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If you’ve been considering applying for a Southwest Airlines personal co-branded credit card, now could be a rewarding time to act.
Southwest’s three personal co-branded credit cards — the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee), Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee) and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee) — have temporarily boosted sign-up bonuses for new card members.
Each card now offers 65,000 Rapid Rewards® points when you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months after your account opens. These offers are available until July 14, 2021.
Before this update, these three Southwest credit cards each offered 40,000 points when you spent $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening, plus three points per $1 spent on dining purchases in the first year.
Read on for more details on the offers, plus our take on who’s likely to benefit from these bonuses.
Are the updated Southwest sign-up bonuses worth it?
If you’ve been interested in one of Southwest’s personal credit cards, the updated sign-up bonus offer might be an opportunity to get quality value for your spending.
Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.53 points each, according to Credit Karma’s point valuations, which means that the full 65,000-point offer could be worth nearly $1,000 in Southwest airfare redemptions. That’s a lucrative sign-up bonus offer.
While the 40,000 points and bonus rewards rate on dining purchases also offered a strong value at a lower spending requirement, it lacked the certainty of this updated offer. For comparison, it would have taken more than $8,300 of spending on dining in your first year of card membership to match the extra 25,000 points you can earn from this updated offer.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the points you earn from the sign-up bonus count toward earning Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass benefit. This perk allows qualifying Rapid Rewards members to designate one person to fly with them free of ticket charges (but including taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) for the calendar year in which the status is earned and the full following calendar year.
Typically, earning the Companion Pass requires compiling 125,000 Rapid Rewards points or 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year. So the 65,000 points available from the sign-up bonus offer would cover more than half of the points requirement to earn the benefit.
You can learn more about Companion Pass in our guide to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program.
Is a Southwest Airlines credit card right for you?
If these Southwest credit cards haven’t been on your radar, we advise doing more research before you jump on the new sign-up bonus offer. Even if you fly with Southwest regularly, there’s no guarantee that one or all of these cards would be worth the annual fee for you.
While the sign-up bonuses on these cards might be attractive, it’s important to consider travel credit cards in terms of their long-term value and perks, too.
For instance, you might not be able to earn many bonus points outside of the introductory bonuses — each Southwest card offers two points per $1 on purchases with the airline and its hotel and car rental partners, but just one point per $1 on all other purchases. And while each card offers bonus points on your cardmember anniversary, you might not get all the perks you’re looking for from an airline credit card.
Check out our reviews of each card to see if one might be right for you. If not, you might want to look into a more flexible travel card that allows you to transfer points to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account at a 1:1 ratio.