Friday, May 20, 2022

    The best Southwest credit cards of 2022

    The best Southwest credit cards of 2022

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    Updated

    2022-02-11T23:15:16Z

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    Best Southwest credit card Editor’s rating Best for Intro bonus Learn more

    Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card


    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card


    A five pointed star

    4.09 /5

    Best for occasional Southwest flyers

    Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months


    Apply Now

    Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card


    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card


    A five pointed star

    4.3 /5

    Best Southwest card with a sub-$100 annual fee

    Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months


    Apply Now

    Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card


    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card


    A five pointed star

    5 /5

    Best for frequent Southwest flyers

    Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months


    Apply Now

    Chase Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card


    Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card


    A five pointed star

    4.2 /5

    Best Southwest card for small-business owners

    60,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening


    Apply Now

    Chase Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card


    Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card


    A five pointed star

    5 /5

    Best Southwest card for premium perks

    80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening


    Apply Now

    The best Southwest credit cards of 2022

    Southwest is smaller than the “big three” US airlines (American, Delta, and United), but it remains a great choice for many travelers thanks to customer-friendly policies like two free checked bags per customer and no change fees. Plus, Southwest points never expire — so even if you’re not traveling right now, you don’t have to worry about losing your hard-earned rewards.

    If you fly Southwest, a cobranded credit card can be a great way to earn extra Rapid Rewards points to use for free flights, and the points you earn from these cards can also help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass. When you have a Companion Pass, your designated companion can fly with you for almost free (just pay taxes and fees) on paid and award tickets.

    Read more: The best airline credit cards in 2022

    Chase issues three personal and two small business Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. Here’s what to know to help you decide which Southwest credit card is best for you.

    Chase Southwest personal credit cards comparison

    Southwest has three Rapid Rewards personal cards: the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.

    The first major difference you’ll notice between these three cards is in their annual fees. The Plus card charges a $69 annual fee, while the Premier and Priority cards charge $99 and $149, respectively.

    The anniversary bonuses are also different for each card:

    Read more: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card review

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card now offer two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year (which normally costs $15 to $25 and allows you to automatically check-in 36 hours prior to departure) and 25% back on inflight purchases.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card holders get a few extra perks (but don’t receive the EarlyBird Check-In benefit):

    Both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card do not charge a foreign transaction fee, and both cards can earn you Tier-Qualifying Points (TQPs) toward Southwest A-List status. You’ll earn 1,500 TQPs for every $10,000 you spend on the cards in a calendar year, and there’s no limit to the number of TQPs you can earn (previously, there was a cap).

    A-List status requires 35,000 TQPs earned in a calendar year, and gets you benefits like priority boarding and a 25% points bonus on paid flights.

    With all three cards, you can earn Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 

    Each card also earns bonus points on:

    • Southwest and Rapid Rewards purchases
    • Local transit and commuting (including rideshare)
    • Internet, cable, and phone services
    • Select streaming

    You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Earns Southwest points on every purchase
    • You get 3,000 points every year after your cardmember anniversary
    Cons
    • Charges foreign transaction fees
    • Very limited benefits
    • Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • With Companion Pass®, every time you fly, your friend can too.
    • 3,000 anniversary points each year.
    • Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
    • New! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
    • New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
    • New! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
    • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


    Read Our Review
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    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • You get 6,000 points each year after anniversary
    • You can earn Tier-Qualifying Points toward Southwest elite status for spending on the card
    Cons
    • Annual fee
    • Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • With Companion Pass®, every time you fly, your friend can too.
    • 6,000 anniversary points each year.
    • New! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
    • New! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
    • New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
    • New! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
    • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


    Read Our Review
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    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Generous annual benefits, including a Southwest travel credit and 7,500 points, plus upgraded boardings and in-flight discounts
    • If you fly Southwest several times a year, the benefits easily outweigh the annual fee
    • Annual fee is low compared to other premium airline credit cards
    Cons
    • Highest annual fee among Southwest consumer cards
    • Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® through 2/28/23 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • With Companion Pass®, every time you fly, your friend can too
    • 7,500 anniversary points each year.
    • New! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
    • New! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
    • New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
    • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
    • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.


    Read Our Review
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    How to decide which Southwest credit card is right for you

    If your main goal for getting a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card is to earn a sign-up bonus, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card could be a great choice. It offers the same sign-up bonus as the other two cards and a similar earnings rate, and it has the lowest annual fee.

    Read more: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card review: Earn points for a low annual fee

    But if you plan to use your Rapids Rewards card for multiple years, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card cards offer better value. Both offer anniversary bonuses that are double or more than what you’ll get with the Plus card. And the two more expensive cards are better for international travelers because they don’t charge foreign transaction fees.

