ll earn 3X points per $1 instead!
Want to earn more? Choose to leave a review, and you can earn 10X additional Rapid Rewards points. Plus, periodic sign-up bonuses give you the opportunity to earn more points upon enrollment.
Of course, the points you earn in Southwest Dining Rewards are on top of any points you earn just for paying with rewards credit cards. This means if you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can earn 2X points per $1 on top of the points you’d earn from the dining program.
Using Those 100k+ Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
OK – so the points are in your Rapid Rewards account, and you need to choose how to spend them. Keep in mind, the award prices of Southwest flights are pegged to the cash ticket cost so it can vary based on the day you book.
We’ve listed a few options here to give you some ideas:
Fly Business Select: Want to fly in style? When you fly Business Select, you receive special perks like getting through security quicker, priority boarding, and a free premium drink during the flight!
A Business Select fare from New York (LaGuardia) to Los Angeles is around 75,000 points.
Go to the Grand Cayman Islands: Ever wanted to visit the beautiful Grand Cayman Islands? You can book a round-trip adventure to this Caribbean island from Fort Lauderdale, Florida for around 5,040 Rapid Rewards points plus about $90 in taxes and fees.
For additional miles, you can also start your journey from one of the many other U.S. cities served by Southwest Airlines.
Companion Pass: Earn 110,000 points in a calendar year, and you’ll get the Companion Pass for the remainder of the year in which you earn it plus the following year. Only certain points qualify, including points earned for:
- Flights (base but not bonus points)
- Rapid Rewards credit card purchases
- Southwest Dining
- Shopping portal purchases
Unfortunately, the rules were updated April 1, 2017, and they can be a little confusing. Read our ultimate guide to the Companion Pass to break down the details!
Now that you’ve learned some strategies for increasing your Rapid Rewards points balance, it’s time to start thinking about how you’d like to use 100,000 points!
Or, you can hop on over and check out our recent article on how to earn stacks of SWA points without even flying!