It's your last chance to earn up to 80,000 points with the Chase Southwest personal cards — and it's now even easier to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass

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  • It’s the last week to earn up to 80,000 points with the Chase Southwest personal credit cards. 
  • Earning the Southwest Companion Pass is easier now because the airline made adjustments for 2021.
  • Apply for these record-high offers by February 8 for a chance to fast-track to the Companion Pass.
  • Read Business Insider’s guide to the best airline credit cards.

Credit card issuers have responded to the pandemic by adding new benefits and ways to earn and redeem rewards. Now that people are thinking about flying again, we’re seeing more improved sign-up bonuses — and some are the highest we’ve ever seen.

That’s the case with the three personal Chase Southwest credit cards, which are offering a bonus of up to 80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months). However, there are only days left to apply, because these elevated offers will end on February 8, 2021.

These offers have become even more lucrative because Southwest has made it easier for flyers to earn the Southwest Companion Pass in 2021. Normally, you’d need to earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year (or fly 100 one-way flights) to unlock the Companion Pass, and points earned from Southwest credit cards count toward the requirement.

Now, Rapid Rewards members with active accounts as of December 31, 2020, have been credited 25,000 out of the required 125,000 points (and 25 qualifying flights) automatically — effectively reducing the Companion Pass requirement to just 100,000 points or 75 flights this year.

Even if you’re not quite ready to travel, it’s worth considering these offers. Southwest points never expire, so you could put aside a substantial stash of points now and use them for a big trip when you’re ready to travel again.

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Chase Southwest personal cards comparison

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, you’ll earn 80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months).

You’ll also earn 5x points on Southwest purchases between December 1 and March 31, 2021, on up to $2,000 in spending per month (then 2x). Other spending bonus categories and benefits vary depending on the card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Annual fee

$69

Annual fee

$99

Annual fee

$149

Rewards rate

2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases

1 point per dollar on everything else

Rewards rate

2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases

1 point per dollar on everything else

Rewards rate

2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases

1 point per dollar on everything else

Anniversary points

3,000

Anniversary points

6,000

Anniversary points

7,500

Welcome bonus

80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months)

5x points on Southwest purchases between December 1 and March 31, 2021, on up to $2,000 in spending per month (then 2x)

Welcome bonus

80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months)

5x points on Southwest purchases between December 1 and March 31, 2021, on up to $2,000 in spending per month (then 2x)

Welcome bonus

80,000 points (50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months ,and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months)

5x points on Southwest purchases between December 1 and March 31, 2021, on up to $2,000 in spending per month (then 2x)

Foreign transaction fee

Yes

Foreign transaction fee

No

Foreign transaction fee

No

Other benefits

N/A

Other benefits

Earn tier-qualifying points toward A-List elite status

Other benefits

Earn tier-qualifying points toward A-List elite status

$75 annual Southwest travel credit

4 upgraded boardings per year when available

20% back on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi

Learn moreLearn moreLearn more

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

You’ll earn 3,000 bonus points each account anniversary (worth about $45 in Southwest airfare, according to travel website The Points Guy), which covers much of the annual fee. Keep in mind this is the only Southwest personal card that adds foreign transaction fees, so you shouldn’t use it overseas.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

If you’re aiming for Southwest elite status, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card can give you a boost. You’ll earn 1,500 tier-qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases you make with the card, up to $100,000 in purchases each year.

To reach Southwest A-List status, you’ll need to fly 25 Southwest one-way qualifying flights or earn 35,000 tier-qualifying points per calendar year. A-List Preferred status requires 50 Southwest one-way qualifying flights or 70,000 tier-qualifying points in the same timeframe.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Cardholders receive up to $75 in Southwest credit per year, which can be applied to any Southwest purchase except inflight purchases and upgraded boarding. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card also comes with 7,500 points each account anniversary (worth about $112 in Southwest airfare), four upgraded boardings per year when available (worth up to $50 each time), and a 20% discount on inflight purchases including Wi-Fi.

Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card can make elite status more attainable by earning tier-qualifying points when you hit the same spending thresholds.

