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Lyn writes about Southwest on GotoTravelGal.com and has written an ebook called “The Step-by-Step Guide to Earning Your Southwest Companion Pass” to help you earn what Emily and I believe is the best deal in travel – the Southwest Companion Pass!
I’ve asked her to share some of the out-of-the-ordinary ways you can earn Southwest points for free flights, most of which also count toward earning the Companion Pass, which lets 1 person fly nearly free with you for up to 2 years.
Lyn: I check nearly every day to see what new ways are available to earn Southwest points, as my family of 4 flies almost exclusively on Southwest using their Rapid Rewards loyalty program. So the more points I can secure, the more free travel we can take!
I’ve put together some the crazier ways to earn Southwest points these days from learning your genetic history to paying your electric bill! Who knew?!
10 Unusual Ways to Earn Southwest Points
Before I share these unusual ways to earn Southwest points, I want to explain a few things.
First, most of these offers are available by starting at the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal, searching for the offer, and then clicking through from there. Check the “Offers” tab on the promotion to see if there are additional special discounts or coupon codes.
All points earned may be used for FREE TRAVEL on Southwest, but not all points count toward the 110,000 points needed to reach Companion Pass status. If any points are noted as “bonus” points, they WILL NOT count toward the Companion Pass, but all other points WILL qualify for the Companion Pass.
Also, you’ll want to make sure to follow our tips to ensure the points are credited to your account. For example, make sure you complete the purchase within a few hours of clicking through to the offer. And DO NOT use any outside coupon codes that are not provided through the Rapid Rewards shopping portal.
Finally, check prices elsewhere to make sure you are getting a good deal. I also always consider the cost of purchasing Southwest points outright versus how much I will spend on a deal that earns me points. For example, if I can purchase 2,500 points outright for $75 then I may not want to take advantage of a deal that would cost more than that unless I would be making the purchase anyway.
You can also consider the value of Southwest points, which are worth ~1.25 to ~1.43 cents each.
For example, if you are spending ~$80 for a credit repair program to earn 2,400 points, that is worth ~$30 to ~$34 (2,400 points x 1.25 or 1.43 cents per point) toward award flights, which is less than the ~$80 you are spending out of pocket. It is also more expensive than simply buying the points outright. But if you were going to make that purchase anyway, the points are a nice bonus!
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking!
1. Switch Cell Phone Providers – 350 to 3,600 Points
Have you been considering switching to a new cell phone provider? If so, don’t forget to include Southwest in the process to earn some easy Southwest points!
The Rapid Rewards shopping portal has offers from several different companies, including AT&T , Verizon , Sprint, and TPO Mobile. Each offer varies according to the plan you need and the type of phone you purchase. Be sure to compare costs elsewhere and weigh the number of points you’ll receive for switching with the cost required.
2. Get Satellite or Cable TV – 1,600 to 2,700 Points
Similarly, by switching providers of satellite or cable TV or signing up for new service, you can earn up to 2,700 Southwest points.
3. Repair Your Credit – 2,400 Points
You can earn the points with the purchase of any service, which starts at ~$80 per month. There is no requirement to use the service more than 1 month.
4. Sign up for a Dental Plan – 1,800 Points
I recently took advantage of this offer from DentalPlans.com, which is a service that provides discounts on dental services.
Note: It is different than dental insurance.
After comparing the cost of ~$150 yearly for a family dental plan with what it would save me with four of us going to the dentist twice yearly, I decided it was easily worth the cost. I also have a child who is going to need major orthodontic work, for which it also provides discounts. Hooray!
I think this plan literally paid for itself within 2 visits to the dentist. Use promotion code “BENEFITS15“ (provided by Southwest) to get 3 months free plus 15% off. For my geographic area, plans started at ~$118 yearly per person or ~$153 for a family.
5. Learn Your Genetic History – 700 Points
Find out what your genes tell you about your health, traits, and ancestry with a genetic testing kit from 23andMe.com. Learn things like what your genes say about your sleep quality, muscle composition, and even if you are a carrier for certain diseases.
This service provides you with 65 reports for $199 or you can choose just the ancestry report for $99. It will even connect you with people who share your DNA. Maybe now you can blame your love of travel on your genes. 😉
6. Pay Your Electric Bill – Up to 27,000 Points
Southwest partners with several energy companies in different states to allow customers on select plans to earn bonus points for signing up for a new plan and then non-bonus points for paying their bill each month.
Currently, customers in Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Texas are eligible through plans from Reliant Energy, NRG, and Everything Energy. Read complete details about how to earn Southwest points by paying your electric bill.
7. Find a Babysitter – 550 Points
Need a date night? Who doesn’t?! Get some help with planning and sitters with the service SitterCity.com.
The site matches you with local sitters and has profiles of more than a million caregivers around the U.S. It’s also great for finding a nanny or regular in-home childcare.
To get your Southwest points, you must sign up for a paid premium membership for at least 90 days, which costs $35 per month or $70 for 3 months.
8. Host a Website – 350 Points
Do you have a website or perhaps you’re thinking of starting one?
If you host it through HostGator, they will give you 350 Southwest points. You must sign up for a 6-month or longer hosting package plan, which starts at ~$4 per month, to earn your points.
9. Lose Weight – 350 Points
Looking for a weight loss program? Consider WeightWatchers.com, which nets you 350 points when you sign up for a new subscription to either their online program or to attend Weight Watchers meetings.
I highly recommend Weight Watchers, as it’s worked very well for my husband and me over the years by simply using their smartphone app. It’s easy, convenient, and gives you a structured plan to help you make better food choices. Plans start at ~$20 per month or ~$60 for three months with a one-time $20 fee.
10. Color Your Hair – 200 Points
Madison Reed is a natural hair color company that promises to have taken out all the harsh chemicals.
Sign-up for a membership to have your hair color delivered on a regular basis or you can make any one-time purchase through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal to earn your Southwest points. Products start at ~$20.
If you think outside the box, there are some pretty unexpected methods for earning Southwest points, even many that qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass! You can start by shopping at the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal where many of these deals are available.
Be sure to compare pricing before taking advantage of any deals. But if it’s something you’d be buying anyway at a similar price, it might be worth it to earn more points for free travel on Southwest. Happy shopping!