/3 Southwest personal cards are now offering 65,000 points

3 Southwest personal cards are now offering 65,000 points


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In recent months, credit card issuers have responded to the pandemic by adding new benefits and ways to earn and redeem rewards and launching elevated sign-up bonuses. Now that people are thinking about flying again, we’re seeing even more improved welcome offers and limited-time bonus spending categories.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card are now offering a bonus that could be very lucrative if you spend a lot at restaurants: 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Earn 65,000 points with the Southwest personal cards

There have been a couple of elevated offers on the Southwest personal cards this year; most recently, new cardholders could earn a Companion Pass outright after meeting the minimum spending requirements (offer no longer available).

The new offer to earn 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months could help you on your way towards earning a Companion Pass. The spending requirement to unlock the welcome bonus is easy to reach, too.

Earning a Southwest Companion Pass can translate into hundreds or thousands of dollars in airfare, depending on how you use the benefit. With a Companion Pass, you designate a friend or family member to travel with you on any paid or award flight with Southwest for only the cost of taxes and fees (usually about $6 one-way on domestic tickets).

Normally, you’d need to earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year (or fly 100 one-way flights) to unlock the Companion Pass, and points earned from Southwest credit cards count toward the requirement. For 2021, Rapid Rewards members with active accounts as of December 31, 2020, have been credited 25,000 out of the required 125,000 points (and 25 qualifying flights) automatically — effectively reducing the Companion Pass requirement to just 100,000 points or 75 flights this year.

If you’re not quite ready to travel, Southwest points never expire, so there’s no rush to redeem your points if you decide to apply for a card now.

Chase Southwest personal cards comparison

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card all offer the same bonus: 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Other spending bonus categories and benefits vary depending on the card.

Regular APR

15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months


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  • 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
    • Earn 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
    • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • All points earned count towards Companion Pass.
    • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
    • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.


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    Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has the lowest annual fee ($69) of the personal Southwest cards, but it offers the same bonus and spending categories as the others. That said, it also comes with the fewest benefits — for example, you won’t earn tier-qualifying points from spending on the card like the others.

    You’ll earn 3,000 bonus points each account anniversary (worth about $45 in Southwest airfare, according to Insider’s valuations), which covers much of the annual fee. Keep in mind this is the only Southwest personal card that adds foreign transaction fees, so you shouldn’t use it overseas.

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months


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  • 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
    • Only offers bonus points on Southwest purchases
    • Earn 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
    • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
    • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.


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    Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is the middle-tier Southwest personal card, with a $99 annual fee. You’ll earn 6,000 Southwest bonus points each account anniversary (worth about $90 in Southwest flights), so the card almost pays for itself when you renew it.

    If you’re aiming for Southwest elite status, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card can give you a boost. You’ll earn 1,500 tier-qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases you make with the card, up to $100,000 in purchases each year.

    To reach Southwest A-List status, you’ll need to fly 25 Southwest one-way qualifying flights or earn 35,000 tier-qualifying points per calendar year. A-List Preferred status requires 50 Southwest one-way qualifying flights or 70,000 tier-qualifying points in the same timeframe.

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months


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  • 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
    • Doesn’t offer bonus points on non-Southwest purchases
    • Earn 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
    • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
    • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
    • 20% back on in-flight drinks and WiFi.
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
    • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • No foreign transaction fees.


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    Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has a $149 annual fee, but offers the most benefits and perks of the three Southwest cards. In fact, frequent Southwest flyers can get a value from the card that far exceeds the annual cost.

    Cardholders receive up to $75 in Southwest credit per year, which can be applied to any Southwest purchase except inflight purchases and upgraded boarding. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card also comes with 7,500 points each account anniversary (worth about $112 in Southwest airfare), four upgraded boardings per year when available (worth up to $50 each time), and a 20% discount on inflight purchases including Wi-Fi.

    Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card can make elite status more attainable by earning tier-qualifying points when you hit the same spending thresholds.

    Chase Southwest business card comparison

    Chase offers two Southwest credit cards for small-business owners. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card currently offers 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and offers benefits similar to the personal version of the card.

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card offers 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchase within the first 3 months of account opening

    Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier business card

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Awards you 6,000 points each year after your account anniversary
    • Earns 2 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.
    • 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.
    • Earn points on employee spending.
    • Employee cards at no additional cost.
    • No blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free®, and no change fees.
    • No foreign transaction fees


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    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card charges a $99 annual fee, but, like the personal version, comes with 6,000 points (worth about $90 in Southwest airfare) each card anniversary.

    You’ll also have the opportunity to earn tier qualifying points toward Southwest A-List and A-List Preferred elite status, and won’t be charged any foreign transaction fees.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance business card

    Regular APR

    15.99%–22.99% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

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


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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • 3x 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.
    • 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
    • 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable, and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
    • Inflight WiFi Credits.
    • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit.
    • Employee cards at no additional cost, earn points on employee spending.


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    With a bonus of 80,000 Southwest points after meeting spending requirements, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is worth serious consideration for Southwest flyers, even with the $199 annual fee.

    Unlike the other Southwest cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card rewards spending in bonus categories other than Southwest purchases. You’ll earn 3x points on Southwest purchases (compared to 2x with the other cards), 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, and 2x points on internet, cable, and phone services. All other purchases earn 1 Southwest point per dollar.

    You’ll also receive 9,000 Southwest points (worth about $135 in Southwest airfare) each card anniversary. If you fly Southwest frequently, you can even get more value, because the card comes with four upgraded boardings per year when available (worth up to $50 each) and up to 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits each year (worth $8) each. 

    Like many premium credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card also offers up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years. 

    Chase Southwest card application restrictions

    Both the personal and small-business Chase Southwest cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, which means if you’ve opened five or more cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved for the card.

    While you’re allowed to have one personal and one small-business Southwest card at the same time, there are other card application restrictions to keep in mind. For the Southwest personal cards, you aren’t eligible if you currently have any personal Southwest card, or have received an intro bonus on one in the past 24 months. This doesn’t include Southwest business cards.

    And with the Southwest business cards, you won’t be approved if you currently hold the card, or have received a sign-up bonus for that specific card in the past 24 months. 

    Jasmin Baron is an associate editor at Personal Finance Insider, where she helps readers maximize rewards and find the best credit cards to fit their lifestyles.

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