Southwest Credit Card Initial Bonus Offers Jumped By 50%, Act Now for Best Return

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Chase has just increased the initial bonus offer on their Southwest Airlines credit cards by 50% from 40,000 points to 60,000 points (after spending $2000 n purchases in the first 3 months).

I value those points at $780, though they should buy you about 1.5 cents apiece in Southwest tickets or roughly $900 in travel.

This is huge though because it’s more than halfway to earning a companion pass. And the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is probably the best deal in all of travel. After earning 110,000 points in a calendar year from qualifying sources you can bring a companion along on your Southwest Airlines travels. Here’s everything you need to know about earning and using the Companion Pass.

At the beginning of the year Southwest had an initial offer for the card that included earning the Companion Pass through the end of 2019. Some readers will find this offer even better because:

  • It’s more points to spend on airfare
  • If you have a companion pass the value of those points can be doubled
  • Earning the companion pass via points means the companion pass may last longer — earn it in 2019 and it lasts through the end of 2019 and also 2020.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the premium Southwest Airlines co-brand card really designed for folks who fly Southwest — it makes Southwest travel better, and spending helps earn both A-List status and a companion pass.

The card’s initial bonus lets you earn 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. In addition cardmembers receive 7,500 bonus points after their cardmember anniversary.

This $149 annual fee card provides a $75 travel credit with the airline each year; 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies; and four upgraded boardings per year when available (when A1-15 boarding positions are offered at the gate, buy it and you’ll receive a statement credit for the charge).

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has an offer to earn 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. You earn 3,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card also has an offer to earn 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. You earn 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary.

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.

I think the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card represents the best overall value for someone who flies Southwest — which someone who has a Companion Pass certainly will. This is a $149 annual fee card that gives you a $75 Southwest travel credit and 7500 additional points at cardmember anniversary — each of which give you value worth at least half the fee.

Then you get 4 upgraded boardings per year – A1-15 boarding, which you purchase at the gate and get statement credit back for and 20% back on Southwest inflight purchases like inflight cocktails and internet.

Of course the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card comes with the lowest cost.

Chase’s 5/24 limits apply to these cards (have fewer than 5 new cards in the past 24 months in order to be eligible). But if that’s you, this is as good as Southwest card offers get — when we’ve recently seen 60,000 points offered it’s been with a much higher spend requirement to earn.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. Just finished my companion pass by picking up the Priority and Biz cards. Any idea if they’ll add additional bonus points for me?

  2. Has anyone been successful in getting offer matched if you signed up a month in advance or so?

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