As someone who spends a lot of time up in the air, you feel it’s important to get a great deal on your plane tickets.
That’s why you fly Southwest Airlines whenever possible.
It’s also why you have the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. This card helps you earn points for all your spending…earning more reward points is always a good thing for a busy traveler!
- Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
- Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
- 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.
- All points earned count towards Companion Pass.
- No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
- Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events, and more.
- Card Type:Credit Card
- Card Categories:
- Rewards Center
- Customer Service Number1-800-935-9935 (Available 24/7)
- Login Link
- Card Focus:
- Car Rental Agencies
- Typical UsersFrequent Travelers, Hobby Travelers, International Travelers, The Average Spender
The Ideal Cardholder
Sign-up Bonus, Unlimited Points, and Earning Categories
You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® purchases with participating hotel and car rental partners, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
update: Cardholders will earn 3x points per dollar at grocery stores, up to $1,500 per month, through June 30, 2020.
That bonus includes hotel and car rental partners in the Rapid Rewards® program! The annual fee for the card is $69.
Plus, there’s no limit to the number of reward points you can earn – and they won’t expire as long as you keep your account open.
Now let’s look at the other terrific card benefits.
Benefits of the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
As a Southwest Plus cardmember, you’ll get 3,000 points after your membership anniversary each year – a nice benefit to look forward to!
Flying on Southwest Airlines comes with its own perks too. For instance, there’s no fee for your first 2 checked bags, which can cost up to $120 on other carriers.
Unlike many airline loyalty programs, there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions on Southwest. That means if a seat is available, you can book it with your points!
You won’t ever have to pay a change fee either. Southwest will just charge you the difference between fares.
Earning the Companion Pass
Who doesn’t want to fly free? With the Southwest Companion Pass it’s definitely possible.
Just earn 110,000 reward points in a qualifying year, and you’ll be awarded the Companion Pass. Your sign-up bonus miles and all the miles you earn with the Chase Southwest credit card count toward the total!
International Travel With More Rewards
Sure, Southwest is a domestic carrier. But their More Rewards program makes it possible to redeem miles for international travel too!
The More Rewards program is only open to Southwest cardmembers. Here, you can use all the Rapid Rewards points you earn – not just those earned with the credit card.
In addition to travel, More Rewards redemptions include hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and exclusive travel experiences!
Extra Perks With the Chase Southwest Credit Card
Several extra perks come with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.
If you are approved for the Visa Signature version, you’ll receive insurances and services designed to make travel more pleasant.
For instance, the Visa Signature card includes car rental, baggage delay/lost luggage insurance, and travel accident insurance. Other benefits include roadside dispatch and travel/emergency assistance services.
All of these benefits except travel/emergency assistance services come with the Visa Platinum version as well.
We’ll look at these benefits more closely in the Gritty Details section below.
Drawbacks of the Southwest Credit Card
There are a few things to consider before applying for the card.
First, the annual fee is not waived the first year like with some other airline credit cards. However, the $69 annual fee is partially offset by the sign-up bonus and anniversary points.
Also, because Southwest is a budget airline, there aren’t any luxury perks with this credit card. Other programs such as American Airlines AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles offer access to airport lounges.
Finally, there’s no introductory APR on purchases on balance transfers.
Compared to the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Southwest also offers the upgraded version of the card: the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. It offers a couple of benefits not found with the basic version of the card.
With the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, cardmembers earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases (up to 15,000 points each calendar year).
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Final Thoughts
If you prefer to fly on a carrier that offers more amenities, then the Southwest Plus card may not be the card for you.
But between the anniversary points bonus and opportunity to earn a Southwest Companion Pass, there’s no question this Chase Southwest Plus card brings value to those who regularly fly with the airline.
Great Card If
- You like to fly on Southwest Airlines
- You want a simple way to earn more Rapid Rewards points
- You’ll spend enough to earn the Companion Pass
Don't Get If
- You prefer luxury rather than budget airlines
- You don’t have a Southwest hub nearby
- You won’t spend enough to cover the $69 annual fee
- Annual Fee
- Foreign Transaction Fees3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Interest Rates
- 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
- Balance Transfers
- 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
- Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- Cash Advance APR
- 24.99% Variable
- Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
U.P. Pro Tips
One strategy for accruing points quickly is to use the card for all your expenses–especially purchases from hotels and car rental agencies in the Rapid Rewards® program for 2 points per $1 spent!
Partners include Choice Hotels, Marriott, Avis, Budget, and National!
Even those purchases earning 1 point per $1 are worth putting on the card, since they bring you closer to the 110,000 points needed for a Companion Pass.
Don’t forget about the 3,000 anniversary points, which will get you to the companion pass even quicker!
Best Way To Maximize Points
Sure, Southwest purchases earn 2x points, and this is a fantastic way to increase your balance. But there are so many more ways to earn Southwest points using the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card!
Tip #1: With Southwest Rapid Rewards, elite status is worth major bonus points. Reach the A-List tier to enjoy a 25% bonus. Even better, A-List Preferred members get a 100% bonus!
Tip #2: Visit the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal to shop online at well-known stores like Staples, Walmart, Apple, and hundreds more.
Each purchase earns points depending on the retailer and special offers. You can earn as many as 6+ points/$1!
Plus, you’ll get 1 point per $1 for using your Southwest Plus card!
Tip #3: Want to ensure you have as many points as possible to spend on Rapid Rewards? Why not transfer reward points earned with other Chase cards to Rapid Rewards points?
