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The three Southwest Airlines personal credit cards all had offers to earn 40,000 Rapid Rewards points as an initial bonus, while the business card had a 60,000 point offer. Now all the personal card offers have been increased, and all four cards will let you earn 60,000 Rapid Rewards points.
- 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
Each of the three personal cards is offering 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months — and an additional 20,000 points after spending a total of $12,000 in the first 12 months.
This sounds like a lot but really isn’t, it’s just $1000 a month. They’re looking for customers who will use the card regularly, and rewarding those customers. In fact 60,000 points should cover over $850 in airfare.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card‘s 60,000 points offer requires $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months but the you’re done, so more spend up front less total spend.
What I like about Southwest is that they have no change fees, you can use your points even to make a speculative booking. It’s always great to have Southwest points around, even if you book mostly international award tickets.
- You might need a domestic flight to get to the city your international award ticket leaves from.
- Or book the Southwest flight, and if award availability opens up to include a domestic flight on your other ticket, great, there’s no change fees.
Southwest points are great insurance. They don’t have other fees either like checked bag fees or change fees. And you can always redeem your points for gift cards, too, I find I can always get a minimum of a penny a point in value that way so a 40,000 point signup offer has a floor of $400 in value.
But the really crucial value comes from Southwest’s companion pass which is earned after 110,000 eligible points in a year: your designated companion can fly with you for just taxes regardless of whether you’re traveling on a paid fare or points.
And now is the best time to start planning for it. When you earn a companion pass it is valid for the rest of that year, and for the following year. So if you earn it at the start of 2019 you get it for nearly 2 full years.
The companion pass is the best reason to put spending on a Southwest credit card, and the initial bonus offers for these cards get you much of the way to your goal.
It’s possible to get both a personal and a small business card from Southwest, with the caveat that to get approved for each of these cards you need to have gotten fewer than 5 new cards in the last 24 months.
I’ve been flying Southwest a lot more this year, in fact I now have A-List elite status. They’re the largest carrier at my home airport in Austin.
Southwest Airlines in Austin
Getting a Southwest credit card now means you have three months to earn the bonus. Hit your minimum spend in the third month, the month that ends in January, and that has the bonus hitting your account in January. That positions you perfectly for earning the companion pass so that it lasts almost two full years.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has the lowest annual fee ($69) and is the one to get if you’re not a regular flyer. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the best card if you’re a regular Southwest flyer — its $149 annual fee brings a $75 travel credit with Southwest and 4 A1-15 upgraded boarding reimbursements per year.