Southwest personal credit cards offering elevated 60k sign-up bonus

Sep 10, 2019

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most sought-after travel perks in the industry. It requires 110,000 Southwest points earned in one calendar year to score it, but there’s a move you can make right now to earn those points with just two credit cards.

Right now, all three personal Southwest credit cards are offering a tiered sign-up bonus of up to 60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points: 40,000 after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months, and another 20,000 after spending $12,000 total on purchases in your first year.

Meanwhile, 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 in the first three months. Pair the Performance card with one of the other three cards, and you’ve made it to the magic threshold to earn that coveted Companion Pass.

Sign-up offer details

Based on TPG’s valuations (1.5 cents), the full 60,000-point bonus is worth $900, and all of these points count toward the 110,000 needed to earn the Companion Pass the “traditional” way.

Southwest is joining the trend of tiered sign-up bonuses that try to increase customer spending and drive engagement beyond the initial three-month period. Although $12,000 sounds like a lot up front, you have a whole year to hit that threshold, so you really only need to spend $1,000 a month. Here are the three cards offering the current 60,000-point sign-up bonus:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

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 five 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

The number of Southwest Rapid Rewards points required to book a flight is directly tied to the current fare of the flight, so they’re the best way to redeem them. Southwest is great for families traveling with lap children as well as flexible travelers, since there aren’t any cancellation or change fees on its flights.

Bottom line

Especially with Southwest’s recent addition of service to Hawaii, boosting your Rapid Rewards points balance could be a smart move. With 60,000 points, you could be 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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each 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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