Southwest Airlines is making it easier to reach A-List status

Southwest Airlines will make it easier next year for Rapid Rewards members to achieve A-List loyalty status. 

Also next year, the carrier will begin allowing customers to redeem frequent flyers points in combination with cash.

Starting Jan. 1, Rapid Rewards members will only need to complete 20 one-way flights to reach A-List status, down from this year’s requirement of 25. Alternatively, Rapid Rewards members can continue to achieve status through the accrual of 35,000 tier qualifying points, which are earned through expenditures on Southwest flights or via Southwest co-branded credit cards. 

To earn Southwest’s higher echelon A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards status, members will only need to fly 40 one-way flights next year, down from 50. The alternate threshold of 70,000 tier qualifying points will remain the same. 

Achieving tier qualifying points will get easier, however, for holders of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Premier, Premier Business, Priority, and Performance Business credit cards. Instead of earning 1,500 tier qualifying points per $10,000 of spending, those card holders will earn 1,500 points per $5,000 spent.

  • Related: American relaunches business travel rewards program

“By lowering the tier requirements and making credit card spend count double toward tier requirements, we’re able to deepen engagement with our brand and cobranded credit cards, while maintaining the core program values that our customers know and love — including unlimited reward seats, no blackout dates, and points that don’t expire,” Southwest vice president of marketing Jonathan Clarkson said in a prepared comment. 

Also, in spring of next year Southwest will add new flexibility for points redemption by allowing customers to redeem points in combination with dollars, starting as low as 1,000 points. No specific date has been set for this change.

Meanwhile, starting Nov. 6 of this year, Southwest A-List Preferred members will receive up to two complimentary alcoholic drinks per flight.

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