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To earn Southwest points, first, you should be registered in the Southwest loyalty program - Rapid Rewards®. Once you are a member, you will earn points on every dollar spent to fly Southwest. When you do not fly, you can earn Southwest points with the partners. Also, you can transfer points or buy them. If you want to earn even more points, you can take advantage of the Southwest credit cards. Southwest cards allow earning 2 points on Southwest flights and 1 point on everyday purchases, also they come with additional benefits and perks.
However, to earn enough points you should fly Southwest often. You can buy points for your flight if you don't have enough points, but the general rule is to avoid buying points as it is generally a poor value proposition. Keep in mind that points expire after 24 months of account inactivity.
While you might expect a co-branded Southwest credit card to be the best way to earn Rapid Rewards, you would be mistaken. Travel rewards cards that allow you to redeem points toward any travel purchase, not just those made with one airline, and have generous rewards, seem to offer more.