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10 Unique Ways To Use Southwest Points (That Don’t Involve Flying!)

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

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Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
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Southwest is a favorite airline among many travelers because of its customer-friendly policies like free checked baggage, no change fees, and the Southwest Companion Pass. Its loyalty program, Southwest Rapid Rewards, is easy to use as well, making it a great airline for award travel.

Of course, we all know you can use Rapid Rewards points to purchase Southwest flights, but did you know that you can use your Southwest points for gift cards, merchandise, experiences, hotels, and more?

In this post we will show you all the unique ways you can use your Southwest Rapid Rewards points, and whether or not these options are a good use of your points.

Finding the Southwest Airlines More Rewards Portal

You can use your Southwest Rapid Rewards points for things other than Southwest flights by visiting the Southwest More Rewards portal. To find all these options on southwest.com, you’ll need to navigate to the More Rewards portal. Here’s a quick step-by-step to get you there.

  1. Visit southwest.com and click on Rapid Rewards in the upper right corner and then click on Redeem Points for Gift Cards & More.
How to redeem Southwest points for gift cards and more
Go to your Rapid Rewards account to redeem your points for gift cards and merchandise. Image Credit: Southwest
  • Next, you’ll enter the More Rewards portal by clicking Shop exclusive offers if you are a Rapid Rewards credit cardholder or Shop rewards if you do not have a Rapid Rewards credit card. From here you will be able to see all the things you can purchase with your Rapid Rewards points.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards More Rewards portal
    Southwest credit cardholders have access to exclusive offers. Image Credit: Southwest

    1. Southwest More Rewards — Merchandise

    To shop for merchandise using your Southwest Rapid Rewards points, go to the More Rewards portal and select Shop All on the top menu bar.

    Southwest More Rewards - Shop All
    You can use your Rapid Rewards points to shop for merchandise. Image Credit: Southwest

    From here you will be able to see all the items you can purchase using Rapid Rewards points. The main shopping categories are:

    • Electronics
    • Fashion, Health, & Beauty
    • Giving
    • Home, Garden, & Tools
    • Kids and Baby
    • Sporting

    Each category has different subcategories. Click on one to see all of the items available.

    This brings up a typical shopping page; you’ll see all the items available are listed in the main section with filtering options to the left of the screen. The only difference is that the prices are listed in Rapid Rewards points instead of dollars!

    To purchase an item, click on the item then click the yellow Add to Shopping Bag button. You may be prompted to log in to your Rapid Rewards account if you aren’t already logged in.

    Shopping for merchandise with Rapid Rewards points
    You can use Rapid Rewards points to buy lots of different items. Image Credit: Southwest

    Once you’re ready to check out, you’ll see the price for your item listed in Rapid Rewards points. As you move through the checkout process, you’ll see a slide bar that lets you pay for just part of your order in points. You’ll be able to pay for up to 25% of your item with a credit card.

    Southwest More Rewards partial payment option
    You can pay for up to 25% of your order with a credit card instead of points. Image Credit: Southwest

    Click the yellow Submit Order button to complete your order. Orders can not be canceled once placed, so be sure everything is correct before you submit your order!

    Shop by Phone

    If you prefer not to order online, you can also order over the phone. Call Southwest on 800-833-4861 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST to place an order.

    Product Returns

    If you are unhappy with an item purchased through the More Rewards portal, you can return it within 30 days of the ship date.

    To return an item, you must call Customer Service at 800-833-4861 for a Return Authorization (RA) number. This number must be included in your return. You’re responsible for return shipping charges and will be charged a 15% restocking fee. Gift cards can not be returned.

    If you receive a damaged item, contact Customer Service at 800-833-4861 within 24 hours of receipt.

    Is This a Good Deal?

    The value you will get for your Rapid Rewards points when shopping through the More Rewards portal varies. We searched lots of products, and the value varied anywhere between 0.2 to 0.7 cents per point. When you consider the fact that you will get 1.3 to 1.4 cents per point in value when using your points to purchase a Southwest flight, you see that these are not great deals.

    Bottom Line: You can shop for merchandise using Rapid Rewards points online or by calling 800-833-4861. However, the value isn’t great — you will only get between 0.2 to 0.7 cents per point.

    2. Southwest More Rewards — Gift Cards

    Gift cards are another item you can purchase through the More Rewards portal using your Rapid Rewards points. Go to the More Rewards portal and select Gift Cards on the top menu bar.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping for gift cards
    You can use Southwest points to buy gift cards, although it’s not a good deal at all. Image Credit: Southwest

    You can search for specific stores or categories using the filtering options at the left, or just scroll through the available cards in the main section of your screen. The price for each gift card will be listed in points instead of dollars. Click on the card you would like to purchase to see details and finalize your transaction.

    The price you’ll see will be lower for Rapid Rewards credit cardholders than it will for Rapid Rewards members.