    When comparing the Premier and Priority cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card easily comes out on top. Its higher annual fee is easily reduced by $75 in annual Southwest travel credit. It also has a better anniversary bonus and offers additional inflight perks and discounts.

    Read more: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card review: Earn a great welcome bonus and enjoy valuable travel perks

    In short, if you’re looking for an airline card to earn free flights in the short term, you may want to choose the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Otherwise, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card offers the best long-term value.

    Finally, note that you can’t have two personal Southwest credit cards at the same time, and you can’t open a new personal Southwest card if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus on any personal Southwest card within the last 24 months. So choose your card carefully.

    Additionally, all of the Southwest cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, which means you won’t get approved if you’ve opened five or more cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months.

    Chase Southwest small business credit card comparison

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Awards you 6,000 points each year after your account anniversary
    • Earns 3x Southwest points per dollar on your Southwest purchases
    Cons
    • No bonus points on non-Southwest purchases
    • Relatively light benefits compared to other airline credit cards
    • Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
    • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
    • New! Earn 3X points on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
    • Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
    • New! Earn 2X points on rideshare.
    • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • New! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
    • Earn unlimited tier qualifying points towards A-List status.


    Read Our Review
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    Southwest has two co-branded business credit cards: the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

    The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card charges a $99 annual fee, while the Performance Business card is more expensive, at $199. However, the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card has a better anniversary bonus, giving 9,000 points on each cardmember anniversary compared to the 6,000 points you’ll get each year with the Premier Business card.

    The biggest difference between these two cards is their ongoing earnings potential. While you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases and 2 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners with the Premier Business Card, you’ll earn 4 points per dollar and 3 points per dollar in these categories, respectively, with the Performance Business card.

    And with the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on the following business expenses as well:

    • Social media and search engine advertising
    • Internet, cable, and phone services

    Both cards also earn 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, and offer up to $500 in fee credits for points transfers (for example, to other members) each year.

    Read more: Southwest Premier Business card review: A solid bonus and perks for Southwest flyers, and points count toward the Companion Pass

    The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card also gives cardholders up to $100 for a Global Entry or TSA Pre application fee credit, four upgraded boardings per year (when available), and inflight Wi-Fi credits. It’s offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

    As with the personal Southwest credit cards, the points you earn from the Southwest small-business cards count toward the Companion Pass. These cards don’t come with a promotional Companion Pass, though. You’ll be earning it the old fashioned way — earn 125,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year. But earning one or two of these bonuses can go a long way toward achieving (or even help you to immediately qualify for) the Companion Pass.

    Yes, a non-promotional Companion Pass is a bit harder to achieve — but the payoff is bigger, too — regular (non-promotional) Companion Passes are valid during the year in which you earn them, as well as the following calendar year. By earning 125,000 qualifying points early in 2022, you’ll receive a Companion Pass valid through December 31, 2023 — instead of the promotional pass that expires on February 28, 2023.

    If your business spends a lot of money each year on social media advertising or internet, cable, and phone services, you’ll definitely want to go with the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. You may also want to choose the Performance Business card if you fly four or more times each year. In that case, you could take full advantage of the four upgraded boardings per year and some of the other inflight perks.

    However, if you don’t spend a lot of money in the bonus categories, your earnings potential will drop. And if you only fly once or twice a year, you may not get the most value out of the additional day-of-flight benefits. 

    Read more: The Southwest Performance Business card offers valuable frequent-flyer perks

    If you decide the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card and Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card don’t make sense for you, you may want to consider one of the consumer Southwest credit cards discussed above.

    Or, because you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest and other airline and hotel partners when you have Chase travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, one of these cards could be a better pick if you value flexibility. However, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Southwest will not count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass.

    Regular APR

    15.99%–22.99% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • 4x bonus points on Southwest purchases
    • Valuable Southwest perks including four upgraded boardings per year, in-flight Wi-Fi credits, and 9,000 points each year on your anniversary
    Cons
    • $199 annual fee is on the high side
    • Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
    • NEW! Earn 4X points on Southwest® purchases.
    • Earn 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
    • NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare.
    • Earn 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services and 1X points on all other purchases.
    • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
    • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit.


    Read Our Review
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    Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how students and millennials can win with money.  When he’s away from his keyboard, he enjoys drinking coffee, traveling, obsessing over the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with his wife and two boys.


    Jasmin Baron is an editor at Insider, responsible for credit card coverage on Personal Finance Insider. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).Before joining the Insider team, she was a senior editor at The Points Guy and Million Mile Secrets, covering credit cards, points and miles, and loyalty programs. Her expertise in maximizing travel rewards grew from over two decades of experience in the aviation industry, including 18 years working as a pilot and flight instructor in her native Canada.You can reach Jasmin at jbaron@insider.com.
    Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services »


    Featured credit cards from our partners

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    1.5% cash back in addition to regular earning on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back)

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

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    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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