Choosing a new credit card, especially one tied to an airline, requires careful consideration of its benefits and your individual needs. Frequent Southwest Airlines flyers may find a Southwest credit card particularly advantageous. The perks and benefits associated with these cards can lead to significant savings on travel expenses. But is it worth it to get a Southwest credit card?

The answer depends on how often you fly Southwest, your spending patterns, and your desire for travel rewards like free flights and the coveted Companion Pass. 

Let’s go over the particulars to help you evaluate its worth.


What is a Southwest Credit Card?

A Southwest credit card is a special card from Chase, made just for people who love Southwest Airlines. It’s your ticket to earning tons of Rapid Rewards points, the airline’s particular currency for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. The more credit card points you have, the more travel goodies you can get! The magic happens when you use your card for groceries, gas, or online shopping. 

You earn points on everything you buy and even more points when you spend on things like Southwest flights, dinners out, hotel stays, and rental cars. It’s a simple way to turn your daily spending into exciting travel adventures. Before you know it, you’ll have enough points for free flights, hotel nights, and maybe even a sweet rental car for your next getaway. 


How Southwest Credit Cards Work

Using your Southwest credit card for everyday purchases is pretty straightforward. Whether it’s your morning coffee, groceries, or that new gadget you’ve been eyeing and watching, those points add up. It’s like a little reward every time you swipe your card. The more you use your card, the faster those points accumulate, bringing you closer to your next getaway.

But wait, there’s more! Specific spending categories are like the VIP sections of earning premium credit card points. These bonus categories, such as Southwest Airlines purchases, delicious restaurant meals, cosy hotel stays, and convenient car rentals, will supercharge your points earnings. It’s the best of both worlds – treat yourself and rack up those travel rewards even faster!

💡 Related – Rewards Review – Is It as Rewarding as It Seems?


Benefits of Southwest Credit Card

The primary benefit of the Southwest card is its exceptional reward program, designed to help you travel more and spend less. Earn points on everyday spending and even more on travel, turning your purchases into free flights and other rewards. But it doesn’t stop there. It also offers valuable travel protections and perks to enhance your trips.

Here’s why a Southwest card could be rewarding –


  • Generous Points System – Earn substantial points for Southwest purchases like flights, car rentals, and hotel stays. It allows you to rapidly accumulate points, making your dream vacation a reality sooner rather than later. Every dollar spent on Southwest gets you closer to your next free flight or hotel stay.


  • Travel Perks – Access exclusive travel benefits, including lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay insurance. Enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re protected if your luggage is lost or delayed during your journey. These benefits add an extra layer of security and convenience to your travel experience.


  • No Foreign Transaction Fees – Make international purchases without incurring additional fees. It is a fantastic advantage for those who love to explore the world, as it allows you to use your card abroad without worrying about hidden charges. Use your card anywhere and earn points with no surprise fees.


  • Annual Bonuses – Receive anniversary points and potential bonus rewards each year. Celebrate your cardmember anniversary with a gift of bonus points, perfect for treating yourself to a particular trip or upgrade. Depending on the card, you may qualify for additional bonus rewards throughout the year.



Features of Southwest Credit Card

Southwest credit cards have features to enhance your travel experience and maximize your rewards. From earning bonus points on everyday purchases to enjoying perks like priority boarding and free checked bags, these cards offer many benefits for frequent flyers and occasional travellers.

Let’s take a closer look at the standout features –


  • Sign-Up Bonus – New cardholders can enjoy a lucrative initial bonus in points after meeting a minimum spending requirement within the first few months of account opening. This boost can significantly reduce the cost of your upcoming travels. It’s an excellent way to kick-start your journey towards accumulating rewards.


  • Anniversary Points – Enjoy bonus points each year on your card’s anniversary, perfect for flights and other travel expenses. These points ensure that everyday purchases help you inch closer to your next free flight or hotel stay. It’s a reliable benefit that rewards loyal cardholders over time.


