If you’re busy earning your Southwest Rapid Rewards points, eventually you’ll want to spend ‘em. What are some of the best ways to do so? Check out the options below.
1. Award Flights
Rapid Rewards makes redeeming your points for award flights easy and it’s relatively simple to quickly see which redemption options are worth most.
Wanna Get Away Fares
Wanna Get Away fares are where you’ll see your best value, or about 1.7 cents per point. Wanna Get Away fares are the most affordable of Southwest’s fares and, because of this, you usually have fewer options and the tickets themselves aren’t as flexible. Additionally, they tend to go quickly, so you have to book them relatively far in advance.
Anytime fares are a small step above the Wanna Get Away fares and you’ll see a value of about 1.1 cents per point with these. The good thing about the Anytime fares is that they’re a lot easier to find and more readily available.
Business Select Fares
Lastly, Business Select fares give you about 0.9 cents per point, so the value isn’t great, but you do receive a higher level of service, including priority boarding, priority security screening and free drinks.
2. Award Flights on Partner Airlines
You can book international award flights with partner airlines for spending Rapid Rewards points, but this option typically isn’t advisable. The More Rewards site gives members access to international flights on more than 50 carriers, if you search by origin, destination and date, but the value is very low — about 0.8 cents per point when you go this route versus booking a Southwest award flight.
3. Hotel Stays
Similarly, Southwest will allow you to search its hotel booking portal for hotel stays available for redemption. However, you only receive about 0.2 cents per point when you do so.
4. Car Rentals
For a value of about 0.7 cents per point, you can book car rentals with your Rapid Reward points. Car rental partners include Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
You can shop with your points, and get an average value of 0.6 cents per point. The merchandise available for purchase when you redeem Rapid Rewards points include clothing, electronics and home items.
6. Gift Cards
Rapid Rewards points are redeemable for gift cards on the Southwest More Rewards site, for amounts of $25 to $100. You get the best value when you purchase gift cards about $50, though, which gives you a value of about 0.7 cents per point.
7. Southwest Experiences
If you’re also a Southwest co-branded credit card holder, you can spend Rapid Rewards points for Southwest Experiences. The pricing varies greatly, so you can occasionally find a deal that’ll give you a really good value for your points. The experiences range from spa trips to wine tastings, destination tours to museum admission. The option is definitely worth a look when you’re putting together an itinerary for your next vacation.
Hands down, you’ll get your best value when you redeem Rapid Rewards points for Wanna Get Away airfare. If you can’t find a Wanna Get Away flight that suits your purpose, your next best bet is to book an Anytime fare. However, all in all, the Rapid Rewards program doesn’t give members a lot of flexibility when it comes to redeeming points. It’s most well suited for those that are looking to book free flights on Southwest specifically, and that’s about it.