Update: These offers for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Chase has just increased the bonus on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card to 60,000 points from the standard 50,000 points. This is the highest bonus that Chase has offered for this card so it’s a good time to go for it if you’ve been considering it.
For those eligible for the card, this can make earning the Southwest Companion Pass just a bit easier—the Southwest Business Card is more important now than ever, as we’ll discuss below.
The increased Southwest business card offer
The bonuses on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card have decreased to 40,000 points, so the business version is your best option at the moment.
Here are the details of the offer:
- Earn the 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months with the card
- Earn 2X points on Southwest purchases as well as those with hotel and car rental partners.
- Earn 1X point on all other purchases
- Receive 6,000 Rapid Rewards points after your cardmember anniversary each year you keep the card
- $99 annual fee (not waived the first year)
Are you eligible for the offer?
Before you apply, keep in mind that this card is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened 5 personal cards (or business cards from Capital One) in the last 24 months, you will not be eligible.
Additionally, if you have received the sign-up bonus for this card in the last 24 months you will not be eligible for the bonus again — though, you are eligible to get the card.
What can 60,000 Rapid Rewards Points do for you?
Southwest Rapid Rewards has a revenue-based award program meaning that award flights are pegged to the cash cost of a ticket. Southwest just recently changed the redemption rates you can expect so you can expect to need about 78 points per dollar for Business Select and Anytime fares. Wanna Get Away fares will be about 76 to 78 points per dollar.
Even with the change, you still might find a sweet spot here and there which gets you a better value for your points. For example, here’s a one-way flight from Louisville (SDF) to Chicago Midway (MDW).
The cash price of the non-stop flight is $84.
If you wanted to book with Rapid Rewards points, you’d need 5,173 points.
In this example, you’d only need about 62 points per dollar.
Even if you need 78 points per dollar to book an award flight, you can get just over $800 in flights with 63,000 points — don’t forget the points you’ll earn for each dollar spent while earning the sign-up bonus.
The famous Companion Pass
To earn the Companion Pass, you need to earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. It’s no surprise that this perk has been extremely popular as getting 2-for-1 Southwest flights — both cash and award tickets — is an incredible deal.
It’s perfect for someone who wants to hop around the states or even explore the Caribbean, Central America or Mexico with a significant other or a lucky friend. With Southwest adding flights to Hawaii later this year, I can only imagine more people will be taking advantage of the Companion Pass.
You can use the Companion Pass as much as you want and all you’ll be responsible for is the points (or cash) for one ticket plus the minimal taxes and fees for both passengers. You can even change your companion 3 times per calendar year.
You can also earn the Companion Pass by taking 100 Southwest flights in a calendar year, but I’m guessing it will be much easier for all but the road warriors to earn it with the help of a hefty sign-up bonus.
New Southwest card rule from Chase
Speaking of which, we just found out last week that Chase has changed the rules around getting the personal versions of the Southwest card.
Now, you will no longer be able to open both personal Southwest credit cards if you currently:
- have the other card
- have earned the sign-up bonus on either card within the last 24 months.
I’m not entirely surprised by this development as Chase has already restricted us from getting multiple Sapphire cards.
However, you can still open one of the personal versions and pair it with the Southwest Business Card. If you’re eligible, this is a great option for getting the Companion Pass quickly.
Positioning flights on Southwest
For those traveling internationally from non-gateway airports on Oneworld, SkyTeam or Star Alliance, connecting flights on awards booked can be tough to com by.
Whether you’re traveling with someone and leveraging the Companion Pass or just traveling solo, Southwest awards can be a great way to position to a gateway airport.
If you find yourself struggling to get the award you want from your home airport, I’d suggest giving Southwest a look as a way to make the trip work. Now, make sure you account for any potential delays as your next flight won’t care if your Southwest flight is delayed or canceled.
In fact, I have friends who intentionally build in a mini-trip in cities like Chicago and New York City after positioning on Southwest just to be safe. Think of it as a short stopover.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you might consider using some Ultimate Rewards points to book with Chase rather than transferring as the 1.5 cents per point could be a better deal. You’ll need to call Chase to book as the Chase travel portal will not show your options on Southwest.
We see the sign-up bonus on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card — and personal cards for that matter — bumped up to 60,000 Rapid Rewards points here and there. Personally, I think this is the bonus you should be shooting for if the timing is right. Seriously, why leave extra points on the table?
On top of that, we have a new rule restricting our ability to get both of the personal cards which could make the business version an important piece of the puzzle if you’re trying to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
So, if you could use $800 — or $1,600 with the Companion Pass, this might be the right time for you to get this card.