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Chase and Southwest offer three different personal credit cards, and while the three cards are fairly similar in many respects, there are some key differences that you’ll want to be aware of. Since these cards are under Chase 5/24, it typically makes sense to wait and apply for the cards when they’re at their all-time high  welcome offer. If you are looking to get one of these cards, now could be a good time to apply, especially given the welcome bonuses that we’re currently seeing.

a blue and red airplane flying in the sky

The 3 Southwest Personal Credit Cards

The three Southwest personal credit cards are the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. The three cards share quite a few similarities, including:

  • Identical welcome offers
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on everyday purchases.
  • 25% back on inflight purchases.

However, they also come with a few differences that you’ll want to keep in mind

  • The Plus card earns 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, while the Premier and Priority cards earn 3 points per $1.
  • All three cards give bonus points on your cardmember anniversary, but the amount is different – 3,000 for the Plus, 6,000 for the Premier and 7,500 for the Priority card
  • The Plus and Premier cards give 2 EarlyBird checkins per year, while the Priority gives 4 upgraded boardings per year
  • The Priority also has a $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • The Premier and Priority cards give 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $10,000 spent

And of course, the biggest difference is their annual fees – $69 for the Plus, $99 for the Premier and $149 for the Priority card.

the wing of an airplane

The Southwest Companion Pass

One of the biggest reasons to apply for one of the Southwest credit cards is if you’re going for the Southwest Companion Pass. The Companion Pass requires earning 135,000 Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year. Once you’ve reached that milestone, then a companion will fly free with you for the rest of that year AND the entire next calendar year

(SEE ALSO: How to change your Southwest Companion pass companion)

(SEE ALSO: How to check your Southwest Companion Pass status)

The points from the welcome offer DO count towards the 135,000 points that you need, so this can get you a good chunk of the way towards earning your Southwest Companion Pass. Also, all three personal cards offer a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each year.

Considering Southwest Business Credit Cards

If you’re a business owner, or looking to get additional Rapid Rewards points, you can also consider one of the two Southwest Business credit cards

And remember that you might have a small business (and be eligible for a business credit card), even if you don’t think that you do.

a close-up of a credit card

The Bottom Line – Which Southwest Card Is Best

Which Southwest credit card is best will depend on what your goals are. If you think that you will benefit from the extra perks of the Premier or Priority cards, you can go for those – otherwise, you might be better off with the Plus card and its $69 annual fee. The rules for getting these cards are that you must be under Chase 5/24, and according to Chase, you are only eligible if “you do not have a current Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months”. So you can’t get one of the personal cards if you already have any personal card or have gotten a bonus on any personal Southwest card in the past 24 months. You are able to get a Southwest personal card if you currently have a Southwest business card (and vice versa)

Planning on applying for one of these Southwest credit cards or going for the Companion Pass? Share your plans in the comments below


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