The best Southwest Airlines credit cards can save you hundreds of dollars per year, and they all offer an initial bonus for spending a certain amount in the first few months. Southwest credit cards also provide ongoing bonus rewards on purchases and perks such as free checked bags and upgrades. You just need to choose the card that fits your spending and travel habits the best.
Best Southwest Credit Cards Comparison
|Credit Card||Best For||Rewards Rate||Annual Fee|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card||Winner||1 - 3 points / $1||$149|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card||Low Annual Fee||1 - 2 points / $1||$69|
|The World of Hyatt Credit Card||Southwest Partner Card||1 - 4 points / $1||$95|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card||Bonus Rewards||1 - 3 points / $1||$99|
|Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card||Business Rewards||1 - 4 points / $1||$199|
Southwest Airlines Credit Card Alternatives
Even if you frequently fly with Southwest Airlines, you might not want a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. The alternatives are just that good.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card offers 60,000 points (worth up to $900 in travel booked through Chase) for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Chase Sapphire Reserve also gives 1 - 10 points per $1 spent on purchases.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card is another interesting option because Hyatt is one of Southwest’s rewards partners. That means Southwest Rapid Rewards members can earn Southwest points on Hyatt hotel bookings, and World of Hyatt members can exchange their Hyatt points for Southwest rewards. You can trade 5,000 Hyatt points for 2,400 Southwest points, or 50,000 Hyatt points for 30,000 Southwest points.
If you want more options, check out WalletHub’s picks for the year’s best airline miles credit cards and the best travel credit cards overall.
Methodology for Selecting the Best Southwest Credit Cards
To find the best Southwest credit cards for different types of travelers, WalletHub’s editors regularly compare all of the available Southwest Airlines credit card offers based on their airfare rewards, frequent-flyer benefits, initial bonuses, interest rates, fees and approval requirements. We also consider credit cards from partners of Southwest Airlines, as they often have attractive rewards that can be used to save on Southwest airfare. Final selections are made based on the lowest two-year cost.
How Two-Year Cost Is Calculated
Two-year cost is used to approximate the monetary value of cards for better comparison and is calculated by combining annual and monthly membership fees over two years, adding any one-time fees or other fees (like balance transfer fees), adding any interest costs, and subtracting rewards. Negative amounts indicate savings. When fees or other terms are presented as a range, we use the midpoint for scoring purposes.
Rewards bonuses and credits have been taken into account for two-year cost calculations. However, bonuses applicable to only a very small portion of cardholders are not considered. For example, credits and bonuses awarded for spending or redeeming rewards through a company portal with non-co-branded cards have not been taken into account. Similarly, bonuses and credits related to spending with specific merchants using a non-co-branded card have not been taken into account (for example, if Card A offers credits with DoorDash, this feature would not be factored into calculations because it is hard to assess how many cardholders would use the benefit or exactly how much value they'd get from it).
Cardholder Spending Profiles
Given that people have differing goals and are likely to use their credit cards differently, we identified spending profiles that are representative of different people’s financial priorities and behaviors. For each cardholder type, we have assumed a specific amount of monthly spending by purchase type (e.g., groceries, gas, etc.), as well as an average balance, balance transfer amount, amount spent on large purchases and average monthly payment. Spending assumptions are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data for consumers and PEX data for businesses.
WalletHub’s editors update their best Southwest credit card selections on a regular basis, as offers change and new cards are introduced. If you don’t want to be tied to a particular airline brand, you can check out our latest picks for the best airline credit cards overall. Our best airlines report also has a detailed evaluation of major airlines based on metrics such as safety, inflight comfort, delay/cancellation policies, etc.