Southwest Airlines has sent out an email advising members that they are offering double tier qualifying points (elite credit) when you register, book, and fly by 11/30/21. Based on the terms, I believe you’ll need to register before you book in order to take advantage of the double credit.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards is offering double elite qualifying points when you register, book, and fly between September 3 – November 30, 2021
- Direct link to this promotion
- Member must register for this promotion between September 3 and November 30, 2021 (the “Promotional Period”), and registration must be completed prior to booking and commencement of travel.
- Valid on new qualifying flights booked and flown within the Promotional Period.
- Member’s qualifying flight must be booked through Southwest Airlines® during the Promotional Period for travel during the Promotional Period.
- Member’s flight must be completed during the Promotional Period.
- Member’s Rapid Rewards account number must be entered at the time of booking Member’s qualifying flight to earn double tier qualifying points for that flight.
- Double tier qualifying points are not redeemable for award travel, but do count toward qualification for tier status.
- Promotion does not apply to travel on award tickets.
- Offer is valid for domestic and international travel. This offer does not increment the Member’s points balance or award-eligible points balance.
- Double tier qualifying points will be calculated at 100% of the tier qualifying points earned for each applicable flight and will be posted to the account of the traveling Rapid Rewards Member within 72 hours after the offer ends.
- A qualifying flight for this promotion is a one-way revenue flight on Southwest® from an origin city to a destination city, including any intermediate stops and/or connections on Southwest, or a round trip revenue flight on Southwest from an origin city to a destination city and back to the originating airport or carrier-recognized co-terminal.
- Companion Pass®, charter flights, reward and group travel, and Southwest Vacations® packages do not qualify as one-way or round trip revenue flight(s) for this promotion.
- Changes made to any itinerary after purchase of a qualifying flight may eliminate qualification for this promotion.
- A-List and A-List Preferred qualification will be based on a calendar year.
- Once A-List or A-List Preferred status is earned, the Member can begin enjoying the benefits within 72 hours.
At first glance, I didn’t think this promotion looked very interesting. However, when you consider the abbreviated path to A-list and A-list Preferred status this year, this promotion actually might be pretty appealing. That’s because Southwest has given everyone credit for 15,000 tier-qualifying points toward the 35,000 points (or 25 flights) necessary for A-list status. Keep in mind that those points and this promotion are about tier-qualifying points, not redeemable Rapid Rewards points (and don’t confuse tier-qualifying points with Companion Pass qualifying points).
Ordinarily, Southwest flights earn Tier-Qualifying Points (TQPs) depending on which type of fare you book:
- Wanna Get Away fares earn 6 TQPs per dollar
- Anytime fares earn 10 TQPs per dollar
- Business Select fares earn 12 TQPs per dollar
Again, those earnings are doubled under the terms of this promotion. If you were to register for this promotion and book new travel, assuming you have not yet earned any TQPs this year, it would require the following amounts of airfare to earn A-list status:
- $1,666.67 in Wanna Get Away fares
- $1,000 in Anytime fares
- $833.33 in Business Select fares
A-list Preferred is a taller order since that level ordinarily requires 70,000 TQPs (reduced to 55K TQPs thanks to the 15K boost). You would need to spend the following amounts on fares under this promotion to qualify (again, assuming you have made no other progress this year and don’t use a credit card to reduce the path):
- $4,583.33 in Wanna Get Away fares
- $2,750 in Anytime fares
- $2,291.67 in Business Select fares
If you already have some progress and/or you can earn some TQPs from credit card spend (you earn 1500 TQPs for each $10K spent up to 15K TQPs for $100K spend), the totals would decrease.
A-list status for $833.33 in Business Select fares looks relatively easy as it may be possible to hit that on a single round trip (or certainly with two round trips on many routes). Remember that if you have elite status already from last year’s activity, you may be able to register for a promotion to keep status with just two round trips anyway; this new promotion would be attractive for someone who did not yet have Southwest status and it may be easier than a status match depending on the situation.
Keep in mind that you will need to register prior to booking. That would mean needing to cancel and re-book and previously-booked travel if you want it to count. That’s annoying, particularly if prices have increased on your route.
I currently have a flight booked as a Wanna Get Away fare that I could cancel and rebook with a Business Select fare that would get me close to the threshold for A-list status with this promotion. However, I don’t really value Southwest elite status enough to make any effort or go to the additional expense. The many benefits of of A-list status that aren’t very exciting or are redundant with credit card benefits are things like more points per dollar spent, priority boarding, and priority check-in and security. A-list Preferred adds free in-flight WiFi (which ordinarily costs $8).
None of that excites me enough to make an effort to get it: I’m usually traveling with my kids, which gets me the same boarding priority (right after A group) as elite members (and when I’m not traveling with them, my wife has the Southwest Priority card which will cover A1-15 boarding 4 times per year), I can get a form of “priority security” with free CLEAR or TSA Pre-Check with various credit cards, and I have plenty of credit cards with annual travel credits to cover WiFi.
The key elite status benefit that I would value is free same-day standby. Greg wrote a post this week about how valuable that type of benefit can be. It would be nice to get that, but probably not nice enough to justify the extra spend I would have to do to get to A-list.
On the other hand, if I had enough travel plans to get close to qualifying, I’d certainly take the shortened path. And if I already had made a chunk of progress this year, this promo would surely be really nice to see. I’m sure some readers will be able to take advantage of this one. I’ll register, but it’s doubtful that I’ll alter plans to meet the requirements.