Guide to Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

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For loyal Southwest Airlines flyers or those who are in pursuit of the beloved Southwest Companion Pass, every point counts. That’s why we recommend optimizing your credit card usage, flight bookings, and even (sometimes) your hotel stays to accumulate the Southwest points you need to earn frequent flier status in the Southwest Rapid Rewards program.

In addition to the above options, you can also earn Southwest points by making the most of the Rapid Rewards Dining program. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can easily top up your Southwest points balance when dining out to get closer to your points accumulation goals.

How to get Rapid Rewards points by dining

If you’re new to Southwest Rapid Rewards, you can find more information in our review of one of the best and most lucrative overall loyalty programs. And if you’re already a Southwest loyalist, we hope these tips can help you top up your account balance for your next free flight or to hit your goal of earning the Southwest Companion Pass

One often-overlooked method of earning points is by dining out with a credit card enrolled in Rapid Rewards dining — a free and straightforward partner program that allows you to earn points for purchases at participating restaurants.

How to enroll in Rapid Rewards Dining

I love Rapid Rewards Dining because Southwest has made it a simple way to rack up additional points. You can enroll by heading to RapidRewardsDining.com and entering your basic personal information. You’ll also need your Rapid Rewards number and a credit card (of your choosing) handy to link your account.

One thing to keep in mind is that you should register with the credit card that you use most frequently for dining out. That’s because your card will automatically sync with your Rapid Rewards dining account to earn you points for restaurant purchases — no “checking in” at the restaurant or uploading receipts required!  

Which restaurants participate in Rapid Rewards Dining?

To view a list of participating restaurants, enter your zip code or city to view restaurants near you. I was pleasantly surprised to notice several known restaurants right in our neighborhood that regularly provide up to 3 Southwest points per dollar in rewards when using my enrolled credit card.

In addition to being restricted to certain participating restaurants, keep in mind that not all restaurants award points on all days. For example, some of the more popular eateries might only earn rewards when dining on “off-peak” days such as Monday through Thursday. 

You can also earn an introductory “bonus” after your first dining purchase through the Rapid Rewards Dining program. This is a nice incentive to sign up and makes even your first trip out a great option! You can also choose to review a restaurant after you’ve eaten there to earn some additional points, but I typically skip this as the incentive is usually only a few points.

How do you spend Rapid Rewards Dining points?

Although you can earn Southwest Rapid Rewards in many different ways, they have the same functional value as soon as they hit your frequent flier account. This means that any points you earn from Rapid Rewards dining are equally as valuable as points earned from flying with Southwest, from a Southwest credit card sign up bonus, or from using the Rapid Rewards shopping portal.

Personally, I like to save my Southwest points and redeem them for low cost, nonstop flights on Southwest airlines from my home airport in San Diego. You can also redeem points for other uses, but we recommend sticking to the highest value options.

It’s also important to mention that points earned through Rapid Rewards Dining now count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass! This is fantastic news as the Southwest Companion Pass remains the single best deal in frequent flier travel. So for anyone pursuing the Companion Pass, you might as well sign up for Rapid Rewards Dining today to ensure you’re not missing out on free points.

Bottom line

Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Dining program is a free and easy way to earn extra Southwest points by doing nothing out of the ordinary. For folks who already eat out (whether frequently or just on occasion), you can earn “free” points automatically by linking your card and rapid rewards account.

My favorite part is that these points count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass, so you can potentially get two flights for the price of one! This makes enrolling for Rapid Rewards Dining a no brainer, and you can sign up for free in less than a few minutes. Enjoy!

Featured image by Syda Productions/Shutterstock.

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Jake Pearring is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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