  • Tier Qualifying Points – Earn points that count towards A-List and A-List Preferred statuses, offering additional benefits like priority boarding and increased points earnings. Achieving these levels also enhances your overall flying experience with perks like faster check-in and security clearance.


  • Wide Acceptance – Being a Visa card, it works everywhere, giving you the freedom to use it at home or abroad. It is a reliable option for all purchases, earning you points wherever you shop. The universal acceptance ensures you can continue earning rewards no matter where your travels take you.


💁‍♀️ Also read – Luxurious Stays: The World’s Best Hilton Hotels


Southwest Credit Card Options

Southwest offers a variety of credit card options to suit different spending habits and travel goals. From basic cards with lower annual fees to premium cards with more extensive perks, there’s something for everyone. Each card has unique benefits and annual payments, so you can choose the one that best aligns with your travel frequency and spending patterns.


1. For the Occasional Flyer


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)

This card is a great starting point for those who fly Southwest occasionally. It offers a decent welcome bonus, anniversary points, and the opportunity to earn the Companion Pass. Cardholders can enjoy two EarlyBird Check-In passes per year. It also includes travel and purchase protections, making it a valuable option for casual travellers.

Welcome Offer – Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points Earning – 2X points on Southwest® purchases; 1X points on all other purchases

Perks – 3,000-anniversary points each year


2. For the Frequent Flyer


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)

This card is ideal for those who fly Southwest more frequently. It offers a higher welcome bonus, anniversary points, and travel perks like priority boarding and free checked bags. Cardholders also benefit from no foreign transaction fees. Plus, it provides access to upgraded boarding options, enhancing the travel experience.

Welcome Offer – Earn 50,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, plus earn an additional 6,000 points after your Cardmember anniversary.

Points Earning – 2X points on Southwest® purchases; 1X points on all other purchases

Perks – 6,000-anniversary points each year; 2 free checked bags per year


3. For Business Owners


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card ($199 annual fee)

It is the top-tier card for Southwest loyalists. It comes with the highest welcome bonus, the most anniversary points, and even more travel perks like a $75 annual Southwest travel credit and 4 upgraded boardings per year. Business owners can also benefit from employee cards at no additional cost. The card includes advanced expense management tools.

Welcome Offer Earn 80,000 Bonus Points with $5,000 Spend in 3 Months.

Points Earning

  • The points earn 4X points on purchases made directly with Southwest Airlines.
  • Earn 3X Points with Rapid Rewards Partners.
  • The points earn 2X on Transit, Rideshares, Ads, and Services
  • Earn 1X points on all other purchases.


Perks – 9,000-anniversary points each year; 4 upgraded boardings per year when available; Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® fee credit (up to $100); 365 Inflight WiFi credits per year


Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card ($99 annual fee) 

This card offers a lower annual fee than the Performance Business card but still has a solid welcome bonus, anniversary points, and business-related perks. Cardholders receive travel and purchase protections. It provides access to employee cards and tools to simplify expense management.

Welcome Offer – Earn 60,000 Bonus Points with $3,000 Spend in 3 Months.

Points Earning

  • 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • 2X on Rapid Rewards hotel, car rental partner purchases, local transit, and commuting, including rideshare.
  • 1X points on all other purchases.



  • 6,000-anniversary points each year
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® benefits per year
  • Earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List and A-List Preferred Status for every $10,000 you spend.


Choosing the right Southwest credit card is a personal decision. Consider travel frequency, spending, and perks to find the best card. Apply for your credit card here.


What is the Southwest Credit Card Limits?

Southwest credit cards come with various limits and requirements that potential cardholders should consider. These limits can impact how you earn and redeem points and your overall card benefits. Understanding these limitations can help maximize the card’s rewards and avoid unexpected costs. Evaluating these factors is essential based on your travel and spending habits.

Here are some fundamental limits to keep in mind –


Limit Type Details
Annual Fee $69 to $149
Sign-Up Bonus Requirements $1,000 to $5,000 within the first three months
Points Earning Caps Bonus categories may have specific earning limits or restrictions
Foreign Transaction Fees Some cards have no fees; others may charge up to 3%
Credit Limit Varies by creditworthiness, generally starting around $2,000
Companion Pass Requirement Requires 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year
Anniversary Points Varies by card, awarded annually
Balance Transfer Limits Limited to your credit limit on the Southwest card


These constraints are crucial in determining if a Southwest card suits your needs and maximizing its benefits.


