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Targeted: Southwest makes it easier for some to requalify for elite status

Aug. 20, 2021
3 min read
Targeted: Southwest makes it easier for some to requalify for elite status
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Do you currently hold elite status with Southwest? If so, check your email because you may have been targeted for a special offer to extend it.

TPG reader Aalap Shah reached out to us to share that Southwest is offering them an easy path to re-qualify for another full year of elite status. As of now, it appears that there are only shortcuts to requalify for A-List status and A-List Preferred, not the Companion Pass. Here are all the details you need to know.

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Requalify for A-List status faster

At the beginning of the year, Southwest unveiled its Rapid Rewards update for 2021, making it easier for flyers to qualify for status. In addition to extending 2020 status through 2021, Southwest added 15,000 tier qualifying points (TQPs) and 10 qualifying one-way flight segments towards tier status for all members with accounts active as of Dec. 31, 2020.

So, you'll effectively need to hit the following requirements to earn status for 2022:

Status"Normal" requirements2021 BoostNet effective 2021 requirements
A-List35,000 TQPs or 25 flights15,000 TQPs and 10 flights20,000 TQPs or 15 flights
A-List Preferred70,000 TQPs or 50 flights15,000 TQPs and 10 flights55,000 TQPs or 40 flights

On top of that, Southwest is now offering some A-List and A-List Preferred members to requalify quicker. Targeted members simply need two fly qualifying round trip flights (or four qualifying one-way flights) between Aug. 19 and Nov. 19, 2021, to keep their status through Dec. 31, 2022. There's no minimum spend requirement. Even better, this offer applied to all flights taken during the promotional period, regardless of when they were booked or if they were booked with points or cash.

There's no registration required, but again, this offer is targeted. The terms and conditions of the offer state, "Only the Rapid Rewards Member who received this email/offer from Southwest Airlines® is eligible for this promotion."

Related: All of the elite qualification changes you need to know about this year

Based on the email that was sent to a TPG reader, it appears that Southwest isn't just targeting those who don't have any travel planned. The email notes, "We took a look and as of Aug. 12 you have enough eligible flights booked to receive this promotion! Once you've completed travel, A-List status is all yours through 2022!"

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(Screenshot courtesy of Southwest)

Bottom line

Southwest is making it even easier for some A-List and A-List Preferred elite members to requalify for status. The requirements for this promotion should be fairly easy to meet, especially considering award travel counts, but it's important to remember that not all elites are targeted. As of now, it's unclear if Southwest is sending out similar offers to Companion Pass members.

Keep in mind, for 2021, co-branded Southwest credit cardholders can also earn 1,500 TQPs for every $10,000 spent using an eligible card.

By comparison, in late July, Delta announced that it would automatically extend all current elite statuses through Jan. 31, 2023. However, no other U.S. carriers have followed suit yet.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
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  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees