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While not considered a legacy airline in the United States, Southwest is still one of the largest domestic airlines. With over 155 million passengers flown annually, the airline caters to both the business and leisure crowd. Like most airlines, they have a co-branded credit card which is offered through Chase. As a no frills airline, the credit card has some useful benefits and quick ways to maximize value when traveling with Southwest.
As a Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card holder, there is several benefits that make flying and redeeming rewards great. In addition to the $75 annual travel credit (must be used with Southwest), you get four upgraded boarding’s per year. Additionally, inflight you receive 20% back on drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies.
Purchases with Southwest Airlines as well as partner hotels and rental car agencies earn 2 points per $1. All other purchases earn a standard 1 point per $1. This can add up quickly if you frequently purchase Southwest tickets with the card. At the anniversary of the card, you earn 7,500 additional repaid reward points too. If you find yourself not wanting to redeem points, they don’t expire if one transaction is made through Southwest or eligible partner every two years (points earned with the credit card don’t expire as long the account remains open).
The card doesn’t include a free checked bag because Southwest doesn’t charge for the first two checked bags. However, the credit card can help you get A-List status faster. For each $10,000 in purchases, you earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) with a max of 15,000 TQPs at $100,000 in purchases annually. (Read more about Southwest Loyalty Program)
An amazing Southwest benefit if you travel with a second person often is the companion pass. This allows the second passenger to fly for practically free, the only cost is the $5.60 taxes and fees. To qualify, a passenger must fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. Southwest credit card points including the sign-up bonus counts toward the Companion Pass requirements. (Read more about Southwest Companion Pass)
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card which is issued by Visa has several travel benefits. This includes rental car collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch, and travel accident insurance. If you find yourself making international purchase, US, the card has no foreign transaction. The card incudes purchase protection and extended warranty protection when using the card.
The card is worth considering if you fly Southwest often and the companion pass can provide enormous benefit. Southwest Airlines continues to add new routes with Hawaii starting in 2019 and has several international destinations. Depending on your travel plans, make sure to look at Southwest which doesn’t show up in third party flight searches.