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Chase and Southwest rolled out new bonuses for their co-branded credit cards—here's how they stack up

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus, Premier and Priority credit cards have similar rewards and welcome bonuses, but the additional perks and annual fee vary, making it hard to choose the best card.

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Southwest

Frequent Southwest fliers may want to open one of the Chase and Southwest co-branded credit cards to maximize the airline miles they can earn. But with three consumer credit cards — Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card – it can be hard to narrow down the best option.

The cards have the same rewards program and welcome bonuses, but the additional perks and annual fee vary. To help you decide which Southwest credit card is best for your needs, CNBC Select breaks down the new offers.

Current welcome bonus offer for Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards

New Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card applicants can take advantage of the same welcome bonus, regardless of whether you sign up for the Plus, Premier or Priority card.

The bonus requires you to spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months to benefit from these two offers:

  • A Companion Pass valid through 2/28/2022
  • 30,000 points

Compare Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card rewards and perks

Here is a break down of the different cards, their annual fees and other perks:

Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card comparion

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card 
Annual fee$69$99$149
Foreign transaction fee3%NoneNone
Rewards2X points on every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1X points on all other purchases2X points on every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1X points on all other purchases2X points on every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome bonusEarn a Companion Pass® valid through 2/28/2022; plus 30000 points after you spend $5000 on purchases in the first three monthsEarn a Companion Pass® valid through 2/28/2022; plus 30000 points after you spend $5000 on purchases in the first three monthsEarn a Companion Pass® valid through 2/28/2022; plus 30000 points after you spend $5000 on purchases in the first three months
Anniversary bonus3000600075000
Free checked bagsFirst and secondFirst and secondFirst and second
Annual Southwest travel creditNoneNone$75
Southwest in-flight savingsNoneNone20%

Bottom line

The best Southwest card depends on where you're traveling and the perks that matter the most you. All Southwest cards offer free first and second checked bags and 2X points on Southwest Airlines purchases.

Plus you can earn a Companion Pass valid through 2/28/2022, plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. If that's all that matters to you, stick with Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, which has the lowest annual fee at $69 per year.

But if you plan on traveling outside the U.S., then you might want to go with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card or Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card since they charge no foreign transaction fees.

When it comes to added card benefits, the Priority card has the most perks, such as the annual $75 Southwest travel credit and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases when you fly Southwest. It does come with the highest annual fee ($149), so you need to make sure you're spending enough on the card to make up for that cost.

If you're a frequent flier with another airline, check out our list of the best airline credit cards, or consider a general travel rewards card if you don't favor one airline.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    2X points on every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a Companion Pass® through 2/28/2022 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $69

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fees

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Pros

  • 3,000 bonus points on each account anniversary
  • Free first and second checked bags

Cons

  • $69 annual fee
  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • No special financing offers

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    2X points on every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a Companion Pass® through 2/28/2022 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $99

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fees

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Pros

  • 6,000 bonus points on each account anniversary
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Free first and second checked bags

Cons

  • $99 annual fee
  • No special financing offers

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    2X points on every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a Companion Pass® through 2/28/2022 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

    $149

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fees

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Pros

  • 7,500 bonus points on each account anniversary
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • 20% savings on in-flight purchases
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year when available
  • Free first and second checked bags

Cons

  • $149 annual fee
  • No special financing offers
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.