Southwest Airlines New Rapid Rewards Program Has Arrived


[Update: The offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

In early January, I wrote a blog about the upcoming changes to Southwest Airline’s Rapid Rewards program. Starting March 1, 2011 the New Rapid Rewards program takes effect.

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the changes:

  • The number of points earned depends on the amount of your airfare. Before, you earned credits based on the number of flights taken.
  • According to, here’s the formula: 1 credit=1,200 points=free flight.
  • You get points for every dollar you spend and they don’t expire. However, the fine print in the rewards program details says that if your account is inactive for 24 months, you forfeit the points. So yeah, technically they don’t “expire,” but you can sure lose them.
  • The website says there are no more blackout dates with Rapid Rewards Points earned after March 1. But there are restrictions when using your Standard and Freedom Awards.
  • You can now redeem points for international flights.

The comments I got on my previous blog were quite passionately against these changes. I’m guessing that public sentiment hasn’t changed.

I don’t have a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase. I fly out of Atlanta, so Southwest Airlines isn’t within my personal orbit. So I’d love to hear from those of you who are directly affected by these changes.

What are your thoughts about the new program? Is there anything you like about it?

[Related Resource: Roundup: 5 Airline and Travel Rewards Credit Cards]

Image: Bob B. Brown, via

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