Chase issues 5 Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. All of these cards earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points. 3 are personal cards and 2 are business cards.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
UPDATE: This offer has expired. The current offer on all three personal Southwest cards is 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Click here for more details and a list of our current favorite offers.
For a limited time, you can earn up to 80,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points when you open one of the 3 personal Southwest co-branded credit cards from Chase. The new offer on all 3 Southwest personal credit cards is tiered. First, earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Then if you spend an additional $8,000 (for a total of $10,000) in the first 9 months, you will earn an additional 30,000 points. Also, earn 5 points per dollar on Southwest purchases between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 per month. Normal earn rates apply after 3/31/20.
There are 3 Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit cards
In addition to the nice welcome offer, here are other details about each of the cards:
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
The annual Fee is $69. Bonus Categories include 2 points per dollar on Southwest airfare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Extra Benefits inclue 3,000 bonus points every anniversary.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
The annual Fee is $99. Bonus Categories include 2 points per dollar on Southwest airfare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, then you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Extra Benefits include 6,000 bonus points every anniversary, the ability to earn tier qualifying points towards A-List status, and no foreign transaction fees.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
The annual Fee is $149. Bonus Categories include 2 points per dollar on Southwest airfare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Extra Benefits include 7,500 bonus points every anniversary, $75 annual Southwest credit, 4 upgraded boarding positions per year, 20% back on inflight drinks and WiFiEarn tier qualifying points towards A-List status, and no foreign transaction fees.
Which of the 3 Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit cards is best?
If you take just one Southwest flight per year, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is the best deal.
To compare annual fees, the Plus is $69, Premier is $99, and Priority is $149. Assuming you will use the $75 Southwest credit, it brings the Priority fee down to $74. That’s lower than the Premier version, and similar to the Plus version. I’d say the extra $5 is worth it for the extra benefits, such as the 4 upgraded boarding positions per year.
For those who fly Southwest often, the benefits of this card may make the card worth keeping year after year even if you do not use it for everyday spending (after meeting the minimum spending requirement for the bonus points).
Can I have 2 Southwest credit cards?
There are some reasons you may want to do this:
- To earn more welcome bonus points
- If you’re trying to earn the Southwest Companion Pass
You cannot have more than 1 personal version of a Southwest credit card at the same time. But you can have one personal card and a business card. In fact, you can have 2 business cards.
Who is eligible for this bonus offer on Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards?
If you have earned a welcome bonus from any of the 3 Southwest personal credit cards the past 24 months, you are not eligible for this bonus offer.
If you had a personal card but closed it in the past 24 months, and you received the bonus more than 24 months ago, and you are under 5/24 (more on that below), you would be eligible.
Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards are subject to Chase 5/24
If you do not know what this is, read this post about Chase’s 5/24 policy.
Chase has an unofficial policy that is known as the 5/24 rule. It means that if you have opened 5 or more cards from ANY bank (not just Chase) in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for any Chase 5/24 cards until 25 months after your 5th newest card was opened. All Chase cards discussed on this site are now 5/24 cards, therefore, it is important to open the Chase cards that you want before opening cards issued by other banks.
Do points from the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card bonus qualify for the Companion Pass?
Yes, the points earned from the bonus on Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards qualify for the Companion Pass. This is probably the only reason I’d suggest opening it before you open either a Chase Sapphire Preferred or a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Also, points earned from everyday spending on Southwest co-branded cards qualify for the Companion Pass.
Timing is very important for those trying to earn a Southwest Companion Pass
- Qualifying CP points reset every January.
- It is best to earn the Companion Pass early in the year
The best time to earn the Companion Pass is early in the year since the pass is valid for the year in which you earned it, plus the entire following year. If you earn the pass now (December 2020), it would be valid through the end of 2021. If you earn the pass early in 2021, it would be valid through December 2022.
If you are trying to earn the Companion Pass, you need to earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in one calendar year. If you were to open the card today, you have 3 months to meet the spending requirement of $2,000 for the first 50,000 points. You have 9 months to spend a total of $10,000 for the additional 30,000 points. If you’re trying to earn the pass for 2021 and 2022, you would want to make sure you do not meet the minimum spending requirement until January 2021. If you were to earn the 50,000 points before the new year, the points would be applied to your 2020 companion qualifying points. It’s now December, so I think anyone applying for this offer should be safe, but I always want to warn people to be careful of the timing! On the other hand, if you need points to finish qualifying for the pass with points you’ve earned in 2020, you are probably too late. It is unlikely you could earn the points on this offer before January 1, 2021.
Unless you plan to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, I’d suggest opening a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card first
Unless you’re trying to earn a Southwest Companion Pass, I generally suggest opening a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points before opening a Southwest (or any airline) co-branded credit card. Click here for a post that compares the personal Southwest co-branded cards to the personal cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Important: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to Southwest Rapid Rewards. However, any Rapid Rewards points that are transferred from Ultimate Rewards DO NOT qualify for the Companion Pass. In other words, you can transfer 125,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Rapid Rewards, but none will qualify for the Companion Pass. The only way to earn the Companion Pass through credit card rewards is by using Southwest co-branded credit cards.
A Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card is not the only way you can earn Southwest points from credit cards
The best credit cards for you depend on your travel goals and spending habits, but I generally recommend cards that earn transferable points before you start acquiring airline and hotel co-branded credit cards. If you want to book Southwest flights for free, a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card may seem like an obvious choice, but you should also consider a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards has 10 airline transfer partners. One of the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners happens to be Southwest. That means that you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account at a 1:1 ratio. Then you can use the Southwest Rapid Rewards points to book flights.
You can also transfer Ultimate Rewards to other airline and hotel programs. With Southwest co-branded credit cards, you are limited to Southwest Rapid Rewards. You can only redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Southwest flights
There are 3 Chase Sapphire cards that earn transferable Ultimate Rewards points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
Can I have a Chase Sapphire Preferred and a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card at the same time?
Yes, and I actually encourage it. If you’re trying to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you will need a Southwest Rapid Rewards business card and a Southwest Rapid Rewards personal card. So I would start with those. After that, a Chase Sapphire card should be your next move.
Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards are also subject to 5/24.
Final Verdict: Should you open a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card?
Even with this increased Southwest offer, I still value the welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but if you’re going to open a Southwest card, now would be a good time to do so.
You are eligible if you:
- are under 5/24
- do not have a personal Southwest card open
- have not earned a welcome bonus from a personal version of a Southwest card in the past 24 months
If you want the Companion Pass and qualify for one of these cards, then yes, get one. This is assuming you either have the rest of the points needed for the Companion Pass or you have a plan to earn the rest of the points needed before the end of the calendar year.
Otherwise, it just depends on your travel plans and goals. For most people, I would still suggest opening a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card first. Then you can decide which other 5/24 cards are right for you.
If you want to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points but you do not think you can meet the requirements to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead of a Southwest co-branded credit card. You can transfer points earned from the CSP to Southwest. So it’s like having the Southwest card, but with many more redemption options.
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