Do Southwest Rapid Rewards Points Expire? Do Southwest Rapid Rewards Points Expire?

Do Southwest Rapid Rewards Points Expire?

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No, Southwest Rapid Rewards Points do not expire as long as your account remains open. Per the Southwest terms and conditions page:

“Points do not expire.  Should a Member close its account, the points in the account will be terminated.”

How You Can Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards

With no point expiry deadline, you can focus your efforts on building up a healthy Southwest points balance and using it for your next travel reward. You can earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points in the following ways:

a Southwest heart-shaped logo inside the plane
Credit: Lukas Souza/Unsplash

Earning Southwest points through credit card spending

One of the easiest ways to rack up a bunch of Southwest Rapid Rewards points is by getting one of the Southwest co-branded credit cards from Chase:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Annual Fee$149
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Member FDIC
  • 3X points per $1 spent on all Southwest® purchases
  • 2X points per $1 spent on all Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 2X points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare
  • 2X points per $1 spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

With so many credit cards to choose from, we've got a dedicated article to help you decide which Southwest card is right for you.

Boosting Your Points Balance

Ultimately, you still have options if you are a few points short of redemption. Southwest is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, meaning you can transfer some Chase points to boost your balance.

Chase points transfer to Southwest at a ratio of  1:1 with a minimum transfer of 1,000 points. In addition, transfers are immediate, so there is minimal risk of your award being snapped up while you wait for the points to show up in your Southwest account.

You also have a few less-desirable transfer options that you can use to pad your Southwest account for your next flight redemption:

Transfer Ratio
Average Time
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
1 day - 2 days
Best Western Rewards
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Choice Hotels (Choice Privileges)
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Diners Club (Club Rewards)
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Hyatt (World of Hyatt)
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
Bonus for transferring 50,000+ points
Radisson Hotel Group (Radisson Rewards)
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)

Bottom Line

Southwest is one of the simplest programs in the points and miles world. The program is straightforward, with little to worry about in the small print. Also, the program offers excellent value — from the famous Companion Pass to solid redemption options.

5 / 5 - (6 votes)
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  • I know that my swa card is getting heavy usage for the target 5x spend on grocery, gas, travel for the 2nd qtr of 2022

  • Great policy from a great airline. I have a ton of miles with Southwest and American but haven’t been able to fly for a while. I just got an email from American saying that thousands of my miles are about to expire… such a bummer. Thank goodness I don’t have to worry about that with Southwest!! I hope American follows suit soon!

  • I have a SW account but have never yet flown that airline. Nonetheless, since I may fly them one day, I appreciate both their policy regarding expirations and the very easy ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards, many of which I do anyway (e.g,. earning points at partner hotels).

  • I love southwest and love the rapid rewards program!
    They always seem to improve their program. I especially love the credit cards and Rapid Rewards shopping portal!

  • I like the airlines that switched to never expiring miles. I believe Delta was the first followed by United. The expiring is rather unfair during this lockdown times as trying to flying is rather difficult.

  • It’s harder to find extraordinary deals because the points correlate to the cost of the flight, but at least it’s harder for them to be devalued this way. And since they don’t expire and it’s less likely they will be devalued WN points are among my most coveted.

    • Thanks for teaching me something. Curiosity demanded I figure out why you where referring to Rapid Reward Miles / Southwest Points as WN points. So, WN is apparently Southwest’s IATA airline designator. But, that doesn’t exactly explain how its IATA came to such prominence that some folks simply use it to refer to Southwest…

  • Super thankful these never expire

  • I do love Southwest – now if only they had better flights from my home airport.

  • Had read that they were going to no expiration date and thought we were okay. However, somehow our accounts must not have made the cutoff as we lost all our points.

  • Farid Kassam says:

    Most airlines are moving towards no expiry.

  • Juan Ignacio says:

    I really appreciate when miles or points doesn’t expire, thanks AwardWallet for keeping us uptade every day

  • Great news especially with current travel concerns!

  • I like how this was a real enhancement, unlike when most airlines announce “enhancements.”

  • So rarely fly them that I would forget about the minor stash accumulated. Thankfully AW was always there to remind me. Of course now they don’t expire, it is moot.

  • And what must be done to keep the account open? Just don’t close it?

  • And then there is AAdvantage 🙂

  • Big fan of points not expiring- I had so Rapid Rewards points expire before the change without even knowing

  • They definitely did and it’s happened to me. I just stopped flying them regularly. Used to go to Vegas and Phoenix often, but no more. Their prices aren’t even competitive on longer routes unless booking far in advance.

