Earn 5X Points on All Southwest Purchases Through March 31, 2021

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It's getting harder and harder to keep track of all the new ways to earn Southwest points. The airline has offered promotions on top of promotions on top of promotions. And now, it's back with yet another one: Southwest's co-branded credit cardholders will earn 5X points on Southwest travel purchases through the end of March 2021.

earn bonus Southwest Rapid Rewards points on Southwest purchases

Key Terms

  • Register here by March 31, 2021 (only purchases made after registering will qualify)
  • Qualifying Southwest purchases through March 31, 2021 (the promotional period) will earn 5X Rapid Rewards points on up to $2,000 spent per calendar month
  • Cardholders will earn a total of 5X points. That's an additional 3X or 2X on top of the regular earning rates.
  • Qualifying purchases include flights, inflight purchases, Southwest gift cards bought directly from Southwest, purchases from the Rapid Rewards Points Center, and Southwest Vacations packages
  • Points earned WILL count towards Companion Pass qualification. However, points WILL NOT count towards earning A-List or A-List Preferred status
  • Bonus offer applies only to the account of the primary Cardmember
  • Allow up to eight weeks after the promotion period ends for bonus points to post to your account

Qualifying Southwest credit cards:

Related Post: Southwest Companion Pass Strategy

Initial Thoughts

At first glance, earning 5X points sounds great. If you were to maximize this promotion, you stand to earn 20,000 points for $4,000 in spend over two months. Since I value Southwest points at 1.4¢ each, that's roughly a 7% return. At the same time, it's important to recognize that this isn't so much a “5X” promotion as it is an “additional 2-or-3X” promotion. So, maximizing would actually only translate into an extra 8,000–12,000 points for the same spend, worth ~$104–$156 respectively.

Bottom Line

Now through March 2021, Southwest co-branded cardmembers can earn 5X points on up to $2,000 in Southwest purchases per month. If you see yourself making any Southwest purchases soon, be sure to register. With all these promotions, Southwest is making it easy to build your stash of Rapid Rewards points. Hopefully, we can soon get back to spending them as fast as we're earning them!

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Karen L Drake says:

    Tried to register under my current SW Chase credit card, but it gave me an 404 error code. I want to earn 5X the points.

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    Question: Say I register my new card recieved 14 DEC with a credit card statement cut off of 12 Jan. If I spend $2000 by 31 DEC, and another $2,000 1 Jan to 12 Jan, will I get 5,000 points for Dec and another 5,000 for Jan spend?

    Also as program ends 31 March, guess I could spend $2,000 15-31 Mar and get 10,000 points even though my statement does not cut off until 12 April?

    Sound correct?? Thanks

    • Avatar

      The T&C isn’t clear. I’m concerned that the T&C uses the generic “month” term: “…on up to $2,000 in total net purchases each month, directly with Southwest Airlines…” I could see this referring to either the calendar month or a cardholder statement month (e.g. Dec 14-Jan 12 in your example). So, unfortunately, we just don’t know 🙁

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    Michael J. Robinson says:

    That sounds good, I was using another card for SWA travel, but 5 pts is a good return. Thank you

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    General question–seems like there are tons of new award offers out there. Is this an increase over prior years due to increased competition as travel is down??

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    ricardo scalbi says:

    Is the promotion valid for residents abroad? In my case I am from Argentina, can I travel after March 31, 2021? And in that case, in case of inconveniences due to COVID, how many times is it possible to change the ticket?

    • Avatar

      Yes to all of your questions! However, you need to have the US-issued Southwest credit card to be eligible for this promotion. If you do, you can purchase flights by March 31, 2021 to earn 5X, cancel for free, and then rebook as many times as needed within a year of original purchase.

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    So would American Express Platinum purchase of Southwest Gift cards directly through the airline qualify for 5 points/dollar? If that’s the case then buying with AmEx Platinum is better as their Points are valued at $0.02 / point, rather than Southwests $0.014 / point.

    • Avatar

      I believe gift cards purchased directly from SW should qualify. Technically, the Amex bonus category is for airfare and I haven’t personally tried gift cards. Does anyone have direct experience with this?

      • Avatar

        When I bought a $75 SW GC in September during this 5X promotion (I had registered in August) to use up my annual travel credit, I received 2X points immediately thru the cc and then almost exactly 8 weeks later, the remaining 3X points posted to my SW acct. So the 5X points appears to work on gift cards.

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    Just a heads-up that today is the last day to register – and earn – for this promo. You’re down to the last few hours.

    • Avatar

      Deal must have been extended or perhaps offered again. You have until 3/31/2021 to register and buy from Southwest Airlines.

  • Avatar
    Edward Dominguez says:

    I agree with what you’re saying as it becoming an additional 2-3x points. While on the surface it says 5x, you are still earning what is already there plus the additional to equal 5x. It’s still a good deal as long as you can spend 4,000 plus in a month. I just wish I was able to take full advantage of this deal.

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    Agree, don’t worth to take part it. I like AA more than others.

  • Avatar

    Good analysis.
    On surface 5X sounds pretty good, but there’s still more to be desired to count this as a great promo.

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    Glad to see the airlines boosting their co-branded card rewards during this hard time! Wish they would keep it!

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    I like that you point out the difference of what you already earn and the bonus. It’s good to know that it’s a total of 5x including what you already get. I like that it would count towards the companion pass and I know that people will be cheering for that. Not having flown on Southwest, I just don’t see the hype. They just don’t have the best prices for me where I want to go. Maybe one day.

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    That is a good deal, although Im not planning on doing any traveling in the near future to take advantage of it.

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    Maybe its time to bring out the Southwest Credit card for airline purchases.

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    “only purchases made after registering will qualify”

    That’s a bummer.

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    I am going to register for this tomorrow. thanks for the info!

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    Decent promotion if you hold the card.

  • Avatar
    Gabriel Boisvert says:

    Now if only Southwest was convenient out of my home airport! Then my points might be worth something.

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    Southwest needs to try harder on this… I rather take 5x UR or MR points anyday

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    Odd. It said they couldn’t register me for the promotion. Is it targeted?

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    michael letherwood says:

    The card sounds great although $4000 in spend is a lot these days and you’re only getting 20,000 miles and that’s if you do everything right. Plus you don’t get on the A-list or preferred which I think would make this card a lot more attractive. Although Southwest points are valuable and nice to have, I think I’ll wait for a better offer on a credit card that suits my needs better.

  • Avatar

    Nice to see more incentive to use cards even when travel is limited.

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    Short time period for this promotion, but good to take advantage of this while it lasts.

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    Wonderful opportunity and inspiration to travel!

  • Avatar

    With all the deals that are coming out lately, this doesn’t seem like a good option. I look forward to better promotions from one of my favorite companies.