Southwest Credit Cards: Which One Is Best For You?

Anyone loyal to Southwest Airlines will want to consider applying for one of Chase's co-branded Southwest credit cards. These cards offer great Southwest perks and benefits; plus, if you rack up 135,000 points, you can earn a Companion Pass®. A Companion Pass® allows a guest to fly with you for the cost of taxes and fees (as low as $5.60 per flight) every time you fly. The question is, which Southwest credit card should you go for?

Card Type of CardWelcome BonusAnnual Fee
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card 

PersonalLimited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
 $69
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card 

Personal Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$149
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card 

Personal  Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$99
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card 

BusinessEarn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$199
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit CardBusinessEarn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
$99

Southwest Consumer Credit Cards

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Best for a low annual fee

For a reasonable annual fee, you'll be well on your way to earning a Companion Pass® with Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. You'll get an additional 3,000 points on your cardmember anniversary, plus a 10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points boost each year. If you only fly Southwest once in a while and just want a few perks, this card is a good choice. This is the only Southwest card to charge foreign transaction fees, so if you travel internationally, a different Southwest card would be a better fit.

Rewards:  

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
2x points
Hotels
Earn 2x on Rapid Rewards hotel partners.
2x points
Rental Cars
Earn 2x on Rapid Rewards car rental partners.
2x points
Southwest Purchases
Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
2x points
Streaming services
Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
2x points
Transit
Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.

Welcome Bonus:  Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee: $69

Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved02/11/2022
715
Not Provided
$20,000
Approved08/06/2022
680
Experian
$9,600
Approved05/22/2022
802
Experian
$12,800
Approved02/24/2022
760
Equifax
$10,700

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card 

Best Southwest Credit Card overall

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card gets our vote for the best Southwest card overall. It appeals to Southwest loyalists, even people who only fly Southwest a few times a year. You get a $75 travel credit, which effectively cuts the annual fee in half, plus you get 7,500 anniversary points each year. Your first two bags are always free on Southwest, but this card gets you four upgraded boardings a year (when available) and 25% off inflight purchases. Southwest doesn't have airport lounges, so if that's important to you, you'll have to fly a different airline.

Rewards:  

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1x point for each $1 spent on all other purchases.
2x points
Streaming services
Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
2x points
Transit
Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
3x points
Southwest Purchases
Earn 3X points on Southwest(R) purchases.

Welcome Bonus: Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee: $149

Foreign Transaction Fee: $0

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved02/24/2022
781
Not Provided
---
Approved03/20/2020
715
Equifax
---
Denied03/16/2022
701
Experian
---

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card 

Best mid-tier Southwest card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is between the Priority and the Plus. You get 6,000 anniversary points a year, plus a 10,000 Companion Pass® points boost. The spend to earn the welcome bonus is modest and achievable for most people. And you get two Early Bird Check-In® a year as well. And you get a one-year complimentary membership to DashPass, which gets you free delivery on eligible DoorDash orders.

Rewards:

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1x point on everyday purchases.
2x points
Streaming services
Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
2x points
Transit
Earn 2x points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
3x points
Southwest Purchases
Earn 3x points on Southwest® purchases.

Welcome Bonus: Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee: $99

Foreign Transaction Fee: $0

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved08/06/2022
680
Experian
$9,600

Southwest Business Credit Cards

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card 

Best for Business Owners

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is a great card for business owners who prefer to fly Southwest. You get a great welcome bonus and 9,000 points on your cardmember anniversary, plus rewards that business owners spend money on, like social media and search engine advertising.  And you get a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck or NEXUS credit every four years.

Rewards:

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases made with your card.
2x points
Select Categories
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising.
2x points
Streaming services
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming.
2x points
Transit
Earn 2 points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting purchases, including rideshare, passenger trains, buses, taxis, tolls, and parking lots and garages.
3x points
Hotels
Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards hotel partners.
3x points
Rental Cars
Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards car rental partners.
4x points
Southwest Purchases
Earn 4X pts on Southwest® purchases.

Welcome Bonus: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee: $199

Foreign Transaction Fee: $0


Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Best for Business Owners on a Budget

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a great card if you only fly Southwest once or twice a year and don't want to spring for the annual fee of the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. You get 6,000 anniversary points each year, two Early Bird Check-In® and 25% off inflight purchases. Two checked bags are always free on Southwest.

Rewards:

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everyday purchases.
2x points
Hotels
Earn 2x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel partners.
2x points
Rental Cars
Earn 2x points on Rapid Rewards® car rental partners.
2x points
Transit
Earn 2x points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services.
3x points
Southwest Purchases
Earn 3x points on Southwest Airlines® purchases.

Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Annual Fee: $99

Foreign Transaction Fee: $0


Final Thoughts

Southwest Airlines is a great airline, and Chase offers five co-branded Southwest cards to choose from, both personal and business. Generous welcome bonuses can help you earn a coveted Companion Pass®, which is like a buy one, get one free deal. If you are not a huge Southwest fan, consider a more general rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Happy Travels!