Southwest Airlines is known for its low-cost domestic diets, free checked luggage, and — admittedly — a somewhat unique boarding process. Nonetheless, the airline’s Rapid Rewards program is another draw to the airline for some frequent travelers. The airline has no blackout times for apportion redemptions and an terrifying Companion Pass benefit that allows you to bring a attendant on paid and award flights for time the cost of taxes and costs.
It’s especially easy to earn the Companion Pass with this limited-time Southwest card current render. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, you can earn the following after spending $5,000 on buys in the first three months of account opening 😛 TAGEND
A Companion Pass valid through Feb. 28, 2022 30,000 Rapid Rewards stations
If you’re new to Southwest or are just getting into the world of points and miles, don’t worry. We’ll walk through all of the ways you can redeem your Rapid Rewards points and highlight which tend to offer the best bang for your buck( or station ). The good report is that it’s relatively simple, though there are a few quirks you need to be aware of.
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Redeem on Southwest flights ( Image by Edward Russell/ The Points Guy)
Redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards tops on Southwest flights is simple: the more a paid flight overheads, the more points it costs. Southwest predicts no blackout dates on any savings, so you can use your Rapid Rewards points to diary any Southwest Airline ticket for sale. If the flight has one open seat, it can be yours exerting stages( though be prepared to pay up ).
TPG significances Southwest degrees at 1.5 cents each, and it’s quite easy to consistently get that significance whether you’re booking domestic flights or international destinations like Aruba( AUA ), Cancun( CUN) and San Jose, Costa Rica( SJO ). Southwest began flying to Hawaii last year and continues to add brand-new itineraries to the Aloha State.
The booking process is simple. Fire up Southwest.com and enter your flight search constants. Be sure to check the ” Points ” radio button at the top right to see the results for awarding flights 😛 TAGEND ( Screenshot generosity of Southwest Airlines)
The results page will then display all of the available flights expending extents. Select the one you want, log in to your report( if you haven’t already) and follow the on-screen steps to complete your award.
( Screenshot generosity of Southwest Airlines)
It’s worth noting that you can also purchase Anytime and Business Select charges expending Rapid Rewards parts, but your recovery ethic tends to be lower. As a result, we recommend fastening to exchanging for Wanna Get Away charges whenever possible.
Free allotment ticket changes and deletions
Another thing that concludes Rapid Rewards sites so popular is Southwest’s resilient modify and abandonment programmes. You can change your Southwest flights free of charge and are only responsible for give the cost difference between your original and new flight — if the costs of an awarding flight you’ve already booked goes down, you can actually rebook your expedition at the lower rate and you’ll receive a rebate of significant differences. How cool is that !?
And if projects vary and you cannot make a flight, you can cancel your flight for free. If the flight is booked with Rapid Rewards extents, this is gonna be refunded back to your report without penalty( even on Wanna Get Away fares ), though note that you can’t simply no-show for the flight. You must cancel at least 10 instants before the scheduled departure.
The Companion Pass redoubles the best interests of the your Southwest stages
There’s another way to unfold the best interests of the your Rapid Rewards qualities so far: by holding the Southwest Companion Pass. This truly is an incredible perk. Once you give 125,000 preparing stages or complete 100 preparing flights on Southwest, you’ll receive the Companion Pass for the rest of the current year and the totality of the next year.
In short-lived, this benefit gives you elect a companion on all of your flights during that time period. You is available to creating my best friend or family member on all Southwest flights you take for just the cost of taxes and costs, whether you used cash or degrees for air tickets. This effectively double-faced the best interests of the your Rapid Rewards flights when you’re traveling with your designated companion.
With any of the Chase Southwest personal placards, you’ll earn a Companion Pass that’s good through February 2021 after converge the minimum deplete requirement. You’ll get the following bonuses after expend $5,000 within the first three months of opening your history 😛 TAGEND
A Companion Pass valid through Feb. 28, 2022 30,000 Rapid Rewards parts
You can also qualify by earning 125,000 objects with a Southwest small business credit card. Now are the current small business card offerings 😛 TAGEND
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: 60,000 bonus targets after spend $3,000 on buys in the first three months of history opening Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: 70,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of accounting opening. Plus, an additional 30,000 extents when you are waste $25,000 on buys in the first six months of account opening.
Related: The best business credit cards
Redeem Rapid Rewards extents on international flights
One of the downsides to using Rapid Rewards points is that Southwest has zero domestic or international airline spouses. This means that you’re( largely) limited to using your Rapid Rewards miles on Southwest-operated flights. Currently, Southwest operates an extensive U.S. domestic network and a limited number of flights from the U.S. to Central America and the Caribbean. However, if you want to get to Europe, Asia, Africa or South America, you’re out of luck.
There is one workaround for this, though: the Southwest international reserve portal. This portal virtually gives you book international( and Hawaii-bound) flights on other carriers expending your Southwest Rapid Rewards degrees. These flights are booked the same as cash tickets, so the more your international flight penalties, the more points it will cost.