Fast-track to the Southwest Companion Pass

What’s great about these offers is that the welcome bonus alone can get you most of the way to earning the Southwest Companion Pass. When you have the Companion Pass, you can bring a designated companion along with you for just the cost of taxes as fees (about $6 one-way on domestic flights) — whether you’re flying on a paid or award ticket. 

To qualify for the Companion Pass, you must earn 125,000 Southwest points in a calendar year, and points from Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses and spending count toward this total. However, due to the pandemic, Rapid Rewards members with open accounts as of December 31, 2020, have received 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points for 2021 — effectively reducing the requirement to just 100,000 points for the calendar year.

What’s more, the timing of these offers couldn’t be better. Because the Companion Pass is valid for the rest of the year in which you’ve earned it plus the whole year after, by earning the bonus early in the year, you can enjoy Companion Pass privileges for nearly two full years. 

With the reduced 2021 requirement (as long as your Rapid Rewards account was open as of December 31, 2020), that leaves just 10,000 Southwest points to reach Companion Pass status after you factor in the points you’ll earn from meeting the minimum spending requirement on the card. You can earn those from spending more on your card, flying on Southwest, purchases with Rapid Rewards partners, and shopping through the Southwest shopping portal (bonus points excluded). Even easier, you could sign-up for a Southwest small-business card and earn the bonus — between one personal and one business card, you’d earn more than enough points.

You might wonder if it’s worth trying for the Southwest Companion Pass if you’re not traveling as much right now. It’s worth noting that anyone currently holding a Companion Pass that expired on December 31, 2020, has had their expiration extended until December 31, 2021. 

There’s no guarantee Southwest will make similar extensions in the future, so if you’re unsure about when you’ll start flying Southwest again, it may be best to hold off on pursuing the Companion Pass for now.

Chase Southwest business card comparison

Chase offers two Southwest credit cards for small-business owners. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card currently offers 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and offers benefits similar to the personal version of the card.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card has the highest sign-up bonus of them all. You’ll earn up to 100,000 Southwest points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements: 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and an additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Annual fee

$99

Annual fee

$199

Rewards rate

2x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases

1 point per dollar on everything else

Rewards rate

3x points on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases

2x points on social media and search engine advertising

2x points on internet, cable, and phone services

1 point per dollar on everything else

Anniversary points

6,000

Anniversary points

9,000

Welcome bonus

60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

Welcome bonus

70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and an additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening

Foreign transaction fee

No

Foreign transaction fee

No

Other benefits

Earn tier-qualifying points toward A-List elite status

Other benefits

Earn tier-qualifying points toward A-List elite status

$100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

4 upgraded boardings per year when available

Inflight Wi-Fi credits

Learn more

Learn more

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier business card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

You’ll also have the opportunity to earn tier qualifying points toward Southwest A-List and A-List Preferred elite status, and won’t be charged any foreign transaction fees.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance business card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Unlike the other Southwest cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card rewards spending in bonus categories other than Southwest purchases. You’ll earn 3x points on Southwest purchases (compared to 2x with the other cards), 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, and 2x points on internet, cable, and phone services. All other purchases earn 1 Southwest point per dollar.

You’ll also receive 9,000 Southwest points (worth about $135 in Southwest airfare) each card anniversary. If you fly Southwest frequently, you can even get more value, because the card comes with four upgraded boardings per year when available (worth up to $50 each) and up to 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits each year (worth $8) each. 

Like many premium credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card also offers up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit every four years. 

Chase Southwest card application restrictions

Both the personal and small-business Chase Southwest cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, which means if you’ve opened five or more cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved for the card.

While you’re allowed to have one personal and one small-business Southwest card at the same time, there are other card application restrictions to keep in mind. For the Southwest personal cards, you aren’t eligible if you currently have any personal Southwest card, or have received an intro bonus on one in the past 24 months. This doesn’t include Southwest business cards.

And with the Southwest business cards, you won’t be approved if you currently hold the card, or have received a sign-up bonus for that specific card in the past 24 months. 

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