The Southwest Airlines card from Chase is now one of the most popular cards for frequent fliers, in part thanks to their updated and more generous rewards program. Their current promotion for two roundtrip flights may sound too good to be true but, fortunately, that isn't the only benefit that comes with the card. Here's what you need to know before you apply and how their revamped rewards program works.

Which Version is Right for You?

There are three versions of the Southwest Airlines credit card, one of which is the business version. As a consumer, you'll want to first decide which card best suits you. Here are the differences between these two cards.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • $69 annual fee
  • 3,000 bonus points on your anniversary, redeemable for a $50 Wanna Get Away fare
  • 2 points per $1 on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases made directly and hotel and car rental partners; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on balance transfers up to 10,000 points.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card

  • $99 annual fee
  • 6,000 bonus points on your anniversary, redeemable for a $100 Wanna Get Away fare
  • 2 points per $1 on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases made directly and hotel and car rental partners; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases, up to 15,000 per year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on balance transfers up to 15,000 points if made within the first 90 days.
  • No foreign exchange fee

Both cards have the same rewards program with no change fees if you need to change your flight. Your bags will also fly free with either card and no blackout dates to worry about. Both also include the same bonus of 2 roundtrip flights, which we'll look at in more detail.

For most people, the Premier card is the best deal for only $30 more a year with the ability to earn more Tier Qualifying Points to get A-List status.

The Generous Sign-up Bonus

The sign-up bonus with the Southwest Airlines card is one of the best you'll find right now. Once you spend $2,000 during the first 3 months, you'll get 50,000 bonus points. That's equal to more than $800 in Wanna Get Away fares and you can redeem it for 2 roundtrip flights! The bonus is usually half this amount so make sure you take advantage of the offer while you can.

Note: Keep in mind you'll still need to pay the government fees yourself, although they may be as low as $10.

The Revamped Rewards Program

The new Southwest Airlines rewards program, Rapid Rewards, is much simpler than the old program and very generous. You'll earn 1 point per dollar on all regular purchases plus double points on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases (including in-flight purchases) and double points at partner hotels and car rental companies, including Wyndham, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Alamo, Hertz, Budget and Thrifty Car Rental.

Most airline credit cards will give you $100 airfare credit for every 10,000 points you earn but the Southwest Airlines cards gives you a $100 Wanna Get Away airfare credit for only 6,000 points. Rapid Rewards Points are redeemed for Wanna Get Away fares at a rate of 60 points for each $1 of the fare price.

Along with the great redemption, you won't have to pay any change fees if you need to change your flight. You'll just need to pay the fare difference, if there is one. Your first and second checked bags are also free, compared to the average fee of $50 you'd pay with most carriers.



Your points won't expire as long as you have a flight or earning activity every 24 months and you can earn unlimited reward seats with no blackout dates to worry about.

Get to A-List Status

  • With the Premier version, you'll earn up to 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points every year to help you reach A-List status. Once you get there, you'll enjoy:
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority check-in and security lane access
  • Earn 25% more points on each flight
  • Standby priority
  • Dedicated A-List phone line

Visa Signature Benefits

If you qualify, you'll also enjoy the Visa Signature benefits that come with the card, including purchase security, complimentary concierge, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance. If you don't qualify, you'll be considered for the Visa Platinum tier with a different set of cardmember benefits.

The Bottom Line

Take advantage of this amazing signup offer while it's still around and enjoy the rest of the benefits that come with the Southwest Airlines card, including a generous rewards program, travel benefits and the ability to get to A-List status even faster.

The card more than makes up for the $99 annual fee as the 6,000 bonus points each year already have a $100 value and you'll save money every time you fly with two free checked bags and no change fees to worry about.