Editor’s note: Information is accurate as of the publish date. Some offers may no longer be available.
Just in time for summer, you can earn a welcome offer up to 75,000 bonus points with a co-branded card from Chase and Southwest Airlines — and even use those points toward the airline’s Companion Pass.
Starting this week, three Southwest Rapid Rewards co-branded cards all offer a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus points:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Reward Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card ($149 annual fee)
With the new bonus, you can get 75,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening. Southwest has dynamic redemptions, but based on previous NextAdvisor valuations, that’s worth up to $975 toward Southwest flights. The new offer is a big jump from the previous 40,000 offer each card offered, which was worth $520 when booking flights, according to those same valuations.
What’s more, the points also count toward Southwest’s Companion Pass — a feature we believe is one of the best benefits among travel credit cards. Companion Pass lets you designate one person to fly with you for free for at least a year on an unlimited number of flights (not including taxes and fees).
Here’s everything else you need to know about these Southwest co-branded cards, including the latest rewards categories and how to earn the Companion Pass to save money on flights.
How to Get the New Southwest Welcome Bonus
For a limited time, when you open any of Chase’s co-branded Rapid Rewards cards with Southwest, you can earn 75,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.
That means you must spend at least $1,666.67 on average each month to reach the spending limit within the three month timeframe. If that’s not in your regular budget, consider timing your application when you’ve already saved up to book a vacation or make another big purchase, to avoid overspending to reach the bonus qualifications and risking any high-interest debt balances.
How to Maximize 75,000 Southwest Bonus Points
Once you’ve earned the welcome offer, you can use it to get hundreds of dollars in value on future Southwest flights. Previously, we have valued Southwest Rapid Rewards points at 1.3 cent per point.
For instance, right now, a round trip flight for two from New York to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from July 18 through July 28 costs just under 105,000 points.
With the welcome offer, you could cover the entire round trip fare for one passenger, or the majority of both tickets. And this example is for an international trip on relatively short notice.
There are plenty of flights currently available in which the welcome bonus could cover even more than two round trip domestic tickets. See, for example, the following flight between Los Angeles and Las Vegas over Labor Day weekend:
Southwest has dynamic pricing, so you’ll save more money by being flexible with your trip itinerary, including the days you fly and when you book.
How to Use the Bonus Toward the Southwest Companion Pass
Your bonus points can also be used toward the Southwest Companion Pass. Typically, in order to get the pass, you must fly 100 one-way flights within a calendar year or redeem 125,000 Rapid Rewards points. It is valid until the following calendar year.
With the new welcome bonus, you’ll only have to earn 50,000 additional points to get the pass, which may be easier to get if the card’s spending categories align with your everyday spending or you plan to take more trips with Southwest throughout the year.
Southwest Credit Card Rewards and Benefits
Chase and Southwest’s co-branded travel credit cards could come in handy if you frequently fly with Southwest. Here’s a list of the three consumer cards, each with the current 75,000-point bonus:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Reward Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card
All of these cards let you earn points on everyday spending categories, including local transit and commuting, rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services.
Southwest cardholders also get other perks to offset the annual fee, depending on which card you choose. For example, the Southwest Premier Credit Card has a $99 annual fee and offers 25% off in-flight purchases, 2 early check-ins annually, 6,000 points every account anniversary, and more.
The Southwest Priority Card has a slightly higher annual fee of $149 and includes a few more luxury perks including 4 boarding pass upgrades per year, a $75 annual Southwest travel credit, 7,500 bonus points each account anniversary, and you can earn the Companion Pass faster.
The Southwest Plus Card, on the other hand, has just a $69 annual fee, and an offer for 3,000 points each account anniversary.
Like any co-branded travel card, the Southwest cards are best for those that frequently fly Southwest. Keep in mind that your spending categories and perks should align with your lifestyle to get the best value from the card. Regardless of which card you choose, remember to be mindful of your spending and practice good credit habits so you can get the full value from the rewards you earn.