Earn Free Flights on Southwest

Never pay for a flight and fly as often as you like. That’s a possibility with Southwest Airlines. There are so many ways to earn free flights on Southwest without going the traditional frequent flyer route. When flights are as little as a few thousand points, it doesn’t take years of saving points to go on vacation.

Here are our Top 5 favorite ways to earn free flights on Southwest without paying for flights.

1) Credit Cards

There are three really great credit cards we recommend that earn free flights on Southwest. All three are a great choice, but we give the slight nod to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Here’s why:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 50,000 points as a sign up bonus. They can can be transferred to Southwest, Hyatt, and nine other travel partners. The card also earns two points per dollar spent on travel and dining. We prefer this card because it’s the largest sign up bonus and you can transfer the points to so many different travel partners.
  • Southwest Premier Card – The Southwest Premier has a 40,000 point sign up bonus. It earns two points per dollar on Southwest purchases and comes with a 6,000 point bonus each cardmember anniversary.

2) Dining

Join the Rapid Rewards Dining program and earn extra points when you eat out. Compared to other airlines and hotels, Southwest has a very generous dining program. Here’s how it works: Sign up for the program and link a particular credit card. Use that credit card at participating restaurants listed on the Southwest Dining website. Points will automatically show up in your Rapid Rewards account.

As of this writing, Southwest is offering a nice sign up bonus for this program. When you spend $25 at a participating restaurant within 30 days of signing up, you’ll get a 1,000 point bonus. For every dollar you spend, you’ll also earn three points. Once you’ve earned 1,500 points eating out, you get a 500 point bonus. For every 1,000 points you earn after that, you get 300 more bonus points. Plus, you get 10 points for every restaurant you review.

Rapid Rewards Dining - Earn Free Flights on Southwest

3) Shopping Portal

For online shopping, you should always use a shopping portal. Earn between 1-5 extra points per dollar spent in most cases at Rapid Rewards Shopping. They offer points at hundreds of stores.

If you haven’t used a shopping portal before, we’ve outlined how to do it in THIS POST.

4) Online Surveys

Southwest partners with several providers of online surveys. When you take surveys about a wide variety of issues, you earn Southwest Rapid Rewards. We’ve done these and calculated the value of the points. You only end up earning around $5 a hour worth of points. But, if you’ve got time on your hands, may as well put it to good use.

5) Home Energy

Southwest has partnerships with several power companies and offers as much as a 10,000 sign up bonus and multiple extra points per dollar you spend on your monthly bill. If it makes sense to change providers financially, it could also earn you a ton of points.

Recap: Earn Free Flights on Southwest

Southwest is our favorite airline for flights to Disney World, Universal and Disneyland. They’re one of the largest carriers in America and their domestic flights requires far fewer points in most cases than other airlines.

One of two of these strategies might be best for you. But, if you used all five, you might never pay for a flight again.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

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  • What kind of points: Hotels, Airlines, General Travel, and Cash
  • Sign Up Bonus: 50,000 after spending $4,000 in three months and another 5,000 after adding an authorized user
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived first year)
  • How to Earn Points: 2x points on travel and dining, 1 point on everything else
  • Value of a Point: 2.0 cents
  • How to Spend Points: Redeem for cash, spend through Chase travel center, transfer to airlines or hotels
  • Our favorite Use: Stays at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress