Update: This limited time offer will end at about 4:59pm EST today!
Southwest has lowered the requirements to earn a 2021 companion pass valid through 12/31/22. You can apply for a card now and earn a companion pass valid for nearly 2 years!
Additionally, there are DDF reports of getting approved for multiple Southwest consumer cards at the same time. Post your results in the comments!
Table of Contents
Limited time card signup bonuses:
For a limited time only, you can earn a higher signup bonus on Southwest cards. Note that you can only have one open Southwest consumer card at a time, but you can have each of the business cards open at the same time.
- The Chase Southwest Consumer Priority card has a signup bonus of 50K Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months plus another 30K bonus points for spending another $8,000 in 9 months. Earn 5 points per dollar on up to $2,000 of monthly Southwest purchases from 12/1/20-3/31/21.
- The card offers some amazing benefits for Southwest loyalists including 4 annual A1-A15 boarding upgrade certificates, $75 in annual Southwest travel credit, 7.5K Southwest points upon every card anniversary, 20% off in-flight purchases, and the ability to earn tier points towards A-List status. $149 annual fee.
- The Chase Southwest Consumer Premier card has a signup bonus of 50K Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months plus another 30K bonus points for spending another $8,000 in 9 months. Earn 5 points per dollar on up to $2,000 of monthly Southwest purchases from 12/1/20-3/31/21
- The Chase Southwest Consumer Plus card has a signup bonus of 50K Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months plus another 30K bonus points for spending another $8,000 in 9 months. Earn 5 points per dollar on up to $2,000 of monthly Southwest purchases from 12/1/20-3/31/21
- The Chase Ink Cash business card has a signup bonus of 75K Ultimate Rewards points for spending $7,500 in 3 months.
- You can earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent by buying Southwest gift cards on Staples.com or at an office supply store.
- The Chase Southwest Performance Business Credit Card has a signup bonus of 70K Southwest points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. Plus you will earn an additional 30K bonus Southwest points when you spend an additional $20,000 in 6 months.
- The card offers some amazing benefits for Southwest loyalists including 4 annual A1-A15 boarding upgrade certificates, 9K Southwest points upon every card anniversary, 365 free Wi-Fi passes annually, 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest, Global Entry/Pre-Check, and the ability to earn tier points towards A-List status. $199 annual fee.
- The Chase Southwest Business Premier card has a signup bonus of 60K Southwest points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
- The card offers 6,000 points every card anniversary, and has no foreign transaction fees. $99 annual fee.
|Card||Southwest Consumer Priority||Southwest Consumer Plus||Southwest Consumer Premier||Southwest Business Premier||Southwest Performance Business||Chase Ink Cash Business|
|Signup bonus||75K bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.||75K bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.||75K bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.||60K Southwest points for spending $3K in 3 months||80K Southwest points for spending $5K in 3 months.||75K Chase points for spending $7.5K in 3 months|
|Anniversary Bonus||7.5K Southwest points||3K Southwest points||6K Southwest points||6K Southwest points||9K Southwest points||None|
|Annual Southwest travel credit||$75||None||None||None||None||None|
|Annual Southwest A1-A15 boarding upgrade certificates||4||None||None||None||4||None|
|Annual Southwest EarlyBird Checkins||None||2||2||2||None||None|
|Points per dollar spent on Southwest||3||2||3||3||4||5 if you buy Southwest gift cards on Staples.com or in office supply stores|
|Points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising||1||1||1||1||2||1|
|Points per dollar spent on Internet, Cable, and Phones||2||2||2||1||2||5|
|Fee credit for transferred points||None||None||None||$500 per cardmembership year||$500 per cardmembership year||None|
|Points per dollar spent on select streaming||2||2||2||1||1||5 if you buy gift cards on Staples.com or in office supply stores|
|Points per dollar spent on local transit and commuting, and rideshare||2||2||2||2||2||5 if you buy gift cards on Staples.com or in office supply stores|
|Points per dollar spend elsewhere||1||1||1||1||1||5 on telecom, office supplies, and gift cards from office supply stores, 2 on gas and dining, 1 elsewhere|
|Credit for Southwest in-flight WiFi||25% cash back||25% cash back||25% cash back||25% cash back||Full credit, up to 365 times per year||None|
|Credit for Southwest in-flight drinks||25% cash back||25% cash back||25% cash back||25% cash back||None||None|
|Credit for Global Entry/Pre-Check||None||None||None||None||Full credit every 4 years||None|
|Points count towards companion pass||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Foreign transaction fees||0%||3%||0%||0%||0%||3%|
|Tier qualifying points towards A-list Status||1.5K tier points for every $10K spent||None||1.5K tier points for every $10K spent||1.5K tier points for every $10K spent||1.5K tier points for every $10K spent||None|
|Visa Savings Edge cash back||None||None||None||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Welcome bonus terms:
You can only have one active Southwest consumer card, but you can have each of the Southwest business cards.
Consumer cards: You can get the bonus as long as you don’t have an active Southwest consumer card and haven’t received a Southwest consumer card bonus in the past 24 months.
Business cards: You can get the bonus as long as you don’t have the exact same business card active and you haven’t received a bonus on the exact same business card in the past 24 months.
All Chase cards appear are subject to 5/24 restrictions, meaning that you are not likely to be approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Note that the Chase system automatically counts cards like authorized user cards and store cards as cards that count towards 5/24, but if you explain to Chase that those cards are merely authorized user cards or store cards they can manually approve you for a new card.
The business cards won’t add to your count of 5/24 counts.
You can check your credit report for free at the federally authorized annualcreditreport.com to check how many accounts are shows as being open in the past 24 months.
Value of Southwest points:
The value of Southwest points is variable based on the paid fare.
For example a nonstop flight from LaGuardia to Chicago on 3/16 costs $55.98 or 3,018 points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.67 cents per point.
A nonstop flight from LaGuardia to Orlando, Tampa, or Dallas on 3/16 costs $48.98 or 2,510 points+$5.60. That’s a value of 1.73 cents per point.
If you’ll redeem points for an average of 1.6 cents each, that makes an 80K signup bonus worth $1,280. If you qualify for a companion pass that number can double to a whopping $2,560 signup bonus.
Plus each Southwest cards comes with anniversary bonus points!
Annual travel credit:
If you have the Southwest Consumer Priority card you’ll get reimbursed for $75 in annual spending on Southwest flights!
Upgraded boarding certificates:
If you have the Southwest Consumer Priority Card or the Southwest Performance Business Card you’ll get reimbursed for 4 annual purchases of upgraded A1-A15 boarding positions so that you can get some of the best seats on the plane. Upgraded boardings may be purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the day of travel. These cost $30-$50, so this is a benefit worth up to $200 per year.
20% cash back on in-flight purchases:
If you have the Southwest Consumer Priority Card you’ll get 20% cash back on top of points for purchases of drinks and Wi-Fi on Southwest flights!
Inflight WiFi Credit:
If you have the Southwest Performance Business Card you’ll receive a statement credit equal to $8 Southwest WiFi charge on up to 365 charges per year! That will let you connect all of your family’s devices when you fly Southwest so that you can save a bundle!
Global Entry/Pre-Check credit:
If you have the Southwest Performance Business Card you’ll get reimbursed for Global Entry/Pre-Check Membership. You can get reimbursed for those fees ($85 for Pre-Check or $100 for Global Entry and Pre-Check) every 4 years. Membership lasts for 5 years, so you will be able to renew before your membership lapses. Global Entry/Pre-Check make flying so much easier and its great to see more cards add this benefit as I can get Global Entry and Pre-Check for free for my entire family that way!
Normally, if you have the Southwest Consumer Priority Card or the Southwest Performance Business Card you can earn 1,500 tier points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent. You can earn a maximum of 15,000 tier points annually per card. You can learn more about A-List status here.
For 2021, there is no cap on A-List earnings from credit cards and you can earn status points on on the $99/year Southwest Consumer Premier, $149/year Southwest Consumer Priority Card, the $99/year Southwest Business Premier, or the $199/year Southwest Business Performance card.
Free changes and cancellations. Lock in low fares with no penalty:
Southwest allows you to cancel an award flight and redeposit the points in your account for future use without any penalties.
Thinking of taking a trip but not 100% sure about it? With Southwest points you can lock in a good rate and just cancel the trip free of charge at any point before the flight if you can’t make it!
You can use the points for yourself or book award tickets for anyone else you want to give a ticket to.
Southwest allows you to redeem points for any seat on any flight. There are no blackout dates or capacity controls.
When Southwest has a fare sale the amount of points go on sale as well as it tracks to the price of the ticket. Best of all Southwest will refund your points if the price of your award ticket falls! Just rebook your trip online for the same dates or give them a call for the credit.
Southwest points will never expire as long as you earn points every 24 months.
Normally, you can get a free companion pass if you earn 125,000 points in a calendar year from select sources, including earnings from credit card signups and credit card spending!
In 2021, you only need to earn 100,000 points to get a Companion Pass if you had a Southwest account as of 12/31/20.
If you spend $25,000 on the Chase Southwest Performance Business Credit Card you would earn the full 100K bonus and have the 125K points needed for companion pass, even if you didn’t have a Southwest account as of 12/31/20.
If you had a Southwest account as of 12/31/20, open a Southwest consumer card, and spend $20,000, you would earn 100,000 points and a Companion Pass good through 12/31/22.
It’s best to qualify early in a calendar year, as the companion pass is valid as soon as you reach 125K points in a year and expires at the end of the following calendar year.
If you earn 125,000 Southwest points in 2021, the pass will be good until 12/31/22. The pass allows you to bring a companion with you for free whenever you fly Southwest, including Hawaii, even if you are flying on a free ticket! That effectively doubles the value of your Southwest points. There is no limit to the number of free companion flights that you can take.
You can designate a companion and change that companion up to 3 times in a calendar year, so you can name up to 4 companions over the course of a year.
You can have one consumer Southwest card and both business Southwest cards.
Transfer Chase Points To Southwest to maximize the value of your Companion Pass:
You can transfer points from the following Chase cards to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. You can redeem those Southwest points and bring a companion with you for free, doubling the value of your points!
If you, a member in your household, or an authorized user has one of the following Chase cards, you can transfer points into miles:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 60K signup bonus, earns 2 points per dollar on dining/travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.25 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($95 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve has a 50K signup bonus, earns 3 points per dollar on dining/travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.5 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($550 annual fee with $300 travel credit). Read more here.
- Chase Ink Preferred has a record high 100K signup bonus and earns 3 points per dollar on shipping, advertising, and travel, can transfer all Chase points into miles, and points are worth at least 1.25 cents each for paid travel or pay yourself back categories ($95 annual fee). Read more here.
Chase no-annual fee cards that are fantastic for earning points, but require one of the cards above for points transfers include:
- Chase Ink Cash has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 5 points per dollar on cable, TV, telecom, cellular, office supply stores, and gift cards from office supply stores, plus 2 points per dollar on dining and gas ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Ink Unlimited has a record high 75K signup bonus and earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Freedom Flex has a 20K signup bonus, plus 5 points on rotating categories, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 20K signup bonus, at least 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores ($0 annual fee). Read more here.
Cash back on top of points
Chase business cards in the chart above are eligible for additional cash back via Visa Savings Edge. That means you can get points plus 2% cash back at Chevron, Sheetz, AutoZone, or Texaco. You’ll earn points plus 3% cash back at Boost Mobile. You’ll earn points plus 4% cash back at Alamo, National, and MGM hotels. You’ll earn points plus 5% cash back at Lenovo and Wyndham hotels.
Business card information, benefits, and 5/24
3 of the cards in the chart above are business cards, but you may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that. Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field.
It’s important to just write your own name as the business name if you are just applying for your own small business as a Sole Proprietorship that doesn’t have any business paperwork.
All of the cards in this post are subject to 5/24 restrictions. However, it’s important to note that business cards from most banks, including Chase business cards, do not get added to your 5/24 count of recently opened cards. That’s because business cards from most banks don’t show up on your personal credit report and the 5/24 count is based off of your personal credit report.
Another benefit of business cards not reporting on your personal credit report is that your credit score won’t be hurt when you spend money on your cards. When you spend money on personal cards your score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. That’s because a whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization, so you lose lots of points even if you pay your bills before the statement due date. You can pay off your credit card bill before your statement close date to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On business cards from banks like AMEX and Chase the spending is not reported on your personal credit report, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score. That also means if you close the card, it won’t have an effect on your credit score.
As always, Southwest benefits include:
- 2 free checked bags per passenger.
- Free in-flight messaging.
- Free in-flight streaming entertainment, including movies, live TV, on-demand TV, music, destination guides, and games.
- No change fees to switch your flight. Whether you are on a paid or an award flight you can change without penalty!
- No cancellation fee to cancel your flight (you will get Southwest credit for the full amount paid, even on non-refundable wanna get away fares) or to cancel and redeposit your award flight.
- A refund of the fare or point difference if the price of your flight goes downafter you buy it, just call to get the credit at any time before your flight!
Will you signup for any Southwest cards?