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3 Excellent Southwest Credit Cards from Chase

Chase credit cards are known for great rewards — including both sign-up bonuses and generous rates on spending — and a fantastic points program. Chase issues some of the best co-branded airline, hotel and store credit cards on the market. Its own Chase-branded products, described here, include outstanding travel, cash-back and small-business cards.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

4.3

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$69

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

40,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • Anniversary bonus
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Has foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.
Annual Fee

$69

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

40,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • Anniversary bonus
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Has foreign transaction fee
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.

WHY WE LIKE IT?

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card isn't the flashiest of the three co-branded Chase cards in the Rapid Rewards family, but that doesn't mean it's the black sheep of the clan either.

Frequent Southwest flyers will find a lot to love about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card because it offers so many of the same benefits as its higher-end siblings, but the $69 annual fee is relatively low for an airline card with a healthy sign-up bonus and ongoing bonus rewards on airline purchases. Plus, you'll benefit from perks like extra anniversary points.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

4.4

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

40,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Anniversary bonus
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions

Cons

  • No luxury perks
  • Can't stack points from other frequent flyer programs
  • Has annual fee, not waived for the first year
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.
Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

40,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Anniversary bonus
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions

Cons

  • No luxury perks
  • Can't stack points from other frequent flyer programs
  • Has annual fee, not waived for the first year
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.

WHY WE LIKE IT?

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card succeeds where most budget airline credit cards fail: it gives you reasons to stay loyal.

This card’s ongoing benefits, including a generous anniversary bonus, let you earn free flights faster. If you spend a lot on Southwest flights, it could help you qualify for A-List status and the airline’s coveted Companion Pass faster, too. And unlike its cheaper sibling card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. That makes it an excellent pick for international travel. Though Southwest mostly flies domestic, it does offer service to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (and, of course, you're free to take the card with you abroad regardless of which airline you fly). Another goodie for globe-trotters: You can use Southwest’s More Rewards platform to book international flights to other destinations through partner airlines with points.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

on Chase's website

4.8

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$149

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

40,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks and WiFi.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee

$149

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

40,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks and WiFi.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

WHY WE LIKE IT?

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest's most expensive consumer credit card offers the same rewards and sign-up bonus as its lower-fee siblings. But, if you travel frequently with Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card could earn you a pile of valuable rewards and save you some serious money. And its perks, while not as fancy as those found on other travel cards, can still make up for its annual fee.

If you're a hardcore Southwest flyer, this card is the best choice among the airline's three consumer cards, even with its higher fee. It makes a fine companion for international travel, since it doesn't impose a surcharge on purchases overseas. The Companion Pass lets one companion fly with you for free (except for taxes or fees) whenever you purchase or redeem points for a trip. Plus, perks like A-List status gets you priority check-in, free same-day standby if you want to fly out earlier on the day of your scheduled flight, a 25% points bonus when purchasing eligible Southwest flights, and other benefits. A-List Preferred status gets you A-List perks, free in-flight Wi-Fi on equipped planes and a 100% points bonus when purchasing eligible Southwest flights (rather than just a 25% bonus).

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