I wrote earlier this month why people who wanted to earn points in Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program would better serve themselves by using one of the cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards instead of the co-brand Southwest credit cards.
Several commenters to that post reminded me that there are times when you’d want to use a Southwest co-brand card instead of a card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Sign Up Bonus
I forgot to mention that if you’ve just signed up for one of the Southwest co-brand credit cards from Chase and are working on meeting the minimum spend requirement, you should use that card.
The Southwest personal cards are currently earning 40,000 points, which is lower than the usual bonus so I wouldn’t recommend getting one of them at the moment. If, and probably when, the bonus goes back up, it’s understandable that new cardholders will use that card so they can earn the sign-up bonus.
If you’re a frequent Southwest flyer and want to earn A-List or A-List Preferred, spending on the Southwest co-brand cards can get you closer to obtaining that status.
You’ll earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases up to $100,000 in purchases annually, which equals 15,000 TQP. TQPs can be used to count toward qualification for Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status. A-List starts at 35,000 TQP, so this will get you almost halfway, but $100,000 is a ton of money to spend. Figure you can use this to get over the top if you’re close to qualifying, but that’s about it.
Earning A Companion Pass
For some travel hackers, earning a Southwest Companion Pass is the golden ring they try to get every year. Here’s our post if you’re wondering what the heck a Companion Pass is.
Points earned with a co-brand card do count towards earning the pass. So if you’re close, or can be with spending on the card, the Southwest cards can be a way for you to reach that goal.
Here’s what counts (and what doesn’t count) to earning the Companion Pass:
Companion Pass qualifying points are earned from your revenue flights booked through Southwest, your points earned by making purchases with a Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card, and your base points earned from Rapid Rewards partners. Purchased points, points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from Rapid Rewards program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and partner bonuses (excluding bonus points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not count toward Companion Pass
For a particular group of people, it will make sense to use the Southwest co-brand cards for spending instead of using a card that Ultimate Rewards.
If you’re not sure what card is best for you to use, I’m 99.44% sure that a card like the Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve if you’re more into earning points) will be a better choice for you.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary