Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Keri Stooksbury
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Chase provides co-branded credit cards with Southwest Airlines: some for consumers and others for small businesses. While Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards get a ton of press, there is also some great value to be found in their Southwest Airline credit card offerings.
Let’s take a look at what each of these cards can do for you.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Top Southwest Benefits|
|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||
If you enjoy crisscrossing the U.S., relaxing in the Caribbean, or having adventures in Central America or Mexico, then earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points might be just what you need.
Each of these cards can help you earn Rapid Rewards points on all of your purchases. You will earn 1x points per dollar spent on everything you spend…with 1 key exception.
If you make a purchase with Southwest Airlines — whether it’s purchasing a flight, something inflight, a Southwest gift card to give to a friend, or a Southwest Vacations package — you will earn 2x points per dollar spent.
A less common way to earn Rapid Rewards points with these cards is a balance transfer. During your first 90 days with one of the Southwest credit cards, you can earn 1x points per dollar on balance transfers up to $15,000.
Now, let’s be clear: you should not carry a balance just to take advantage of this offer. However, if you are already considering a balance transfer, the bonus Rapid Rewards points might be an opportunity for you.
Using one of the Southwest credit cards is also an easy way to prevent your Rapid Rewards points from expiring. Typically, Rapid Rewards points expire after 24 months of earning inactivity. As a cardholder, you merely have to use the card once every 24 months and your points won’t expire at all.
Unlike many co-branded airline credit cards, the Chase Southwest credit cards don’t come with perks like priority boarding and free checked bags. The latter is not a big deal though, since Southwest allows all passengers to check up to 2 bags provided that they meet size and weight restrictions.
Chase has rules for the personal Southwest credit cards.
You cannot get a second personal Southwest card if either:
This means the companion pass shortcut is no longer possible by getting two Southwest personal cards.
However, 1 personal card and 1 business card are possible to get at the same time!
This card makes it easy to earn unlimited points and qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
If you spend a lot of time in the air, it’s important to get a great deal on your plane tickets.
Southwest Airlines can help you get those deals.
One way to save is by using the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. This card helps you earn points for all your spending, and earning more reward points is always a good thing for a busy traveler!
The Southwest Plus card might be considered a “starter card” amongst the 3 co-branded Southwest cards. This card comes with low annual fee — lower than many cards that earn miles or points.
Every year you keep the card, you will receive 3,000 Rapid Rewards points after hitting your account anniversary. These points function almost like a partial rebate of the annual fee.
This card does incur a 3% fee on all foreign transactions, so you’ll want to stick to purchases in the U.S. (If you travel a lot, make sure to use a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees while you’re away!)
Earn Southwest points on every purchase, plus anniversary points, Tier Qualifying Points, and points toward the Companion Pass!
Another week, another flight. Flying weekly can get tiring, but you know that every flight gets you closer to taking some great vacations with your significant other or your favorite travel buddy.
To save money on the flights, you like to use Southwest Airlines.
So why not get the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to help you earn extra Rapid Rewards points?
The Southwest Premier card has a slightly higher annual fee but the added benefit of no foreign transaction fees. This makes the card particularly useful for those trips on Southwest Airlines to the Caribbean and Central America.
This card also comes with 6,000 Rapid Rewards points each year you keep the card, so it’s a 3,000-point bump from bonus provided by the Southwest Plus card.
Additionally, the welcome offer for the Southwest Premier card is often very similar to that of the Southwest Plus card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.
This card focuses on the Southwest traveler with anniversary points, travel credit, upgrades, and money back on inflight purchases.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the most premium personal Southwest card offering from Chase. When you peel back the curtain, it is easy to see why.
Not only does the card offer multiple bonus categories to help you earn more Southwest Rapid Rewards points, but it is also loaded with benefits that are sure to offer quite a bit of value to Southwest flyers.
Here is a full overview of the card to help you decide if it is a good fit for your wallet.
The Southwest Priority card is the most premium personal Southwest card offered. It offers multiple bonus categories to help you earn more points, and is also loaded with benefits that are sure to offer quite a bit of value.
Enjoy 7,500 points each year on your cardmember anniversary, as well as a $75 annual Southwest travel credit and 4 Upgraded Boardings per year.
Business owners who fly Southwest often can earn extra points for all of their spending, and add employee cards at no additional cost.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is built for business owners that regularly fly with Southwest and are looking for a card that helps them earn more points while providing benefits such as 25% back on inflight purchases and EarlyBird Check-In certificates.
Small business owners don’t need to feel left out either. The Southwest Premier Business card provides very similar benefits and perks as the Southwest Premier Card.
