Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Should I Get Southwest Credit Card

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What Is Everyone So Excited About

Which Southwest Credit Card Should I Get? | To The Point | Ep 22

Still not convinced this is a good deal? You might not be flying much right now, or plan to do so before this Companion Pass expires. But you can reap tremendous value from a Companion Pass with just a few flights before the end of next February.

Sure, Southwest doesnt have luxurious first-class cabins or the glamorous international route networks of other airlines like Delta and United, but thats exactly what makes this offer so timely. The airline has one of the most robust flight maps of any carrier within the continental U.S. as well as to Hawaii and nearby international destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean. Even as more folks get vaccinated and more countries open their borders to international travelers, chances are most of us will be sticking close to home for the rest of 2021. So now might be the exact right time to give Southwest some more of your attention and travel dollars to explore the places it does fly.

Not only that, but as more people become less hesitant to begin booking travel againand searches are probably going to skyrocket for summer travel soonhaving a two-for-one ticket in your back pocket can amount to tremendous savings.

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.

Reasons Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Better Than Southwest Credit Cards

Advertiser disclosure: The Miles Genie has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Miles Genie and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Editorial disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the authors alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

The best credit cards for you depend on your travel goals and spending habits. If you want to book Southwest flights for free, a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card may seem like an obvious choice. Ill explain why you should also consider a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

You can fly to Hawaii with Southwest. But a Southwest co-branded credit card may not be the best credit card to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points!

Chase issues 5 Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. All of these cards earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points. 3 are personal cards and 2 are business cards.

In this post, Ill compare our favorite travel card for beginners, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, to Chases Southwest credit cards.

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Recommended Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Receive 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended
  • Annual fee: $69

Hot Tip: For a head-to-head comparison of Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards, check out the best Chase Southwest credit cards, comparing the benefits and perks of each.

How Much Are Southwest Points Worth

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card ...

The value of Southwest points largely depends on how you redeem them through the Southwest Rapid Rewards program. Redeeming points for Southwest flights has the highest redemption value, which comes at 1.3 cents per mile on average.

For example, a roundtrip flight between the two Southwest hubs Los Angeles and Chicago can cost you as low as 16,500 points or $190 on Wanna Get Away fare. That comes out to 1.1 cents per mile.

How can I earn Rapid Rewards points?

Aside from using a Southwest credit card to make purchases, you can earn Southwest points with the airlines dining and shopping programs, with stays at partner hotels and with car rentals from partner companies.

How to redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points for best value

To find the best deal you have to do the math yourself. Heres how it works:

  • Find the flight on the Southwest website.
  • Find out how many miles you need to redeem.
  • Find out how much the flight costs in cash.
  • Divide the cash amount with the miles: $190/16,500 = 0.011, or 1.1 cents per mile.
  • The higher the number you get, the higher the value for your miles. Check out our full Rapid Rewards redemption guide for more information.

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    Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

    This card is also offering 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

    This is a solid, middle-of-the-road Southwest card that doesnt charge foreign transaction fees and can help you earn tier-qualifying points for A-List status, but keeps the annual fee under $100. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card awards 6,000 bonus points at each account anniversary . Its a very solid choice, especially while it has the same sign-up bonus as the higher annual fee card.

    Does The Southwest Rapids Rewards Priority Credit Card Come With Priority Boarding

    With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, you get four free chances at upgraded boarding per year. In general, Southwest requires you to pay for this upgrade, to the tune of $30, $40, or $50. If you use your four upgrades a year, thats a value of between $120 and $200. You can also get priority boarding if you reach A-List Status using your card.

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    Limited Bonus Categories For Daily Spend

    Many credit cards offer bonus categories for daily spend. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card earns 3X points per dollar spent at restaurants and travel while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2X points per dollar in the same categories. The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards only offer 2X points per dollar on Southwest flights and a few hotel and rental car partners.

    It simply doesnt makes sense to purchase even Southwest tickets using your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. You can earn a flexible currency like Chase Ultimate Rewards points at the same rate when using a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This gives you the option to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account or to another partner such as Hyatt or United Airlines that might be more useful to you for a particular trip.

