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How to earn free flights with Southwest Rapid Rewards

How to earn free flights with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Points // stephanieorefice.net

My friends don’t ask me what airline I’m flying anymore, because I always fly Southwest. I usually travel alone, so open seating doesn’t bother me, and I LOVE that bags fly free. Not only that, they offer competitive prices (especially when you factor in the money you save on the checked bags).

As I mentioned in a post last week, Ryan and I are flying to Southern California and it only cost $24 for the both of us. I believe that the way to make rewards/loyalty programs work the best for you is to be 100% completely brand loyal. That said, I’m sure some of these tips would roll over into other air reward programs, but I can only speak confidently on what I know.

First, I’m going to show you my RR (Rapid Rewards) points for 2014 and 2015.

How to earn free flights with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Points // stephanieorefice.net How to earn free flights with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Points // stephanieorefice.net

Let’s discuss the blue items in the list. The blue items are flights. I usually buy two one way tickets whenever I fly anywhere because instead of paying one large sum of money, I’d rather pay two smaller fees. There are three different levels of airline tickets with Southwest: Business Select, Anytime and Wanna Get Away. Business Select is the most expensive and offers 12 points per dollar spent. Wanna Get Away is the cheapest and offers 6 points per dollar spent. I’m cheap; I always travel Wanna Get Away fares.

My account history shows the following flights:

  • January ’14 trip to Nashville (1,061 points)
  • May trip to California (round trip – 926 points)
  • September trip to Nashville (1,820 points)
  • January 15′ trip to Nashville (1,492 points)

Those points alone are 5,299 points. That would most likely get me a one-way ticket on a weekday to a city on the West Coast. But flights aren’t the only way I earn Rapid Reward points!

 

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off to nashville.

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Rapid Reward Dining

Do you have a debit card? Do you ever go out to eat? If you answered yes to these two questions then you need to sign up for Rapid Rewards Dining. You link a debit card or two or three or four or however many you use, and connect it to your RR account. They have a list of restaurants that give you 1 point per dollar spent when you dine. Then if you fill out a feedback survey you get additional points on top of that. I’ve earned 81 points from that. You can see that for awhile I was really consistent in that, and there’s absolutely nothing to lose by being faithful to the Rapid Rewards Dining Restaurants. You just earn more Rapid Rewards!

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big plans for today! 😂😂😂

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e-Rewards

Many years ago I was invited to be a part of a survey panel that eventually became e-rewards, an invitation only survey panel. One of the options on redeeming credits earned is Rapid Rewards. There are other options like iTunes gift cards and Starbucks cards, but I decided that since it’s not actual money, I’d rather bulk up my RR account to get free flights.

InstaGC, Swagbucks, etc.

I swear by Swagbucks (all about brand loyalty!) and once redeemed 10,000 Swagbucks for a $100 Southwest gift card. They currently don’t offer SW gift cards BUT they offer PayPal money which could be used for paying for a flight.

InstaGC is similar to Swagbucks and offers $10 – $500 Southwest gift cards. Southwest limits the amount of gift cards you can use for airfare, so it’s ALWAYS best to get the highest priced gift card you can.

Rapid Rewards Shopping

On the Rapid Rewards website is an option to earn points by shopping online. Each online retailer offers a different point per dollar. I’ve never done this because I prefer to use my online shopping to benefit Swagbucks. If I was really trying to save up points for a big trip, I would definitely use this option. When you shop online, make sure you only stick to things you would have purchased even without the point incentive or else you’re not actually earning a free flight – you’re paying for it with a few dollars here and there in other useless expenses.

Rapid Rewards Credit Card

As you can see in my Rewards history, the most significant point-earner for me is the Rapid Rewards Credit Card. Thanks to a new member incentive, I have earned 27,337 Rapid Rewards this year because of my credit card. Even without the 25,000 bonus points I have earned 2,337 Rapid Rewards points (more than I’ve made on any one trip!) in the past 3 months. I make all of my purchases on my Rapid Rewards Card and make a payment each night I have charged something. That way, I am literally just collecting free Rapid Reward points.

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next stop NASHVILLE! ✈️👯💕

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When it came time to buy our plane tickets, I had 35,691 Rapid Rewards points. Each flight was 12,112. I had points left over and with this month’s credit card points, I’m already back at 11,467 points!

For the most part, when it comes to loyalty/rewards systems, I tend to hoard my points so that if there’s ever a moment when I absolutely need them (like say I want to take my favorite guy to meet my favorite little twins because they’ll be on our coast) I have sufficient resources to do so.

My advice is this: If you are in ANY sort of loyalty program, figure out every way to take advantage of their perks and point-earning. Find the ways your everyday purchases/decisions can help you earn additional points, and STAY LOYAL.

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Adventure // Bend, OR

You guys. Dating Ryan is seriously the coolest thing ever. I spent moooooonths just wanting to hang out with him and know him better and now I get to. AND I get to be open about thinking he’s really cute.

In 2013, I briefly dated a boy who wrecked me. He broke up with me via Facebook message, like a grown up.  The main issue of the whole thing was this weird tension between us where he would complain about me not being outdoorsy and I’d have no idea what he wanted from me, especially when the conversation was happening on a 6 mile hike.

It really messed me up. I don’t think we as people are meant to be so defined and put in a box. Our desire isn’t to be defined, it’s to be KNOWN.  I’m not either or, I’m yes and. Ryan is helping heal that leftover wound from Daniel, just by letting me be yes and. It’s awesome.

