Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Review | CreditShout

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Review

By Dan Rafter / March 22, 2011
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Review

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Southwest Airlines bills itself as the friendly, low-key airline. It's taken the same approach with its rewards program.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Program holds up to others in the industry when it comes to ease of use. Signing up is easy, earning points is easy and redeeming these points is simple, too.

You'll also have access to a wide range of rewards categories, everything from free flights and hotel stays to car rentals and wine-tasting events.

​Overview

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

In depth analysis

CreditShout Rating

Annual Fee: $99 (Waived 1st Year)

Credit Needed: Excellent

Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:

  • Earn 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Chip-enabled cards with 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Points Don't Expire, No Blackout Dates, Bags Fly Free®
  • 6,000 points after your Cardmember Anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases and participating Hotel and Car Rental partners1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
  • $0 introductory annual fee, then $99/year

Intro APR

N/A

Intro Balance Transfer

N/A

Regular APR

16.24% Variable on Purchases and Transfers

How to Enroll

It's easy to enroll in the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. You simply have to log onto the program's online enrollment form and answer a few questions.

Don't worry; these questions aren't hard. You'll have to give your name, of course, and your birth date and gender. You'll also need to provide your mailing address and create a password and user name.

The whole registration process should you take you 10 minutes or less. It's also free.

Earning Points

You can, of course, earn Rapid Rewards points every time you fly with Southwest Airlines. You'll earn a varying amount of points, though, depending on the type of flight you book.

If you book one of the airline's Business Select flights, you'll earn 12 points for every dollar you spend. So, if you book a flight that costs $250 at this level, you'll earn a total of 3,000 rewards points.If you book an Anytime flight, you'll earn 10 rewards points for every dollar you spend.

A Wanna' Get Away flight (Hey, I'm not the one naming these fligth tiers) brings you six points for every dollar that you spend.Like most airline rewards programs, Southwest Rapid Rewards also gives you the opportunity to earn rewards points without ever leaving the ground.

The program boasts a long line of partners that provide you with extra opportunities to earn points.

For instance, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card allows you to earn two rewards points for every dollar that you charge on Southwest flights and Rapid Rewards hotel and car partner purchases. You'll also earn one point for every dollar that you charge elsewhere. This card also provides you with 25,000 bonus rewards points after you use it to make your first $1,000  of purchases in your first 3 months. And on each yearly anniversary of your card's activation, you'll receive 6,000 bonus rewards points.

Redeeming Points

Once you've accumulated enough points, turning them into free flights or merchandise is a simple process.

For Business Select flights, you'll need 120 bonus points for every dollar of fare to get a free ticket. As an example, if you want to book a Business Select flight that costs $220, you'll need 26,400 points. (For the math-challenged among us, that's equal to 120 points times $220.)If you want to book an Anytime flight, you'll need 100 points for every dollar that a ticket costs, while Wanna Get Away flights cost 60 points for every dollar's worth of ticket that you need to buy.

You can also turn your points into hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards and international flights.

If you're particularly adventurous, you can turn your points into experiences such as cruises, wine tastings and spa dates.

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