Still on the Fence About the Southwest Chase Credit Card Offers? Here’s How to Decide Which Is Best for You
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If you haven’t jumped on the unprecedented personal Southwest Chase credit card limited-time offers yet, you’ve only got a few days left to do so, because they end February 11, 2019.
Tons of folks have opened a card, including team member Keith and myself, because they earn the Southwest Companion Pass AND 30,000 Southwest points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
You can only have one personal Chase Southwest card at a time, though, so if you’re still trying to decide which is best for you, I’ll run through what you should consider before you apply.
Here’s what to know before you pull the trigger on a Southwest Chase credit card.
Which Southwest Chase Credit Card Offer Is Best for You?
Each personal Southwest Chase credit card has the same welcome bonus until February 11, 2019. You’ll earn the Southwest Companion Pass AND 30,000 Southwest points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Earning the Southwest Companion Pass (the best deal in travel) from one credit card is amazing. With the Southwest Companion Pass, your designated friend or family member will fly with you for just the cost of taxes and fees (~$6 each way on domestic flights) on both paid and award tickets.
This Southwest Companion Pass is promotional so expires December 31, 2019. But if you apply and get the minimum spending on your new Southwest card done quickly, you can earn ~9 months of nearly 2-for-1 travel – an unlimited number of times. I’m working on the minimum spend on my new Chase Southwest Priority card as we speak!
The right card for you depends on a few factors, including:
- If you buy paid tickets or enjoy perks like Early Boarding on Southwest
- Whether or not you’ll use the card overseas
- How important an account anniversary bonus is to you
Here’s a summary of the main differences between the cards.
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Important: All of the Southwest cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, which means if you’ve opened 5+ cards (from any bank, excluding certain business cards) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved.
1. Here’s Who Should Consider the Southwest Priority Card
Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the one I applied for. Originally, I’d been considering the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, because it has the lowest annual fee, but decided on the Priority instead (you can read more about why here).
Essentially, the $149 annual fee is negated by:
- Up to $75 in statement credits for eligible Southwest purchases each account anniversary year
- 4 upgraded boardings (position A1 to A15) each account anniversary year (worth $30, $40, or $50 each, depending on the flight)
- 20% back on Southwest inflight purchases
- 7,500 Southwest points on your account anniversary (worth ~$113 in Southwest flights)
- 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases up to $100,000 in purchases annually (which equal 15,000 TQPs)
Plus, the card comes with no foreign transaction fees.
You should consider the Southwest Priority card if you’ll:
- Use it overseas
- Pay for Southwest flights to use the $75 credit for Southwest purchases (inflight purchases and Early Boarding excluded)
- Travel with a group, or like having your choice of seats where early boarding would be a huge plus
- Make use of the nice chunk of points on your account anniversary
- Try to qualify for Southwest elite status and need extra tier qualifying points to give you a boost
2. Here’s Who Should Consider the Southwest Premier Card
Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
With an annual fee of $99, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is the middle-of-the-road for folks considering one of the Southwest Chase credit card offers.
It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of the Southwest Priority Card, but you will get:
- No foreign transaction fees
- 6,000 Southwest points on your account anniversary (worth ~$90 in Southwest flights)
The points you earn on your account anniversary can nearly zero out the annual fee ($99 annual fee – points worth ~$90 in Southwest flights)
You should consider the Southwest Premier card if you:
- Will use the card overseas
- Don’t pay for flights on Southwest or value Early Boarding
- Can make use of the anniversary points year after year
3. Here’s Who Should Consider the Southwest Plus Card
Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has the lowest annual fee of the 3 cards at just $69 per year, but it also comes with the fewest benefits.
You will pay foreign transaction fees with the card, so it’s not good for using abroad. And you’ll only get 3,000 Southwest points on your account anniversary (worth ~$45 in Southwest flights).
While the account anniversary points will knock out much of the annual fee cost, your net cost for keeping the Southwest Plus card year after year will actually be more than if you held on to the Southwest Priority Card (perks can be worth much more than the annual fee) or Southwest Premier card (anniversary points reduce the net annual fee cost to ~$9).
You should consider the Southwest Plus card if you:
- Won’t use the card for foreign purchases
- Don’t pay for Southwest flights or care about perks like Early Boarding
- Want the lowest annual fee cost regardless of other perks
Personally, I think the other 2 cards are a better bet for most folks. But if you just want to get in on the best deal in travel for the lowest annual fee at the outset, the Southwest Plus is your card.
All 3 of the limited-time Southwest Chase credit card offers come with an identical (and extremely valuable) welcome bonus. With each card, you’ll earn the Southwest Companion Pass AND 30,000 Southwest points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Each has a different set of benefits and annual fee. Here’s a summary of what to consider before you decide which card is best for your wallet:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card – $149 annual fee – best if you pay for Southwest tickets, like Early Boarding, are trying for elite status, value perks like 20% off inflight purchases, or will use the card overseas
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card – $99 annual fee – best if you don’t pay for Southwest tickets or like extra perks, but will use the card internationally
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card – $69 annual fee – best if you won’t use the card abroad, don’t pay for Southwest tickets or care about extra perks, and just want to get in on the best deal in travel for the lowest annual fee
Remember, these offers end February 11, 2019, so there are just a few days left to apply. Are you getting in on the deal?
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