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Southwest credit cards compared: 5 cards to choose from. Get the best card for you.

Southwest Airlines offers 5 credit cards in partnership with Chase. Each of these offers benefits for flying on Southwest, but two stand out above the rest for most Southwest flyers.

In this post, we’ll show you everything you need to know to compare all of the Southwest credit cards and choose the right one for you.

Southwest credit card rewards: Earn Southwest points for purchases

All of the Southwest Airlines credit cards earn Southwest Rapid Rewards® points, which can be used to book Southwest flights at Southwest.com.

The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card earns the most rewards for Southwest purchases. Here’s what each card earns in its bonus categories.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit CardSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit CardSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card card artSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card card artSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card card artSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card card artSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card card art
Annual fee$69$99$149$99$199
Southwest purchases2x3x3x3x4x
Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners2x2x2x2x3x
Social media and search engine advertising2x
Local transit and commuting, including rideshare2x2x2x2x2x
Internet, cable, and phone services2x2x2x2x
Select streaming services2x2x2x
All other purchases1x1x1x1x1x
Southwest Rapid Rewards earning rates of Southwest credit cards

Southwest credit card benefits when flying on Southwest: Bonus points, better seating, and qualifying points

Most people will pick up a Southwest credit card for the benefits you’ll get when flying on Southwest. All cards offers a way to get a better seat a few times a year, plus an annual anniversary points bonus and a 25% discount on in-flight purchases on Southwest.

For Southwest flyers who fly even a few times a year, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card offers the best sweet spot of value—between the 7,500 point annual anniversary bonus and the annual $75 Southwest travel credit, you’ll get value in excess of the card’s $149 annual fee. Business travelers who would frequently purchase WiFi access on Southwest flight could potentially save money by picking up the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit CardSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit CardSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card card artSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card card artSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card card artSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card card artSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card card art
Annual fee$69$99$149$99$199
Annual anniversary bonus points3,0006,0007,5006,0009,000
$75 annual Southwest travel credit
2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year
4 upgraded boardings each year
Up to 365 inflight WiFi credits each year
Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $5,000 spent
10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points boost each year
$500 fee credit for points transfers
25% back on inflight purchases
Southwest credit card benefits when flying on Southwest Airlines

Other benefits of the Southwest cards: Travel perks and consumer insurance benefits

All of the Southwest credit cards offer a standard set of travel benefits that includes lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty protection and purchase protection.

The consumer insurance benefits on the business cards are slightly better—purchase protection offers $10,000 per claim coverage vs. $500/claim on the consumer cards. The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card also offers a credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Nexus, up to $100 every 4 years.

Here are the benefits offered on Southwest credit cards.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit CardSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit CardSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card card artSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card card artSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card card artSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card card artSouthwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card card art
Annual fee$69$99$149$99$199
Lost luggage reimbursement
Baggage delay insurance
Extended warranty protection
Purchase protection
Trusted traveler credit
1 year DoorDash Dash Pass membership
No foreign transaction fees
Additional benefits of Southwest credit cards

Which card should I get? Our recommendations.

Which Southwest Airlines credit card or credit cards you should get depends on your objective, but there are a few clear winners in our view.

If you fly Southwest at least twice a year, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the card to get. Yes, the card has the highest annual fee among the personal cards, but you’ll easily use the $75 annual Southwest travel credit and you’ll get 7,500 Rapid Rewards points each year, which will get you around $100 of travel on Southwest. The value from these two perks is greater than the card’s $175 annual fee.

If you pay for WiFi on Southwest more than about 10 flights a year, get the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. Between what you’ll save on WiFi and the value of the cardmember anniversary points, you’ll get more value from these two perks alone than you’ll give up by paying the card’s $199 annual fee.

If you want to get a Companion Pass from new cardmember welcome bonuses, go for one business card and one personal card. You’re only eligible to receive a welcome bonus on a Southwest card if you do not currently have a Southwest card and have not received a new cardmember welcome bonus in the past 24 months. And business and personal cards count separately, so you can get one of each. Be sure that you’ll be awarded the welcome bonuses in the same calendar year, preferably some time in January or February so that you can enjoy almost 2 full years of companion pass.

