Last Chance: Grab an Extra 35,000 Southwest Points With This Bonus Offer

Megan LeeFebruary 7, 2020
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Last month, Chase bank announced an introductory offer to users of personal Southwest credit cards that turned heads. If you want to snag this offer — which is 35,000 points higher than earlier ones — you have until Feb. 10 to sign up.

The offer

Here’s the current offer and eligible cards you can sign up for to earn it:

Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Eligible cards:

Again, this is nearly double the normal introductory offer on these cards.

NerdWallet values Southwest points at 1.6 cents each. If you fulfill the spending requirements and earn this bonus in full, that means you’d have around $1,050 in value from your introductory offer alone — not to mention the additional points you accrued from spending to get there.

Who should get this offer?

Based on the value this offer presents and what you’ll need to spend to get there, we think travelers who fall in these categories should consider applying before the Feb. 10 cutoff:

You live where Southwest flies

Southwest connects 102 destinations across the United States and 10 other countries. If your preferred airport is served frequently by Southwest Airlines, these cards can be a great addition to your wallet.

These are the top 10 cities served by Southwest Airlines (in descending order based on daily Southwest departures):

  1. Baltimore.

  2. Chicago (Midway).

  3. Denver.

  4. Dallas.

  5. Las Vegas.

  6. Houston.

  7. Phoenix.

  8. Oakland.

  9. Orlando.

  10. San Diego.

You easily spend ~$850 or more on a credit card monthly

To reach the $5,000 spending threshold, you need to spend at least $833 monthly, on average, over the first six months with your new credit card. If you’re up for the challenge or can easily exceed this number, this could be a good introductory offer to jump on.

You want the Southwest Companion Pass

If you earn it, this introductory bonus will get you over halfway to the requirements for earning the Southwest Companion Pass: 125,000 qualifying points or 100 one-way flights. This head start means you need to earn only 50,000 additional points in a calendar year to enjoy traveling with your designated companion for just the cost of taxes and fees.

Keep in mind that the Companion Pass is valid for the rest of the calendar year in which you earn it plus the entire next year. If you’re going to earn it, we recommend that you do so at the beginning of the year so you can maximize its value.

You like the cards’ other benefits

There are many benefits to holding a Southwest credit card beyond accelerated points accrual on Southwest purchases. You can redeem your points via Southwest’s Rapid Rewards portal on rental cars, hotels, gift cards, merchandise and more.

Skip it, if…

That said, there are some folks who won’t be interested in this offer. Here’s why you might want to skip it:

You don’t love flying Southwest

Southwest isn’t everyone’s cup of tea — it doesn’t offer a business or first class option, any premium seating or meal service. The boarding and check in processes can feel annoying and stressful if you prefer having an assigned seat.

And the family-friendly nature of Southwest’s brand (family boarding between groups A and B for families with children under 6, for instance) can be a turnoff to frequent or business travelers.

You spread your business across multiple airlines

Skip this introductory offer from Chase’s Southwest credit cards if you are juggling loyalty between multiple airlines — or if you have no loyalty and would rather snag a good flight deal when you find one.

Further, if you’re motivated to optimize your spending (and points accrual) by strategically utilizing multiple rewards credit cards, then going all-in on $5,000 worth of purchases to receive an additional 35,000 in points might not make sense.

The bottom line

You have just a few days to determine if these introductory credit card offers are worth pursuing. Those who do choose to open accounts can benefit from an extra 35,000 Southwest points compared with cardholders in the past — giving them a serious head start on earning a Companion Pass.

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