Southwest adds Apple Pay, doubles cash back for Apple Card holders

Sep 23, 2019

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Southwest has joined a host of other airlines and added Apple Pay as a payment method via its app, as first reported by Simple Flying. While on the surface that seems like good news — after all, Apple Card card holders receive 2% cash back on all Apple Pay purchases — in reality it doesn’t change much for most of us. After all, you can already load nearly any card to Apple Pay and receive your rewards.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

So while the Apple Card has received generally decent reviews and works pretty well for a no-annual-fee card, there are other much better options than putting airline spend on an Apple Card:

  • Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express offer 5x rewards on flights booked on American Express’s website, though the personal version also allows you to book directly with the airline and still earn 5x Membership Rewards. These cards have hefty annual fees, though, which may be off-putting.
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is another premium travel card with a high annual fee, but it earns 3x Ultimate Rewards on all travel, including airlines. It also has some of the best trip protection in case of delay or cancelation.
  • If you’re looking for another no-annual-fee option, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay), Apple Pay or not. And as of today, cardholders of both the Citi® Double Cash Card and a ThankYou Points (TYP) earning Citi card can convert their cash back to ThankYou points — which is huge!

I’m glad to see that Southwest is jumping on the mobile pay bandwagon (which I’m a huge fan of), it’s still a better idea to put your airline spend on cards other than the Apple Card, especially when so many of them offer such high bonus categories.  Next, I’m hoping for 5x cash back on all Google Pay purchases — think it’s too much to ask?

Feature photo courtesy of Apple

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