Best card for SW Newbie FF

Old Jul 5, 2021, 11:19 pm
  #1  
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Best card for SW Newbie FF

I'm sorry for such a newbie question but I learned today that I'm going to start flying again next week. It's been a decade since I was a frequent flyer and participant on FlyerTalk and even then it was AA not Soutwest (I've only flown SW 2x in my life). It looks like SW will be the better choice this time (DAL).

Are the SW Airline credit cards the best option to maximize value flying SW or are the benefits to cost such that you choose to use other cards instead?

Any other "do this right away" recommendations for starting with SW?

Thanks y'all!

Last edited by MtStream; Jul 6, 2021 at 1:08 am
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Old Jul 5, 2021, 11:26 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by MtStream
Any other "do this right away" recommendations for starting with SW?
What exactly are you looking for?
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Old Jul 5, 2021, 11:55 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by garykung
What exactly are you looking for?
With AA (at least back in the day) you could purchase Premier status up front. Kept you from being completely miserable the 1st year of travel. I don't see anything like that for SWA but thought it was worth checking.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 6:22 am
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Southwest's FF program is different from the legacy airlines in that they don't really give you a bunch of add-ons and upgrades. The highest tier, and the best perk in the airline industry IMO, is the companion pass, and it's attainable through credit card signup bonuses. But it's only worth the effort if you travel with another person on Southwest at least several times a year.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 8:17 am
  #5  
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There is no status to buy, and by the way, the only status gets you early boarding. No reserved seats. No first class.

As to cards to get - we have lots of cards but do not use them to earn miles on daily spend. We alternate getting SW cards and get the signup bonus. We actually get two of them in the late fall and get enough for the companion pass, then put them away.

If you like to board early, I strong suggest thier premium cards. Yes, they cost more, but you get 4 A1-A15 boardings. (better than A list), along with annual miles boost.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 9:14 am
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I'll throw in there that if early boarding is a deciding factor AND you need to connect to most destinations, paid for/upgraded boarding slots are moot if your incoming flight is even modestly late (like 10-15 minutes). A huge consideration if you are based at a smaller station.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 9:41 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by joshua362
I'll throw in there that if early boarding is a deciding factor AND you need to connect to most destinations, paid for/upgraded boarding slots are moot if your incoming flight is even modestly late (like 10-15 minutes). A huge consideration if you are based at a smaller station.
I am sure what you are trying to say is true - but I can not figure out what you are suggesting?

Why is early boarding "moot" if the flight is a little late?
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 9:57 am
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If the inbound flight is delayed to the extent that the connecting flight is already boarding, you've missed your early boarding spot, so it depends how long a connection you have in the first place: if you have two hours to connect, a 10-15-minute delay won't matter.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere
I am sure what you are trying to say is true - but I can not figure out what you are suggesting?

Why is early boarding "moot" if the flight is a little late?
Nothing more demoralizing to show up at with an A01 BP a few minutes late and they are in the middle of boarding C's. Happened to me all the time at BWI and LAX, over 50% of the time. I've always had very limited options from my home station. I have no suggestions on how to prevent or fix it, just to beware, especially in these times. (other than the obvious of not flying WN or connecting taking flights or taking the last flights of the day or building in huge layovers)
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 11:43 am
  #10  
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Since OP is based in DAL, I think they can likely get to most of the Southwest network on direct flights, so the "useless A boarding pass on a connecting flight" problem may not be as big of an issue (of course it depends on one's individual flight patterns).

A lot of people use Southwest credit cards to get Companion Pass, as the bonus points and everyday spend points count towards that (but do not count towards elite status). So if that's a goal, the credit card might be worthwhile. The cards don't have much in the way of on-board perks though.

If you're looking for better seats/better boarding number, you might be better off trying to attain A-List status, or individually buying early bird check in ($15-25) or an A1-15 number at the gate ($30-50). None of the credit cards give you that automatically for every flight. I believe the Priority ($149/year) gives you 4 free upgrades to A1-15 at the gate per year. Not sure that's worth it though.

A-list usually requires 25 one-way flights (a flight with a connection counts as 1 flight; a roundtrip counts as 2) OR 35,000 tier qualifying points (TQP) (which are spend based). This year due to COVID that's been reduced to 15 one-way flights OR 20,000 TQPs. The Premier ($99/year) and Priority ($149/year) give you 1500 TQPs for every $10k in spend, up to 15,000 total. If you're putting that much spend on the card and trying to qualify for status via TQPs, I guess that could be valuable.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere
There is no status to buy, and by the way, the only status gets you early boarding. No reserved seats. No first class.

As to cards to get - we have lots of cards but do not use them to earn miles on daily spend. We alternate getting SW cards and get the signup bonus. We actually get two of them in the late fall and get enough for the companion pass, then put them away.