Strive for the Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most sought-after airline perks. With this benefit, your designated companion can fly for free with you on any Southwest flight; you only need to cover the taxes and fees, starting at $5.60 each way. It applies to both paid and reward flights. You can change your designated companion up to three times per year.

Apart from passes obtained through limited-time welcome bonus offers, points from new card welcome bonuses and all Southwest credit card spending contribute towards earning the Companion Pass, which typically requires 135,000 points. Many savvy flyers achieve this target through a sign-up bonus, regular expenditures, and a few paid flights.

Southwest Credit Card

Recommended read – A Comprehensive Guide to Flying Business Class for the First Time


Working Towards A-List Status

Achieving A-List status with Southwest Airlines has a range of perks that can enhance your travel experience. It provides priority boarding, allowing you to secure your preferred seat. You benefit from free same-day standby, offering flexibility for last-minute travel changes. With priority check-in and security lane access, you save time and avoid long lines.

Here’s what you need to know about working towards this elite status –


1. A-List Status Requirements

  • Flights – 25 one-way qualifying flights per year
  • Points – 35,000 tier qualifying points per year


2. Benefits of A-List Status

  • Priority Boarding – Board earlier with priority boarding.
  • Free Same-Day Standby – Change flights on the same day without extra fees.
  • Priority Check-In and Security Lane Access – Faster check-in and security.
  • Dedicated A-List Phone Line – Quicker customer service support.
  • 25% Earning Bonus: Earn bonus Rapid Rewards points on eligible flights.


3. Steps to Achieve A-List Status

  • Fly Frequently – Complete 25 one-way qualifying flights annually.
  • Maximize Points – Earn 35,000 tier qualifying points through flights and other activities.
  • Use Your Southwest Credit Card – Gain additional points from everyday purchases.
  • Monitor Your Progress – Track your flights and points to stay on course.


Here is the status types overview –


Status Type Requirements Benefits
A-List Status 25 one-way qualifying flights or 35,000 qualifying points Priority boarding, free same-day standby, priority check-in, 25% points bonus
A-List Preferred 50 one-way qualifying flights or 70,000 qualifying points All A-List benefits plus a 100% points bonus and free in-flight Wi-Fi


Achieving A-List status makes travel more convenient and provides a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. By flying frequently, maximizing your point earnings, and leveraging your Southwest credit card, you can reach this elite status and enjoy all the associated perks.


Estimate Your Annual Spending in Bonus Categories

To maximize the benefits of your Southwest credit card, estimating your annual spending in bonus categories is crucial. Start by evaluating your expenses on Southwest Airlines, including flights and related purchases, as these often earn the highest points. Next, consider your spending on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, which typically earn bonus points.

Remember local transit and commuting costs, including rideshares like Poparide and more, as well as expenditures on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services. By understanding your spending patterns, you can use your card to maximize point earnings and work towards valuable rewards like the Companion Pass and A-List status.


Closing Remarks

If you’re a regular Southwest flyer, their credit card might be a smart move for you. It’s a great way to rack up Rapid Rewards points, earn that coveted Companion Pass, and enjoy some nice travel perks. It’s about weighing the benefits against the costs. Consider how often you fly Southwest and how you typically use your credit cards to see if they fit you well. 

These things will help you determine if a Southwest credit is the way to go.


If you want to choose a Southwest credit card but have yet to decide which one is right for you, we can help you choose the one that’s right for you and meets your travel needs! 🎫

Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with us, and be sure to fill out our quick form to get started.



Affiliate Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission at no additional cost if you purchase them. Please be assured that we only recommend products and services that meet our quality standards.



newsletter asset

Sign up for our daily newsletter

We bring the right people together to challenge established thinking and drive transformation. We will show the way to successive.