There are no foreign transaction fees, and you receive a bonus of 6,000 Rapid Rewards points every year you keep the card.
Southwest frequent flyers will love the upgraded boarding positions, inflight Wi-Fi credits, and bonus points on each cardmember anniversary.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is a phenomenal option for business owners who are Southwest frequent flyers. It helps you earn more points on all of your business expenses, offers upgraded boarding certificates and Wi-Fi credits, and helps you reach higher levels of Southwest elite status.
The Southwest Performance Business card is a premium card for business owners who are Southwest frequent flyers.
You can earn more points on your business expenses and enjoy 4 Upgraded Boarding certificates per year and up to 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits per year. You’ll appreciate the 9,000 bonus points each year after your cardmember anniversary and can take advantage of the credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS.
Without a doubt, the most popular and useful perk offered by Southwest Airlines is the Companion Pass. To earn the Companion Pass, you must earn 135,000 Rapid Rewards points within a calendar year.
Once you have earned the Companion Pass, it kicks in immediately and you retain it through the end of the following year. You are even allowed to change your designated companion 3 times per calendar year. This means 4 different people can be listed as your companion at different times of the year if you choose.
In addition to the points you earn through flying with Southwest Airlines, all of the spending you put on any of the 5 co-branded Southwest credit cards will earn points that count toward the 135,000 you need for the Companion Pass. Plus, cardholders get a 10,000-point boost towards Companion Pass qualification each year (these points are not redeemable).
Earning Southwest credit card welcome offers even counts toward the 135,000 points. This means that getting just 1 of these cards and earning the welcome offer could potentially get you over halfway there! If you get 2 of them, you might even be able to earn the Companion Pass just through welcome offers.
This is a fantastic benefit for anyone who plans to travel regularly with a companion to any of Southwest’s destinations. Being able to book a flight and fly 2-for-1 (just pay taxes and fees on your companion’s ticket) can make taking vacations easy.
While this will be more important to those who fly regularly, particularly for business travel, the Southwest Premier card, Southwest Priority card, Southwest Performance Business card, and Southwest Premier Business card can both help you earn A-List and A-List Preferred status with Southwest.
With these cards, you will earn 1,500 tier points per $10,000 spent on the card (up to 15,000 tier points). This can get you almost halfway to A-List status, which requires 35,000 tier points. Add these tier points to what you already earn by flying Southwest Airlines and you’ll be well on your way.
Once you have A-List status, you’ll receive a number of benefits including a 25% bonus on points earned on your cash bookings with Southwest, priority check-in, a dedicated customer service line, and more.
For those who do a ton of travel, the ability to earn tier points through credit card spending can help get you to the 70,000 tier points required for A-List Preferred status.
With A-List Preferred status, you’ll receive a whopping 100% bonus on the points you earn on your paid Southwest tickets, a dedicated phone line, free inflight Wi-Fi, and more.
Southwest Airlines has over 100 destinations across the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. With so many options, you’ll have a hard time running out of places to explore!
Without a doubt, the best way to use Rapid Rewards points is in conjunction with the Companion Pass since you’ll be getting 2 tickets for the price of one.
To top it all off, you can transfer Chase points to your Rapid Rewards account if you ever need more points for a trip. The points you transfer won’t count toward earning the Companion Pass, but cards that earn Ultimate Rewards can help you earn points even faster.
If you want to earn the Companion Pass to really extract maximum value out of your Rapid Rewards points, then getting 2 of the co-branded Southwest credit cards is the smart move. Under current rules, that is one consumer card and one business card, not both consumer cards.
Between the personal cards, it comes down whether you will be traveling outside the U.S. If so, the Southwest Premier card or the Southwest Priority card will prevent you from having to pay foreign transaction fees on purchases.
Southwest Airlines has earned a reputation as one of the most customer-friendly airlines in the U.S. market. For the millions who fly with them every year, choosing a co-branded credit card that can help earn tons of Rapid Rewards points will only make that experience even better.
After earning the Companion Pass with the help of these cards and taking some fun adventures with a loved one or friend, you might find yourself becoming a loyal Southwest flyer, too.
No, the points earned with the Chase Southwest cards are redeemable for award flights but do not help you earn status.
No, Rapid Rewards must be used to book award flights with Southwest Airlines.
Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Rapid Rewards almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio.
The Companion Pass allows you to book a flight for yourself and a designated companion for the price of one. You can book cash tickets and award flights to take advantage of this perk. You must earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points within a calendar year to receive the Companion Pass.
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