Did you know that you can now earn points on balance transfers to SOME Southwest cards?

That used to not be the case. Balance transfers NEVER counted as a way to earn points on a credit card, nor did they qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, a pass that lets one person fly free with you on all flights for up to two years. 

But the terms have changed on SOME cards, and NOW you CAN earn points on balance transfers to select Southwest cards.


Which Southwest Cards Earn Points for Balance Transfers?

Now, you’re wondering which cards, right?

When it comes to personal cards, the Southwest Business Performance card is the only one in the mix that strangely DOES NOT earn points on balance transfers. Additionally, Southwest Priority does NOT allow you to earn points on balance transfers.

But here are the cards where you CAN earn points on balance transfers:

Here’s what the terms of these cards state:

“You’ll earn 1 point for each $1 of the first $15,000 of balance transfers made during the first 90 days from your original account open date.”

So there are a few requirements:

  • Only the first $15,000 in balance transfers
  • Only during the first 90 days from your account open date

Also there IS a fee, a steep one! 

These points DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, because they were earned using your credit card, and all Southwest credit card points count toward the Companion Pass.


Balance Transfer Fees and Costs


balance transfer fee or fees

Beware, there IS a cost to transfer balances to your Southwest card.

First, you’ll be charged either $5 or 5% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is higher. If you transferred the full $15,000, that would be $750, which is quite a lot!

Then, you’ll pay an interest rate of 17.49% to 24.49% on the balance.

So you don’t want to do this and then carry a balance. That WILL cost you even more!


Should You Take Advantage of Balance Transfers to Earn Southwest Points?


woman credit cards - do balance transfers earn points Southwest

When deciding if you should or should not move a balance to a Southwest card, consider a few things.

1. Could you pay the balance immediately once transferred? If yes, you might consider it, as you could avoid the high interest rate.

2. Could you earn the points in a cheaper way through a purchase in the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal for example or by booking a hotel through SouthwestHotels.com?

On SouthwestHotels.com, for example, you might be able to book a room for 10,000-15,000 points per night, which is the same number of points you’d earn on a $15,000 balance transfer. But you’d only pay the cost of the room night, let’s say $150, versus the $750 balance transfer fee. Definitely a better deal.

I think in most cases you’ll find it cheaper to purchase something in the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal, as well, to get the same number of points.

As another example, if you had $5,000 to transfer (that’s a $250 balance transfer fee) that would earn you 5,000 points, but you could earn almost 5,000 points with a $99 subscription to the Motley Fool. Again, a much better deal…


What do you think?

Did you know this was an option?

Would you consider it?