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Redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards for the best value

This customer-friendly program offers many strong redemption options.

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Our pick for a Southwest credit card: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card logo

40,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $1,000 in first 3 months

  • Enjoy $75 in Southwest travel credits annually
  • Earn 2x points on Southwest, hotels and rental cars
  • Get 7,500 points each card anniversary
See offer

From travel, dining and more, Southwest Airlines’s Rapid Rewards makes it easy to earn and redeem points.

Awards chart

Here are a few samples illustrating the points you might need to book different flights through the Southwest Rapid Rewards program.

Flight route Business Select Fare Anytime Fare Wanna Get Away Fare
DC to Los Angeles 43,512 points 41,481 points 32,579 points
DC to the Bahamas 32,136 points 29,952 points 23,712 points
DC to Cancun 34,086 points 31,902 points 22,074 points

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

How to redeem points for maximum value

There are many ways you can redeem Rapid Rewards, but flights tend to be the best choice for maximizing your points’ value.

Fare Point Value
Wanna Get Away fares 1.6 cents per point
Anytime fares 1.1 cents per point
Business Select fares 0.9 cents per point
International fares 0.8 cents per point

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

Wanna Get Away fares

You’ll find some of the best bang for your buck when redeeming your Rapid Rewards points for additional travel through Southwest Airlines. Their Wanna Get Away fares in particular offer a great value with each point equaling about 1.6 cents on average.

You’ll get no cash refund on these flights, but Southwest will redeposit the points into your account if you paid entirely with points. These flights go fast so you’ll want to act quickly if you see them.

Anytime fares

Anytime fares are a close runner-up, providing 1.1 cents per point on average. Anytime fares run more expensive than Wanna Get Away fares, though they do allow for full refunds.

Business Select fares

In terms of points value, Business Select fares offer about 0.9 cent per point, placing it third behind Southwest’s other fares. Unfortunately, these fares are higher priced compared to the others, meaning you’ll need to review your options carefully to use your points effectively.

How to Redeem points with Southwest partners

Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed on merchandise sold by partnered retailers. However, the value gained from these redemptions is on average lower than the value gained on redemption for a flight.

Redemption option Point Value
Gift cards 0.7 cents per point
Car rentals 0.7 cents per point
Merchandise 0.6 cents per point
Hotel 0.2 cents per point
Experiences Variable

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

Southwest Experiences

Southwest Experiences is a redemption option with potentially high value if you find a good deal on the Southwest Experiences page. This category is a grab bag of activities, such as tours, admission to museums and tickets to amusement parks.

Airline transfer partners

Southwest Airlines does not currently allow you to transfer your Rapid Rewards points to other airlines.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

How to earn Rapid Rewards points

Rapid Rewards program members can earn points by booking flights through Southwest or by making purchases through partnered businesses.

It can be even easier to earn points using a cobranded credit card. These cards offer signup bonuses, accelerate basic membership rates and offer travel perks with Southwest Airlines. For a full rundown of how to best earn Southwest points, check out our complete guide.

What are Southwest’s reward tiers?

Booking a certain number of flights in a calendar year or earning a certain number of tier qualifying points can qualify you for Southwest’s A-List and A-List Preferred status. Being an A-List member earns you a percentage bonus on your Rapid Reward points earnings.

Tier Flights required Percentage bonus
A-List
  • 25 one-way qualifying flights
  • 35,000 tier qualifying points
25% bonus points
A-List Preferred
  • 50 one-way qualifying flights
  • 70,000 tier qualifying points
100% bonus points

Compare cards with Southwest Rapid Rewards points

Southwest Airlines cobranded cards earn Rapid Rewards points directly on your purchases, while also offering unique card perks such as Companion Pass access and annual bonus points on your cardmember anniversary.

If you want to build your Rapid Rewards points without committing to a Southwest Airlines card, Chase allows you to transfer its Ultimate Rewards points from premium cards to Rapid Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. In fact, depending on your spending and travel habits, you might find it easier to build Rapid Rewards points using a Chase card.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Get 5% back on purchases made through the Chase Travel Portal, making this a strong travel card as well as a solid everyday rewards card.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
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.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
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.
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Bottom line

If you often fly Southwest Airlines, the Rapid Rewards program is an easy way to earn points toward airfare, hotels and more, especially if you’re an A-List member or in a higher tier.

With a cobranded card or a premium Chase card, you stand to earn even more rewards on your purchases. Review your options to find the Rapid Rewards card that best fits your spending and travel needs.

Frequently asked questions

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