Best Southwest Cards

If you’re a regular traveler who prefers to fly Southwest, the Rapid Rewards lineup of credit cards from Chase offers a variety of redemption options and points multipliers to fund your next trip faster. But which card is the best fit for your wallet? 

Our team has compiled the list below of the best Southwest credit cards.

Best Southwest credit card for families: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Why it’s the best

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card makes it easy for families to earn points with a low annual fee ($69) and one point for every purchase, every day along with two points per dollar for all Southwest spending. Plus, new cardholders get 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening and 3,000 bonus points each year. This card is the ideal entry-level option for families looking to earn travel points without breaking the bank — consistent points earnings and solid bonuses make it easy to accumulate points over time for occasional vacation travel.

Bonus points:

  • No blackout dates — Reward seats can be redeemed for any flight, anytime, letting you get where you’re going on your own terms.
  • Transfarency® travel — Your first and second checked bags are free on Southwest flights, and there are no flight change fees.
  • Redeem for more than flights — Redeem your points for hotel stays, gift cards and other merchandise through the Southwest Rewards website. Worth noting? While points-to-flights convert at around 1.5 cents per dollar, the conversion rate for merchandise is typically just under one cent per dollar.

Best Southwest credit card for regular travelers: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Why it’s the best

If you’re a regular Southwest traveler looking to make the most of your credit card spending, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card is a good fit. This card comes with a higher annual fee than the Plus option ($99) but also offers 6,000 anniversary points each year to help boost your rewards earning potential. In addition, you enjoy 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, and there are no blackout dates on reward flights.

Bonus points:

  • Unlimited rewards — There’s no limit on the number of points you can earn per year or the number of reward seats you can redeem.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement — No luggage? No problem. You’re covered for up to $3,000 per person for lost or damaged carry-on or checked bags.
  • Purchase protection — Spend with confidence: New purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim.

Best Southwest credit card for frequent fliers: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Why it’s the best

If traveling is your priority, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card has you covered. You’ll pay more each year — $149 — but get more back with 7,500 anniversary points in addition to 2x points for every dollar spent with Southwest and one point per dollar for all other purchases. You’ll also get 20% back on inflight purchases, which helps you build your rewards even faster.  And since your card allows you to earn up to 15,000 tier qualifying points per year, you’ll be much close to the 35,000 you need to get A-List status.

Bonus points:

  • Annual travel credit — Each year, receive a $75 Southwest travel credit to offset the cost of in-flight purchases or seat upgrades.
  • Upgraded boardings — Enjoy four upgraded boardings every year (when available) to make your trip that much more enjoyable.
  • Baggage delay insurance — Make it to your destination but your baggage hasn’t arrived? For delays over six hours by passenger carrier, you can claim up to $100 per day for three days on essential spending, such as clothing and toiletries.

Best Southwest credit card for small businesses: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business

Why it’s the best

If you regularly travel for business with Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card can help offset the cost and help you earn great rewards. The $99 annual fee gets you the same 2x points on all Southwest purchases and 1x points as all other Chase Southwest cards, but businesses also enjoy 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months after account opening and 6,000 bonus points every year.

Bonus points:

  • No-cost employee cards — Add employee cards to boost your points earning potential and earn free flights, faster.
  • Free checked bags — Your first and second checked bags are free, and your flights come with no hidden fees.
  • Go anywhere, anytime — No blackout dates for seat rewards gives you unlimited access to more than 100 Southwest destinations across the United States, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Best Southwest credit card for travel-focused companies: Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business

Why it’s the best

If travel is the lifeblood of your business, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business credit card is your best fit. Along with 3x points on every Southwest purchase and 2x points for every dollar spent on Internet, cable and phone services, you’ll get 9,000 bonus points per year. And while the $199 annual fee is the highest of any Southwest Rapid Rewards card, it’s attached to the biggest introductory offer: 70,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening, plus 30,000 additional points after spending $25,000 in the first six months.

Bonus points:

  • Four upgraded boardings — When available, upgrade your boarding four times per year to make your trip more comfortable.
  • Inflight Wi-Fi credits — Enjoy 365 Wi-Fi credits per year, letting you work even when you’re in the air and make the most of your time on the ground.
  • Travel credits — Every four years, get a Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit of $100 to help streamline the security and boarding process.

Doug Bonderud

An award-winning finance, technology and security writer, Doug has a knack for distilling complex concepts down into actionable, readable copy that generates interest and drives engagement