Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) introduced a new credit card that offers 65,000 bonus points if customers spend a minimum amount in the first year they have the card.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, issued by Chase, comes with an annual fee of $149. Customers who spend $1,000 in the first three months after opening the account get 40,000 bonus points. And if customers spend a total of $15,000 within the first year, they get another 25,000 bonus points on top of that.
The 65,000 bonus points are worth approximately $975, according to The Points Guy website.
"We think the new Priority card will be perfect for our customers seeking to experience all that Southwest has to offer, especially as we look to launch service to Hawaii very soon," said Ryan Green, Southwest vice president and chief marketing officer, in a prepared statement.
Some other perks of the card include 7,500 anniversary points, up to four upgraded boardings per year (when available) and a $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
Like previous credit cards, customers get two points per every dollar spent on Southwest flights and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners. One point is issued for $1 spent on other items. Customers' points don't expire as long as the account is open.
Southwest also offers its Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, which has similar benefits to the Priority card the airline introduced today. The Plus has an annual fee of $69 and offers the same 40,000 bonus points for $1,000 spent in the first three months. It has fewer anniversary points at 3,000 compared to 7,500 for the Priority card.
Credit cards are lucrative for airlines, including Southwest. In its latest 10-K filing, the Dallas-based carrier said that its "other revenues" category for 2017 increased by 11.9 percent, or $197 million. The company said that 70 percent of that increase was due to an uptick in revenue associated with card holder spend on the company's Chase Visa credit card.