Can You Still Get Approved For Both Personal Southwest Credit Cards?

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At the moment Chase is offering increased sign-up bonuses on their co-branded Southwest credit cards. Specifically, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card are offering bonuses of up to 60,000 Rapid Rewards points upon completing minimum spend.

Details of the two personal Southwest credits cards

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
  • $99 annual fee
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary every year

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
  • $69 annual fee
  • Receive 3,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary every year

Why you should consider Southwest’s credit cards

As much as I’m not generally a Southwest flyer, there are a few things to consider about these cards:

  • When booking “Wanna Get Away” fares, Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed for ~1.6 cents each towards the cost of a Southwest purchase, meaning that 60,000 points is worth almost $1,000 of airfare; getting both cards would potentially get you almost $2,000 worth of travel
  • One of the best values in domestic travel is Southwest Companion Pass, where you can take a companion with you on all flights, whether redeeming miles or paying cash; you get that by earning 110,000 qualifying points in a year, and the two credit card bonuses qualify, meaning you’d get Companion Pass if you got both of those cards and completed the minimum spend
  • At a minimum you can redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Amazon gift cards at the rate of one cent per point, meaning that 60,000 points is worth $600 of Amazon gift cards

Southwest-Gift-Card

Can you still get both personal Southwest cards?

Reader Mike asked if it’s still possible to apply for both the Southwest Premier Card and Southwest Plus Card, given the recent policy change at Chase. As I wrote about earlier in the week, Chase added a new restriction to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, where you can no longer get approved for one card if you have the other. For example, here are the Sapphire Preferred terms:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.

This looks quite similar to Citi’s 24 month rule. That applies to both Citi’s transferable points cards, as well as their co-branded cards. For example, here are the terms of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®:

American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

The good news is that Chase hasn’t added this restriction on their co-branded cards, meaning that it’s still possible to get approved (and earn the bonus) for both the Southwest Premier Card and Southwest Plus Card. Given that the card is subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, I assume more people than before are interested in picking up one or both cards, given that many probably aren’t waiting to apply for the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve anymore.

Bottom line

We’ve never seen higher sign-up bonuses on Southwest’s cards than what we’re seeing right now. The other good news is that you can still be approved for both cards. Up until now, Chase’s rule change only applies to the Sapphire products, and not to their co-branded products. Being able to pick up both cards is especially useful with Southwest, given the value of Southwest’s Companion Pass. At a minimum, you can redeem Southwest points for a penny each towards a variety of gift cards.

If you don’t yet have the Southwest Premier Card and Southwest Plus Card, it could very well make sense to pick them up.

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Comments

  1. There is a timing play to be considered here- if you can get both cards and the bonuses post in January, you will have the companion pass for 2018 and 2019. One strategy would be to wait until say mid-September to apply, so your 3 month period runs until mid-December. Set your statement closing date with Chase (you can do it online or call, very easy) to be the 2nd of each month. Therefore, as long as you pass the $2,000 spending threshold on each card after December 2, the bonuses will post in January, and then you will be good for 2018 and 19. It will take a bit of “threading the needle”, as you will probably want to spend up to say, $1,800 before December 2, to get close, and because you will only have a few weeks between December 2 and December 15 to pass $2,000. But if you time it out right you will be golden

  2. @Lucky I have a question on the 24 months rule. I applied for my two southwest cards on Nov 30, 2015, and received all bonus miles on Jan 15, 2016. Then I received the companion pass for two years good till the end 2017. To be qualified to reapply for two southwest cards, do I need to wait till after Jan 15, 2018 or I only need to wait till after Nov 30, 2017?

  3. @ MCLaughlin — The terms indicate that you need to wait 24 months from when you received the bonus, so I suspect you’d have to wait until at least January 2018 (and I’d leave a bit of a buffer).

  4. What is the best strategy, in your opinion, to getting both cards? What about when the business version hits a 60,000 point sign up bonus? Both personal cards on the same day? Wait a week between sign ups? What about if you were going for 1 personal and 1 business? What would be best strategy for that option? Any help would be appreciated as I think my Wife will be signing up for both at sometime in the next few months if they’re at a 50K or 60K signup bonus. THANKS

  5. Since the Southwest cards are included in the 5/24 rule, how is it that so many people can qualify for this while churning other cards at the same time?

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