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Chase’s Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is a solid option for those who are fans of the airline’s no-frills simplicity and lower-cost flights. There are more than 100 destinations Southwest Airlines can take you to, including a number of U.S. locations. It's also one of the few airlines that still offers free checked bags.
Here are three of the most valuable benefits offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.
1. Welcome bonus
Like many travel credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers a welcome bonus: New Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
The card does come with a $69 annual fee. But given NerdWallet’s valuation of Rapid Rewards points at 1.4 cents each, the value of the welcome bonus far and away outweighs the card's annual fee its first year.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
2. Anniversary points annually
Every anniversary, cardholders receive 3,000 bonus points for having the card. Using NerdWallet's valuation of Southwest Rapid Rewards points, that helps at least come close to justifying the card's annual fee off of that perk alone. If you factor that in as money you'd have spent anyway, that makes the annual fee seem really like only a few bucks.
3. Head start on the Companion Pass
One of the best perks provided by Southwest is the ability to earn a Companion Pass. Typically, if you fly 100 one-way flights or reach 125,000 qualifying points within a year, you'll earn access to this pass, and your chosen companion can fly with you for almost free — you'll have to pay taxes and fees on the ticket, which start at $5.60.
With the card's welcome bonus, you'll be well on your way to earning this coveted perk.
Once you earn the Companion Pass, it’s valid for the rest of the year in addition to the following calendar year, giving you the chance to score 2-for-1 flights for a while.
» Learn more: The pros and cons of Southwest’s Companion Pass
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card