16 Best Ways to Earn LOTS of Southwest Rapid Rewards Points [2017]

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Need More Southwest Points?

To earn lots of Southwest Rapid Rewards points, use the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.

Our preferred method is to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Cardin combination with the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Card.

Southwest Airlines is the world’s largest low-cost carrier, however it does not have any airline partners. This means the points you earn for its Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program are only redeemable on Southwest flights.

So, how rapidly can you earn tons of Rapid Rewards points? Ultimately, that is up to you and the strategies you employ. Luckily, there are 13 easy ways to earn tons of Southwest Rapid Reward points.

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  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
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The Southwest Rapid Rewards Program

Earn Rapid Rewards points so you can fly around the US or even to the Caribbean.

Sign Up For A Rapid Rewards Account

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program, formerly called the Company Club, is a stand-alone frequent flyer program. Unlike some loyalty programs, Rapid Rewards membership does not require an affiliated credit card to start earning points.

It’s that simple. While you do not earn any points for registering for an account, you’ll need to create an account to start earning points. Southwest will offer bonus points through email promotions, so ensure you’re signed up for Southwest emails.

1. Refer-A-Friend Bonus

Once in a while, Southwest will send emails to targeted Rapid Rewards members. These lucky members have the opportunity to earn 500 bonus points for every friend who joins the Rapid Rewards program, limited the referrals to up to 4 friends.

New members who join from the referral will receive 250 points as a welcome bonus!

Since these are targeted offers, you may or may not be chosen to refer your friends. However, by signing up for a Rapid Rewards account, you’re eligible to receive the promotion.

Once you signed up for a Rapid Rewards account, watch your inbox for the invitation to participate!

Using The Southwest Airlines And Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

Chase provides several credit cards that can jumpstart your earning. Before you know it, you will have tons of Rapid Rewards points.

2. Southwest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Southwest Airlines has partnered with JPMorgan Chase (“Chase”) to offer three Southwest Airlines credit cards. The two personal cards and one business card offer different sign-up bonuses based on initial spending.

Loyalty Program Card Review Application
Southwest Rapid Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Apply Here >>
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card Apply Here >>
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Apply Here >>

Both of the Southwest Premier credit cards offer a one-year anniversary points bonus that will earn you 6,000 bonus points, and the Plus offers 3,000. This bonus can help offset the annual fee of the cards.

Hot Tip:  The sign-up bonus offer for each card can occasionally increase to 50,000 Rapid Rewards points. Southwest will usually run this promotion for all cards around the same time, so watch for this great opportunity to earn extra bonus points simply for signing up.

Unfortunately, you cannot earn bonus Rapid Rewards points for adding authorized users to the card.

If you interested in applying for this card, take a look at our post on Credit Cards and Credit Scores Explained to learn more about getting approved!

3. Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Sign-Up Bonuses

You can also use the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to earn points because Southwest is a transfer partner. There are six cards in total, although to transfer points you must have at least one of the three cards that are marked with a star below.

Loyalty Program Card Review Application
Chase Ultimate Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* Apply Here >>
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card* Apply Here >>
Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Apply Here >>
  Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* Apply Here >>
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Apply Here >>
Chase Freedom® Apply Here >>

4. Everyday Spending On The Credit Cards

Shopping gallery
Everyday spending on the Southwest cards can earn you a bunch of extra points per year. There are no big spending bonuses, however, besides the Companion Pass.

Unfortunately, there are no credit card category bonuses or big spend bonuses with the Southwest credit cards. When it comes to everyday spending, Rapid Rewards points can be earned only two ways:

  1. The Rapid Rewards Online Shopping Portal
  2. Rapid Rewards Dining Program

While there are no credit card category bonuses (besides 2x on flights) or big spending bonuses, you will earn 1 Rapid Rewards point per $1 spent on all purchases.

Getting the Southwest credit card might not be worth it if you don’t take advantage of the sign-up bonuses and the 1 point per $1 spent on purchases.

5. Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Category Bonuses

Luckily, there are plenty of bonus categories on the six different Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. Remember, to transfer to Southwest you must have one of the travel rewards cards that are starred below (“*”).

Category Applicable Credit Cards Bonus miles
Office Supply Stores Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 5x
Cell Phones/Landlines Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* 3x
  Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 5x
Internet/Cable Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* 3x
  Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 5x
Shipping Purchases Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* 3x
Select Advertising Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* 3x
Gas Stations Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 2x
  Chase Freedom® 5x (during quarterly bonus)
Restaurants Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 2x
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* 2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card* 3x
Chase Freedom® 5x (during quarterly bonus)
Hotels Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 2x
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* 2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card* 3x
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* 3x
All Travel Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card* 2x
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card* 3x
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card* 3x
Quarterly Bonus Category Chase Freedom® 5x
All Purchases Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ 1.5x
All Other Purchases All cards except the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ 1x

Southwest Shopping And Dining Bonuses

If you’re gong to be shopping or dining out anyway, you might as well earn some Rapid Rewards points too!