But are these redemptions a great deal? Let’s make the numbers speak for themselves. Like with the Southwest emancipations above, we played three investigations on the Southwest portal, compared them with the same flight booked with currency, and met the appreciate per top. Here’s what we feel 😛 TAGEND
New York-JFK — Barcelona( BCN) on Aer Lingus: $984.09 or 114,470 Rapid Rewards objects( 0.85 pennies per extent) Chicago-O’Hare( ORD) — Prague( PRG) on LOT Polish: $1,311.19 or 131,123 Rapid Rewards times( 1 penny per item) Los Angeles( LAX) — Hong Kong( HKG) on American: $503.52 or 50,353 Rapid Rewards times( 1 cent per top)
Average value: 0.95 cents per point
As you can see, redeeming through the Rapid Rewards international entrance effectively reduces a half-cent( or more) off the best interests of the your Rapid Rewards levels. We always preach for get the most value from your points, so we most recommend paying cash or exercising other points to cover your international flights, saving your Rapid Rewards spots for a better saving down the road.
Redeem qualities on wandering and events You can redeem your Southwest parts for inn stays — but should you?( Photo by Darren Murph/ The Points Guy .)
Like most airline mileage monies, you can redeem your Rapid Rewards tops for inn remains, auto rentals and activities. At TPG, we rarely recommend working your points for these kinds of redemptions, as they usually yield a inadequate detail significance — but do Rapid Rewards moments fall in the same boat?
Booking hotels with Rapid Rewards stages
You can exchange Rapid Rewards moments for hotel stands through the Southwest Hotels portal. That said, you won’t get a great deal. We priced out a one-night stay at the CitizenM Bowery in New York City on the Rapid Rewards portal to demonstrate this.
( Image kindnes of Southwest Airlines)
A one-night stay in late April expenses 17,365 Rapid Rewards details or $151.53, giving you a ethic of 0.87 pennies per object. This is not a great use of your Rapid Rewards targets, so I recommend hop-skip this redemption if possible.
Remuneration for auto rentals with Rapid Rewards items
You can book rental automobiles through the Rapid Rewards wandering entrance very — but you won’t get a great deal. I priced out a week-long rental at Chicago-O’Hare( ORD) airfield and was quoted 66,674 Rapid Rewards for a prepay economy automobile rental with Avis.
( Screenshot kindnes of Southwest)
When booking instantly with Avis, you can get the same rental for $446.24 when you pay in advance. This gives you just 0.67 cents per pitch in value, which is a terrible redemption value. For comment, this is nearly half the value you get when exchanging Rapid Rewards phases for Southwest flights.
( Screenshot courtesy of Avis)
Book Southwest Know-how with Rapid Rewards points
You can also use Southwest Rapid Rewards drawn attention to work Southwest Experiences. These include things like municipal safaruss, cooking castes and organized tavern moves. These are available in numerous American municipalities and can be a great way to experience a new municipal during your proceeds. Only keep in mind that you won’t get the best deal with these atonements. For lesson, this ship expedition of Chicago overheads 4,953 levels and can generally be purchased for well under $30.
( Screenshot politenes of Southwest)
Best consume of Rapid Rewards stations
Frankly, redeeming Rapid Rewards tops for Southwest flights is the only way to get great value from your points. You can expect to get near 1.5 pennies per top in cost on almost all emancipations while redeeming for other hasten commonly gets less than 1 cent per stage in value.
That said, committed Southwest award tickets are pegged to the price of a paying ticket, you’ll rarely get more than 1.5 pennies per degree in importance. Because of this, there are no real sweet distinguishes in the Southwest program. The best way to maximize Rapid Rewards stations is to use them for flights you’d rather not pay for.
Remember, there’s no award space or other flounces to deal with or keep in mind. This represents Rapid Rewards objects immense for domestic flyers who want easy-to-use airline points.
Southwest Rapid Rewards FAQ ( Photo by Ryan Patterson for The Detail Guy)
Have a matter of Southwest Rapid Rewards? Let’s address them.
How do I affiliate Southwest Rapid Rewards? You can assemble the Southwest Rapid Rewards curriculum free of charge on Southwest’s website. Look at the top of the page and clink the “create account” button. ( Screenshot kindnes of Southwest)
Now, fill out the requested information and click the yellowish “create account” button at the lower end of the screen. Your account will be created immediately and you can start earning and exchanging Rapid Rewards points.
( Screenshot kindnes of Southwest) When do Southwest Rapid Rewards qualities expire
Southwest Rapid Rewards parts don’t expire so long as your accounting is open.
Can I give points to Southwest?
You can convey Chase Ultimate Rewards stations to Southwest Rapid Rewards at a 1:1 carry-over fraction. This meant that 10,000 Chase parts is the equivalent of 10,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. In my own experience, these transfers process instantly.
Note that you may want to book Southwest flights through Chase if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve( r ). You can exchange details at 1.5 pennies per time through the Chase Travel Portal and still deserve Rapid Rewards qualities on your flight. That said, you must call Chase to book Southwest flights since they don’t appear on the Chase Travel Portal.
Southwest Rapid Rewards spots are a great option for travelers that miss opennes in booking any ticket on a gigantic domestic flight network. With fee-free changes and eliminations plus two free checked pockets for all passengers, Southwest is a favorite among numerous travelers. While there are ways to redeem for international flights, you’ll normally get the most bang for your points when using your points for Southwest grubs — peculiarly if you have the carrier’s famed Companion Pass.
Featured image by Katie Genter/ The Points Guy
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