Anyway. We went to Bend. and it felt like summer, which made me SO VERY HAPPY.
Bend, OR // stephanieorefice.net

First we went to Smith Rock, which is maybe one of the prettiest places I’ve been in my whole life. By the time we finished, it was dark enough to see the stars.

 

I’m a big fan of this guy.

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I’d also like to declare that Ryan and I played Chinese Checkers and I won 3/5 times. I’ll be getting a trophy made soon.

The next morning, we got coffee at Backporch Coffee Roasters (can I just say that thanks to Ryan, I’m PLOWING through the different coffee shops part of my 101 list). We drove around trying to find Tumalo Falls. After finding it… it was closed. But it was such a pretty day for a drive.

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today. ☀️💛

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Everywhere we went was closed, I’m not even kidding! Someone fell asleep while we were attempting to find something open (he is the cutest).

 

We finally made it to the lava fields… which were closed, but only to vehicles. So we hiked up to the top. Which was absolutely beautiful and worth it.

No joke, I live in the most beautiful area of the United States. and I’m so glad I have such wonderful company to explore it with. SOON IT WILL BE SUMMER and adventuring can happen all the time. ASK ME HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THAT BECAUSE THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST!

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Adventure.

i want to have adventures with you

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Look to the right sidebar of my blog, where there is a little tiny blurb about me and things I love.

and please note that I love: long drives, laughing and coffee.

Remember how I was brave recently and the world didn’t end? It was a great decision. It’s resulted in coffee, long drives. and LOTS of laughing. and adventure.

it’s awesome. Not just the adventures themselves but the whole adventure of it.

Maybe at some point I’ll want to add more words, but for now a few pictures are okay. I’m so excited to keep collecting adventures with him.

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Things I love about Disneyland

Things I Love about Disneyland // justalittlebitlouder
I want to start by saying that I used the above picture of the Disneyland map because once William asked me if that was me in the Disneyland map. and it made me so happy, so now I like to pretend like I am on the Disneyland map.

Today I’m going to Disneyland with Jess! and in honor of that, here are some reasons why I love Disneyland. Because I REALLY love Disneyland.

Disneyland ducks // justalittlebitlouderThe DUCKS! ESPECIALLY when there are baby ones! It’s like there I am at this magical theme park and I see something “ordinary” like baby ducks and I freaking lose my brain.

Disneyland Castle // justalittlebitlouderThe castle. Seeing that thing just takes my breath away because suddenly I just want to live there forever. It’s just magic. Walking through it is magic and looking at it is magic.

Partners statue at Disneyland // The partner statue. I mean really.

IMG_9357The attention to detail! I feel like every time I am at Disneyland I notice something I’d never seen before, like these squirrels all along the castle!


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and finally, one of my all-time favorite things! The Starbucks there secretly has COCONUT SYRUP! Caramel/Coconut is my FAVORITE flavor combo and I can get it at DISNEYLAND!

 

What are your favorite things about Disneyland?

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a whole day alone.

On Sunday I felt pretty beat up and exhausted and I realized that I hadn’t seen the ocean in a really long time. I’ve stood by and floated down rivers, but I haven’t seen the OCEAN. I almost got in my car immediately but realized if I gave myself a sleep I could wake up and spend a whole day with the ocean.

A whole day near the ocean is exactly what I did on Monday. I pulled over to admire the beauty of the world when I felt the conviction to do so. When I got to Seaside I realized that while it had been sunny and tank top/shorts weather back in Portland, it was chilly at the beach and I’d overlooked packing a sweatshirt. So I immediately took to the shops. I thought it might be a bit masochistic to walk through stores knowing that all I could spend was the $5 my mom had given me, but I think I enjoyed everything in a new way. I admired clever signs, funny shirts and mugs, lots of seashells, and warm sweatshirts without seeing them as a tool to make me happy. They just were things and I simply looked at them.

I braved the cold in my shorts and t-shirt (I threw on a John Mayer t-shirt over my tank top, and it started quite a few conversations… who even knew!) and went to the ocean. Walking on the water’s edge was fine for awhile but then I started walking in, a few inches at a time. Before I knew it, I was in so deep that my shorts were soaked. I collected broken sand dollars, sang a few hymns, watched birds fly and eat crabs, and felt both painfully insignificant and overwhelmingly known at the same time.

After painfully walking back to my car with frozen toes and fingers, I began my slow journey home. A half an hour into the drive, I pulled over at Starbucks to finish reading Mere Christianity. Which is such a FANTASTIC book. I’m still recovering from it.

Before I dump a whole bunch of pictures on you, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book.

“In the long run GOD is no one but Himself and what He does is like nothing else.”

AMEN and amen.

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ps I didn’t even spend my $5.

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If you go to San Francisco….

En route to my new home, I have stopped to stay with the Birks for a few days. I made it successfully! Last night I arrived at about 9:40 pm, and I realized it feels like I was just there yesterday. Last night, I woke up to this weird sensation of something pressing against my head and when I finally decided to open my eyes, I realized it was Emily’s elbow. Half of me wanted to punch her in the face, but the other half of me was just glad to be close enough to her for her to shove her elbow on my head. This morning I had a similar experience when I woke up to Lauren jumping on me. Did I want to be awake? Absolutely not. Did I want to see Lauren? Absolutely.

Let’s recap the past few days, using pictures. It’s been so full of love and subsequently so hard to leave Vancouver, but I know and trust that God has good and big things in store for me.

So there you have it. That’s what I’ve been doing instead of doing my 30-day challenge. A whole lot of living. That said, I feel it’s excusable that my blogs haven’t been as frequent as they were. I will pick up where I left off sometime this week. But for now, I am going to go adventure.

God is good, don’t you dare forget it!

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