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        310226Full Disclosure:310226 We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure?for more details. We appreciate your support!

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        There are several credit cards you can use to earn?Rapid Rewards points directly or through points transfer.

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        If you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can get more Rapid Rewards points even quicker thanks to numerous bonus categories.

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        Chase Sapphire Preferred? - This is our 310226favorite beginners travel rewards card310226 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 310226sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases310226 (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 310226multiple round-trip flights310226 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 $550 annual fee.
        310226Chase Freedom Unlimited?310226 - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Earn 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, but you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

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        A few hotel programs will let you transfer points to Southwest. However, this is almost always a poor use of hotel points which we do not recommend!

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        Southwest’s place in the public mind is still?as a U.S. budget airline, and Rapid Rewards is Southwest’s loyalty program.

        Today’s reality is that Southwest is one of the largest U.S. airlines that also flies to a number of popular vacation destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

        Southwest has stayed true to its customer-friendly policies such as 2 free checked bags per person on every ticket, while the “legacy” U.S. airlines have frequently cut travel benefits. With the rollout of restrictive basic economy fares on American, Delta, and United, you could even consider these as more “budget” airlines now based on travel experience.

        Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based program, meaning you earn points based on the amount spent on flights rather than distance flown. Similarly, you redeem points based on the price of the ticket. However, point values are not fixed — they fluctuate based on several factors, so pick what flights to use them on to get the best value.

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        Sign in on the southwest.com homepage. You’ll need your account number or username and password.

        Southwest Log In Rapid Rewards

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        Rapid Rewards points expire after 24 months of inactivity. Any earning or redeeming activity qualifies to reset the clock.

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        Southwest Airlines does not have first class seats or worldwide airline partners, so many of the elite benefits of other airline programs are not relevant. Similarly, since Southwest tickets come with free checked baggage and their generous change/cancel policy, elite status holders don’t need these kinds of fee waivers.

        What A-List and A-List Preferred do add are a few choice travel benefits that improve the Southwest flying experience.

        Without advance seat assignments, priority boarding through A-List is a great benefit.

        Moving up to A-List Preferred, free inflight Wi-Fi is a benefit provided by no other U.S. airline elite status.

        Beyond A-List Preferred there is the 310226Companion Pass310226 that we discuss below. It does not come with any traditional elite benefits, but it solely awards free companion travel. It is also earned by a different method than A-List, making it possible to have a Companion Pass without A-List status.

        310226Earning A-List Status310226

        A-List is earned by?25 one-way flights or 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQP) per calendar year.

        A-List Preferred requires double that: 50 one-way flights or 70,000 Tier Qualifying Points.

        Tier Qualifying Points are only earned in 2 ways:

        • Paid Southwest flights
        • Spending on Southwest Airlines credit cards (1,500 TQP per $10,000 spend, up to maximum 15,000 TQP earned this way).

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        There are many ways to earn Rapid Rewards points. Our?earn 100k+ Southwest points in 90 days shows how fast you can do it!

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        You earn Rapid Rewards points for Southwest flights based on your fare type and price:

        • Business Select – 12 points per dollar (excludes taxes and fees)
        • Anytime – 10 points per dollar (excludes taxes and fees)
        • Wanna Get Away – 6 points per dollar (excludes taxes and fees)

        Travelers with A-List status earn additional bonus points:

        • 310226A-List?310226— 25% bonus Rapid Rewards points
        • 310226A-List Preferred310226— 100% bonus Rapid Rewards points

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        Earn 600 points per rental when you book a car through Southwest’s rental car partners.

        These are especially useful for rentals with agencies where many other airlines offer few or no miles: Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, and Payless. You can also earn points with Avis,?Hertz, and National.

        Even better, check out?special offers for rental cars. Current offers for Rapid Rewards members include 1,200-2,400 bonus points plus up to 35% off rentals through January 2018!

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        Southwest offers 3 credit cards through its bank partner Chase:

        • The310226?310226Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards? Plus Credit Card?earns 2x?on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards??Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases, plus a 3,000-point bonus every card anniversary
        • The?Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards? Premier Credit Card earns 2x?on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards??Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases, plus a 6,000-point bonus every card anniversary
        • The?Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards? Premier Business Card earns 2x?on Southwest purchases, plus a 6,000-point bonus every card anniversary

        Chase credit cards with Ultimate Rewards earn points quickly in bonus categories, which can be seen in the table below.

        You need at least 1 premium travel rewards card (“*” in below table) to transfer to Southwest. As long as you have 1 eligible transfer card, you can consolidate all your Ultimate Rewards points to that card.

        Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Rapid Rewards at a 1:1 rate.

        310226Category310226310226Applicable Credit Cards310226310226Bonus miles310226
        Office Supply StoresChase Ink Business Cash? Credit Card5x
        Cell Phones/LandlinesInk Business Preferred? Credit Card*3x
        310226?310226Chase Ink Business Cash? Credit Card5x
        Internet/CableInk Business Preferred? Credit Card*3x
        310226?310226Chase Ink Business Cash? Credit Card5x
        Shipping PurchasesInk Business Preferred? Credit Card*3x
        Select AdvertisingInk Business Preferred? Credit Card*3x
        Gas StationsChase Ink Business Cash? Credit Card2x
        310226?310226Chase Freedom?5x (during quarterly bonus)
        RestaurantsChase Ink Business Cash? Credit Card2x
        Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card*2x
        Chase Sapphire Reserve??Card*3x
        Chase Freedom?5x (during quarterly bonus)
        HotelsChase Ink Business Cash? Credit Card2x
        Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card*2x
        Chase Sapphire Reserve??Card*3x
        Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card*3x
        All TravelChase Sapphire Preferred? Card*2x
        Chase Sapphire Reserve? Card*3x
        Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card*3x
        Quarterly Bonus CategoryChase Freedom?5x
        All PurchasesChase Freedom Unlimited?1.5x
        All Other PurchasesAll cards except the Chase Freedom Unlimited?1x

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        Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal

        Southwest’s shopping portal allows you to earn points for shopping online. Once registered, check your email for regular promotions to earn extra bonus miles.

