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Even though many people have put travel on hold for the time being, that doesn't mean the desire to rack up points and miles for future redemptions has stopped. In fact, many (myself included) have used this time spent at home to save up rewards for an amazing trip down the line.
For those who are interested in storing up points with Southwest, new sign-up bonus offers across all three personal cobranded Southwest credit cards could help you hit your goals.
- Earn 65,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
TPG values Southwest points at 1.5 cents each, which makes this bonus worth $975. For only a $2,000 spending requirement, that's a compelling offer — especially compared to the previous 40k offer (worth $600) that we saw with these cards previously.
Southwest continues to be a great airline to show loyalty for domestic itineraries. The twice-annual flash sales provide opportunities to score low redemption fares, and the airline continues to lead the pack in terms of booking flexibility with no change or cancellation fees on any ticket (a policy Southwest is known for outside of just the pandemic). If you've been considering applying for a Southwest credit card, now it a great time to finally jump onboard.
Which Southwest credit card should you get?
With all three cards offering the same sign-up bonus, it all comes down to how much you plan on flying Southwest both now and in the long term. The three cards all come with the same earning structure — 2x on Southwest and eligible hotel and car rental partners and 1x on everything else — so the primary difference between the three cards is the level of perks and the associated annual fee.
Best for: Beginners and infrequent travelers
Annual fee: $69
- 3,000 anniversary points each year
APPLY HERE: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Best for: Casual travelers
Annual fee: $99
- 6,000 anniversary points each year
APPLY HERE: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Best for: Southwest loyalists
Annual fee: $149
- 7,500 anniversary points each year
- $75 Southwest travel credit annually
- 4 upgraded boardings per year (when available)
APPLY HERE: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Using this offer to jumpstart earning the coveted Companion Pass
Most cobranded airline credit cards have a tough time holding their own against cards that earn transferable points, but Southwest's diverse portfolio of personal and business cards is a notable exception. That's because points earned with Southwest cobranded cards count toward earning a coveted Southwest Companion Pass, which offers a year or more of flying for your designated travel companion.
This one of the most sought-after travel perks in the industry. It requires either flying 100 one-way flights or earning 125,000 qualifying points in one calendar year. While these sign-up won't help you hit that threshold alone, they can help you get a more than 50% jump start on earning that valued pass.
Remember that the pass is valid for the rest of the year in which you qualify and the full calendar year after that. So if you earn the Companion Pass anytime in 2020, it will be valid through Dec. 31, 2021.
The number of Southwest Rapid Rewards points required to book a flight is directly tied to the current fare of the flight, and you often get good deals if you know when and where to look for redemptions. And because of Southwest's policy against any cancellation or change fees on its flights, you can actually reprice a Southwest flight if you book a trip and then find the same itinerary at a lower price before departure.
While Southwest operates primarily domestic routes in the continental U.S., those looking for a tropical getaway can use points to book flights to a number of Caribbean and Hawaiian destinations as well (barring any travel restrictions and quarantine requirements).
Additional reporting by Katie Genter.
Featured image by Jim Watson/ AFP.
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