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Points.com gets Southwest Airlines to share where others have failed

Skift Take

This is a big win for Points.com, and gives Rapid Rewards members more flexibility in redeeming and trading their points.

— Dennis Schaal

Southwest Airlines represents the holy grail to most U.S. travel-rewards-tracking sites, and now Points International has signed a multi-year agreement with the airline to power members’ ability to collect points and share them.

The companies say the deal “will enhance Southwest’s ability to offer points sales, gifting and transfer capabilities to Rapid Rewards members.”

Points International powers the back end of rewards programs, inside and outside of travel, and its consumer site Points.com claims 3.5 million users.

With a planned launch of Southwest in mid-2013, it also means that users of Points.com will be able be able to track, trade and redeem through PayPal credits their Southwest Rapid Rewards points on the site, along with miles and points from loyalty programs representing a wide array of airlines and hotels, including American, Emirates, Delta, JetBlue, Hilton, Hyatt, and La Quinta, to name a few.

“We are excited to partner with Points International to offer additional enhancements to our Rapid Rewards program,” says Ryan Green, senior director of loyalty and partnerships at Southwest.  “Southwest is dedicated to providing the best customer service, and we are excited about the new features and flexibility we will be able to offer our Rapid Rewards Members through this new partnership.”

Toronto-based Points International has become a favored partner for airlines, including Southwest and Delta, which have been playing hardball and cutting off loyalty tracking sites, including AwardWallet, TripIt, Traxo, and UsingMiles, for example.
None of these sites had formal agreements with Southwest. Delta has a long-standing agreement with Points International, and now Southwest has a multi-year agreement, too.


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