How to set up a Southwest account and start earning valuable rewards

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Southwest is a favorite of miles-and-points enthusiasts for its reasonable airfares, incredibly generous baggage policy and absence of change or cancellation fees — plus, their points don’t expire! Now that they’ve expanded their route network (flights to Hawaii!), more and more people are considering flying Southwest.

To get the most out of your Southwest flights you’ll need to set up a Southwest account. It’s free and couldn’t be easier. Once you have a Southwest Rapid Rewards account, you can add to your points balance by opening a Southwest credit card that comes with valuable welcome bonuses and earns you points for spending:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
  • Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
  • Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

The best part about these sign-up bonuses is that they all count toward earning a Southwest Companion Pass. The Companion Pass allows you to bring a friend or family member with you on any Southwest flight for nearly free. You just pay taxes and fees on your companion’s ticket. The pass is valid on paid and award tickets, but the best part is you can use it an unlimited number of times.

I’ll show you how to open a Southwest account to start earning Southwest points.

The kids and I love Southwest for free checked bags and friendly service. Here’s how to set up a Southwest Account to earn points for free travel. (Photo by Jasmin Baron/Million Mile Secrets)

How to set up a Southwest account

You can redeem Southwest points for all kinds of things (see our post on how to use Southwest points), many of which will probably surprise you. But the best way to use Southwest points is for free flights. there is no Southwest award chart. Instead, Southwest points value is relatively constant — about 1.5 cents each according to our estimation.

Opening a Southwest account is free and super-simple. Here’s what to do:

Step 1. Go to the Southwest website

Visit and click “Enroll” in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 2. Enter your details

You’ll be prompted to enter your personal details, the usual stuff:

  • Name (be sure to use exactly what’s on your government-issued ID, such as your passport)
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Email address

You’ll also be asked to set up a username, password, and security questions (of the “What is your mother’s maiden name?” variety).

Once you’ve finished entering your info (be sure everything is correct, because you won’t have a chance to review once you submit), click “Create Account.”

Step 3. Receive confirmation of your new Southwest account

Next, you’ll be brought to a screen confirming your new Southwest account. Take note of your account number, username, and password you created, so you can sign into your account later.

Don’t forget to create Southwest accounts for your kids or partner if they don’t have one. You won’t be able to earn Southwest points or Southwest status for flights they fly — they’ll need their own frequent-flyer memberships to do that.

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Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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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