    SCROLL FOR MORE

    Hot Tip: You only need to be a Rapid Rewards member to shop using points in the More Rewards portal, however, prices for gift cards are lower for anyone who holds a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card.

    Is This a Good Deal?

    When using Rapid Rewards points to purchase airline tickets, you will get about 1.3 to 1.4 cents per point in value.

    When you use Rapid Rewards points to purchase a gift card, you’ll get between 0.26 to 0.66 cents per point. Even at the top end of that range, it’s less than half the value you would get using your points to purchase a flight!

    Generally, using your points to purchase gift cards is not a good deal. There could be a few occasions when it might make sense, but these times will be few and far between.

    Bottom Line: When using Southwest Rapid Rewards points to purchase gift cards, you’ll only get ~0.26 to 0.66 cents per point in value — much less than the 1.3 to 1.4 cents these points are typically worth.

    3. Southwest More Rewards — Flights

    Hot Tip: The feature that allows you to use Rapid Rewards points for non-Southwest international flights has been temporarily suspended.

    Your Rapid Rewards points can be used to purchase non-Southwest international flights through the More Rewards portal. Go to the More Rewards portal and select Travel on the top menu bar, then Airfare from the drop-down menu.

    Southwest More Rewards Travel
    You can use Southwest points to book non-Southwest international flights. Image Credit: Southwest

    Input your search criteria including departure city, arrival city, dates, times, and the number of passengers. Then click the yellow Search button in the bottom right corner.

    This search results page should look pretty familiar — the search results are in the middle with filtering options to the left. The main difference you may notice is that the price is listed in Southwest Rapid Rewards points instead of dollars.

    Southwest More Rewards Flights
    You’ll see the flight’s price listed in points instead of dollars. Image Credit: Southwest

    If you don’t have enough points in your account to cover the cost, you will need to earn or buy more.

    Is This a Good Deal?

    When purchasing non-Southwest International airfare with Southwest points, you’ll get a value of 0.79 cents per point if you don’t have a Southwest credit card and 0.98 cents per point if you do have a Southwest credit card. That’s significantly less than the 1.3 to 1.4 cents that Southwest points are worth, but it’s a much better value than using your Southwest points for merchandise or gift cards.

    Bottom Line: When booking a flight through the More Rewards portal, you’ll get 0.79 to 0.98 cents per point in value. This is less than what you get when booking a Southwest flight with your points, but better than other options through the More Rewards portal.

    4. Southwest More Rewards — Hotels

    To search for hotels, go to the More Rewards portal and select Travel on the top menu bar, then select Hotel Stay from the drop-down menu.

    Then enter your basic search criteria including destination, travel dates, number of rooms, and number of guests. Click the yellow Search button to continue.

    Just as with flights, the price is listed in Southwest Rapid Rewards points instead of dollars. This price is for your entire stay, not just 1 night. If you don’t have enough points in your account to cover the cost, you will see a Payment Guidelines button that directs you to purchase more points.

    Booking a hotel through Southwest More Rewards
    The price you see in points is for your entire stay, not for just 1 night. Image Credit: Southwest

    If you have enough points in your Rapid Rewards account (and are logged in) you will see a yellow Select button. Click this to enter your info and complete the transaction.

    Trying to find a hotel through Southwest More Rewards has some problems. First, be careful what you are choosing —  hostels were listed right along with hotels. Also, many of the hotels listed were not actually available to book, but you don’t know until you click on the selection.

    In all of our searches for hotels booked through the Southwest More Rewards portal, we got a point value of 0.6 to 0.7. That’s about half the value you get when you book a flight with your Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Plus, if you need to cancel or change a hotel reservation booked through Southwest, you’ll be on the hook for a $35 fee.

    Bottom Line: When you book a hotel through Southwest using points, you’ll get ~0.6 to 0.7 cents per point in value, which is about half of what Southwest points are worth. While it’s always good to have different ways to use points, you won’t get as much value when you use them this way.

    5. Southwest More Rewards — Car Rentals

    To search for a rental car, go to the More Rewards portal and select Travel on the top menu bar, then select Rental Car from the drop-down menu.

    Input your search criteria including pick-up and drop-off location, times, dates, and the driver’s age. To include some more specific search criteria click on Advanced Search — you can specify car type, type of transmission, and whether or not the car will have air conditioning.

    Click the yellow Search button to continue.

    Southwest More Rewards Car Rental
    You can use Rapid Rewards points to book a rental car. Image Credit: Southwest

    The main search results will be displayed in the middle of the page with filtering options to the left. The price will be shown in Rapid Rewards points. Click on See Details for more information, price breakdown, and any additional fees that might apply.

    Southwest More Rewards rental car
    You can book a rental car using Rapid Rewards points. Image Credit: Southwest

    Bottom Line: Just as with flights, the value you get renting a car with your Rapid Rewards points isn’t great — you will get 0.5 to 0.6 cents per point.

