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These limited-time introductory offers on Southwest’s credit cards put the airline’s coveted Companion Pass within easy reach.
Through December 7, 2021, rack up Southwest Rapid Rewards points—up to 100,000 of them—with these limited-time, introductory offers.
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Southwest Airlines has been busy expanding its flight routes domestically and internationally, reaching an impressive 121 destinations over 11 countries at press time. Despite this expansion and rising industry costs, Southwest remains unique among U.S. airlines, charging no fees for checked bags or ticket changes.
Maintaining this spirit of generosity, the airline enhanced benefits on its line-up of five Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Credit Cards in mid-October 2021. To celebrate, Southwest also launched its best-ever introductory offers: up to 100,000 points on select cards. These limited-time bonuses are set to disappear on December 7, 2021. Here’s why you should consider a Southwest credit card now.
There are many reasons to be excited over Southwest’s best-ever welcome offers. First, Southwest Rapid Rewards points are loosely pegged to a dollar value—each point is worth between 1.3 to 1.45 cents when redeemed for the airline’s cheapest “Wanna Get Away” fares. That means that a 100,000 Rapid Rewards points bonus is worth approximately $1,300–$1,450 on Southwest flights. Cha-ching!
Second, hefty intro bonuses make it easier to earn Southwest’s ultra-valuable Companion Pass®, which allows pass holders to fly Southwest with a companion for free (besides mandatory taxes). Earning a Companion Pass requires 100 qualifying one-way flight segments or amassing 125,000 qualifying points. Luckily, welcome bonuses count as qualifying points.
Third, excellent new benefits have been bundled into Southwest’s five branded cards. Depending on the card, these benefits may include bonus points for eligible spending in select categories, passes for complimentary EarlyBird Check-In on Southwest flights (pending availability), and annual fee credits for Rapid Rewards points transfers. Best of all, these enhancements are happening with no increases to annual fees.
Finally, if you double-down on Southwest credit cards, with a personal card under the current, limited-time offer and a Southwest business credit card, you could quickly land Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass in early 2022 (valid through all of 2023) and score up to $6,000 in free flights (for just $348 in annual fees.) Read more in this advanced post on how to do so. Timing is everything with this strategy, so don’t delay.
In pop culture, we’re forced to deal with the Kardashians…all having a first name starting with “K.” Similarly, in the points world we struggle with every Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card beginning with a “P:” Plus, Premier, Priority, Premier Business, and Performance Business. Confusing, we know, but well worth getting to know each, starting with the three personal credit cards—Plus, Premiere, and Priority.
The difference between each “P” lies in the annual fee and package of benefits. As part of the card refresh, all three personal cards now award two points per dollar spent on local transit and commuting purchases (including rideshares), internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming purchases. Additionally, all three personal cards have the exact same welcome offer to earn up to 100,000 points. You’ll earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open, plus 50,000 points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
On the other hand, the three cards grant different earnings on Southwest airlines purchases and promise different annual benefits such as account anniversary bonuses. Below are the three personal cards with the most pertinent information and benefits, both new and existing.
Besides these three personal credit cards, Southwest also has two business credit cards with hefty introductory bonuses and new benefits aplenty. If you have an enterprise—big or small—you can apply for a business credit card. While you can’t have two different personal cards or two different business cards, the same individual can have both a personal and a business card.
Thanks to best-ever welcome offers on personal cards, there’s never been a better time to apply for Southwest credit cards. However, as all good things must come to an end, these bonuses will vanish after December 7, 2021.
Right now, any personal card is a smart choice. Which one you choose depends on how much you value the earnings structure and primary benefits versus the annual fee. We favor the higher-end Priority card for its numerous perks and credits, but those new to a Southwest credit card may feel most comfortable with the Plus card, which carries a nominal $69 annual fee but still yields $1,300–$1,450 in value on Southwest flights after earning the 100,000 Rapid Rewards points bonus.
Furthermore, the timing of high introductory offers on personal cards and the current bonuses on business cards places Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass, essentially a free ticket for a travel companion on every flight, within easy reach. Time applications for both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card correctly, and you could land Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass for 2022 and 2023 and score up to $6,000 in free flights (for just $348 in annual fees.)
This article was originally published in October 2021; it was updated with current information on November 23, 2021. While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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