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The newest and most expensive member of Southwest’s co-branded credit card family has significantly scaled back its initial sign-up bonus, which until now had been one of its distinguishing feature.
As of Aug. 24, 2018, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card was offering a sign-up bonus worth 40,000 points after meeting a spending threshold.
When the $149-annual-fee card debuted in July 2018, it offered an additional 25,000 points for spending $15,000 total on purchases within the first year, for a full potential sign-up bonus of up to 65,000 points. That would have been enough to get cardholders more than halfway to earning a coveted Southwest Companion Pass, which allows you to pick one person to fly for free with you (minus taxes and fees) every time you buy or redeem points for a flight.
You can get that pass by earning 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, and it’s good from the time you earn it through the next full calendar year.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card’s new sign-up bonus can still get you on your way toward a Companion Pass, but it’s a harder goal to achieve now. Moreover, each of the other two co-branded Southwest Airlines credit cards offers the exact same sign-up bonus — not to mention the exact same rewards structure — but for smaller annual fees.
Loyal Southwest customers may still find value in the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. Unlike its sibling cards, it does offer:
- 7,500 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary each year.
- A $75 annual Southwest travel credit.
- 4 upgraded boardings per year when available.
- 20% back on in-flight purchases.