Welcome bonuses: Every Southwest card welcome bonus

We cover all of the current Southwest Airlines credit card welcome bonuses in a dedicated article, but here’s a quck summary of the welcome bonuses that are currently available.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card card art

Learn how to apply.
Annual fee: $69

This is an affiliate link.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card sign-up bonus

bonus_miles_full

This is the biggest bonus we’ve seen in recent memory on this card.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
3,000 anniversary points after your cardmember anniversary each year.
25% back on all Southwest in-flight purchases.
2 EarlyBird Check-In® per year.

Rewards:
2x on Southwest Airlines purchases made directly with the airline.
2x on Rapid Rewards hotels and car rental partner purchases.
2x on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
1x on other purchases.
Rewards are earned as Rapid Rewards points.

Learn more:
See all bonuses available for new Southwest credit cards in our overview of Southwest Airlines credit card welcome bonuses.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card card art

Learn how to apply.
Annual fee: $99

This is an affiliate link.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card sign-up bonus

bonus_miles_full

Standard welcome bonus. Not quite as exciting as the elevated welcome bonuses available on the personal cards.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
6,000 point account anniversary bonus.
2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $5,000 spent on the card.
Up to $500 in fee credits for point transfers.
25% back on inflight purchases.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Baggage delay insurance.
Extended warranty protection.
Purchase protection.
No foreign transaction fees.

Rewards:
3x on Southwest purchases.
2x on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners.
2x on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
1x on other purchases.
Rewards are earned as Rapid Rewards® points.

Learn more:
Compare this card to the other 4 Southwest credit cards to find the best card for you.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card card art

Learn how to apply.
Annual fee: $149

This is an affiliate link.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card sign-up bonus

bonus_miles_full

This is the best bonus on this card that we can recall, and it’s 10,000 points better than the bonus offered in late 2023.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
7,500 anniversary points after your cardmember anniversary each year.
25% back on all Southwest in-flight purchases.
4 upgraded boardings per year.
$75 annual Southwest travel credit.
1,500 tier-qualifying points for every $5,000 you spend.
No foreign transaction fees.

Rewards:
3x on Southwest Airlines purchases made directly with the airline.
2x on Rapid Rewards hotels and car rental partner purchases.
2x on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
1x on other purchases.
Rewards are earned as Rapid Rewards points.

Learn more:
See all bonuses available for new Southwest credit cards in our overview of Southwest Airlines credit card welcome bonuses.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card card art

Learn how to apply.
Annual fee: $99

This is an affiliate link.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card sign-up bonus

bonus_miles_full

Standard welcome bonus. Not quite as exciting as the elevated welcome bonuses available on the personal cards.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
6,000 point account anniversary bonus.
2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $5,000 spent on the card.
Up to $500 in fee credits for point transfers.
25% back on inflight purchases.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Baggage delay insurance.
Extended warranty protection.
Purchase protection.
No foreign transaction fees.

Rewards:
3x on Southwest purchases.
2x on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners.
2x on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
1x on other purchases.
Rewards are earned as Rapid Rewards® points.

Learn more:
Compare this card to the other 4 Southwest credit cards to find the best card for you.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card card art

Learn how to apply.
Annual fee: $199

This is an affiliate link.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card sign-up bonus

bonus_miles_full

Standard welcome bonus. Not quite as exciting as the elevated welcome bonuses available on the personal cards.

More about this card


Benefit highlights:
9,000 point account anniversary bonus.
4 upgraded boardings each year.
Up to 365 credits toward inflight WiFi each year.
Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $5,000 spent on the card.
Up to $500 in fee credits for point transfers.
25% back on inflight purchases.
Lost luggage reimbursement.
Baggage delay insurance.
Extended warranty protection.
Purchase protection.
Trusted traveler credit.
No foreign transaction fees.

Rewards:
4x on Southwest purchases.
3x on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners.
2x on social medial and search engine advertising.
2x on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
2x on internet, cable, and phone services.
1x on other purchases.
Rewards are earned as Rapid Rewards® points.

Learn more:
See this card matched up against the other Southwest credit cards in our Southwest Airlines credit card comparison.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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