6. Online Rapid Rewards Southwest Shopping Portal

Credit cards aside, there are a lot of other ways to earn miles on everyday purchases through the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal.

There are over 1,000 online retailers you can shop from. Here’s a sample of just a few:

southwest shopping
Examples of Southwest shopping partners via the online shopping mall.

If you’re interested in viewing all retailers, click the link for “All Online Stores.”

To ensure you earn the bonuses for your purchases:

  1. Go to Rapid Rewards Shopping
  2. Sign up/sign into your Rapid Rewards account
  3. Search for and select a product or store’s bonus points offer

A new browser window should open and look similar to this:

rapid rewards shopping
When you click on a Rapid Rewards shopping partner, you’ll be redirected to your desired site after going through this redirection screen.
  1. Shop as normal through the store’s website
  2. When you proceed to checkout, ensure you’re still logged into the Online Shopping Portal so you receive the bonus points for your purchase

Keep in mind that your purchase can be made with any credit card. However, if you use your Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you will be earning 1 points per $1 for your purchase in addition to the bonus points offered through the shopping portal. This is a great way to rack up points!

7. The Rapid Rewards Dining Program

rapid rewards dining
The Rapid Rewards Dining program portal screen. Find hundreds of restaurants in your area to earn additional Rapid Rewards points!

Like several other airlines, Southwest participates in a dining program. The Southwest Dining Program makes it easy for you to earn Rapid Rewards points when you eat out at restaurants all over the United States.

Membership is free; you simply register for an account, add any credit card and start eating to earn. To sign up for the Southwest Dining Program:

  1. Go to Rapid Rewards Dining
  2. Click “Add A Card” located on the right side and add any credit card you use at restaurants. It doesn’t have to be your Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card!
  3. Search for restaurants near you by using the search engine at the top of the page
  4. Simply eat at participating restaurants and use the registered credit card when you pay.

Usually, you will earn 3 points per $1 spent at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs. You’ll also earn 10 points for every review you complete after each dining experience.

Check out the “Bonuses” section of the site to find promotions that will earn you even more points. One benefit for new members is there are several options for earning bonus points:

  • First Bite Bonus– Earn 500 bonus points for signing up, dining at a participating restaurant within 30 days, then submitting a review for the restaurant.
  • First Step Bonus– When you reach 1,500 points, you’ll be given an additional 500 points just because they’re nice.
  • Thank You Bonus– After you’ve earned the First Step Bonus, earn another 1000 points and you’ll be rewarded an additional 300 points.

Bottom Line: Shopping online through the Rapid Rewards mall and dining out at participating Rapid Rewards Dining restaurants will help you earn tons of additional points.

Earning Southwest Points: Travel Bonuses

The tried and true method of earning Rapid Rewards points… flying on Southwest Airlines.

8. Airfare & Airline Purchases

southwest airlines rapid rewards points earning
Earn 2x points via Southwest Airlines when using your Rapid Rewards credit card. More bonus points are earned then based on your fare as well as your elite status.

Luckily, with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card, you earn 2 points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airlines purchases. This includes all flights, in-flight purchases, and Southwest gift cards purchased through Southwest Airlines.

You don’t need one of these cards to start earning on your travel purchases. Your Rapid Rewards membership will start earning you points on any Southwest flight you purchase regardless of the card you use to pay.

Since Southwest Airlines is an independent carrier, you can only earn Rapid Rewards points on Southwest flights.

Being limited to Southwest for earning points on airfare may seem like a major disadvantage, but you can actually earn a lot of Rapid Rewards points each time you fly with Southwest.

The points you will earn on Southwest flights are much more than many other airlines tend to offer. If you love flying Southwest, then this is wonderful news!

Of course, the number of points you earn will depend on the class of your seats. Southwest uses fun names to define their low-cost, standard, and business class seats which are “Wanna Get Away,” “Anytime,” and “Business Select,” respectively.

Points earned also depend on your status or “tier” as a Rapid Rewards member.

Tiers are reached in a variety of ways including flying on Southwest flights. Aside from the base or “general member” tier, the achievable tiers are “A-List” and “A-List Preferred.”

If you’re able to reach either of these tiers, you will have the chance to earn a greater percentage of points on each flight than a general member.

Along with other perks like priority boarding and security access, you receive bonus points with each tier:

  • A-List — 25% bonus Rapid Rewards points
  • A-List Preferred— 100% bonus Rapid Rewards points

This might seem like a lot to calculation, but Southwest has made it very simply by offering their “How to Earn Simulator.”

