Do Southwest Rapid Rewards Points Expire?

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Yes, Southwest Rapid Rewards expire if you have no qualifying earning activity on your Southwest Rapid Rewards account in a 24-month period. Full terms at and which activities are considered “qualifying.”

Points will remain active as long as you have at least one qualifying earning activity every 24 months. Qualifying earning activities include: 1) completed travel on Southwest® qualifying flights, (2) points earned from our Rapid Rewards Partners and posted to Member’s account prior to the expiration date, (3) points purchased through, and (4) gifted/transferred/donated points received and claimed by the recipient. Gifted/Transferred/Donated points are a Qualifying Activity for the recipient only. Examples of activities that do not count as Qualifying Activities include but are not limited to: cancelled trips; nonrevenue travel such as Reward or Companion Pass travel; for the donating Member, points donated by a Member to a charity; and other travel such as charter flights, service-charged, reduce-rate, trade out, extra seat, and paper tickets.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Logo

A critical point worth noting is that unlike other programs, including British Airways’ Avios and Starwood Preferred Guest who have similar policies, redeeming your Rapid Rewards Points does not count as a qualifying activity to prevent your points from expiring. The only activity that counts with Southwest is earning. So, what options do you have to Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points and keep your account live?

How Can You Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards?

Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards is easier than you might think. You can easily earn Rapid Rewards points in the following ways:

With so many options to keep your points alive there is no reason you should lose, and let your account expire.

Source: Southwest

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Annual Fee$149
Welcome Bonus Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks and WiFi.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 2X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

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  • Bertrand Say says:

    Is there any option wherein you do not have to spend anything to keep the points from expiring?

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I haven’t flown Southwest in some time, better check my account.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Does buying a non-refundable SWA ticket and then canceling the ticket (so that the credit goes back to your account) extend the time for miles expiration? The credit can be used for one year after that but I’m not sure if it affects points expiry.

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

  • 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!

  • Adam Parsons says:

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

  • There are so many ways to extend the expiration date of your miles and points, just be aware of them and use the and you will never have to worry about them expiring.

  • 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.

  • Does having one of the Southwest-branded Chase cards automatically prevent miles from expiring, or does one need to actually make the occasional purchase to avoid letting miles expire.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

  • Thanks for the post. Didn’t realize that point redemptions don’t count as qualifying activity!

  • 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 🙂

  • Does redeeming points for flights with companion pass cout? what about transfering points directly from Chase UR?

  • Just saw in my local coupon section if you go to you can get southwest miles for buying community coffee! I’ve already signed up and promo lasts only til this june15th! I’m gonna get me some miles since I already buy this brand of coffee :o)

  • 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.

  • Not sure why the post doesn’t specifically mention it, but transferring miles from any Chase Ultimate Rewards account into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account keeps the account active. This is probably the easiest and fastest way to keep an account from expiring, but it does require a minimum of 1000 UR points to make a transfer.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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