Southwest Airlines Anniversary Points (Credit Cards) Explained [2021]

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Perks that arrive every account anniversary are often the best reasons to keep a card for the long term. They offer consistent value that you can always rely on to offset your annual fee and they typically add some nice value to your travels.

When it comes to Southwest Airlines credit cards, these cards offer a few different types of recurring benefits that can easily offset your annual fees.

In this article, I’ll focus on the anniversary points that these cards offer and give you an idea on how much value you can expect to receive.

What are the Southwest anniversary points?

Every account anniversary, Southwest credit card members will be issued a certain number of anniversary points depending on the type of Southwest credit card they have. These bonus points could range from 3,000 points to 9,000 points.

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Southwest credit card anniversary bonuses

Below are the Southwest credit cards offered by Chase and how many anniversary points you can expect to receive.

Card NameAnniversary bonus
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card3,000
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card6,000
Southwest Airlines Priority Card7,500
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card6,000
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card9,000

Note: If you have an older Southwest credit card it is possible that you could have been grandfathered in to receive more points.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card

  • $99 Annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 6,000 anniversary points
  • Earn 1,500 Tier-Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases, up to 15,000 Tier-Qualifying Points each calendar year

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • $69 Annual fee
  • 3,000 anniversary points

Southwest Airlines Priority Card

  • Bonus spending:
    • 2X Rapid Rewards on Southwest purchases
    • 2X Rapid Rewards on hotel and car rental partner purchases.
    • 1X Rapid Rewards on all other purchases
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list Status
  • $149 annual fee applied to your first billing statement

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

  • $99 Annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 6,000 anniversary points
  • Earn 1,500 Tier-Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases, up to 15,000 Tier-Qualifying Points each calendar year

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card

  • $199 Annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 9,000 anniversary points
  • 4 upgrades per year
  • in-flight wifi credits
  • Earn 1,500 Tier-Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases, up to 15,000 Tier-Qualifying Points each calendar year
  • Best sign-up bonus ever: 80,000 Rapid Rewards
  • Full review here

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Business Card was discontinued in prior years.

Anniversary points value

Now that you have a sense of how many anniversary bonus points you can expect with each Southwest credit card, let’s take a look at the value proposition.

We analyzed over 70 data points to arrive a valuation for Rapid Rewards and that valuation came out to 1.46 cents per point, so I will use that for this analysis.

Card NameAnniversary bonusBonus ValueAnnual Fee
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card3,000$43.80$69
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card6,000$87.60$99
Southwest Airlines Priority Card7,500$109.50$149
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card6,000$87.60$99
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card9,000$131.40$199

First, it’s worth pointing out that in some instances you can get even more value for your Rapid Rewards. During our research, we found some redemptions where you could net 1.8 or even 1.9 cents per point.

If you were to strategically seek out those redemptions then the amount of value you receive from the anniversary points could be substantially higher.

In fact, at those redemption levels you could easily offset the annual fee of some of the cards.

For example, 6,000 points with a valuation of 1.8 cents per point would come out to $108 in value which is more than the Southwest Premier Card $99 annual fee.

But even if you can’t offset the annual fee with the anniversary points alone, some cards will offer you other perks that allow you to do this quite easily.

For example, the Southwest Airlines Priority Card comes with a $75 credit.

If you stack the credit on top of the $109 received from the anniversary bonus, then you clearly come out on top of the $149 annual fee.

And that is without even factoring in the additional value you could get from the upgrades that come with the card. So not only can you cancel out the annual fee, but you can come out on top by a huge margin.

The other thing to consider is that if you have the Southwest Companion Pass you can effectively double your account anniversary points.

The Southwest Companion Pass is a pass that allows a companion to fly for free with you on Southwest flights for up to two calendar years — it’s generally considered one of the most valuable travel perks available.

Because someone can fly with you for free, if you can use 9,000 points for a flight, then you essentially have 18,000 points at your disposal.

That means that the value of that anniversary bonus is technically doubled so always keep that in mind.

Related: What Are the Best Seats on Southwest? (And How to Get Them)

Account anniversary defined

“Account anniversary year” means the year beginning with your account open date through the anniversary of your account open date, and each 12 months after that. 

This just means that you can expect to receive the anniversary points every year after you have had the card for 12 months.

I’ve seen some reports of people receiving the anniversary points both before and after the annual fee posts.

Therefore, this is probably an area where your mileage may vary in terms of the timing of your anniversary points.

Southwest anniversary points FAQs

Do I have to enroll to receive the points?

No, the points will be automatically deposited into your account.

Can I get the points if I cancel my card?

If your points are already in your Southwest account, you will not lose the points for canceling your card.

Just keep in mind that you could be jeopardizing your relationship with Chase if you are canceling cards directly after receiving a benefit.

How much are the anniversary points worth?

Southwest Rapid Rewards are worth 1.46 cents per point, which means that 6,000 anniversary points would be worth $87.60.

Can I get multiple anniversary points bonuses?

Yes, you can receive an anniversary bonus for each eligible Southwest credit card.

Do Southwest Airlines anniversary points count towards the Companion Pass?

Yes, because these anniversary points should be counted as points from a Southwest credit card, they should count towards the Companion Pass.

Final word

As you can tell, these anniversary point bonuses can offset a huge portion of the annual fee.

If you are able to utilize your points for some of the best redemptions then the anniversary bonuses could even offset the entire annual fee.

Therefore, I would be very cautious about canceling Southwest credit cards that offer these bonuses.

UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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