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The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most sought after travel perks in the industry, but it normally requires 110,000 Southwest points earned in one calendar year to score it. Fortunately, there’s a move you can make right now to earn those points with just two credit cards. That’s because right now, all three personal Southwest credit cards are offering a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card has a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases. Put the Performance card together with one of the other three cards, and you’ve made it to the magic threshold.

Sign-Up Offer Details

Based on TPG’s valuations, 40,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth $600, and another 80,000 points are worth an extra $1,200. Plus all of these points count toward the 110,000 points needed to earn the Companion Pass the “traditional” way.

Here are the three cards offering the current 40,000-point sign-up bonus:

The names don’t exactly clarify how these three cards differ, but they have annual fees ranging from $69 to $149 and varying perks. Here’s more info on how they stack up:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
Annual fee $69 $99 $149
Anniversary points bonus  3,000 Rapid Rewards points 6,000 Rapid Rewards points 7,500 Rapid Rewards points
Earning rates 2x on Southwest flights and hotel and car rental partners

1x everywhere else

2x on Southwest flights and hotel and car rental partners

1x everywhere else

2x on Southwest flights and hotel and car rental partners

1x everywhere else

Other perks N/A N/A $75 annual Southwest travel credit

Four upgraded boardings per year (when available)

20% back on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi

Tier Qualifying Points N/A Earn up to 15,000 TQPs a year, 1,500 for each $10,000 spent Earn up to 15,000 TQPs a year, 1,500 for each $10,000 spent
Foreign-transaction fee 3% None None

 

As all three cards are offering an identical welcome bonus, you should pick the one with the annual fee and benefits to match your needs. Not everyone will need the extra perks like four upgraded boardings with the Priority Card, for example.

Eligibility

You won’t be able to earn this sign-up bonus, let alone open one of these personal Southwest cards, if:

  • You already hold a personal Southwest credit card
  • You’ve earned a new card member bonus on a Southwest consumer credit card in the last 24 months
  • You’re over 5/24 — meaning you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months. This is a Chase policy that means there’s virtually zero chance you’ll be accepted for most of its cards if you’re over the 5/24 limit.

Using Points

Southwest points are great for travelers who don’t want to worry about maximizing their points. After all, the number of points required to book a flight is directly tied to the current fare of the flight. Southwest is also great for families traveling with lap children as well as flexible travelers since there aren’t any cancellation or change fees on Southwest flights.

Bottom Line

Especially with Southwest’s recent addition of service to Hawaii, boosting your Rapid Rewards points balance could be a smart move. 40,000 points could get you well on your way to the islands or to any of the destinations (including some international gems) the airline flies to, so this offer on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card , the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is worth a look. And if you tack on the 80,000 additional points from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card, you’ll soon be flying with a companion anywhere Southwest flies.

Additional reporting by Katie Genter. Featured photo of Southwest aircraft at Houston Hobby by Stephen M. Keller / Southwest.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Earn 2 points $1 on Southwest and Rapid Rewards car and hotel purchases and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. This card also comes with an annual $75 travel credit.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks and WiFi.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$149
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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