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Southwest is updating its Rapid Rewards® program to allow more members a chance to have A-List or A-List Preferred status.

As of January 1, 2024, travelers now only need to fly 20 one-way qualifying flights (down from 25) or earn 35,000 tier qualifying points (TQPs) in one year to get A-List status. Requirements for A-List Preferred status have also been reduced; customers now require 40 flights (down from 50) or 70,000 TQPs.

By lowering the qualifying thresholds, casual flyers will be able to achieve A-List status more easily. This move is especially exciting when compared to the recent Delta SkyMiles program changes, which limited the rewards customers can receive.

Compare Southwest Consumer Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee Intro Bonus Perks Learn More

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

$69 Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

$99 Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

$149 Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • 25% back on inflight drinks & Wi-Fi
  • 4 upgraded boardings when available

Other Noteworthy Changes

inside Southwest plane

Unsplash

Additionally, Southwest is making it easier to earn TQPs using select Rapid Rewards credit cards.

Starting January 1, 2024, cardmembers can earn 1,500 TQPs for every $5,000 spent. Previously, this reward carried a spend requirement of $10,000. This reduction is yet another way to earn A-List status more quickly.

Southwest airlines plane taking off Related Article

Current Southwest Credit Card Offers: Earn a Companion Pass + 30,000 Points

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More Upcoming Updates

In spring 2024, Rapid Rewards members will also be able to pay for their flights using a combination of cash and points. This Cash + Points option allows members to pay for tickets with as little as 1,000 points.

Currently, tickets must be purchased using either cash OR points, so this update will make the program's redemption options notably more flexible. However, it also must be noted that flights paid for with Cash + Points only count toward a member's qualifying one-way flights for A-List, A-List Preferred or Companion Pass status, and not toward Rapid Rewards points or tier qualifying points.

Southwest has even added a new perk for A-List Preferred status members. Starting November 6, 2023, travelers can receive two complimentary drinks during their flight. The coupon is automatically added to the member’s boarding pass and expires at the end of the drink service on the flight. 

Other Recommended Travel Credit Cards

Recommended Travel Credit Cards

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

$99 1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3 points for every $1 on Southwest Airlines® purchases, 2 points for every $1 on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 2 points per $1 on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.

United Gateway℠ Card

30,000United MileagePlus Miles More Info

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Dollar Equivalent: $420 (30,000 United MileagePlus Miles * 0.014 base)

$0 1x - 2xPoints More Info

Earn 2X United miles per dollar on United purchases, local transit and commuting and at gas stations. You’ll earn 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Citi Premier® Card

60,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,080 (60,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

$95 1X-10XPoints More Info

10X total ThankYou® Points per $1 spend on hotel, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024. 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets 1X -- Earn 1 Point on All Other Purchases

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Slickdeals Money Staff

The Slickdeals Money editorial team is dedicated to helping readers navigate the personal finance space. We’re passionate about educating our readers on the very best financial tools & products on the market today.