Business Travel 101: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

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.

Benefits Overview

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.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Business Travel Life 3

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.

Partnered Hotels

  • Best Western
  • Marriott
  • Starwood
  • Radisson
  • La Quinta

Partnered Car Rental Services

Other Partners

  • 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:

  • Flights
  • 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.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Business Travel Life 1

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.

Mellisa Pascale
Mellisa Pascale

Mellisa is a writer and traveler. She’s studied in London, backpacked in Europe, and road-tripped around Iceland. Most recently, her travels took her to New Zealand, where she worked and volunteered while participating in the Working Holiday Visa program.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Newsletter Signup

Stay In The Loop!

Please wait...

Thank you for signing up!

Affiliate Disclosure

Some of our posts contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a (very) small commission if you click a link and/ or purchase something. While we wish these commissions were enough to send us on extravagant trips around the globe, they’re really just enough to keep our site up and running. Thanks so much for your support!

DMCA.com Protection Status