If you like to board early, I strong suggest thier premium cards. Yes, they cost more, but you get 4 A1-A15 boardings. (better than A list), along with annual miles boost.
This is the way. We don't even use our Southwest card to purchase Southwest flights past $75 - those go on our Amex Plat. We just get the signup bonus, anniversary points, $75 annual credit, and the upgraded boarding credits. Makes the annual fee well worth it, plus we get access to any cardholder-specific promotions.

We manage to maintain A-List and Companion Pass status just through leisure travel, credit card signups, and some other points earnings games. It requires a minimum of 25 cash segments per year (or, if you get to book Business Select for work, 35k points earned on flights) plus redemptions to burn the points you earned. For legitimately frequent travelers, this is an unbeatable offering for domestic travel. It can be pretty great even for less frequent travelers, but if you don't travel domestically for leisure much, you'll want to run the numbers.

We essentially can't leave Southwest, especially now that they gave us a second local airport with plenty of flights. I do agree that it is incredibly frustrating to be stuck boarding very late on after a delayed connecting flight, but we deal with it for the other benefits.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 5:55 pm
  #12  
 
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Southwest Companion pass is no longer easily obtainable via credit cards unless.................

1. Southwest comes out with a personal card offer that includes CP

2. You have a legit business with the necessary income and years in business to qualify for a Chase business credit card.

3. Either of the above and below 5/24

Unless things revert back to pre covid rules getting CP via 2 Chase Southwest credit cards , one being a sole proprietor "business" is no longer a sure thing like in the past.

Chase does appear to be easing restrictions a bit especially if you have a existing Chase business card and/or a Chase checking account.

My wife and I both have INK cards opened as a SP business that we have had a few years, She is next up for CP in 2022 ( we switch off every 2 years) so I'll give a SP business card in her name a shot.
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Last edited by flyer4512; Jul 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 7:22 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by flyer4512
Southwest Companion pass is no longer easily obtainable via credit cards unless.................

1. Southwest comes out with a personal card offer that includes CP

2. You have a legit business with the necessary income and years in business to qualify for a Chase business credit card.

3. Either of the above and below 5/24

Unless things revert back to pre covid rules getting CP via 2 Chase Southwest credit cards , one being a sole proprietor "business" is no longer a sure thing like in the past.

Chase does appear to be easing restrictions a bit especially if you have a existing Chase business card and/or a Chase checking account.

My wife and I both have INK cards opened as a SP business that we have had a few years, She is next up for CP in 2022 ( we switch off every 2 years) so I'll give a SP business card in her name a shot.
Maybe.

We plan to get the personal and biz again this fall. We do not have a current business, but will be "opening" one in October/November and will not have any income yet, so hopefully we can make it happen. We have used our business name.ein in the past that is really no longer in business and nobody ever "questioned" our income/staff/etc. Good thing, other than verbal I could not prove it. I am thinking we may not get away with that this year. Those two cards will get us to the number, or close enough along with a little spend.

Have been tracking new accounts closely, and will be under 5/24.

Wife is around 800 FICO that should help.
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Old Jul 6, 2021, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by NoStressHere
Maybe.

We plan to get the personal and biz again this fall. We do not have a current business, but will be "opening" one in October/November and will not have any income yet, so hopefully we can make it happen. We have used our business name.ein in the past that is really no longer in business and nobody ever "questioned" our income/staff/etc. Good thing, other than verbal I could not prove it. I am thinking we may not get away with that this year. Those two cards will get us to the number, or close enough along with a little spend.

Have been tracking new accounts closely, and will be under 5/24.

Wife is around 800 FICO that should help.
Same Fico score here and under 5/24 here with no debt plus a 6 figure account with Chase, I have an INK card open for years and still a no go on a SP Chase card in August 2020.

I have had about a dozen SP business cards in the past with no legit business plus a few for a legit business.

I did own a bar years ago that had business cards and tried applying under that name in early 2021 and was asked for income verification, etc

Our plan is to try for the business first and if denied hope Chase has a personal card that comes with Companion pass ( not 2 years but it was something) as they have the past 2 years.

I have been following this thread hoping for good news.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chas...20-onward.html
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Last edited by flyer4512; Jul 6, 2021 at 8:13 pm
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Old Jul 7, 2021, 12:14 am
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How many companion trips do you guys take annually? I don't think I understand why so many people aren't sure they can/will earn the pass if they can only get one card. 125k points is worth, what, $1750? You can buy CPQP hotel portals for about 2c a pop, so doing it that way, you're paying $750 for the pass itself for two years. Even a single card cuts that down drastically, usually almost in half. If you don't use the pass enough to make that worthwhile, then why have you been playing the 5/24 game all this time?
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