Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining guide

Did you know you can get free plane tickets, just by eating out?


United MileagePlus Dining Guide


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Have you been dreaming about taking your family on a lavish vacation to Disney World or to a fabulous beach destination and wondering how you can boost your mileage earnings to get there faster?

There are more than a few ways to earn bonus miles, and one of the best is through a dining rewards program such as the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program.

What is Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program awards you points for dining out at restaurants, bars and clubs within the Southwest Rapid Rewards network in addition to the points or miles that you already earn with any credit card that you use.

Once you've registered your credit card, the program recognizes when you’ve used your card at a participating restaurant. All that it requires is your credit card number -- no other details are collected -- and there are no fees for participating in the program.

How to join Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

  1. Sign up for free. The first step is a piece of cake: Just sign up for free through the dining program website using your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards login. Be sure to include your home address so the system can recommend the best dining options nearest your house.
  2. Add your credit card numbers. Once you create an account, the site will prompt you to register your various credit cards and debit cards. You won’t have to enter in any credit card identifying details; registering the 15- or 16-digit card number is enough to notify the system to credit you for purchases made with participating restaurants. Again, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Program will never charge you for participation or membership.
  3. Visit a restaurant in the network. You can immediately begin earning Rapid Rewards points on your restaurant purchases as soon as you finish your registration process. Not sure where to go? Use the Rapid Rewards Dining program’s search function to find your next meal out.

How to use Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining 

The fun begins as soon as you’re fully registered. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Program works with more than 10,000 participating restaurants, bars and clubs across the U.S. What’s more, you will earn points toward your next vacation with every single one of these restaurants.

You should familiarize yourself with the list of eligible restaurants on the dining program website, and use the restauarnt search at the top of the home page to help you figure out your first stop. 

The restaurant search not only helps you find participating restaurants near your work or home, but provides details on the restaurant, including the average price of an entree, the distance from your current location, the type of cuisine offered as well as ratings and reviews from other members. Look for the chart to the right side of the page, which will show the days on which you are eligible to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining rewards. Most restaurants will offer earning opportunities all week, but a few may not, so make sure you don’t stop in on a day when you will lose out on your bonus points.

You might be surprised to find that you don't have to rack up a large bill at a fancy restaurant to earn a lot of points. For instance, Jack in the Box is included on the list in many states, which means that a few dollars spent on fast food here and there can get you closer to that Costa Rica paradise.

Screenshot of Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining search results

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining website lets you search for restaurants by distance, location, price range and type of cuisine. 

At what rate do you earn points with Rapid Rewards Dining?

The breakdown on potential earnings is really simple, according to the program website:

 If you don’t opt in to receive emails 1 mile per $2
 If you opt in to receive emails 3 miles per $1

How to maximize Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

  • What if you accidentally forget your credit card at work one day and have to use your debit card instead? If you’ve been proactive about registering all of your credit and debit cards with the program, you’ll still get your points.
  • Make sure you provide a valid email address, and sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Program email communications. Again, dining program members who register to receive newsletters earn six times as many points per dollar compared to diners who skip out on emails.
  • Keep an eye on your email to make sure you’re taking advantage of all your earning opportunities. From time to time, Southwest Airlines offers bonus points for dining out a certain number of times, or for dining with specific restaurants. Make sure you aren’t missing out.
  • Check the list of eligible restaurants before you decide where to dine out. Feeling indecisive? Use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program to narrow down your restaurant options.
  • If you’re dining out with a group, skip the hassle of splitting the bill at the table. If you pay for the entire tab using a credit card registered with the Southwest Rapid Rewards dining program, you’ll earn points on the full amount of the bill – and everyone else can just pay you back afterward using cash or Venmo. Whether it’s family or co-workers or friends, you’re making everyone else’s dining experience a lot more convenient while simultaneously racking up points toward your next free trip.
  • If you’ve recently switched cards, or if you had to report a credit card stolen or lost, don’t forget to update your credit card registration with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Program as soon you get your new credit card in the mail. The program needs your credit card number to track your spending. So take the extra five seconds to make sure your account is always up-to-date.

Best credit cards to use with Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining

By using the right credit cards, you can maximize your potential reward earnings. Many credit cards offer bonus points on restaurant purchases that can be stacked with your earnings from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program. And of course, if your goal is to accrue Rapid Rewards points as quickly as possible, you can always use a Southwest Airlines credit card for the dining program.

According to The Points Guy, these are the best credit cards to use with Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining:

Credit Card Rewards for Dining  Annual Fee  
Chase Sapphire Preferred
2x points $95, $0 first year
Chase Sapphire Reserve
3x points $450
Uber Visa 4x points $0
American Express Premier Rewards Gold
2x points $195
Capital One Savor
4% cash back $95, $0 first year
Citi Prestige
2x points


Citi ThankYou Premier
2x points $95, $0 first year
Citi ThankYou Preferred
2x points $0

Of course, you should use a card with dining rewards whenever possible, but you should also register your debit cards with Rapid Rewards Dining in case you find yourself in a pinch with only a debit card to pay. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining sign-up bonus

In addition to the points that you earn for each dollar of dining, you may be eligible for sign-up bonuses when you register for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program.

With the current offer, you can even earn bonuses for earning bonuses:

  • First step bonus: Earn 500 bonus points the first time you accrue 1,500 points by dining.
  • Thank you bonus: Earn 300 bonus points every time you accrue 1,000 points by dining.
  • Review bonus: Earn 10 bonus points every time you complete a review.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Restaurants 

The list below is a glimpse of your dining options amongst the thousands of restaurants in the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining Program. If you want to search for restaurants in your vicinity, check out the search tool here.

  • Souper Salad
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
  • Which Wich
  • BRIO Tuscan Grille
  • Buca di Beppo

The best card for Southwest flyers

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card

Why should you get it?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card is by far the best value for a frequent Southwest flyer, thanks to its $75 travel credit and 7,500-point annual bonus.

More things to know: 


  • 40,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 20,000 additional points if you spend $12,000 in the first year
  • 7,500 bonus points each year after your card anniversary
  • $75 annual travel credit
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available
  • 20% discount on in-flight purchases made with your card



Related stories: Earn a sign-up bonus with the Southwest  Rapid Rewards cardsReady for your first airline card? Ask yourself these questions first

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Updated: 12-12-2018