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The Best Southwest Credit Cards for 2022

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Southwest credit cards are Visa credit cards issued by Chase. They offer various travel-related perks and rewards and can be an excellent option for customers who fly with Southwest Airlines. But how do you choose the one that’s best for you? Read on to find out more about each card.

Rewards

Each Southwest Airlines credit card for personal use has a generous welcome bonus of 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first three months. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business credit card, on the other hand, delivers a welcome offer of 80,000 bonus points.

Every Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa card in the personal line-up offers bonus rewards on Southwest purchases, as well as 2X points for every dollar on other travel-related purchases and internet, cable, phone and some streaming services. You’ll also earn 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards cards also offer 25% off inflight purchases. The rest of the benefits and perks vary depending on the card you choose.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card ups the ante with 4x rewards on Southwest Airlines purchases, 3X rewards on hotel and rental car charges through Rapid Rewards partners, and 2x points on local transit, commuting, and a variety of business expenses.

Get Credit Card Perks

It’s also worth noting that any Rapid Rewards points earned with your Southwest credit card count toward earning a Companion Pass. The Companion Pass allows one person to fly with you free, not including taxes and fees, on every flight. Each time you earn 125,000 qualifying points or fly 100 flights in a calendar year, you earn a Companion Pass for the remainder of that year plus the next calendar year.

Here’s a deeper dive into the rewards, fees, interest rates, perks and benefits on each of these cards. The information below can help you determine which is the best Southwest Rapid Rewards card or if you might be better off with another card to use as your primary Southwest Airlines credit card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is the entry-level Southwest rewards card in the batch and delivers a generous 2X rewards points on all Southwest purchases. You also get two EarlyBird Check-Ins free each year and 3,000 points on your cardmember anniversary each year.

Pros

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Cons

Why Southwest Plus Stands Out

Of the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards, the Southwest Plus card has the lowest annual fee. Sources say it may also be the easiest to get, as some users at JohnnyJet.com report getting approval with a credit score as low as 644. Generally, you’ll want a score of 670 or above to qualify for this card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

The Southwest Premier card is next in the Southwest Rapid Rewards line-up. The Southwest Premier card doubles your number of anniversary bonus points to 6,000 and increases your points for Southwest purchases to 3X bonus rewards. The rest of the benefits are similar to the Southwest Plus card, but you also earn 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List status for every $10,000 you spend on the card.

Pros

Cons

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Why Southwest Premier Stands Out

The $99 annual fee can easily pay for itself quickly with 3X rewards on Southwest purchases plus an opportunity to earn points toward A-List status when you fly Southwest. A-List passengers get perks such as priority boarding, a priority and express lane for faster check-in at the airport, a 25% earning bonus and a special phone line for faster customer service.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards for personal use, the Southwest Priority card is the top-tier card in the line. You may need a credit score of 700 or above to qualify for Southwest Priority, but the added bonuses and benefits make it worth it.

The Southwest Priority card has a $149 annual fee, but you may find it pays for itself quickly.

Pros

Cons

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Why Southwest Priority Stands Out

With an anniversary bonus of 7,500 for each year of card membership, plus a $75 Southwest travel credit, frequent flyers on Southwest Airlines will find the Southwest Priority card well worth the investment. You can also achieve A-List status faster when you earn an extra 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 you spend using the card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

If you’re looking for a business credit card that you can use when you and your employees fly Southwest, it’s worth considering the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business credit card.

The Southwest Performance Business Card delivers even more rewards and benefits than any of the consumer cards in the Rapid Rewards line-up. Also issued by Chase, it is branded as a Visa Signature card, which entitles the cardmember to even more benefits.

Business owners will want to know that you can get employee cards at no added cost and earn points on their expenditures, too.

Pros

Get Credit Card Perks

Cons

Why Southwest Performance Business Stands Out

With a $199 annual fee, the Chase Southwest Performance Business credit card is the priciest in the Southwest Rapid Rewards line-up. But it’s also potentially the most lucrative, offering a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, 9,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary and a welcome bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

If you opt to transfer your Rapid Rewards points to another Rapid Rewards Member or a charity, you’ll be reimbursed up to $500 in transfer fees annually. Plus, this card offers more generous rewards than any of the others in the line, which means you can accrue Rapid Rewards even faster.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you are looking for a well-rounded travel rewards credit card and don’t want to be tied to flying Southwest for every flight, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card stands out as an excellent alternative.

Widely hailed as one of the best travel rewards credit cards, Chase Sapphire Preferred delivers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account. That’s worth $750 in travel when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

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That’s slightly less than the 75,000 points you can earn with a Southwest Rapid Rewards card, which converts to a $1,050 Southwest flight. But you have more flexibility in where and how you can spend the points.

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Why Chase Sapphire Preferred Stands Out

As a Signature Visa card, Chase Sapphire Preferred offers tremendous prestige and benefits, including exclusive access to events, roadside assistance and a Visa Signature concierge to help you plan trips or events.

Capital One Venture X

If you’re looking for a card outside the Chase family, Capital One Venture X is an excellent choice for people with excellent credit.

You’ll earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, plus an anniversary bonus worth 10,000 miles each year. You also get $300 in Capital One travel credit annually, which helps to defray the cost of the $395 annual fee. You also get a $100 annual credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, so if you use these services, your annual fee will be completely covered.

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Why Capital One Venture X Stands Out

This top-of-the-line travel rewards card offers extensive perks and benefits that you can use with virtually any airlines. You can also transfer points to other travel partners.

You can redeem your rewards when you make online purchases at PayPal.  The Capital One online shopping tolls can help you ensure you’re getting the lowest prices on all your purchases by automatically applying coupon codes at checkout.

Final Takeaway

If you fly Southwest exclusively, any of the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards deliver tremendous perk and benefits to help you accrue rewards faster. If not, you may want to consider another travel credit card.

FAQ

  • How much is 65,000 Southwest points worth?
    • Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth roughly 1.4 cents each. That means you could purchase a $910 flight with 65,000 points.
    • However, that's a baseline value and your points could actually be worth more or less depending on the flights you choose and how you spend them. The good news? Rapid Rewards never expire.
  • What does 50,000 Southwest points get you?
    • At a rate of 1.4 pennies per point, you can cash in 50,000 points for a $700 flight.
  • What is the $75 travel credit with Southwest?
    • With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card, members receive an annual travel credit of $75. The credit is automatically applied to your account when you use your Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card for a qualifying purchase from Southwest.
  • Is the Chase Southwest card hard to get?
    • You'll likely need a good-to-excellent credit score to get any of the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. You'll also want to keep in mind Chase Bank's 5/24 rule: an undocumented, but commonly accepted guideline, which says you won't be able to qualify for a new Chase credit card if you've opened at least five credit cards from any issuer in the past two years.
    • Opening many new lines of credit in a short time could hurt your chances to qualify for any of the Rapid Rewards credit cards, apart from the Chase Southwest Performance Business card, for which personal cards wouldn't be a factor.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of June 27, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase or Southwest Airlines. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase or Southwest Airlines.