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TravelSouthwest Rapid Rewards is introducing new Cash + Points redemption

Southwest Rapid Rewards is introducing new Cash + Points redemption

Southwest Airlines is rolling out a new option for redeeming your Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

As of Monday, the Dallas-based carrier now offers Cash + Points redemptions — the option to redeem a combination of cash and Rapid Rewards points toward your Southwest flight.

Southwest noted in the FAQ section for the feature that not all Rapid Rewards members will have the option available to them during this initial rollout. So be sure to check your Rapid Rewards account to see if you’ve been given early access to this feature.

Here’s what to know about Rapid Rewards Cash + Points:


What is Southwest Rapid Rewards Cash + Points?

Cash + Points is a new redemption option for Rapid Rewards members. Essentially, it’s a payment option to use a chunk of points toward a portion of a flight and finish covering the rest of the cost of the plane ticket with cash.

Rapid Rewards members will now see up to five Cash + Points options when booking a flight. These redemptions will start for as few as 1,000 points.

It’s important to note that you won’t earn Rapid Rewards points, tier qualifying points for A-List or A-List Preferred status, or Companion Pass qualifying points on Cash + Points bookings, so keep that in mind if you’re considering this redemption.

How to book Southwest flights with Cash + Points

To book a flight, first log in to your Rapid Rewards account and search for an itinerary through Southwest’s website or app. After you select your flight, choose “Cash + Points” as your payment option.


You will see up to five options to pay with a combination of Rapid Rewards points and cash, totaling out to the value of your ticket. Note that you’ll need at least 1,000 Rapid Rewards points to book with Cash + Points.

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If you’re more of a visual learner, Southwest released a video demonstrating how to book with Cash + Points.

Is using Southwest’s Cash + Points a good deal?

TPG values Southwest points at 1.37 cents each; therefore, redeeming your Southwest points to pay for a fraction of your trip is not the best redemption option. For example, if you redeem 3,320 points, you’ll only receive $20 off your plane ticket when using Cash + Points as your redemption option. However, TPG values 3,320 points at about $45, which means you’ll be getting far less value for those points.

Overall, we think it’s best to save your points for one big redemption instead of using the Cash + Points option.

Bottom line

Southwest is introducing another way for Rapid Rewards members to save on the cash price of a ticket. It will allow members with a lower number of Rapid Rewards points or those who are trying not to use them all in one place to redeem a portion of their points for a flight and finish paying with cash.

However, the inability to earn more Rapid Rewards points on Cash + Points redemptions, as well as the lack of tier qualifying points and Companion Pass qualifying points, could make this a less advantageous option for those trying to stack up Rapid Rewards points — especially since they are among the airline currencies that don’t expire.

Also, access to the Cash + Points feature is currently limited while Southwest is rolling it out, so you may not have the option yet. Be sure to log in to your Rapid Rewards account in the coming days to see when you’re able to book with Cash + Points.

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