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It’s pretty much just a constant that airline programs are going to change and, in most cases, devalue. As more and more points are added to the system, it’s normal for the cost of redemptions to also go up. And while it’s mildly annoying to have redemption costs increase, it’s not the end of the world as long as you’re preparing for it (by not hoarding points). The real annoying thing is when companies make immediate devaluations without any prior notice. This behavior is something that really erodes consumer trust in an airline or hotel loyalty program.

Southwest Making Changes To Rapid Rewards

Recently, Southwest Airlines announced that they are making some changes to their Rapid Rewards loyalty program. And not only did they provide ample notice of these changes, the changes are generally positive ones!

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5 Changes To Southwest Rapid Rewards

Here’s a look at the 5 changes coming to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program

  • Starting Spring 2024, you can redeem a combination of cash plus Rapid Rewards points for flights. Right now, you can redeem cash OR points, but not a combination of the two.
  • Starting in January 2024, you can earn Tier Qualifying Points twice as fast with spending on the Southwest credit cards. Previously, you could earn 1,500 TQPs for every $10,000 spent – now it will be for every $5,000 spent
  • Starting January 2024, it will only take 20 one-way qualifying flights to get A-List status (instead of 25)
  • You’ll also only need 40 one-way qualifying flights to get A-List preferred status (instead of 50)
  • A-List Preferred members will also get 2 complimentary premium drinks, starting on November 6, 2023

While not all of these changes are groundbreaking, they’re also all positive changes.

Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

One of the best ways to earn a lot of Southwest Rapid Rewards points is by signing up for some of their co-branded credit cards. Here’s a look at some of the Southwest credit card options

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  • card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees annual fee
  • card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees annual fee
  • card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees annual fee

You can also get Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the following credit cards, and transfer them 1:1 to Southwest, if you have a premium Chase card. So a card that has a welcome bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards can get you 60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points instead.

The Bottom Line

Southwest Rapid Rewards has announced five new upcoming changes to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. The biggest and most impactful change will likely be the one allowing people to use a combination of cash plus Rapid Rewards points for a new booking. This will eliminate the need to potentially have to transfer or buy points to “top up” an account in order to redeem points. Hopefully this will lead to fewer “orphaned” miles in accounts. I’m just mostly impressed that Southwest is making POSITIVE improvements to its loyalty program!

What do you make of these changes to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

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