Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Right now, the three personal credit cards from Southwest Airlines all have a welcome bonus that TPG values at $900.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card currently offer a bonus of 60,000 bonus points plus a 30% off promo code after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
The one-time 30% promo code will appear directly in your Southwest.com account within eight weeks of meeting the spending requirement and will remain available for use until October 31, 2024. You can use it on any one-way or round-trip Wanna Get Away, Wanna Get Away Plus, Anytime or Business Select fare.
Southwest credit cards remain fan favorites — in no small part because their bonuses represent the fastest way to earn the valuable Southwest Companion Pass. So it’s important to know whether you’re eligible.
Remember that earning the Companion Pass requires earning 135,000 points or taking 100 qualifying flights in a year. However, those with a Southwest credit card will receive 10,000 bonus points in their Rapid Rewards account within 30 days of opening a Southwest credit card (new applicants) or at the beginning of the year (for existing cardholders).
There are three specific rules to watch out for when eyeing a Southwest credit card. Here’s what you need to know.
Which Southwest credit cards am I eligible for?
If you’re looking at Southwest credit cards, you have five options: three personal and two business ones. These are the personal cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
And here are the two business credit cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
Chase and Southwest have made this process relatively simple by treating all personal cards equally and enacting two simple rules for the business cards.
If you want to apply for a personal card
You are eligible to do so as long as you abide by the following criteria:
- The Chase 5/24 rule: You’ll almost certainly be rejected for a Southwest credit card if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any bank) within the past 24 months — excluding most business cards.
- Card “family” restrictions: If you’ve already got a Southwest personal card, you can’t open another until you’ve canceled your current card.
- Sign-up bonus rules: You can’t open the card if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus from a Southwest personal card within the past 24 months
The important note here is that having a Southwest business credit card doesn’t affect your eligibility for personal cards in any way.
If you want to apply for a business card
You are eligible to do so as long as you are under 5/24 and meet the following rules:
- You cannot currently have that particular credit card.
- You cannot have received a bonus on that particular credit card in the past 24 months.
Applying for personal Southwest credit cards has no impact on your eligibility for business cards, except for the fact that it takes up one of your 5/24 slots. More importantly, having either Southwest business credit card doesn’t affect your eligibility for the other Southwest business card.
What is the best plan to apply for Southwest credit cards?
Assuming you have a 5/24 slot or two to spare, the best plan for most people would be to apply for both Southwest business credit cards. Doing so wouldn’t increase your 5/24 count and would keep you eligible to apply for a personal Southwest card in the future.
So you could apply for the Performance Business first, then the Premier Business and, finally, one of the three personal cards.
It’s always important to plan your credit card applications and pay attention to card and issuer-specific rules. While Chase’s decision to introduce a so-called “family restriction” on the personal Southwest cards threw a wrench into many people’s Companion Pass plans, the same restriction doesn’t apply to the two business cards.
Remember, all three Southwest personal credit cards currently offer 60,000 bonus points plus a 30% off promo code after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Apply here: Southwest Plus Credit Card
Apply here: Southwest Premier Credit Card
Apply here: Southwest Priority Credit Card
Apply here: Southwest Premier Business Credit Card
Apply here: Southwest Performance Business Credit Card
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson, Madison Blancaflor, Joseph Hostetler and Ryan Smith.