Sapphire-like restrictions on the Southwest cards (still some links without new langauge)

Update: Charlie from Running with Miles points out that while the language restrictions below do not appear under “Offer Terms” on the landing pages we have linked to these cards, the restrictive language does appear on the actual application page. Datapoints have indicated people being approved despite holding one of these cards, but YMMV.

Chase has added language to the Offer Details of most links to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards consumer credit card applications excluding current cardmembers of any personal Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card. In other words, effective yesterday, Chase is no longer allowing people to open both the Plus and Premier personal credit cards, which has long been one of the easiest ways to earn a Southwest Companion Pass. That said, a few links are still absent of the new language on the landing pages (see update above), including those on our Best Offers page at the time of writing.

sears shutdown

Most application links to the two Southwest personal credit cards now include the following language:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapids Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products

Based on that langauge, anyone who either currently has a Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit card or who has received a signup bonus on one during the last 24 months is not eligible to open a new Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit card. That’s a huge change as it has long been possible to open both the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card and the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card and use points from both signup bonuses to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass (See: Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass). Note that the new language does not exclude business card holders, so it is still possible to earn an easy companion pass with 1 personal and 1 business credit card at the time of writing.

Chase instituted similar language with the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred last year (See: Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses).

Still a chance to get both

Southwest Companion Pass without flying

However, there are some links that are absent the new language. At the time of writing, the links included on our Best Offers page and Southwest Raipid Rewards Premier and Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card pages do not include the new language.

Update: As noted at the top of this post, the landing pages for these cards are absent of the new language, but the language excluding current cardholders does appear on the applicaiton page under “Certifications” like this:

This product is available to you if you do not have a current Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card and have not received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.

The offer details on the landing pages for the links on our Best Offers page just says this:

This product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. 

In other words, they contain the normal Chase 24-month language restricting the signup bonus to those who have not received it within the past 24 months on the landing page — but they do not have the newer, more restrictive language until the application page. Still, data points from Doctor of Credit and reddit indicate that those applying under links that do not have the new language on the landing page have been approved. That said, it isn’t impossible that Chase will later take back that approval or claw back a bonus. YMMV.

Keep in mind that all three Southwest cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months. Some exceptions that are NOT subject to the 5/24 rule include: British Airways, Hyatt, IHG, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Marriott Business, and Ritz Carlton.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status.

Doctor of Credit also reports that this change is because there may be a new premium Southwest card coming with a higher signup bonus. It will be interesting to see if that pans out. In the meantime, if you’ve had both personal cards on the docket, time is probably running out. In addition to earning an easy Companion Pass from the signup bonuses, one of the advantages of holding both personal cards is that points earned from referrals count towards the Companion Pass. Since the Southwest cards are also restricted by the Chase 5/24 rule, it can be helpful to have another avenue towards the Companion Pass in the future. Since you can earn 50,000 points per calendar year from referrals (and I previously wrote about how you may be able to actually earn 100,000 from a single card in a single calendar year), it might make sense to have both if you think you might be able to refer friends in the future.

H/T: The Points Guy

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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DAVID SOWELLkikiSam Recent comment authors
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Sam

This isn’t the best news but isn’t terrible. As long as there’s still an avenue to get a companion pass with 2 card signup bonuses it should be fine.

kiki
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kiki

And I just noticed the fine print for the 1K bonus on filing TurboTax through the RapidRewards portal: not toward Companion Pass 🙁

DAVID SOWELL
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DAVID SOWELL

OKl…I have both SW personal cards and the SW Business card. Does this change mean that I will have to cancel all 3 cards and wait until the 24 month since last bonus was accrued and then sign up for a SW Business and SW Personal card to get both bonuses?
I had planned to cancel 2 SW cards and apply for the Sapphire Preferred. Now, as I understand, it will take both a SW Business and a SW Personal card to easily obtain the Companion Pass. Am I understanding the new rules correctly?