  • There are many hotel, rental car and travel partners that you can earn Rapid Rewards with, but one of the better ones currently is Marathon. If you sign up for Marathon’s Make It Count fuel savings and rewards, you can choose Southwest as your partner program and you’ll earn 1 point per gallon every time you purchase gas at a participating Marathon and enter your rewards code on the transaction. If you regularly fill up with Marathon, you’d never have to worry about earning Rapid Rewards points (as long as the partnership remains active). Another good way to earn and the way I have kept my points active for the past few years, TurboTax usually offers 1,000 points for filing your taxes with them each year through the Rapid Rewards Shopping website.

  • Gary Jay says:

    Not all of them do it, but I appreciate the programs that email you in advance that your points will be expiring. I realize it is in their best interest to not tell you and just let you points expire (and some will charge you to reinstate them), but I do appreciate the ones that notify you. I love Award Wallet but it is really a shame that some of the vendors can prohibit their software from logging on to get you points and expiration dates. Since they would be using a user name and password that WE provide, they should be allowed to do this. And unfortunately, since some of the monthly statements do not show expiration dates, even forwarding those to Award Wallet doesn’t do it. I keep my spreadsheet to ensure I’m on top of this… but is is too bad it can’t be automated by Award Wallet for some of the programs. It’s such a great service.

  • I’ve signed up my credit card with AA’s dining program. Is it possible to sign the same card up for the Southwest dining program? Would you get points for both airlines if you ate at a participating restaurant?

    • I just answered my own question – I signed up the same card for SW’s program, and AA sent me an email indicating that it could only be used for one program.

      • Thanks for returning with a response. I was wondering the same thing. You saved me from signing up the same card to two dining programs. I use the dining rewards to keep my American miles alive since I fly SW almost exclusively these days.

  • If not for Award Wallet, so many of my earned points for various programs would go unused. I love how they keep track of it all for me, and warn me when points will expire. And I love how they tell me the ways to KEEP them from expiring. I need to do something for my Rapid Rewards points here soon, and I am hoping this comment will help with my AA miles account 🙂

  • Just earned some points through the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal!

  • Great info on SW Rewards. Award Wallet is a great way to keep track unless you are one to read all the fine print of every rewards program in which you participate. Thanks again!

  • Thanks for the heads up on Southwest. I have a question on an opinion about enrolling with Southwest. Since I have the Chase Sapphire card, should I sign up for Southwest now since I will probably transfer points there eventually? I already have gotten a United number but then I have been flying on them and getting points through surveys already. No flying on Southwest right now and possibly not for the soon future.

  • Technically having the card does, but only because you receive bonus points every anniversary year.

  • There is another survey company called Valued Opinions that also allows you to earn Rapid Rewards points. I don’t find them as easy to earn as E-Rewards, (I “don’t qualify” for their surveys more often than not) but it is another option to add to the list. You also don’t have to wait to be invited to join, as you do for E-Rewards.

  • Adam Parsons says:

    Cheers for the thanks again idea, I didn’t know about this.

  • So many ways to earn points. Will definitely keep this in mind when my points are close to expiration. Also love to use award wallet to help keep me on track!

  • Buying something using the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal is the best way to go!

  • Arent they Partners with E-Rewards or E-Miles?

  • One overlooked way to keep southwest points active is Thanks Again. Download the app there are some free signup points and you can earn points if you link a credit card in airports. You can transfer as few as 5 miles and to other family members accounts.

  • Jacqueline parsons says:

    Always use award wallet also to keep an eye on your account expiry dates. The easiest way to keep accounts alive imo is to use their online shopping portals.

  • Fifteen strollers!!! That would definitely give me pause, Ryan!

    • Oh man, it was Easter so I guess that explains it. I tried to dodge the babies, trying 5 different seats and ultimately picking the worst. The last 30 minutes of the flight I had my fingers in my ears. Yikes.

  • There should be no excuse for accidentally allowing points to expire. You can literally extend points for less than a dollar through an online shopping portal.

  • Flew Southwest yesterday. Saw 15 strollers to the side, knew what kind of flight it would be and it was. 🙂

  • So many airlines, all with different miles programs. There must be some kind of quick reference chart or wiki out there with most of the airlines. There is no way to mentally keep track of the different programs. Plus, their programs constantly evolve, so the chart would have to be updated regularly.