Can You Earn 50,000 Southwest Points Upgrading From the Plus to Premier Card?

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader, Mike commented:

I currently have a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.  Are there benefits to upgrading to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card?  

Would I be eligible for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus if I already have the Southwest Plus card?

Thanks for your questions, Mike!

There are a couple of extra perks you’ll get with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card.  You’ll pay no foreign transaction fees and earn an extra 3,000 Southwest points on your card anniversary date.  But, the Premier card has a $99 annual fee compared to $69 for the Plus card.

And you will NOT be able to earn the 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonus by upgrading.

By upgrading, you’ll also have a new account on your credit report that could make it harder to get more Chase cards in the future.

Can You Earn 50,000 Southwest Points Upgrading From The Plus To Premier Card
Upgrading to the Southwest Premier Card Will NOT Earn You the 50,000 Southwest Point Sign-Up Bonus. Instead, You Can Apply Separately and Make It Easier to Get the Southwest Companion Pass!

I’ll explain why you might want to consider getting both Southwest cards!

3 Extra Perks With Southwest Premier Card

Link:   Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier

You can earn 50,000 Southwest points from the Southwest Premier card when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  But, you’ll only earn the sign-up bonus if you submit a new application for the card.  You can NOT earn the sign-up bonus by asking Chase to upgrade an existing Southwest Plus card.

The Southwest Plus and Premier cards both earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest, hotel partners, car rental partners, and points purchases.  And 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

The Premier card has 3 extra benefits compared to the Plus card including:

  • 1,500 A-List qualifying points (up to 15,000 per year) for every $10,000 you spend
  • 6,000 Southwest points on card anniversary date instead of 3,000 Southwest points on Plus card
  • No foreign transaction fees

For these extra perks, you’ll pay a higher annual fee.  The annual fee is $99 for the Premier card and $69 for the Plus card.  Neither fee is waived the first year.

Unless you’re a big spender or spend a lot of money on foreign transaction fees, it’s probably not worth converting your Plus card to Premier.  Because you won’t get the 50,000 point sign-up bonus and you’ll be paying a higher annual fee.

Instead, you could apply separately to get both cards and earn 2 sign-up bonuses!

Use 2 Southwest Sign-Up Bonuses Towards Companion Pass

Link:   Chase Southwest Plus

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier

Link:   How to Fly (Almost) Free for 2 Years on Southwest!

You need to earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to get the Southwest Companion Pass.

Assuming Mike got 50,000 Southwest points from the Southwest Plus card earlier this year, he could apply separately for the Southwest Premier card.  After completing the minimum spending, he’ll earn 50,000 Southwest points that will put him just within reach of earning the Companion Pass.

Can You Earn 50,000 Southwest Points Upgrading From The Plus To Premier Card
Earning Two 50,000 Southwest Point Sign-Up Bonuses Puts the Companion Pass Just Within Reach!

And there are lots of ways to earn the remaining points for the Companion Pass!  Just make sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes.

If Mike earns the Companion Pass in 2016, it will be valid through December 31, 2017.  A companion he chooses will fly with him for almost free (just the cost of taxes and fees) on both paid and award tickets.

This can save Mike thousands of dollars on flights, especially if he lives near a busy Southwest airport.  That’s why I think it’s the best deal in travel!

Things to Consider Before Applying

If Mike wants to apply for the Premier card, he should remember that Chase has been tightening their credit card application policies.

If Mike has opened ~5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely he’ll get approved for the Premier card.  Remember, many small business cards will NOT appear on your personal credit report.  So they won’t count toward the 5 card limit!

Can You Earn 50,000 Southwest Points Upgrading From The Plus To Premier Card
Before Applying for the Southwest Premier Card, Consider If You’ve Had 5 or More Credit Cards From Any Bank in the Past 24 Months. If So, It’s Unlikely Chase Will Approve You for a New Account.

Also, Chase might ask Mike why he needs 2 personal Southwest credit cards.  Some folks like to use separate cards for different expenses.  For example, Mike might use the Premier card overseas because there are no foreign transaction fees.

Because Mike already has the Plus card, this might not be an issue.  But, my friend applied for the Plus and Premier card on the same day and was only approved for one card.  Chase told him they would not approve 2 card applications submitted on the same day.

The good news is that Mike can earn the bonus from both cards because the Plus and Premier are different card products.

Bottom Line

There are a few extra benefits with the Premier card like no foreign transaction fees, extra Southwest bonus points, and A-List qualifying points.  But you can NOT earn 50,000 Southwest points by upgrading the Southwest Plus card to the Premier card.

Instead of upgrading, I’d recommend applying separately for the Southwest Premier card.  Because you’ll earn 50,000 Southwest points after meeting minimum spending requirements that count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which is the top deal in travel!

Before you apply, consider Chase’s tougher application rules.

Which Southwest card do you keep in your wallet?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Comments are closed.