There are definitely more than a few reasons to fly with Southwest. Foremost, the airline is known for great rates and friendly service. If you frequently fly in the areas serviced by Southwest, it may be worth your while to sign up for the airline's loyalty program. You can look forward to great perks and a hassle-free online booking format when you become a member of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® frequent flyer program.
Are you considering to take the plunge and sign up? Here, we at GET.com will share with you the best 10 benefits of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® frequent flyer program.
1. Generous Reward Seats
The biggest bright spot regarding Southwest's Rapid Rewards® program is that it offers members unlimited reward seats. The company allows members to redeem rewards for any seat that is available. This is a huge benefit for people who travel often because it means that your rewards can go higher and higher as you travel more and more.
2. No Blackout Dates
Many people are distrustful of reward programs because they've had bad experiences with blackout dates in the past. Blackout dates essentially invalidate hard-earned miles and rewards points because they forbid travelers from using those miles on certain dates. A popular practice among major airlines is to assign blackout dates to periods of heavy vacation travel and holiday travel. This can be disappointing for travelers who spend all year accumulating points that can't be used when they actually need them the most.
Members of the Rapid Rewards® program don't need to worry about blackout dates. Southwest has completely eliminated them without exception. Freedom to fly using reward miles when you want can really come in handy.
3. Your Points Don't Expire
Have you ever booked a trip that wasn't really your first choice simply because you didn't want your unused miles to go to waste? Of course, sitting around and watching your hard-earned rewards points evaporate into nothing can be equally depressing. The bottom line is that expiration dates on reward miles can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Luckily, Southwest has decided to take the pressure off of its preferred customers by doing away with expiration dates on reward miles. This means you can plan a getaway for next weekend or think ahead for an important trip you're hoping to take next year, without having your rewards disappear into thin air.
4. Every Dollar Counts
The Rapid Rewards® program actually bases the points you earn on how many dollars you spend. You stand to gain a lot if you're always on the go because you get to enjoy a direct correlation between the amount you're paying for tickets and the amount you're getting back in reward miles.
Those who fly Business Select® earn 12 points for every dollar they spend. Those who purchase Anytime® fare earn 10 points for every dollar they spend. The company's Wanna Get Away?® fare rewards travelers with six points for every dollar they spend.
Purchasing a Business Select® fare is an attractive option because you'll get twice the points per dollar than if you went with the lowest fare. Southwest definitely rewards its members generously when they decide to splurge on elite seats.
5. Great Flexibility
Southwest affords members of the Rapid Rewards® program the ability to play around with their points a little. For instance, you can actually buy points if you need them to complete a flight. This is beneficial because buying points can help you redeem your existing points sooner in some cases.
The other nifty thing that members are allowed to do is transfer points to friends and family. There is also the option to purchase reward points for friends and family if you'd like to give the gift of travel for an important occasion or holiday.
Southwest has even made it possible for members to be charitable when they fly. Rapid Rewards® members have the opportunity to donate points to nine different charities that have been carefully chosen by the airline, too.
6. Booking Is Made Incredibly Easy
The Rapid Rewards® member portal on Southwest's website is so simple to use. Members simply use a four-step process that consists of logging in, entering flight information to view fares, selecting flights and purchasing tickets.
7. You Have Many Ways To Earn
Members of the Rapid Rewards® program don't just earn points when they fly. Southwest has teamed up with many hotels, restaurants and merchants across the globe to help members earn points for doing everyday things while they're traveling. Members don't even have to use their points for airfare if they don't want to. Points can be put toward hotel stays, rental vehicles, gift cards and experiential holiday packages.
8. You Get To Enjoy Fun, Extra Perks
The Rapid Rewards® program has a simple tier system that helps members enjoy special perks based on their status. A-List status is achieved when a member flies 25 one-way qualifying flights or earns 35,000 points in a calendar year. Members in this tier are entitled to priority boarding, free same-day standby, priority check-in access, an earning bonus and access to an exclusive phone line that is staffed with customer service agents.
A-List Preferred status is the highest tier. Members can reach this level by flying 50 one-way qualifying flights or earning 70,000 points in a calendar year. This level offers all the same perks as A-List status, but members in this tier also enjoy free in-flight Wi-Fi and a higher earning bonus.
9. You Can Bring A Friend Along
The Companion Pass perk offered as part of the Rapid Rewards® program is rather exceptional. Members can choose one person to fly with for free every time they purchase or redeem points. Qualifying for this perk is as easy as flying 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 points in a calendar year.
A Companion Pass is good for an entire calendar year, by the way. This is an amazing option for anyone interested in bringing a partner along when they travel frequently for business. In fact, this perk alone makes it worth signing up for the Rapid Rewards® program if already fly frequently enough to qualify to receive a Companion Pass.
10. It's All Black And White
The most attractive feature of Southwest's Rapid Rewards® program is its straight-forward approach to counting dollars and rewarding miles. Your points are applied using a no-nonsense method instead of a complicated process. Since the number of reward points needed depends on the fare you pay, members can preserve a lot of points by buying tickets when they are being offered at reduced prices.