Do Southwest points expire? Yes!
If there is no account activity — either redemption or earning of points — after 24 months, your points DO expire.
While I use my account all the time — no worries about any of MY points expiring 😉 — my kids have accounts where they earned a few points on a paid flight we took before we started flying free. I always book most of our travel out of my Southwest account, so theirs get little action and need to be kept active to avoid expiring.
To check your last activity date, log in to your Rapid Rewards account at Southwest.com. Then choose My Account and scroll down to Recent Activity on the lefthand side.
6 Ways to Keep Your Southwest Points From Expiring
There are lots of different ways to keep your Southwest points active. Here are a few of my suggestions:
1. Hold a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card
If you hold any of Chase’s three Southwest credit cards — two personal and one business — you get the free perk of your points never expiring.
2. Make a Purchase in the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal
The Southwest online shopping portal is very simple to use, costs nothing and allows you to earn Southwest points simply by starting your online shopping at your favorite retailers on the portal.
Here are a few good options:
- Sign up for the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s or The Economist for between $1-$12 and earn between 700-1000 points
- Get or give a magazine subscription through Magazines.com or DiscountMags.com by starting at the portal
- Buy a Groupon through the portal
- Buy something from Walmart.com, Target.com, CVS.com, Walgreens.com (how about a photo book?) or Lowes.com and pick it up in store (groceries included!)
- Buy a gift card for a variety of retailers and earn points!
- Buy a Restaurant.com gift certificate and use it to eat at a local restaurant.
3. Sign up for Rapid Rewards Dining and Earn Points Just for Dining Out
Rapid Rewards Dining is a free program that lets you register any credit or debit card you’d use to pay for a meal out and automatically earn points when dining at participating restaurants. Then go eat at a participating restaurant. This is about as easy as it gets!
If you’re new to the program, you can even earn bonus points for eating at a set number of restaurants within the initial time period. Here’s everything you need to know about Rapid Rewards Dining:
4. Use Your Southwest Credit Card for a Purchase
By simply using your Southwest card to make a purchase, you’ll earn points which will credit to your account on the credit card closing date.
5. Refer a Friend to Sign up for the Chase Southwest Credit Cards
Visit Chase.com/ReferaFriend to see if you are eligible and get your link. You will currently earn 10,000 points for every friend who signs up for the cards up to 50,000 points across all cards max in one year.
6. Transfer Points From Chase Ultimate Rewards
Transferring points may be one of the quickest ways to keep points from expiring, as transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest are usually instant. Chase Ultimate Rewards points may be earned on Chase Sapphire Preferred (my FAVORITE travel card), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Preferred and Chase Freedom.
Please note, when you transfer points from Chase they DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
Should You Transfer the Points to Another Account?
Rather than trying to keep an account active, some may wonder if it would just be easier to transfer the points to a different account. But I would not recommend it, as transferring points, which seems like it should be free, is not!
It costs more to transfer points than to simply buy them. Here’s more info on transferring Southwest points.
How do you keep your Southwest Rapid Rewards accounts active?
- How to Use the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal
- 8 Ways to Earn Points With Car Rentals on Southwest
- 10 Easy Ways to Earn 500 or More Southwest Points
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