Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Review (2019.10 Update: 50k/40k Offer)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Review

Application Link

Benefits

  1. 40k offer: earn 40,000 Southwest miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. The recent best offer is 60k.
  2. We value Southwest Miles at 1.5 cents/point (Airline Miles Value), so the 60k offer is worth about $900. See A Beginner’s Guide to Southwest Miles for details about Southwest Miles.
  3. Earn 2x miles per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines. Earn 1x mile per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  4. Receive 3k Southwest Miles after paying the annual fee every year after your second annual cardholder year.
  5. If you earn 110k Southwest miles in a year, you get the Southwest companion pass certificate which is valid until the end of next calendar year!
  6. Refer a friend (targeted): You can earn 5,000 bonus Southwest miles for every approved account you refer, up to a maximum of 10 approved referrals (50,000 Southwest miles) per calendar year.

Disadvantages

  1. Annual fee $69, not waived first year.
  2. Southwest doesn’t have airlines partners, so the miles can only be redeemed for flights on Southwest Airlines itself. Southwest only flies domestically within the USA and to/from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
  3. It has foreign transaction fee, so it's not a good choice outside the US.

Recommended Application Time

  1. [5/24 Rule] If you have 5 or more new accounts opened in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve your application for this card, no matter how high your credit score is. The number of new accounts includes all credit card accounts open over 24 months, not only Chase accounts. See this post for details about how to possibly bypass this rule.
  2. This product is available to you if you do not have any Southwest personal credit card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Southwest personal credit card in the past 24 months. Note that what matters here is the time you got the sign-up bonus, not the time you open the account or close the account.
  3. Don’t apply for more than 2 Chase credit cards within 30 days.
  4. We recommend you to apply for this card after you have a credit history of more than a year.

Summary

The 60k sign-up bonus provides a good vlaue. If you apply for a personal Southwest card and a business Southwest card, both when have the highest sign-up bonus, then you will earn 120k Southwest miles in total, which more than enough to get you a Companion Pass. Remember that you can no longer get two personal Southwest cards at the same time now. The best timing to get the Companion Pass is the beginning of a calendar year, because it will be valid until the end of next calendar year!

Now you can only choose one Chase Southwest personal card from the three available. If you don’t fly Southwest frequently, and you just want the sign-up bonus, then the Chase Southwest Plus card with the lowest annual fee is the most suitable for you. If you fly Southwest frequently, then the Chase Southwest Priority with more benefits may be better.

Related Credit Cards

 Chase Southwest PlusChase Southwest PremierChase Southwest PriorityChase Southwest Premier BusinessChase Southwest Performance Business
Annual Fee$69$99$149$99$199
Various Creditnonenone$75 Southwest credit; Four Upgraded BoardingsnoneFour Upgraded Boardings; Inflight WiFi; Global Entry
Annual Miles3,0006,0007,5006,0009,000
Best Sign-up Bonus60k60k60k60k80k

The current terms force you to choose only one personal Southwest credit card among the three. But you can have both personal and business cards.

Recommended Downgrade Options

  • You can not downgrade this card to any card with no annual fee, so I suggest you close it when you don’t want to keep it any longer.

After Applying

  • Call 800-436-7927 to check Chase application status. This is an automated telephone line, and the response from the automated line will be one of the following: Receive decision in 2 weeks means your application is probably approved; Receive decision in 7-10 days means your application is probably rejected; Receive decision in 30 days simply means your application requires further review and there’s nothing to tell you for now. Note this is all anecdotal, and your application may switch from one status to another throughout the application process.
  • Chase reconsideration backdoor number: 888-270-2127 or 888-609-7805. Call it if you didn’t get immediately approved.

Historical Offers Chart

Note: Sometimes there is 40k+20k offer on this card. But the spending requirement for the latter 20k is huge, so we don’t treat them as sign-up bonus, we treat them as spending bonus instead.

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