        See our guide on?How to Maximize the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal.

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        Southwest’s Dining Program earns 3 points per dollar when dining at restaurants in the network. (If you decline to receive email notifications you only earn 1 point per $2.)

        Sign-up bonuses range from 300 to 2,000 points and change from time to time. Bonuses typically require at least 1 qualifying dine within 30 days of registration, so plan ahead prior to joining.

        Rapid Rewards Dining is provided by Rewards Network, which also manages the other major airline dining programs. You can be in multiple programs,?though each credit card can only be registered in 1 program at a time.

        See our guide on How to Maximize the Rapid Rewards Dining Program.

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        Southwest awards are only available on Southwest flights and are revenue-based, so finding awards is straightforward: search on Southwest.com to show the price in points.

        This does not mean points are the same value for every flight. Points value is based on?“310226destination, time, travel date, demand, fare class, and other factors.”310226

        Often, Southwest points price at:

        • Business Select fare: 120 points/$1 (e.g., $300 fare = 36,000 points)
        • Anytime fare: 100 points/$1 (e.g., $300 fare = 30,000 points)
        • Wanna Get Away fare: 70 points/$1 (e.g., $300 fare = 21,000 points)

        The Southwest Destination Finder is a good tool to search routes and estimate price, though you still need to search for the points price on specific flights.

         

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        The Southwest Companion Pass is unique among U.S. airlines and prized by many travelers.

        You’ll be granted the Companion Pass after earning 110,000 points in a calendar year by the following means:

        • Southwest flights (base points only, not bonus points)
        • Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card sign-up bonus and purchases
        • Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining purchases
        • Southwest?Rapid Rewards Shopping portal purchases

        What doesn’t count (these rules were updated April 1, 2017 to eliminate options such as partner hotel transfers):

        • Points transferred from other programs or accounts such as Chase Ultimate?Rewards or hotel partners
        • Purchased points
        • Flight bonus points
        • Tier bonus points
        • Points earned from surveys
        • Partner bonus points

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        You must designate a companion for your Companion Pass.

        Should you need to change companions, you can do so up to 3 times per year.

        Your companion cannot use the Companion Pass without you, so you must be present on all travel using the pass. It is possible to book your companion for only a portion of your itinerary.

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        The Southwest Airlines frequent flyer program is called?Southwest Rapid Rewards. It is similar to?other airline loyalty programs?in that you sign up, earn points and elite status, and redeem for rewards.

        It is a free program, which means the benefits are typically worth the effort of?310226signing up.

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        Once you’ve signed up to Rapid Rewards, you get access to?elite status benefits and rewards?by earning points on flights.

        Earning points in Rapid Rewards?is on a per-dollar-spent basis, both on flights and through travel partners.?When redeeming, there are no blackout dates.310226
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        Southwest’s elite status tiers are?A-List?and?A-List Preferred, and the?Companion Pass is the highest award tier available (though it isn’t exactly an elite status).

        Benefits of the various levels include priority boarding, bonus points, standby priority, and unlimited companion tickets (at the top tier).

        In addition to using points to book rewards tickets, you can also use your points on?travel partners. These include hotels and rental cars as well as shopping and more.

        Because Southwest only flies domestically as a low-cost carrier, they partner with most major airlines to redeem international flights using points.

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        You can find your?Rapid Rewards?number in a few different ways. First, you can sign in to your rewards account with your email and password if you have it available; your number will be shown on your account screen.

        Next, you can find it on your membership card if you have it.

        If you can’t access your accounts, you can use the “forgot my password” tool to send an email to your account. Finally, you can always call?Southwest’s customer service?in order to find your number.

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        You can log in to the?Southwest Rapid Rewards program here. You can sign up to the program?310226here.

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        Points expire after 24 months of no qualifying activity;?simply earn or redeem points during this time?to keep points active.

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        In general, points have been worth anywhere from $0.013 to $0.02 each. Your points are redeemed in dollar values, so whatever the cost of the flight is, you’ll pay for it with points.

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        Yes,?any unused points are returned?to your account on flights you have booked. If you need to make a change, you can call and update your reservation with no change fees.

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        Yes, you can transfer your Rapid Rewards points?to another member.

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        While a?complete list can be found here, some of them include:

        Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hyatt, LaQuinta Inns, Marriott, Avis, Hertz, Dollar rental cars, Super Shuttle, 1-800-Flowers, and Reliant Energy.

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        The?Companion Pass?is the highest award available in Rapid Rewards.

        Once you’ve reached 100 one-way?flights or 110,000 points, you will get the ability to take 1 companion on any flight with you for free (they pay for taxes and fees, which in the U.S. are $5.60 each way).

        This status is good immediately once you reach the level and through the remainder of the calendar year, then again for the rest of the following calendar year. In order to maintain the status, you must reach this level each year.

        Alex Miller

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        Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a?young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug.?Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most?points possible on each dollar spent.

        310226Disclaimer:310226 Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

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        1. Chris Reynolds310226 June 14, 2018

          It is worth mentioning that booking a hotel with southwest rapid rewards is the most miserable experience booking a hotel of a persons life. Their website speed and capabilities remind me of a website from the late 90’s being run on a farm in Missouri. It took me 2.5 hours to book one hotel for one night in Florence, Italy because the slow site and false advertising. Each time I would chose a hotel the points would rise by 4000 and then I would have to go back and find another options. Miserable experience.

          Reply

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