Jan. 15 - Southwest Gives Members A Boost Toward Earning A-List Status and Companion Pass
Southwest Rapid Rewards members will automatically receive qualifying points in the coming week that will help them earn the airline's version of elite status and the valuable Companion Pass. Every member with a Rapid Rewards account opened by Dec. 31, 2020, will start the year with:
15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 qualifying flight credits toward A-List status. To qualify for A-List status, you need 35,000 tier qualifying points or 25 qualifying flight credits. If you want to earn A-List Preferred status, the point and flight credit requirements are double.
25,000 qualifying points and 25 qualifying flights toward Companion Pass. That's equal to 20% of the points or 25% of the flights necessary to earn the Companion Pass.
Southwest is also extending Companion Pass benefits through Dec. 31, 2021, for people who already received an extension. Previously, the extension was only good until June 30, 2021.
Southwest co-branded credit cardholders also have the opportunity to earn A-List status through spending alone. Now, cardholders can earn 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List or A-List Preferred for every $10,000 spent in the 2021 calendar year and there's no limit to the number of qualifying points they can earn.
Stay tuned for our full analysis of these changes later today.
Oct. 12 - Southwest Plans to Expand Service in Chicago and Houston
Southwest Airlines already serves Chicago-Midway and Houston-Hobby airports but your options for those cities will now be expanded after the airline announced it would begin offering service to Chicago O'Hare International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Southwest says that service to the two airports should start in the first half of 2021. No details relating to schedules, routes or fares have been released yet.
Aug. 13 - Southwest Opens Flights For Booking Through April 11, 2021
The Southwest schedule is notorious for being fluid in terms of when future flights will be available for travelers to book. Today, Southwest extended its flight schedule through April 11, 2021, which includes the traditional spring break period. Since Southwest doesn’t charge change fees, now is a good time to check out routes and timing for next spring and secure a reservation if the price is right, knowing you can always change or cancel later.
Aug. 10 - Southwest Launches New Option to Convert Travel Funds to Rapid Rewards Points
A previously announced enhancement to the Southwest Rapid Rewards system is now active for customers. Any Rapid Rewards members who have Travel Funds set to expire Sept. 7, 2022, will now have the option to convert those Travel Funds into Rapid Rewards points at a rate of 1.28 cents per point through Dec. 15, 2020. This new option gives Southwest customers more flexibility with their previously canceled reservations from the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak in a few ways:
Rapid Rewards points do not expire (but Travel Funds do).
You can only apply a maximum of two Travel Funds to any one purchase (but points come from one Rapid Rewards account, so converting Travel Funds essentially pools those credits together in the form of points).
Rapid Rewards points can be used to book flights for anyone (Travel Funds must be used for the original passenger).
We will have a full guide on how to convert these points as well as a breakdown of when you should utilize this new benefit, or not, later today.
Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card