As you can see from the table below, there are plenty of Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that allow you to transfer points:
|Loyalty Program||Credit Card Review|
|Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Review||Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card|
|Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card|
Tip #4: Fill out marketing surveys during your downtime. Sites such as e-Rewards and Valued Opinions make it easy to earn Rapid Rewards points.
Points vary depending on the current offers. You may even be able to earn sign-up bonuses.
Tip #5: Sign up for the Rapid Rewards Dining program and earn up to 3 Rapid Rewards points per $1 spent at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Just for joining, you’ll get 500 points. Each time you reach another 1,000-point increment, you’ll earn 300 more points!
Though you can link any credit or debit card, you’ll get an extra 1 point per $1 spent when you use your Southwest Plus card!
For additional tips on earning southwest points, check out our article on how to do so without even flying!
Best Way To Redeem Points
Southwest operates independently, which means redeeming points for free flights works a little differently than other airline loyalty programs.
For instance, points value is determined by the variable cost of a ticket instead of a fixed rate.
Domestic vs. International Travel
If you want to redeem points for a domestic flight, it must be on Southwest. On a positive note, your points will be valued higher with Southwest travel than any other option!
You have more flexibility with international travel. In fact, you can redeem points for international travel with most major airlines. Unfortunately, your points will likely be valued lower than $0.02 each when you redeem them this way.
International travel (including Hawaii) is booked through the More Rewards program. Here are some other ways to redeem points using More Rewards:
Option #1: Cruises
Redeem reward points for gift cards good for cruises on Carnival Cruise Lines ($100) or Royal Caribbean International ($100 and $500).
Option #2: Rental Car Vouchers
Vouchers from car rental agencies such as National, Alamo, Budget, and more are available starting with as few as 5,000 points.
Option #3: Hotel and Resort Stays
Choose from more than 70,000 hotels through iHotel, or book with regular hotel partners like Best Western and Fairmont when you redeem Rapid Rewards points.
Option #4: Shopping
There’s a gift card for almost everything you can think of when redeeming reward points including restaurants, office supplies, online retailers, and lots more.
Option #5: Experiences
Whether it’s tickets to a Broadway show or a California wine tour, you can find the perfect experience available in exchange for your Rapid Rewards points.
Southwest does not have airline partners or alliances for domestic travel. You can redeem points for international travel on major airlines through the More Rewards option.
Rental Car Partners: Thrifty, Hertz, Alamo, Payless, Budget, National, Dollar
Additional products and services are also available through the More Rewards program.
The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know
Just a note about qualifying for a Companion Pass, which requires 110,000 points:
In addition to earning Companion Pass points by flying Southwest, all points earned by using the Southwest Plus card also count towards the 110,000-point minimum.
As long as you keep your account open and current, you can earn unlimited reward points that never expire.
Other Unique Features
Depending on whether you qualify for a Visa Signature or Visa Platinum card, you will receive a variety of features and benefits with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.
Here are examples of the shopping and travel perks that may be included:
Extended warranty – Extends warranties of 3 years or less by up to 1 year and $10,000 per claim.
Purchase protection – Covers items against loss, theft, or damage up to 120 days after purchase. Maximum claim is $500 per item and $50,000 per account.
Car rental collision insurance – Decline the agency’s waiver and pay for a car rental with your card to receive car rental collision coverage.
Roadside dispatch – Receive towing, fuel delivery, tire changing, jump starting, and more for a set fee of $59.95.
Travel accident insurance – Get insurance coverage up to $500,000 in case of a severe accident.
Travel and emergency services – Call for emergency assistance when traveling. (You are responsible for third party service charges.)
Lost luggage insurance – Purchase travel on a common carrier with the card and luggage will be covered up to $3,000.
Baggage delay insurance – Get reimbursed up to $100 per day for 3 days if baggage is delayed 6 hours or more (for essential items such as clothing and toiletries).
Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Woman Sitting in Airport: Phonlamai Photo/Shutterstock
Hotel Room: Himchenko.E/Shutterstock
Table at Restaurant: johan.lebedevski/Shutterstock
Suitcases at Airport: stockphoto mania/Shutterstock
Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card? Why should I get it?
The Southwest Plus card is one of three Southwest credit cards co-branded by Chase Bank (along with Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card).
With this card, you can earn unlimited points that don’t expire if your account is current. Purchases earn up to 2 points per $1:
- 2 points per $1 with participating Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partners
- 1 point per $1 for all other purchases
In addition, you earn 3,000 points after each yearly anniversary, no fee for your first two checked bags, and no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
How can you earn a Companion Pass with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card?
All points earned using the card are applied to the 110,000 points necessary to earn an annual Southwest Companion Pass, including purchases, sign-up bonus points, and anniversary bonuses.
Does the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQP)?
No. The card does not earn TQP, unlike the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, which earns Tier Qualifying Points (TQP) for every $10,000 spent.
However, you can still earn TQP with any paid Southwest flight.
How do you redeem Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card points?
When you earn reward points they are automatically deposited into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account. Then you can redeem them through the Southwest portal.
What other credit cards can I use to earn Southwest points?
Because Chase Ultimate Rewards is a Southwest partner, you can transfer points from the 6 Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to your Rapid Rewards account. You will need one of the three starred (“*”) cards to make a points transfer:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*
- Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card*
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card*
- Chase Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- Chase Freedom®
- Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
How can I log in to my Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus account?
The login for Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus is Chase.com.