Elevated offer: Earn up to 65K bonus points for Southwest personal cards

May 27, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


No matter what your upcoming travel goals are, if you’re looking for a large stash of Southwest Rapid Rewards points, listen up to the latest offer. You can earn 65,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months on Southwest’s three cobranded personal cards: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.

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This offer is a great opportunity for Southwest fans to get a leg up on earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass until the end of 2022 — one of the most valuable airline benefits out there. This pass allows the benefit holder to bring along a companion for (almost) free on Southwest flights booked with cash or points. You’ll just pay taxes and fees for bringing the companion, which start at only $5.60 one-way.

By signing up for any of these cards, you’ll only need 35,000 more points to hit the requirements for the benefit (since Southwest lowered the requirements for 2021).

Alternatively, you can use these points for award flights in 2021 (and onward). TPG values Rapid Rewards points at 1.5 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth $975 — offering lots of opportunities for award travel whether you’re a solo or family traveler.

Related: Battle of the airlines: Why I think Southwest Airlines is the best

(Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Earn a Companion Pass with a card offer

Most cobranded airline credit cards have a tough time holding their own against cards that earn transferable points, but Southwest’s diverse portfolio of personal and business cards is a notable exception. That’s because points earned with Southwest cobranded cards count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which offers a year or more of (almost) free flights for your designated travel companion at a significantly discounted rate (you only have to pay taxes and fees on your companion’s ticket).

This is one of the most sought-after travel perks in the industry. Typically, you can earn a Companion Pass by flying 100 one-way flights or earning 125,000 qualifying points in one calendar year. For 2021, Southwest has made the requirements easier for all Rapid Rewards members, only requiring 75 flights or 100,000 qualifying points.

Here’s a look at three of the Southwest cards that offer this 65,000-point sign-up bonus:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

  • Best for: Beginners and infrequent travelers.
  • Annual fee: $69.
  • Earning rate: 2x on Southwest flights, hotel and car rental partners, 1x on everything else.
  • Primary perk(s): 3,000 points every card anniversary.

Check out the full card review.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

  • Best for: Regular Southwest flyers.
  • Annual fee: $99.
  • Earning rate: 2x on Southwest flights, hotel and car rental partners, 1x on everything else.
  • Primary perk(s): 6,000-point anniversary bonus and the chance to earn tier qualifying points toward A-List elite status.

Check out the full card review.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

  • Best for: Southwest loyalists who fly the carrier regularly.
  • Annual fee: $149 (but a $75 annual Southwest credit drops it to $74).
  • Earning rate: 2x on Southwest flights, hotel and car rental partners, 1x on everything else.
  • Primary perk(s): 7,500-point anniversary bonus, four upgraded boardings a year, a 20% discount on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi, and no foreign transaction fees.

Check out the full card review.

Related: Choosing the best Southwest credit card for you

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Bottom line

Southwest continues to be a great airline for domestic — and increasingly a few international — itineraries.

The airline continues to lead the pack in terms of booking flexibility with no change or cancellation fees on any ticket (a policy Southwest was known for even before the pandemic).

The number of Southwest Rapid Rewards points required to book a flight is directly tied to the flight’s current fare, and you often get good deals if you know when and where to look for redemptions. And because of Southwest’s policy of no cancellation or change fees on its flights, you can actually reprice a Southwest flight if you book a trip and then find the same itinerary at a lower price before departure.

If you’ve been considering applying for a Southwest credit card and want the opportunity to earn a Companion Pass or lock in a ton of points for flight redemptions as you start your travels up again, now is the time to jump on board.

Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

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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