Friday, July 25, 2008

How to earn extra Southwest credits

extra Southwest creditsIf you're traveling with a friend, use the free round-trip from your Rapid Rewards to buy your FRIEND'S ticket, then pay for your own ticket using your credit card (preferably a Rapid Rewards card). Have your friend pay you back the price of your ticket.

You still travel for free (your freebie went to your friend, your friend paid for you) -- but, because YOUR ticket counts as a "paid fare," Southwest will add one credit to your Rapid Rewards account for each leg you fly. For a round-trip, that's two extra credits toward the 16 needed for your next free flight that you wouldn't have gotten had you used the free fare on yourself and your friend paid for their own.

(And, if you used a Rapid Rewards credit card, the cash you spent to fly on Southwest is worth at least double toward your next credit. So if you spend $160 on your fare, that's 320 points toward the 1,200 needed to earn a credit. Again, you wouldn't get those points if you used your free ticket for yourself and your friend bought their own ticket.)

I often travel with my girlfriend. I buy her ticket and we split the cost of mine, so we both travel for cheap and I get a couple extra Rapid Reward credits for next time!