Plus, Premier, or Priority: We break down which Southwest Airlines credit card gets flyers the most value

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Southwest Airlines

For a limited time, every Southwest credit card is offering one of the best bonuses ever: Get a 30,000-mile bonus and a free Companion Pass for the rest of 2019 after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening a new account.

The offer ends on February 11, and you won't want to miss it.

Follow along to learn why and which of the three Southwest cards is best for you.

A once-in-a-lifetime bonus

If you've never heard of the Southwest Companion Pass, make sure you're sitting down. This is a hugely valuable reward that might make you so excited you get a little shaky.

With a Companion Pass, you can bring one designated traveling companion - often a spouse, child, or maybe even a BFF - along with you on any Southwest flight where you are traveling for free. You just pay $5.60 each way in fees. That means you get two-for-one flights for the rest of the year if you earn this bonus.

A Companion Pass gives you the ability to book your companion ticket whether you pay cash for your flight or book with Southwest Rapid Rewards miles. With the 30,000-mile sign-up bonus, you should be able to book yourself a free round-trip and bring along the companion. That is essentially two free flights just for getting started.

I first got the Southwest Companion Pass at a time I was taking a lot of trips with my wife to visit my family in Denver. The more you fly on Southwest with your companion, the more value you'll get from this offer. Just keep in mind that you can't change your companion for each flight. You can change it up to three times per year at most. That means you can't travel with a new friend every weekend somewhere new. It works best for one designated travel companion.

Plus, Priority, or Premier?

The Southwest credit cards come from Chase, and you have three different personal versions to choose from. Each version of the card offers different levels of benefits at different annual fee points. Here's a quick summary of what you should know:

All the cards offer 2x miles per dollar spent at Southwest and 1 mile everywhere else. If you fly on Southwest regularly, these cards are likely a great deal regardless of the bonus. When you add 30,000 miles and the Companion Pass, the offer is very compelling.

The Priority is clearly the best when it comes to benefits and features, but it is the most expensive with a $149 annual fee. However, with a $75 annual travel credit, you already cover half of the annual fee when you pay for one flight. That makes the Priority better than the less expensive, $99-a-year Premier is pretty much all cases.

With a difference of just $5 in annual costs from the Plus card, once you take that $75 annual credit into account, the Priority card emerges as the clear best choice for most Southwest customers.

If you'd like to do more research into which is best for you, you can find a breakdown comparing all three personal Southwest credit cards here.

Don't delay if you want this great bonus offer

The entire period with this offer available is only a few weeks long. Don't procrastinate if you want the Companion Pass deal, as it won't last long.

Southwest miles are worth up to 1.6 cents each when used for Wanna Get Away level fairs. That means the sign-up bonus, with a companion, is worth at least $960 toward free travel. That's huge! Each flight you book with a companion, that value goes up by the cost of your ticket. You can easily pull thousands of dollars in value from this bonus offer.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

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