    Which Southwest Airlines Credit Card Should I Get

    Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card | Should You Get This Travel Rewards Card

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    Choosing a Southwest Airlines credit card can be tricky because differences among the three consumer cards may seem subtle at first glance. But you receive progressively more value from the cards with higher annual fees.

    The trio of cards share a primary perk: free frequent-flyer points posted to your account annually. So the decision comes down to the extra value you get for the $99 annual fee of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card compared with the $69 you’ll pay for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and then whether it’s worth paying $149 to step up to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.

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    Elite Status Needed For Travel Perks

    Under the Rapid Rewards program, you can redeem points for a number of rewards.

    Rapid Rewards is free to join for anyone, even if you dont have a Southwest-branded credit card. You can create an account by providing your general personal information. The process takes a few minutes to complete.

    Points can be redeemed for Southwest flights, international flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, gift cards, merchandise, and experiences.

    For the travel rewards, it ‘s hard to put an accurate value on the Rapid Rewards points. For example, the cost of award flights can vary greatly and so will a number of points required to redeem them.

    For gift cards and merchandise, the value of each point is closer to 1 point per 1 cent.

    For instance, a $100 Southwest gift card requires 10,000 Rapid Rewards points. Occasionally, there are redemption deals where you can redeem a reward with fewer points than usual.

    The Rapid Rewards program has three different status levels: basic, A-List, and A-List Preferred.

    A basic member doesnt have any special benefits other than the ability to save up points. If you want travel privileges when flying with Southwest, youll want to achieve the higher status levels.

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards do not provide any of these perks on their own.

    Southwest Companion Pass: Current Sign

    Until Feb. 11, 2019, however, Chase and Southwest are including the companion pass in the sign-up bonus for the cards, plus 30,000 frequent flyer miles.

    • If you apply for one of the three personal cards and spend $4,000 in the first three months, you will receive a Companion Pass valid until Dec. 31, 2019.
    • That means the Companion Pass is much easier to earn, though it lasts less time than if you earn the pass the traditional way.
    • The offer is open only to people who do not have a Chase Southwest personal credit card.

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    The Southwest Airlines Premier Business Credit Card: A Great Option For The Occasional Southwest User

    The Southwest Premier Business Card is a great option for those travelers who want to take advantage of the cards benefits but only use Southwest as one of many airlines in their travel. The card has fewer benefits, but only comes with a $99 annual fee, so even if you use the card only infrequently, youll still get value out of it.

    • 2X points multiplier on Southwest purchases, as well as Southwest hotel and car rental partner purchases.
    • 6,000 bonus points on your card anniversary. Thats worth $84, so youre almost covering the entire annual fee on the card.
    • No foreign transaction fees. Flying internationally? Use your Southwest Premier Business card for purchases and you wont have to pay a foreign transaction fee.
    • Tier qualifying points. This card will also get you on your way toward Southwest tier status. For every $10,000 points that you spend, youll receive 1,500 tier qualifying points. This card also maxes out at $100,000 in annual spending.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Review

    Why You Should Get Two Southwest Credit Cards

    We publish unbiased product reviews our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card is the least expensive of the three co-branded credit cards offered by the airline, which perennially scores very high in customer satisfaction. With its relatively low $69 annual fee and relatively rich rewards, this might be the best value among the trio of Southwest cards, provided youre comfortable with a card that offers few if any luxury travel benefits.

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    The Southwest Airlines Performance Business Credit Card: Best For The Southwest Airlines Heavy Users

    Do you do all, or almost all, of your travel with Southwest Airlines? If so, the Southwest Performance Credit Card is likely the better option for you. The card offers not only better bonus multipliers for spending but also great inflight benefits. The annual fee is $199 but, for the frequent Southwest Airlines traveler, the perks more than offset the fee.