Simply select your tier status and your fare type; the simulator will give you the total number of points you would earn on a flight.

southwest point earning simulator
Southwest developed this tool to help you understand how you will earn points for your Southwest flight. Be sure to add in points you’ll earn through your credit cards!

According to this handy feature, you would earn as low as 1,500 points to as much as 6,000 points, depending on your tier status, on a $250 flight.

That’s a sizable number of points, especially compared to the points you would earn on flights with other airlines.

Bottom Line: A-Lister Preferred members in business select seats will earn the most points on Southwest flights. Use the Earn Simulator to determine how much you will earn.

Hot Tip:  While booking with the Southwest card is great for earning 2x points, you can also earn 2x points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card but also have the flexibility to transfer to other travel partners as well!

9. Car Rentals And Other Transportation

Rent a car with any of the following car rental companies and you will earn 600 Rapid Rewards points per rental. Plus, if you pay with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, you’ll earn 2 points for every $1 spent.

You can also earn 300 Rapid Rewards points for a round trip with ExecuCar (SuperShuttle) if you need a shuttle to get you to and from the airport.

This is a great option for big cities since taxis can get expensive and subways or other public transportation can take too long.

If you’re in New York and need a great way to get from JKF to Manhattan, using ExecuCar can earn you 150 points.

Hot Tip: Be sure to check the promotions section of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards website. Many of the partnering car rental companies will offer bonus points throughout the year that can earn you even more points per rental. Keep an eye out to see what bonus point deals are currently available.

10. Book Hotels With Partners

Rapid Rewards has eight hotel partners that you can earn extra points.

You will earn 600 Rapid Rewards points per stay when you book with these Southwest Rapid Rewards’ hotel partners:

For even more points, earn an extra 150 points on your stay when you book your hotel stay through Southwest.com.

Again, check the Rapid Rewards Special Offers page to get the latest offers from these hotels. Some of them offer even more bonus points during certain time periods.

In addition to the above hotel partners, Rocketmiles is also a partner of Southwest Rapid Rewards. Rocketmiles offers between 1,000 and 10,000 Rapid Rewards points per night when you book a stay through their website.

This is an incredible way to earn tons of points on a hotel stay without being limited to only certain hotels.

11. Hotel Partner Credit Cards

Using credit cards for each of the hotel partners is a great way to earn additional points that you can then transfer to Southwest Rapid Rewards.

Loyalty Program Credit Card Review Application
Marriott Rewards Loyalty Program Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Apply Here >>
Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Apply Here >>
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Loyalty Program Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express Apply Here >>
Hyatt Gold Passport Loyalty Program Chase Hyatt Credit Card Apply Here >>

12. Book Vacation Packages

Southwest offers some great vacation package deals, and you’ll earn Rapid Rewards points when you book them through southwestvacations.com.

The points earned on each vacation varies depending on the package you choose and your status as a Rapid Rewards member.

Hot Tip: If your booking includes MGM Resorts in Las Vegas, you’ll earn 600 extra points on top of the points you earn through purchasing the package.

Specialty Earnings Opportunities For Southwest Points

Southwest Airlines provides a few ways to earn Rapid Rewards you might not expect.

13. Home Purchases

Southwest Rapid Rewards has partnered with a few energy companies that will earn you bonus miles for enrolling and remaining with them. These partnering companies offer special point bonuses for Southwest Rapid Rewards members:

Company Product/Service Bonus points
Energy Plus Enroll for at least 2 months and earn on the supply portion of your bill (Only IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OH, or PA) Sign Up: 5,000 points (7,500 for Southwest Airlines credit card holders)
Earning: 2 points on each $1 billed (3 points on each $1 billed for Southwest Airlines credit card holders)
Everything Energy Enroll for at least 2 months and earn on the supply portion of your bill (Only TX) Sign Up: 5,000 points (7,500 for Southwest Airlines credit card holders)
Earning: 2 points for each $1 billed (3 points for each $1 billed for Southwest Airlines credit card holders)
Reliant Sign up and then continue to earn each month (Only TX) Sign Up: 15,000 points
Earning: 500 each month

Be wary of these offers! The bonus points earned may be hefty, but those bonus points may not outweigh the cost of the product or service.

The cost of the services, as well as the terms and conditions, should be considered before diving in simply to earn the points.

14. Fill Out Surveys For Rapid Rewards Points

shutterstock_297570230

We mention surveys in a lot of other posts, but this is one of the easiest ways to earn extra miles! Yes, surveys take time and the points earned aren’t astronomical, but the points add up.

A measly 100 points can be the difference between a free flight or paying for it out-of-pocket.

With that in mind, Southwest has partnered with several different data collection companies. This means they know their customers are interested in participating in marketing research for points in return.

