If you want to fly free around the U.S., Southwest Airlines is the easiest and best bet to help you do so. A key part in flying free is securing your Southwest Companion Pass (download my free guide below on how to earn the pass) so one person in your group can always fly free — no points or money required for their ticket (aside from a $5.60 government security fee per way).
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The second task is to accumulate enough Southwest “miles”, known as Rapid Rewards points, for everyone else in your group to also fly free. While the big Chase Southwest credit card bonuses are critical to achieving this, you will need more points than the bonuses provide.
Here are 4 easy ways to earn Rapid Rewards Points to get you FREE flights and to help you earn the remaining points you need to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
4 Easy Ways to Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
1. Use the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards to Pay for Everyday Expenses
Why not earn a return on money you will already be spending? But warning: You must be disciplined and pay these cards off every month (better yet, every couple of days), because you DO NOT want to get in debt.
If you are paying high interest on your balance, you are no longer getting free flights. Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (currently offering a 50,000-point bonus) to pay for dining and travel expenses, as you’ll earn DOUBLE points using that card versus the Rapid Rewards cards.
Chase Ultimate Rewards, however, do NOT count toward Companion Pass status, only for free flights.
Note: To apply for the credit cards mentioned in this post, please click on Travel Credit Cards on the main menu above. This allows me to earn a commission — at no cost to you — to help me pay the blogging bills and continue to bring you great information free. I sincerely appreciate you taking this step!
2. Start All Shopping at the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal
You have to make this a habit — and it may take a bit before you remember — but start all online shopping at the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal. If you use the Chrome browser, there is also an “extension” you can add that will pop up when you are shopping on a site affiliated with the program. Helpful for us forgetful types ;-)!
You will at least earn 1/2 point for every dollar spent, but major retailers regularly offer up to 5 and 10 points per dollar spent during special promotions, especially at the holidays.
Again, why not earn points for things you are already buying?! Sometimes, they even offer bonuses on top of the points per dollar when you spend a certain amount. Even better!
3. Register All Debit and Credit Cards with Rapid Rewards Dining
Rapid Rewards Dining lets you earn points when you eat at participating restaurants. While these tend to be independent restaurants versus chains, if you register any card you might use to pay for a meal, you will automatically receive points even when dining at restaurants you didn’t even know were part of the promotion — or even if you forgot entirely about Rapid Rewards Dining. It’s automatic.
You can also search for restaurants in your area or to various destinations and plan to eat at those places to earn points. I’ve been surprised numerous times when earning points at restaurants while traveling.
4. Watch Go to Travel Gal for Special Rapid Rewards Promotions
Rapid Rewards promotions come and go and can vary from referring friends to the card to earn 10,000 points to signing up for the Wall Street Journal for $1 and earning 1,000 points.
You won’t know about these without checking Southwest’s websites and forums daily, so your best bet is to sign up for my blog below and get a daily or weekly digest of my posts. Then you’ll know as soon as these promotions pop up and can take advantage of them before they go away.
Here are the best Rapid Rewards Shopping deals updated weekly each Monday.
Now, go earn some Southwest points!
- 11 Ways to Meet the Minimum Spend on Your Southwest Credit Card
- Double-Dipping With Rapid Rewards Points
- The Latest Posts on How to Earn Rapid Rewards Points
10 Things You Can Do to Start Flying Free TODAY!
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