Thinking of joining the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program? Here’s everything you need to know about being a member.
In 2017, Southwest Airlines received the least amount of customer complaints, according to data released by WalletHub. Translated, that means Southwest is a trusted choice for travelers, and their loyalty program, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, more than lives up to the family name.
From exclusive fares to industry partners, there’s plenty to unpack with this rewards system. Here’s the A to Z on a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards membership.
There are a few different membership levels in the Rapid Rewards program, and each one comes with their own unique set of benefits. To start out, everyone has the ability to earn points, redeem points, and take advantage of exclusive promotions, ranging from limited-time points offers to special discounts.
Once you’ve join Rapid Rewards, you can start working towards A-List membership. This status requires 25 flights or 35,000 points to reach (please note that flights and points have to be of qualifying nature). Perks of A-List membership include:
- Priority boarding
- Fly By access (priority check-in and security)
- Complimentary same-day standby
- Exclusive customer service line
- 25% additional rewards points on select flights
The next level, A-List Preferred, can be acquired through 50 flights or 70,000 points. It includes all the benefits above, plus:
- Complimentary in-flight WiFi
- Double rewards points on select flights
After A-List Preferred, you can earn a Companion Pass. It’s less of a third tier, and more of an added benefit — Companion Pass basically provides you with a complimentary second ticket for a friend or family member to join you on your flight. Earning Companion Pass is similar to earning the other two tiers, and requires 100 flights or 110,000 points.
How to Earn Points
Earning points is crucial to advancing your membership and getting free stuff, so it’s lucky that Southwest makes it so easy. Booking a flight through the airline is the most direct way to acquire rewards, and the higher the fare, the more points you’ll bag.
Like many loyalty systems, Southwest also makes it possible for you to earn rewards through partnered programs. Increase your points supply when you purchase through the below.
- Best Western
- La Quinta
Partnered Car Rental Services
- SuperShuttle ExecuCar
- Harry & David
- Rapid Rewards Shopping (including Macy’s and other retailers)
As it would be a bit exhaustive for us to list every single partnership that Southwest boasts, this is meant to serve as a sample. For more partners, visit their website.
A third option for points accumulation is through a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. There are a few different card types, like Plus and Premier, but for work travelers, you’ll want to take a look at Premier Business. This card is catered to the unique needs of corporate travel, and includes bonuses like 6,000 points on your cardholder anniversary.
How to Spend Points
The best part of any rewards program is, well, the rewards! There are as many ways to spend your points as there are to earn them with Rapid Rewards, and popular methods of cashing in are:
- Hotel stays
- Car rentals
- Retail and gift card purchases
- Luxury trips
If you’re thinking that a frequent flyer program will fit your needs as a work traveler, then Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards should definitely be a contender. With so many points, partners, and perks, you’ll be redeeming your rewards in seemingly no time at all.
Business Travel Life
Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.