Luckily, all of these programs are free!

Here are the partners where you can earn Rapid Rewards:

Company Per survey currency or miles Bonus Rapid Rewards Points
e-Miles 5 – 1000 miles 350 Points plus 100 e-Miles
e-Rewards $0.10 – $25.00 500 Points when completing first survey in 3 months
Valued Opinions $0.50 – $5.00 None at this time

With e-Rewards, currency becomes points after filling out surveys. The e-Rewards currency you receive upon completing a survey can be transferred into Rapid Rewards points in set increments.

Here is the breakdown of e-Rewards earnings:

  • $15 e-Rewards Currency = 300 Rapid Rewards Points
  • $25 e-Rewards Currency = 600 Rapid Rewards Points
  • $50 e-Rewards Currency = 1,200 Rapid Rewards Points
  • $100 e-Rewards Currency = 2,400 Rapid Rewards Points

You can transfer e-Rewards currency for as low as $15. This means one survey worth $15 could immediately translate into 300 Rapid Rewards points.

erewardsBottom Line: There are three different options for earning points through surveys after you sign up to do them for free online. It only takes a few minutes and could help you get those few extra points you need to fly for free.

 15. Transfer Points From Diners Club

You’re in luck if you’re a Diners Club International member. Southwest and Diners Club have partnered up so you can easily convert your Diners Club rewards into Rapid Rewards Points.

The transfer rate is not great at 5:4. This means for every 5 Diners Club Points, you’ll only receive 4 Rapid Rewards points.

Ultimately, you’re losing 20% of your points, but it’s a helpful option when you need some extra Rapid Rewards points to redeem for flights or other purchases.

Hot Tip:  Transfer points 1:1 with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, making the six different available cards great choices for earning Southwest Rapid Rewards cards at a value that may be better than Diner’s Club!

Other Ways To Accumulate Southwest Points

Sometimes you need to top off your Rapid Rewards account for an award booking. Southwest provides a quick and easy way to do that.

16. Buy Southwest Points

While not everyone likes to buy points, whenever there is a bonus going on you can get a decent amount of value for your points.

For instance, if you can get around $0.015 per point for purchasing points, you will come out ahead if you can redeem your points for $0.016 or more.

You can get this value if you purchase 30,000 for $450, for example.

Final Thoughts

While there are only three Rapid Rewards credit card options with limited ways to earn points, you can also utilize the Chase Ultimate Rewards program to transfer points to your Rapid Rewards account.

There are several cards that earn Ultimate Rewards including the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, Chase Freedom®, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card and of course the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Fortunately, there are many credit card-independent ways to earn Rapid Rewards points through hotel and rental car partners, to surveys. If you’re a few points short of an award flight, filling out surveys online or viewing a few marketing ads are an easy way to top off your Rapid Rewards account.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
  • Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your account is open
  • 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners purchases
  • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Bags fly free®
  • No change fees
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FAQ

What are RR points?
Southwest’s points program is called Rapid Rewards. The points you earn, redeem, and transfer are Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

What are Southwest Rapid Rewards points worth?
The value of Southwest Rapid Rewards points depends on the ticket you are getting. You’ll usually always get somewhere between 1.2 and 2 centers per point. A “Wanna Get Away” ticket will give you a value up to 1.8 cents per point.

At 1.8 cents per point, that’s like getting a $100 ticket for the equivalent of about 5555 RR points.

What credit cards can earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points?
There are three branded Southwest credit cards: the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, and the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

However, you can also transfer points earned from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest, which includes the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit CardChase Freedom Unlimited℠Chase Freedom®.

Can Southwest Rapid Rewards points be transferred?
Southwest Rapid Rewards program cannot be transferred to other airlines. They can, however, be redeemed for hotel stays, car rentals, and more

Are Southwest Rapid Rewards points transferrable to AirTran?
No. AirTran is now integrated into Southwest so it is no longer considered a Southwest “partner.”

When do Southwest Rapid Rewards points post in your account?
RR points should post to your account within 3-7 days.

If miles are missing after this time period, consider requesting missing miles.

Are Southwest Rapid Rewards points refundable?
Yes. Southwest considers all flights paid for with Rapid Rewards points fully refundable when cancelled prior to departure.

Be sure to select “request a refund of the refundable balance” when you go to cancel your flight reservation.

Can I get Southwest Rapid Rewards points for past flights?
Yes. Find the Manage section of your account and select “Request past points.” Enter the flight confirmation number and submit. In 3-5 days you should see the past flight appear in the trip history of your account and receive the missing points.

When do Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire?
Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire after 18 months of inactivity. Your account will not expire for 18 months from the date of your most recent activity. Simply earn or redeem miles a minimum of every 18 months to keep your account from expiring.