Southwest Rapid Rewards Status Match For California Residents

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With Alaska having taken over Virgin America, they’re calling themselves the “west coast’s premier carrier.” Southwest isn’t all too thrilled with that, so they’re doing everything they can to lure west coast flyers.

At the moment, Southwest Rapid Rewards has a special status match promotion California residents (or perhaps more accurately, those with Rapid Rewards accounts registered in California).

If you have elite status with a competing domestic airline, Southwest Rapid Rewards will mach you to A-List through the end of 2017, and you can requalify by taking six qualifying one-way flights (or three roundtrips) by December 15, 2017. Only revenue tickets qualify towards that, and not Rapid Rewards redemption tickets. If you complete that requirement, your status will be valid through December 31, 2018.

Here’s how you can take advantage of this promotion:

  1. Sign up for Rapid Rewards
    • If you’re not already a Member, join Rapid Rewards – the loyalty program with the best reward seat availability
  2. Email your information
    • Click below and provide the information requested in the email to find out if you qualify for this promotion.
  3. Extend your promotional A-List Status
    • Provided you qualify for this promotion, promotional A-List status can be extended through December 31, 2018 by simply flying three round trip qualifying flights or six one-way qualifying flights booked and flown between your enrollment date for this promotion and December 15, 2017.

Southwest A-List ordinarily requires 25 one-way flights or 35,000 tier qualifying points in a calendar year. Members earn 6-12x points per dollar spent, meaning that ordinarily this requires ~$2,900-5,800 of spend. Benefits of Southwest Rapid Rewards A-List include:

  • Priority boarding
  • 25% bonus points
  • Free same-day standby
  • Priority check-in and security lane access
  • Dedicated A-List member phone line

Keep in mind that Southwest A-List is different than Southwest Companion Pass. The Southwest Companion Pass lets you take a companion with you whenever you fly, and they just have to pay taxes and fees. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on an award ticket or revenue ticket, you can always have someone fly with you just for the cost of taxes. It’s an incredible, one-of-a-kind deal.

You can use it an unlimited number of times, though can only change your designated companion at most a couple of times per year (so you can’t have a different companion on every trip).

There are two ways to earn Companion Pass, and that’s either by taking 100 flights on Southwest in a calendar year, or by earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year.

At the moment there are increased sign-up bonuses on both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, and the points earned on those cards qualify towards Companion Pass. The basic details of these bonuses are as follows:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
  • $99 annual fee
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary every year

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
  • $69 annual fee
  • Receive 3,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary every year

So if you applied for both of those cards and completed the minimum spend, you’d earn more than enough points for Southwest’s Companion Pass.

Bottom line

If you’re a California resident and fly Southwest once in a while, the current A-List status match promotion is something to consider taking advantage of. I’ll be curious to see if Alaska comes up with any promotion, given how the two airlines seem to be competing in California.

Do any California residents plan on taking advantage of the Southwest A-List status match promotion?

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Comments

  1. The requirement that flights be booked after enrollment to re qualify is redoculuous. I have more than 3 trips planned already. Since this is Southwest, I will just cancel them all and rebook for no fee. Since they have a companion attached, that all has to be done through an agent. So a huge waste of everyone’s time, when they could just require travel (not booking) after enrollment.

  2. Being based out of Sacramento, it’s difficult not to take advantage of Southwest’s impressive network for the state of California. They really offer more direct connections including the large cities like LA and the smaller secondary markets.

    Now that Alaska has acquired VX, I’m really hoping for a much larger expansion for their network with in California – and truly compete with Southwest’s network. I know they’ve already introduced a lot of new routes, but as of today Southwest really wins the direct route game in California.

    Southwest’s offer of a status match to A-List level just seems such a non-starter in this competition. The listed benefits don’t offer a lot of value for many of the folks traveling in California. Last year Southwest offered a short cut to the companion pass, and this was a generous and hard to pass on offer. This A-List Status promotion comes at a huge price, flying Southwest a lot more.

    My strategy for Southwest is fly them when I need to, and that’s typically when they offer the direct route no one else does. Then I by the $15 early bird check-in, and for a 1-2 hour flight I can live with the Southwest choice. Otherwise I try to find a nicer on-board product, and Alaska and VX certainly win in that category.

  3. Question: will Virgin try to compete with Southwest pricing? Will they downgrade their terrific first class experience? I hope the last great domestic service does not disappear for the sake of price cutting.

  4. My experience with a previous promotion was that, when I booked flights after the promotion started using older ticket-less travel funds instead of “new money”, they did not count as qualifying activity.

    Does anyone know whether this is standard WN policy??

  5. UAPhil – thanks for heads up. Any other data points would be helpful. I guess worse case rebook current tickets with “new money” and use the travel funds for next year.

  6. I fly for work every week and I was able to achieve A-List by flying over 25 times in no time. Jetblue came out with a similar program not to long ago and I was able to become Mosaiac with them for the rest of 2017 with the possibility of earning it for 2018. Mosaic blows A-List out of the water. I love SWA, but Jetblue does it better and they’re expanding into every market in California. LAX or LGB to all three Bay Area airports, Sacramento and now even Reno. I have also found that a lot of the times, Jetblue is cheaper than SWA and the sitting configuration of a Jetblue A320 is more spacious than that of the SWA B737. Again, I love SWA, but Jetblue is slowly becoming my favorite.

  7. @DiamondDave – Alaska has already announced that it will be scrapping the great VX first class and replacing it with Alaska’s crappy first product (thus jamming twice as many seats into the same-sized cabin). Boy do I wish JetBlue had won that bidding war.

  8. I’m based in San Diego and have gold with AA and United, so I definitely will sign up for this and try to get 3 flights in before Dec.

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