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Chase Southwest credit cards are some of the latest rewards cards to offer enticing bonuses for new cardholders. Get a Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card and earn 75,000 Rapid Rewards Points after spending $3,000 in purchases in your first three months. That's a value of $1,125 when redeemed for travel.
This welcome bonus expires after the end of the day on Friday, December 8, 2024.
Plus, get 7,500 anniversary points each year (worth about $112) and a $75 Southwest® travel credit each year. These two annual benefits total about $187 when redeemed for travel, more than offsetting the $149 annual fee.
Southwest Credit Card overview
This card from Chase Bank charges an annual fee that’s higher than some competitors. But frequent fliers on Southwest Airlines should be able to offset the fee with the card’s $75 yearly credit for Southwest purchases and its 7,500 Rapid Rewards points bonus (worth about $112) on each account anniversary.
Southwest flights aren't limited to U.S. destinations; you can save your travel rewards for flights to Costa Rica, Aruba, Mexico and other getaways south of the U.S. border. Plus, points don't expire, and there are no blackout dates.
The card has a stellar intro offer. New cardholders earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth up to $1,125 when redeemed for travel. The offer expires after the end of the day on December 8, 2023.
- Sign-up bonus: New cardholders earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Rewards rates:
- Three points per dollar on Southwest purchases.
- Two points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
- Two points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services and more;
- One point per dollar on all other spending.
- Annual benefits: Cardholders receive four hefty bonuses on each account anniversary: a $75 Southwest® travel credit, a bonus of 7,500 Rapid Rewards points, four upgraded boardings when available and a 10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points boost.
- Other benefits: Reimbursement for up to four upgraded airline boardings per year; 1,500 tier-qualifying points toward A-List status for each $10,000 spent on the card; and 25% back on in-flight purchases.
- Redemption: Points may be redeemed for travel on Southwest Airlines or through its Rapid Rewards program; points may also be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and entertainment.
- Interest rate: 21.49% to 28.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers.
- Annual fee: $149.
- Foreign transaction fee: None, so this is a good card to use abroad.
- Member FDIC
Want a card with a lower annual fee?
We think the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card, profiled above, is the best deal of the suite of three Southwest cards issued by Chase. But if you don't travel frequently, you might want to consider a card with a lower annual fee.
Two related Chase cards have lower annual fees but still qualify for the 75,000-point welcome offer.
- With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus card, you'll pay a $69 annual fee and earn a 3,000-point anniversary bonus each year (worth about $45).
- Or, with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card, you'll pay a $99 annual fee and earn a 6,000-point anniversary bonus each year (worth about $90).
Is the Rapid Rewards loyalty program free?
Yes, joining Southwest's loyalty program, Rapid Rewards, is free.
Do the points expire?
No, Rapid Rewards points do not expire. If you close your account, however, you'll forfeit the points.
Are there blackout dates?
There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions on Rapid Rewards points.
How much is a Rapid Rewards point worth?
A recent Bankrate valuation shows that each point is worth 1.5 cents when redeemed for travel. That means that 1,000 points are worth up to $15.
Where does Southwest fly?
Southwest flies throughout the U.S. (including Hawaii, but not Alaska), Mexico, the Caribbean and most of Central America. Southwest does not partner with other airlines, so these aren't the points that will get you a European vacation.
How far can I fly with the 75,000-point bonus?
In general, you can get pretty far with the bonus points. For example, fly roundtrip from Los Angeles (LAX) to Denver (DEN) non-stop for roughly 27,000 points. Or fly roundtrip from Austin (AUS) to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) for about 41,000 points.
The points required for each flight will vary according to distance, time of day and other factors. When you book with points, you must also pay taxes, fees, and other government or airport-imposed charges of at least $5.60 per one-way trip.
How is the program improving in 2024?
Southwest is modifying the Rapid Rewards program to make it easier for members to achieve elite status. Starting 01/01/24, you can earn A-List status by flying one-way 20 times in a year (down from 25) and A-List Preferred status by flying one-way 40 in a year (down from 50).
Is the Rapid Rewards travel app any good?
The Southwest Mobile App won the second-best airline travel app ranking in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study.
Does any other credit card earn Rapid Rewards points?
Yes, it's worth comparing this card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, which also has an attractive welcome offer. Chase Ultimate Rewards points may be redeemed for Southwest flights.
Rewards cards dos and don'ts
As with any rewards credit card, be sure to weigh these benefits against fees — a $149 annual fee in this case — and make sure you understand how to use the card effectively. That said, $149 should be easily offset if you travel enough to use the annual credit and the anniversary bonus points.
Reward credit cards are great if you use them wisely. However, always pay them off in full each month to avoid interest, which can dwarf the gain. And don't spend any more than usual to hit any trigger; otherwise, rewards cards can be a false economy as you’d be overspending.
Other Travel Cards to Consider
- Capital One Venture Rewards Launches $750 Bonus Offer
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Launches $750 Bonus Offer
- Earn Delta SkyMiles Worth up to $720
- Jet Blue Credit Card Offer Worth over $900
As an independent publication dedicated to helping you make the most of your money, the article above is our view and is not the opinion of any entity mentioned such as a card issuer, hotel, airline, etc. Similarly, the content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of those entities.
Ellen writes and edits personal finance stories, especially on credit cards and related products. She also covers the nexus between sustainability and personal finance. She was a manager and sustainability analyst at Calvert Investments for 15 years, focusing on climate change and consumer staples. She served on the sustainability councils of several Fortune 500 companies and led corporate engagements. Before joining Calvert, Ellen was a program officer for Winrock International, managing loans to alternative energy projects in Latin America. She earned a master’s from the U.C. Berkeley in international relations and Latin America.
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