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8 Ways to Earn Points When Booking Southwest Car Rentals

Want an easy way to earn Southwest points? If you’re a frequent traveler, consider Southwest car rentals.

There are currently 8 different Southwest car rental companies that allow you to earn between 600 and 2,400 points when you rent a car starting at Southwest.com.

Some Southwest car rental partners also provide you a discount in addition to points when renting the cars!


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Southwest Car Rentals: 8 Partner Companies to Consider

Southwest car rentals

You have many options to choose from when it comes to earning points on Southwest by renting a car.

Southwest car rental partners include:

  • Alamo – Earn 600 points
  • Avis – Earn up to 2,400 points + 35% off
  • Budget – Earn up to 2,400 + 30% off  
  • Dollar – Earn up to 1,200 points with rentals as low $25 per day
  • Hertz – Earn up to 2,400 points + 30% off
  • National – Earn 600 points
  • Payless – Earn up to 1,200 points + 10% off
  • Thrifty – Earn up to 1,200 points + 10% off

Most of these deals are good through January 31, 2022.

The first 600 points you earn on each rental DO qualify for the 125,000 points you will need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets one person fly free with you for up to two years.

Any points earned above 600 are considered bonus points, and do NOT qualify for the Companion pass, but you can still use them to book free travel.


But There’s One Caveat…

vrbo vacation rental

To earn the points, you will be charged an additional fee (what they call a surcharge) per day between $1-$1.50 or $7.50 per rental depending on the company you choose.

It’s nothing huge, but definitely something to be aware of BEFORE you rent your car through Southwest!


Is Renting a Car Through Southwest the Best Deal?

Southwest car rental vertical

Before you decide on Southwest car rentals, shop around, as Southwest does not necessarily have the lowest pricing when it comes to renting cars.

Be sure you compare prices with sites like:

  • Priceline
  • Expedia
  • AutoSlash
  • Or even going to the car rental website directly

Keep in mind, with Southwest, you WILL be earning points to fly free, so be sure to factor that into the equation of whether it’s worth the higher price.


How to Book Southwest Car Rentals

southwest car rental partners

  1. Log on to your Rapid Rewards account at Southwest.com
  2. Visit the links above or go to Car/Book a Car or Car Offers in the Main Menu and click on your car rental company of choice.
  3. Enter your desired dates. The promo code usually automatically populates for you when you start at the direct car rental link on Southwest.
  4. Fill out the information complete your car rental.
  5. Make sure you meet the requirements of the promotion, such as number of days required and type of car.
  6. Pay with your Southwest credit cards and earn even more points! The Southwest cards let you earn double points on car rental purchases with partner companies.
  7. IMPORTANT! When you go to pick up your vehicle, make sure you have your Southwest Rapid Rewards number and be sure the rental agent has entered it into the system. You’ll also want to have any promo code that comes up on the screen when you click the car rental booking link.
  8. If you forget to give the agent your Rapid Rewards number, you can call the car rental company AFTER you complete your rental and ask them to enter it after the fact.
  9. Your points should show up within a few weeks of completing your car rental.
  10. Always be sure to read the fine print!



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4 thoughts on “8 Ways to Earn Points When Booking Southwest Car Rentals”

  1. So, if I rent through SW, the price I would be paying is $437. If I go directly to Avis, this same car is $380. Why would one go through SW if the rental is cheaper by $57? I get the fact that you will receive 2,400 SW points, but are those points worth the $57 extra dollars you will pay SW?

    • Hi Bill, that’s a good point. You do need to compare prices on and off the Southwest site to see if it is worth it to you or not. We have found similar pricing on car rentals in some cases, while in others we have found much lower prices elsewhere. The same goes for their offer of 1000 points when filing your taxes with TurboTax. In the past, I have found TurboTax at much lower prices elsewhere and decided to forgo the 1000 points.

  2. If the price of the car rental was closest to the price I can get a rental from Avis, I would have no issue with going through Southwest to do it. I think a close to $60 difference is too much. I do check it out each time I’m going to rent a vehicle. I’ve never rented a hotel room through Southwest either. However, I do look before booking a hotel other places. It never hurts to look.

    • Agreed! Just because you can earn points on it does not make it a good deal. You should definitely always weigh the cost of renting outside of Southwest to see if it is truly worth it. Thanks!


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