    • Bonus multipliers on purchases are strong. Although you normally earn 1 point per dollar spent, there are plenty of bonus opportunities in business-friendly categories:
    • 3X points on Southwest purchases, as well as purchases made with Rapid Rewards hotels and car rental partners.
    • 2X points on search engine and social media spending.
    • 2X points on internet, phone and cable purchases
  • An anniversary bonus of 9,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. That bonus is worth $126 at our standard rate of 1.4 cents per point.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement. Dont feel like waiting around at security or immigration? Apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and Chase will reimburse your fee once every four years . Consider that a savings of up to $25 per year.
  • 4 Upgraded boardings per year. Dont feel like being the last to board and ending up with the middle seat in the back row? No problem. Chase will reimburse you for up to 4 upgrading boarding charges per year which, when available, will put you in the A1-A15 boarding group.
  • Four Upgraded Boardings Per Year

    Just for having the Southwest Performance Card, you get four upgraded boardings per anniversary year, when available.

    Youll be reimbursed for the purchase of up to four upgraded boardings in positions A1-15. This can be purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the day of travel. You can use this on four different occasions, or if you prefer you can use them on a single flight .

    It can take up to eight weeks for these to be reimbursed, though typically youll find it posts faster than that. The price of upgraded boardings varies by flight, so its hard to put a dollar value on this benefit.

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    Earning Southwest Companion Pass

    One of the best values in travel is the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, and the welcome bonus on the card gives you a fantastic head start towards that.

    For those of you not familiar with Southwests Companion Pass, it allows someone else to travel with you for the entire year. You still have to pay the taxes on their ticket, but the Companion Pass is valid on both award and revenue tickets. You can change your designated companion three times in a year, so you can potentially even use this for different people. You can even use your Companion Pass to fly Southwest to Hawaii!

    This is an outrageously good deal, and ordinarily requires accruing 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. However, for 2021 Southwest is giving everyone 25,000 qualifying points, meaning you only need 100,000 points to earn a Companion Pass.

    Also note that only certain types of points accrual qualify towards Companion Pass, and points earned with Southwest credit cards are among those.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

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    This card awards 60,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. It also comes with 6,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points awarded after each account anniversary and a $99 annual fee.

    TPG values Southwest Rapid Rewards points valued at 1.5 cents apiece, so by those calculations, 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points are worth $900.

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    Should I Get A Southwest Credit Card

    It depends. If youre itching to take advantage of these Southwest specific perks, or you want help earning a Southwest companion pass, picking up one of these cards could be a good idea. Note entry-level, mid-level and high-end Southwest cards all possess comparable perks and rewards, only slightly differing in a few features like anniversary points and travel credits.

    If youre looking for a card with greater long-term earning potential, youll want to check out one of Chases other cards, particularly the newly updated Freedom cards. The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited® both earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points when you book travel through the Chase travel portal.

    Since you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Airlines at a 1:1 value, youll be earning a much higher rate than the 2x points offered by the Southwest cards. And of course, the Freedom cards earn accelerated points in other categories as well, making them terrifically strong picks.

    Im Going To Sign Up For The Southwest Cards At The End Of The Year

    Once you earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year, your Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it was earned plus the entire following calendar year.

    We recommend applying for the Southwest credit cards near the end of the calendar year, so you can meet minimum spend in January/February of the following year.

    Meeting minimum spending and earning your bonus points in January/February would grant you the companion pass for almost a full 24 months!

    However, its still early in 2018 and applying for two Southwest credit cards to get the Companion Pass for 20 months is still a great deal.

    Waiting to apply for the Southwest cards until the end of the year holds you captive to Chases 5/24 rule for another 9 months. During that time period, you will have to forgo opening personal cards from other banks, which means you could miss out on great bonuses from American Express or Citi.

    I suggest not waiting to get the Companion Pass, as rules are always changing in the points and miles world. In fact, last August, we saw Chase suddenly prohibit customers from holding more than one Sapphire product. This means that those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card arent eligible to open the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Cardthough they can product change to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card.

    Earning the Companion Pass now will allow you to start enjoying the freedom of traveling for free!

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