Southwest announced today a few changes to their Rapid Rewards program via email. Below are the details, along with my commentary:
- Southwest is increasing the points required to earn Companion Pass benefits from 125,000 to 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. This change takes effect on January 1, 2023.
- As a new benefit, Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers will receive a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points every year.
- Since most of us get the Companion Pass in conjunction with applying for at least one Southwest card, the increased points requirement won’t have any effect.
Effective January 2023, Members with an open Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card on the first business day of each calendar year will earn one boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each calendar year. The boost will be deposited into eligible Member’s account by January 31st of the calendar year. When a Member opens a Rapid Rewards Credit Card after the first business day of the calendar year, they will receive one boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points up to 30 days after opening the Rapid Rewards Credit Card. Only one boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points can be earned each calendar year by each Rapid Rewards account no matter how many Rapid Rewards Credit Cards are open for the Rapid Rewards account. Eligible Members will see the boost added to their Rapid Rewards account by logging in to their account on Southwest.com®. The Companion Pass Qualifying Points boost cannot be used for redemption.
- Companion Pass holders can now board together with their Companions (unless the Companion Pass holder purchased a Business Select fare, purchased Upgraded Boarding, or added the Companion after they had been assigned a boarding position).
For A-List and A-List Preferred Members who have also qualified for Companion Pass, A-List and A-List Preferred benefits are not available to the Companion unless the Companion is also an A-List or A-List Preferred member. Except for Business Select fares, upon check-in, you and your Companion will receive sequential boarding positions unless you purchased Upgraded Boarding, or added the Companion after you had been assigned a boarding position. If you purchased a Business Select fare, purchased Upgraded Boarding, or added the Companion after you had been assigned a boarding position, you and your Companions will not receive sequential boarding positions. You and your Companion will not receive sequential boarding positions for any same-day change or same-day standby. For Business Select fares, only the purchaser will receive an A1-A15 boarding position and the Companion will receive a boarding position based on whichever is applicable—time of check-in, A-List or A-List Preferred status, or EarlyBird Check-In.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers are getting even more ways to redeem and enjoy the points they’ve earned beginning 2023.
- No details on what these additional redemption options will be
- When you book Wanna Get Away or Wanna Get Away Plus travel with your Rapid Rewards points, if your plans change and you want a points refund, you must cancel the reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time. Failure to cancel the trip 10 minutes before scheduled departure will result in forfeited points, starting summer 2023.
- Currently, cash bookings need to be cancelled at least 10 minutes in advance while points bookings get auto-refunded regardless. Beginning in summer 2023, points bookings will also need to be cancelled.
Starting summer 2023, for Wanna Get Away® or Wanna Get Away Plus™ reward travel reservations: if you do not cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time, any points used for booking will be forfeited, along with any taxes and fees associated with your award travel reservation. For Anytime or Business Select reward travel reservation: the points used for booking will continue to be redeposited to the purchaser’s Rapid Rewards account, and any taxes and fees associated with the reward travel reservation will be converted into a flight credit for future use.