Chase just launched improved welcome offers on its consumer Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. The sign-up bonus on all three cards has been increased to 75,000 points after meeting the minimum spend requirements.

For many travelers, Rapid Rewards points are a great option thanks to Southwest’s extensive domestic network and generous change and cancellation policies. Rapid Rewards points don’t expire as long as your account remains open. So, you can collect a higher sign-up bonus now and take as much time as you need to use them.

Increased 75,000-Point Southwest Credit Cards Sign-Up Bonuses

Chase currently offers a total of five co-brand Southwest credit cards: 3 consumer cards and 2 business cards. All 3 consumer Southwest cards currently sport the same increased sign-up bonus, but each features different benefits and annual fees:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee): Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee): Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee): Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

The previous offer on these consumer Southwest credit cards was just 40,000 points. So, the increased offer will net new cardholders an additional 35,000 Rapid Rewards points. AwardWallet users average 1.37¢ per Rapid Rewards point in recent redemptions. That means the new 75,000-point offer is worth more than $1,000 toward Southwest flights.

Why Earn Southwest Points?

Southwest offers an incredible rewards program—especially at a time when travel plans may be uncertain. There are five big reasons to consider Southwest right now:

  1. Flexibility: Rapid Rewards will let you change or refund award tickets with no fees as many times as you like. As long as you take action at least ten minutes before your flight’s scheduled departure, you can get all your points back with no fee. Even your taxes and fees will be refunded to your credit card.
  2. Destinations: Southwest operates an extensive domestic network — including Puerto Rico, plus international destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. This gives you a lost list of destinations you can reach using Rapid Rewards points.
  3. Consistency: Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based rewards program, meaning you can redeem points for a consistent value on any flight that has a seat available to purchase. No blackout dates!
  4. Easy to Earn Points: Rapid Rewards points are easy to earn via credit cards, flying, or portals. Plus, you can transfer points to Southwest from Ultimate Rewards.
  5. Bags Fly Free: Your first two bags fly free. For a family of four, free checked bags could save you hundreds of dollars on every trip.

Which Southwest Credit Card Should I Get?

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Annual Fee$149
Welcome BonusEarn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card card can easily pay for itself if you fly with the airline a couple of times each year. Cardholders get 7,500 Rapid Rewards points (worth over $100) on each account anniversary plus a $75 Southwest travel credit. Those two benefits more than cover the card’s $149 annual fee. So, you’ll get the card’s other perks—like four Upgraded Boardings per year and 20% back on in-flight purchases—to boot!

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Annual Fee$69
Welcome BonusEarn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

But if you can’t stomach a card with a higher annual fee, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card card might be the perfect alternative. It’s one of the least expensive co-brand cards out there with an annual fee of only $69.

The Southwest Plus Card offers 3,000 Rapid Rewards on your account anniversary, which should be worth between $39-45 towards Southwest flights. While the benefits are more limited, this card still delivers great value and comes with the same huge welcome offer of 75,000 points.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Annual Fee$99
Welcome Bonus Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, falls right in the middle with a $99 annual fee and an anniversary bonus of 6,000 Rapid Rewards points (worth $78-90). Unlike the Southwest Plus Card, the Southwest Premier Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.

Which Southwest Card Provides the Most Value?

The Southwest card with the highest long-term value is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. That’s because two of its perks easily cover the $149 annual fee if you fly with Southwest a few times each year. Benefits include:

  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit — which is automatically applied when you make a Southwest flight purchase.
  • 7,500-anniversary points each year — which is worth over $100 at 1.37¢ per point.
  • Four upgraded boardings per year — each of which is worth at least $30.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases — which drops the price of beer or wine under $5 each.

Is This Good Timing for the Southwest Companion Pass?

When Chase announces increased sign-up bonuses on the Southwest credit cards, the first question that often comes to mind is “does this make it easier to get the Southwest Companion Pass?

May and June are traditionally not the optimal time to get a Companion Pass. The reason is simple; a Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which it was earned, plus the following calendar year. That means any points you earn from this offer would help you earn the benefit for the rest of 2022 and all of 2023.

If you want to optimize the Companion Pass, the best strategy would be to apply for a Southwest card in October or later this year. That way, you can earn a sign-up bonus in January 2023, and then quickly earn the remaining points to get the pass for 2023/2024. With that said, who knows if the credit card offers will be so generous during that optimal time.

To earn the Companion Pass, you’ll need to earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. That means you’ll still be around 45,000 points short with the current personal card offers. If you run a small business, getting the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card can help you earn the rest of the points you need.

If you don’t often fly with a companion, the timing doesn’t matter. In these cases, your goal should be to pick up one of the Southwest credit cards when the bonus is higher than normal. And this is one of those times.

Related:

  • Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass
  • What Points Qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass

What Travel Protections Do Southwest Credit Cards Offer?

All three cards offer travel protections such as:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver — complimentary theft and damage protection for rentals charged to your card
  • Purchase Protection — covers new purchases against theft and damage for up to 120 days
  • Extended Warranty Protection — add one year to your manufacturer’s extended warranty
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement — up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Baggage Delay Insurance — up to $100 per day for three days

Southwest Card Application Restrictions

Like all Chase rewards cards, the Southwest credit cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 policy. In short, you can’t be approved for Chase cards if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards in the past two years.

In addition to Chase’s 5/24 policy, you won’t qualify for a new (personal) card if you currently hold a Southwest personal card or you’ve received a sign-up bonus on one in the previous 24 months.

Here are the rules for personal Southwest credit cards:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

Our Take

The increased offers on the personal Southwest credit cards offer a substantial amount of value for cards with modest annual fees. When you factor in Southwest’s lack of change and cancelation fees, free checked bags, and how easy it is to collect Southwest points, you have a winning combination.

We think the Southwest Priority Card offers the most value if you regularly fly Southwest. Unlike most cards, all you need to do is utilize the $75 easy-to-use credit each year to get more value from this card than the annual fee. Combined with the anniversary Rapid Rewards points that are automatically deposited when you renew your account, this card easily pays for itself year after year. That means you’re getting all of the card’s other benefits for practically no cost.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Annual Fee$149
Welcome BonusEarn 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

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