Southwest Airlines and Chase Add Benefits to Co-Branded Credit Cards
Continuing a streak of rewards credit card updates, this week Chase and Southwest revealed some changes to their co-branded line-up. However, in this case, the duo have added benefits to the cards while keeping the annual fees where they are.
The first changes to the line-up include enhancements to some rewards categories. Now, Southwest Rapid Reward Plus, Premier, and Priority cardholders will earn 2x points on local transit and commuting purchases, including rideshare. Additionally, all three consumer cards will earn 2x points on internet, cable, phone service, and select streaming service purchases. What’s more, the Premier and Priority cards will increase the points earned from Southwest purchases to 3x from the previous 2x (the Plus card will continue to earn 2x in this category).
As for the new perks, perhaps the biggest news is that Plus and Premier customers will now enjoy two free EarlyBird Check-Ins per year. Also new is that all three cards will now earn customers 25% back on in-flight purchases.
Along with these updated benefits, Southwest is also offering an attractive welcome bonus for all three of its co-branded consumer cards. New cardholders who apply for the Plus, Premier, or Priority before December 7th and are approved can earn 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 in purchases in their first three months and can then earn an additional 50,000 points after spending $12,000 in their first twelve months. It should be noted that the Plus, Premier, and Priority cards do carry annual fees of $69, $99, and $149 respectively.
Not only does 2021 mark 50 years of Southwest Airlines but also 25 years of Chase issuing Southwest credit cards. Commenting on this working relationship and the updated offerings, Southwest Airlines Managing Director of Loyalty, Partnerships, and Products Jonathan Clarkson said, “We’re thrilled to enhance our partnership with Chase by bringing more benefits than ever before to our award-winning Rapid Rewards Credit Card program, and continuing to offer the best travel products to our Cardmembers. With perks like EarlyBird Check-in, Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List status, 25% back on inflight purchases, as well as expanded benefits to categories like local transit and commuting purchases, we’re giving Cardmembers more out of their everyday travel and spending for future adventures.”
Considering that Southwest has added benefits while retaining the previous perks and keeping the annual fees the same, these updates can only be considered a win for consumers. Elsewhere, it’s interesting to note that Chase and Southwest are employing a two-tiered welcome bonus for this 100,000 point offer, which other issuers have been experimenting with. Ultimately, if you’re a Southwest fan, one of these freshly revamped cards may be a good option for you despite the annual fees.