    6. Southwest More Rewards — Cruises

    After selecting Travel on the More Rewards main menu, you can select Cruises from the drop-down menu. Then you will be prompted to call a Cruise Agent at 888-658-4826 to use your points.

    Prices aren’t listed on the website so you’ll need to call to see if this is a good deal.

    Hot Tip: Interested in a cruise? Check out these websites for great cruise deals.

    7. Southwest More Rewards — TSA PreCheck

    You may be surprised to know that you can purchase TSA PreCheck using Southwest Rapid Rewards points. You’ll find it in the More Rewards portal by clicking Travel and then Travel Essentials.

    Purchase TSA PreCheck with Southwest points
    You can purchase TSA PreCheck with Rapid Rewards points. Image Credit: Southwest

    TSA PreCheck usually costs $78 for 5 years. In the More Rewards portal, it costs 13,500 Rapid Rewards points if you’re a Rapid Rewards credit cardholder or 16,920 points if you aren’t. That will give you 0.5 to 0.6 cents in value, just under half of what points are worth when you use them for flights. However, if TSA PreCheck is something you want and you have no plans to use your Southwest points in other ways, it could be a decent option in some circumstances.

    Before you use Southwest points to purchase TSA PreCheck, check your credit cards. Many credit cards come with complimentary Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. There’s even a Southwest credit card that includes this perk — the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

    Keep in mind that TSA PreCheck is included with Global Entry, so if you’ve got a card that covers a Global Entry application fee, it’s usually better to do that since it also includes TSA PreCheck.

    Bottom Line: You can purchase TSA PreCheck using 13,500 to 16,920 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Before you use your points this way, check your credit cards to see if you have one that comes with a TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

    8. Southwest More Rewards — Events

    If you’re a Rapid Rewards credit cardholder, you can book special events, like concerts, using your Southwest points. Just go to the More Rewards portal and click on Get More, then Access Events.

    Book special events with Southwest points
    Southwest credit cardholders can book special events with Rapid Rewards points. Image Credit: Southwest

    Tickets are limited but if you can snag tickets to an event you really want to go to, this could be a great way to use your Rapid Rewards points.

    8. Southwest More Rewards — Experiences

    If you’re interested in unique ways to use your Southwest points, check out the More Rewards portal and click on Shop All, then Experiences.

    Here you’ll find unique experiences you can book with points, including things like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade experience or a travel package including tickets to “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

    Southwest More Rewards experiences
    You can use Southwest points to book unique experiences. Image Credit: Southwest

    10. Southwest More Rewards — Universal Orlando Tickets

    You can purchase 1-Day tickets to Universal Orlando using Rapid Rewards points. You can find these in the More Rewards portal by clicking on Travel, then Seasonal.

    Use Southwest points to buy Universal Orlando tickets
    You can use Southwest points to buy Universal Orlando tickets. Image Credit: Southwest

    According to Universal’s website, the cost for an adult ticket ranges from $164 to $217 and a child ticket ranges from $159 to $209.

    That means you’ll get anywhere from 0.3 to 0.6 cents per point in value when you use Rapid Rewards points, which isn’t great.

    SCROLL FOR MORE

    Final Thoughts

    Southwest offers different ways to use your Rapid Rewards points through the More Rewards shopping portal. While the value you will get from your points through this portal is pretty bleak — about 0.4 to 0.7 cents per point on average — it’s always good to have lots of options when it comes to using your points.

    If you find yourself with a stack of Rapid Rewards points and no Southwest travel on the horizon, it’s good to know you can exchange your points for something of value, even if it’s not as good of a deal as using them for Southwest flights.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Southwest More Rewards?

    Southwest More Rewards is a shopping portal in which you can use Rapid Rewards points to purchase merchandise, gift cards, flights, hotel rooms, rental cars, and more. Access the More Rewards portal by visiting southwest.com and selecting Rapid Rewards, then Redeem Points For Gift Cards & More.

    How much are my points worth through the Southwest More Rewards portal?

    Your point value will vary depending on what you are purchasing in the More Rewards portal and whether or not you’re a Rapid Rewards credit cardholder. You can expect to get between 0.4 to 0.7 cents per point in value on average.

    Is Southwest More Rewards a good deal?

    If you are looking to maximize the value of your Rapid Rewards points, then no, the More Rewards portal isn’t a great deal. If you have extra Rapid Rewards points and you have no plans to fly, then the options in the More Rewards portal could be a good alternative.

    How do you redeem Southwest points for gift cards?

    You can redeem your Southwest points for gift cards through the More Rewards portal. Just go to southwest.com and click on Rapid Rewards, then Redeem Points for Gift Cards & More.

    How do you redeem Southwest points for hotels?

    You can redeem your Southwest points for hotels through the More Rewards portal. Just go to southwest.com and click on Rapid Rewards, then Redeem Points for Gift Cards & More.

    Katie Seemann's image

    About Katie Seemann

    Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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