Guide to Southwest partners
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Unlike many of the other U.S. based carriers, Southwest isn’t part of an alliance, and you can’t earn bonus points by flying with airline partners. That said, it is possible to earn bonus points with other types of partners, like hotel chains and car rental companies.
Here’s a rundown of Southwest’s partners, along with the details of how many bonus points you can earn for such qualifying activities.
Southwest hotel partners
In addition to earning Southwest points for staying with any of Southwest’s hotel partners, you can also transfer the hotel points you earn with these partners to Southwest.
Below we’ve included the number of Southwest points you’ll earn for each stay and the points transfer ratios for each hotel rewards program. For the most part, you’ll earn a flat 600 Southwest points per hotel stay. But transfer ratios vary between programs.
|Bonus points earned||Transfer ratio to Southwest|
|Best Western||~600 points per stay||5,000:1,200|
|Choice Hotels||~600 points per stay||6,000:1,800|
|Marriott Bonvoy||~600 points per stay||10,000:2,000 or|
|MGM Resorts||~600 points per stay (certain brands are excluded)||n/a|
|Radisson Rewards||~600 points per stay||10,000:1,000|
|Rocketmiles||1,000 – 10,000 points per night||n/a|
|World of Hyatt||~600 points per stay||5,000:2,400 or|
50,000:24,000 + 6,000 bonus points (30,000 points total)
Most of Southwest’s hotel partners are traditional hotel chains with the exception of Rocketmiles — a hotel booking platform. When you book through Rocketmiles, you’ll earn anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 Southwest points per night. And while that may sound like a better deal, don’t forget that you may miss out on elite benefits by booking through Rocketmiles. So it’s always a good idea to compare how many bonus points and benefits you’ll earn with each booking.
Southwest car rental partners
It’s also possible to earn bonus Southwest points for car rentals. Southwest partners with most of the major rental companies, so you’ll pick up a few extra Southwest points for renting if you choose to do so.
Here’s a look at each participating rental car company, how many bonus points you’ll earn and the terms surrounding earning the bonus:
|Bonus points earned||Additional terms|
|Alamo||600 points at participating worldwide locations||Must request points at check-in. A flight is not required to receive points except in the case where the member has multiple rentals on consecutive days in the same market. Bonus points will not be issued for prior rentals older than six months.|
|Avis||600 points at participating worldwide airport locations||Must request points at check-in. Frequent Flyer surcharge of up to $1.00 per day may apply.|
|Budget||600 points at participating worldwide airport locations||Must request points at check-in. Frequent Flyer surcharge of up to $1.00 per day may apply.|
|Dollar||600 points at participating worldwide locations||Must request points at check-in. A flight is not required to receive points. Industry discount rates, tour rates and complimentary rentals do not qualify for points.|
|Hertz||600 points at participating worldwide locations||Must request points at check-in. A flight is not required to receive points. Use discount number CDP 205418 to get additional benefits.|
|National||600 points per qualifying rental at participating worldwide locations||Must request points at check-in. A flight is not required in order to receive points.|
|Payless||600 points at participating airport locations||Must request points at check-in. Frequent Flyer surcharge of $1.50 per day, up to $7.50 per rental may apply.|
|Thrifty||600 points at participating worldwide locations||Must request points at check-in. Can also earn 600 points after three parking visits at a Thrifty airport parking location (must be at the same location within 12 months); U.S. only.|
Other Southwest partners
Along with the ability to earn Southwest points with Southwest’s car rental and hotel partners, you can earn bonus points for other activities like dining, shopping and even paying your electric bill.
To earn bonus Southwest points for things like flowers, wine or gourmet food items, shop with these shopping and dining partners:
- 1800-Flowers –1,000 points for orders $29.99+ using your Southwest account number and promo code RR22
- Laithwaite’s Wine – 2,000 points on the introductory wine club case of 12 top-estate wines
- Harry & David – 1,000 points for orders $29.99+ using your Southwest account number and promo code SS44
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping – Shop through the portal to earn bonus points for online purchases
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining – Earn Southwest points by registering a credit card and using it for payment at participating restaurants
Of the partners listed above, most people will find Southwest’s shopping portal and dining program the most useful. Utilizing these programs is a great way to make the most of everyday spending.
Southwest also as a few specialty partners, which include:
- Rewards for Opinions
- Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+)
With the first two programs listed, you can earn rewards by completing surveys. The rewards you earn can then be converted into Southwest points. For example, $15 in e-Rewards is the equivalent of 300 Southwest points. With EA+, you’ll earn 1,200 Southwest points for enrolling and an additional 1,200 points every year you renew.
Earning rewards this way isn’t incredibly lucrative, but the option may come in handy if you just need a few additional points for a specific award ticket.
Lastly, take a look at Southwest’s home and lifestyle partners which include:
- NRG – Residents of IL, MA, MD, NJ, or PA can earn Southwest points for using NRG Home as their electric supplier
- Reliant – Texas residents can earn up to 27,000 bonus Southwest points for being a new Reliant customer
- Make It Count – earn bonus Southwest points at participating Marathon gas stations
Head to Southwest’s site for more detailed information on each of Southwest’s partners.
Best credit cards to earn Southwest points
When it comes to choosing a Southwest card, you’ve got options. The co-branded Southwest cards (some of which we’ve ranked as the top airline credit cards) include:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card – Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card – Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – 60,000 Southwest points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card – Earn 80,000 Southwest points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
And even better, any points you earn with these offers will count toward the coveted Companion Pass.
If you need help deciding which Southwest card is right for you, check out our Southwest credit card comparison here.
There are a variety of ways in which you can earn Southwest points. The fastest and easiest is by earning a big welcome bonus from one of the Southwest credit cards. But you can also maximize your purchases and earn even more points by spending with Southwest partners.
Renting a car or have a hotel stay planned? You can elect to earn Southwest points for your booking. Need to order flowers for that special someone in your life? You can earn bonus Southwest points for that, too!
The key is to always keep an eye out for the opportunity to earn extra points, and you’ll see your rewards balance increase in no time.
Featured image by Carlos E. Santa Maria/Shutterstock.
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