Brand New: Biggest Ever Southwest Airlines Credit Card Bonus

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New Southwest 75000 point initial offers have just been launched. They’re the biggest initial bonus offers for Southwest Airlines personal credit card offers there have ever been. I certainly don’t expect the offers to stay this high, though I do not know how long they will last.

Southwest 75000 Point Offers Available On All 3 Personal Cards

Southwest Airlines has (3) different co-brand personal credit cards. That’s probably too many. There may not be enough differentiation between the $69 and $99 annual fee cards. As a Southwest flyer I love the benefits of the premium $149 card.

Regardless there are now three Southwest 75000 point initial bonus offers.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

    This card has an offer to earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

    Ongoing spend will earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. (1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.)

    You earn 3,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, a nice incentive to keep the card. At $69 this is the lowest annual fee card of the three.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

    This card has an offer to earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

    Ongoing spend will earn is 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. (1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.)

    You earn 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, a nice incentive to keep the $99 annual fee card.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card This is the premium Southwest Airlines co-brand card really designed for folks who fly Southwest.

    The card’s initial bonus lets you earn up to 75,000 points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

    Ongoing spend will earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. (1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.)

    This $149 annual fee card provides a $75 travel credit with the airline each year; 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies; and four upgraded boardings per year when available (when A1-15 boarding positions are offered at the gate, buy it and you’ll receive a statement credit for the charge).

    You also receive 7500 points after your cardmember anniversary. Between those points and the travel credit you’re getting more than the annual fee in value, even without the upgraded boardings.

The Value Of 75,000 Rapid Rewards Points

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points buy about 1.5 cents apiece in travel. 75,000 points buy ~ $1125 in travel, which makes this one of the most lucrative bonus offers in the market.

The biggest reason to spend money on a Southwest Airlines credit card is that the points – as well as the points from this initial bonus offer – count towards the airline’s Companion Pass. If you earn 125,000 eligible points in a calendar year you can designate a person to travel with you for just the cost of taxes whenever you travel on Southwest, whether you’re using a paid ticket or an award.

When you spend to meet the initial bonus offer on the card and earn the bonus you’ll have a minimum of 80,000 points. That’s nearly two-thirds of the way to a Companion Pass. Right now is the perfect time to earn one since it’s early in 2020. That’s because a Companion Pass is valid for the rest of the year when you earn it and the full next year. Additional spend, flights, and even hotels booked through their portal counts towards the total. I will earn my Companion Pass before the end of the month.

If you earn a Companion Pass, take someone with you whenever you fly on points, and you’re effectively doubling the value of the points – Southwest 75000 points become worth ~ $2250 in travel.

What I like about Southwest is that they have no change fees, you can use your points even to make a speculative booking. It’s always great to have Southwest points around, even if you book mostly international award tickets. You might need a domestic flight to get to the city your international award ticket leaves from.

Or book the Southwest flight, and if award availability opens up to include a domestic flight on your other ticket, great, there’s no change fees. Southwest points are great insurance. They don’t have other fees either like checked bag fees or change fees. And at the end of the day you can also redeem your points for gift cards and still get strong value.

How This Compares To Past Bonuses

I’ve never seen a bigger bonus for a Southwest Airlines rewards card. The usual ‘big’ offer for a Southwest Airlines credit card is 60,000 points. This is 25% above the limited-time special offers I’ve usually seen, and it’s nearly double the recent 40,000 point offer.

The new small business card had an 80,000 point offer when it first came out, although of course that’s gone and the bonus on all of their personal cards is now even larger than for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

A year ago Southwest offered a companion pass as part of its initial bonus offer. However the companion pass was valid only for 2019. If you earn a companion pass now it’s valid for the rest of 2020 and all of 2021. And of course a big points bonus that helps you earn the companion pass is more valuable than just the companion pass – because then you have the points to spend on travel. And the companion pass is valid on award travel.

southwest airlines 737

Which Card Should You Get?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has the lowest annual fee. All 3 cards have the same initial bonus offers. If your key interest is that bonus, this one has the lowest cost.

If you’re using the points, traveling on Southwest, going for a Companion Pass I think the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card represents the best overall value. This is a $149 annual fee card that gives you a $75 Southwest travel credit and 7500 additional points at cardmember anniversary — each of which give you value worth at least half the fee.

2Then you get 4 upgraded boardings per year – A1-15 boarding, which you purchase at the gate and get statement credit back for and 20% back on Southwest inflight purchases like inflight cocktails and internet.

get southwest 75000 points - and A1-15 boarding
A1-15 Boarding

Chase’s 5/24 limits apply to these cards (have fewer than 5 new cards in the past 24 months in order to be eligible). But if that’s you, Southwest 75000 point offers haven’t been around before, this is as good as Southwest card offers get.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Doesn’t Chase have a 1/24 rule? So anyone who received a Southwest card signup bonus would not be eligible to get another one for 2 years?

    Also does the 1/30 rule apply to business cards? If so you may have to wait 30 days between applying for the personal card and business card (assuming you want an easy path to the companion pass)

  2. Am my wife (under 5/24) gets the card and earns the companion pass, and I then use my stash of miles to book a flight for her, do I fly free as her companion? Obviously on a paid ticket that’s the case, but not sure if there is a requirement on an award ticket that the miles come from the companion pass holder.

  3. @ Hepworth: yes. There is no requirement that the points come from the CP holder. Have done this myself.

  4. https://www.referyourchasecard.com/m/226f/6L5/G4R6/1568349725

    Who doesn’t want 75,000 Southwest points? This link will be good for the Plus, Premier and Priority card.

    It’s important to note that you can only apply and be approved for one of those cards (i.e. do not try to get both the plus and priority cards, for example).

    Also, what’s great about Southwest points is that you can book a bunch of flights (say you want to go to Nashville for chicken this weekend) and change your mind a few minutes before the flight and cancel for a full refund!

    https://www.referyourchasecard.com/m/226f/6L5/G4R6/1568349725

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