How to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points

Fly and charge your way to big point earnings by using your card for everyday purchases.

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Earn Southwest points a number of ways, including using cobranded cards, booking directly with Southwest or booking with partner hotels. Southwest even offers rewards for filling out a survey. This helpful guide will show you some of the most common and most efficient ways.

10 ways to earn Rapid Rewards points

Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points with credit cards

Spending with cobranded or partnered credit cards is one of the fastest ways to earn points, even when you’re not spending on your next flight.

Our pick for earning Southwest Rapid Rewards

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

  • Signup bonus: 40,000 points after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases, and with hotel and car rental partners.
  • $75 in Southwest travel credits every card year.
  • 7,500 bonus points after each cardmember anniversary.
  • Get reimbursed for up to four A1-A15 boarding passes each card year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
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You can earn additional Rapid Rewards points directly to your account using Southwest’s cobranded cards. Southwest perks like signup bonuses on points and more qualifying points toward elite status are available with these cards.
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals and 1x points on all other purchases
$149
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$69
Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
70,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on Southwest Airlines, 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable, and phone services and 1x points on all other purchases
$199
Earn 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and 6,000 points after your card anniversary
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and 6,000 points after your card anniversary.

Compare up to 4 providers

You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards line of cards to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Rapid Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. In terms of pure point earnings, this can actually be better than using Southwest’s cobranded cards.
Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals and 1x points on all other purchases
$149
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$69
Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
70,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on Southwest Airlines, 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable, and phone services and 1x points on all other purchases
$199
Earn 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and 6,000 points after your card anniversary
2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
$99
Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and 6,000 points after your card anniversary.

Compare up to 4 providers

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Flying with Southwest Airlines

Southwest flights are your other primary way to earn points. Your rates depend on your Rapid Rewards tier, and the exact points you’ll earn depend on the price of the airfare. Here’s an example of the points you can earn per dollar:

Membership TierBusiness SelectAnytimeWanna Get Away
Base12x points10x points6x points
A-List15x points12.5x points7.5x points
A-List Preferred24x points20x points12x points

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

Earn points with the Rapid Rewards Dining program by making purchases at participating restaurants. You’ll earn 3x points if you opt into their email program. Otherwise, get 1x points per 2 dollars spent.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping

Shop online at participating stores to earn additional Rapid Rewards points. Earning rates on purchases depend on the retailer, and rates tend to change frequently.

Diners Club

Transfer points earned on your club card to your Rapid Rewards account at a rate of 3 Diners Club points to 2.4 Rapid Rewards points. That means 6,000 Diners Club points would fetch you 4,800 Rapid Rewards points.

Booking with partnered hotels

You can also earn Rapid Rewards points by booking stays with participating hotel chains.

Participating hotelPotential earnings
Southwest HotelUp to 10,000 points per night
Best WesternVaries
Radisson RewardsVaries
Choice HotelsVaries
World of Hyatt600 points per qualifying stay
LaQuinta Inns & SuitesVaries
Marriott RewardsVaries
MGM Resorts International600 points per reservation
RocketmilesUp to 10,000 points per night
Starwood Preferred GuestA 1:1 equivalent of Starpoints you would have earned if you choose to earn Rapid Rewards instead

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Car rentals and ground transportation

Renting a car with a participating car rental service can also earn you points on your Rapid Rewards account.

Rental car partnerPoints earned
Alamo600 points at time of rental
Avis600 points at time of rental
Budget600 points at time of rental
Dollar600 points at time of rental
Hertz600 points at time of rental
National600 points at time of rental
Payless600 points at time of rental
Thrifty600 points at time of rental

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

You can also earn 100 points each way when you reserve an airport SuperShuttle shared-ride, or 150 points each way for reserving ExecuCar’s private sedan service.

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Using certain home services

If you choose NRG for your home electric needs, you can earn a bonus of 10,000 points after the first two months of service — along with 2 points for every dollar spent on the supply portion of your bill. This opportunity is only available for residents of Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Texans can earn a 15,000-point enrollment bonus for signing up with Reliant’s Reliant Secure 24 plan and 500 additional points each month for the next 24 months.

Gas

Rapid Rewards members can sign up for Marathon’s MakeItCount program and select Rapid Rewards to earn 1 point for every gallon of fuel purchased at participating Marathon gas stations.

Surveys

For some quick and easy points, you can fill out Southwest’s Rewards for Opinions. You can also fill out Southwest’s e-Rewards Opinion Panels for a currency that you can convert into Rapid Rewards points.

Conversion rate
e-Rewards$15 e-Rewards Currency to 300 points
$25 e-Rewards Currency to 600 points
$50 e-Rewards Currency to 1,200 points
$1,000 e-Rewards Currency to 2,400 points

Data obtained March 2019. Values are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

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Travel Experiences

Southwest offers a variety of travel experiences you can book through their Rapid Rewards portal. Each of these will earn you Rapid Rewards points at a ratio of 1 point per dollar spent on the activity.

Buy Rapid Rewards points

You can purchase Rapid Rewards points for 2.75 cents per point. This is generally not recommended since you’ll end up paying more than what the points can often receive in redemption value.

Bottom line

With two strong credit card options in Southwest’s cobranded cards, and the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, you can make big point gains based on your purchasing preferences without sacrificing value. Learn more about the Southwest Rapid Rewards program for more information on this program’s perks and elite status levels. And once you’ve built your point collection, learn how to redeem the Rapid Rewards points you earn for maximum value.

Frequently asked questions

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