It’s been A LONG time since I have applied for a travel airline card. My first airline card was a Delta Gold AMEX that I have had for about 8 years. Since traveling more internationally, I have realized a lot of places don’t accept AMEX so I began looking for other options. I receive tons of offers in the mail for hotel and airline credit cards. One caught my eye, the Southwest Airlines Chase credit card! The offer at the time was to spend 2,000 in 3 months and receive 50,000 points. I will provide my honest Southwest Credit Card review but first, let’s discuss the detail of Southwest Credit Cards.
The card issuer is Chase and there are three offerings for personal use.
I’ve used the Southwest Premier Credit Card Details:
-2K spend in 3 months on both cards and two $99 fees.
-Southwest Chase Card Interest is around 16.24% but I NEVER let interest accrue on these cards. This is where people can get in trouble.
-The total of 4K spent was on regular bills and purchases and travel.
-Each time Chase pulls credit for approval it will stay on my report as a hard pull for 2 years.
-Moving closer towards Chase’s 5/24 rule. The 5/24 rule states that you will not be approved for additional cards if you have opened more than 5 Chase accounts within 24onths. While this is not officially in writing, it has appeared on applications and is well known in the credit card bonus chaser streets 😀
-My credit score took a fall quite a bit but has since improved drastically since opening the accounts.
Fine Print: “Purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like charges such as travelers’ checks, foreign currency, and money orders, any checks that access your account, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.
The interest rate is very high (as most loyalty cards are). I wouldn’t advise getting this card unless you can pay off the balance in full.I was able to meet the bonus spend in 3 months by using the card to pay my normal bills. I paid attention to the billing cycle dates as I was told it could take 6-8 weeks before points to post. Although I received the card in November of 2015, I did not use the card until Jan. I wanted all points to post in 2016 as I attempt to earn a companion pass with 110,000 points. Apparently, this could be achieved by opening a consumer and business card to get two 50,000 offers but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have spent 4,000 in 3 months.
As I made the final purchase before the last day of the billing cycle, to my surprise the 50,000 miles hit the next day + the $1 per 2,000 spent. What I didn’t realize is the 50,000+ miles counts toward companion pass (pass for a full year for a designated person to travel with you) but does not count towards tier status. 🙁
I also applied for the Chase Southwest Business card which had the same perks but allowed me to obtain an additional 50,000 points which led to me obtaining a Southwest Companion Pass.
This card is not for everyone. I don’t advise applying for one unless you can pay off the balance on time so you don’t incur interest. It would be advantageous if possible to meet the minimum spend as soon as possible and at the beginning of the year I don’t see this offer advertised on their website anymore but if you are interested, click to apply. The sign-up bonus varies depending on the time of year. I’ve seen a range of 40,000-65,000 points for $1k-$2K spend in 3 months.
What did I get in Return?
Over 116K points and a companion pass. A Southwest Companion pass allows you to travel with a companion for a year. All you pay is the taxes on the ticket for the companion. I was able to have the companion pass benefits for a year and a half. From the 116K points, I was able to purchase 17 tickets in 2016 at an average of $26 and average redemption of 3,758 points per flight. Let’s say each ticket at regular cost averaged $100 each that’s over $1,200 in savings! I was able to get the best redemption on flights by traveling last minute, searching by the calendar, and booking flights on new routes (good deals) such as Havana.
Would I recommend the Southwest Chase Credit card?
Absolutely, but it is important to be strategic when choosing an airline card. Look at a typical redemption cost and see if the airline consistently has deals from your preferred airport. So far this is the best airline card I own.
Here is a breakdown of the different ways I earned points.
Credit cards are not the only way to earn points! I was able to accumulate more points through revenue-generating flights, partner hotels, rental cars, and more.
Want the Southwest Card for yourself, apply here after weighing the pros and cons. The current offer is 40K points for 1K spend in 3 months. To be totally transparent, I will receive points as a referral but I don’t receive any information on who applied or money.