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When it comes to a travels rewards card that can be beneficial to both loyalty customers as well as a more casual spender, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is the a good option of both worlds.
In terms of rewards, cardholders earn 2X points on Southwest purchases, Southwesthotel and car rental partners, local transit and commuting (including ride-shares),internet, cable, phone and select streaming services, and 1X points on all other purchases. As a sign up bonus, the card offers 50,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first three months.
However, the card comes with an annual fee of $69 . In spite of it's lower compared to other travel cards, it's recommended to make sure the rewards you get worth it.
Overall, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is branded by Southwest Airlines. It offers a wide variety of rewards options that extend past the typical travel rewards, which is something that separates the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card from others within the same distinctions.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus
Sign up Bonus
21.24% - 28.24% variable APR
Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 5%
Good - Excellent
Card & Issuer Reputation
- 4.1/5 on
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
You’ll get 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $10,000 you spend. At A List status, you can enjoy priority boarding, and check in, a dedicated member’s phone line and 25% more points per flight.
Because the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is a travel rewards card, not having to worry about blackout dates causing a dilemma when scheduling trips is a huge benefit that many travel cards fail to offer to their customers.
On top of this, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card offers no seat restrictions when you fly, meaning you don’t have to worry about only get the last open seats on an available flight.
Every year a cardholder has an open account with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, they will receive 3,000 points as a loyalty perk for having the account.
While this isn’t a huge perk, this is still a nice little effort from Southwest to give people more of a reason to keep this card open.
Once you have earned 125,000 qualifying points or have flown 100 qualifying one way flights in a calendar year, you’ll earn a companion pass for the following calendar year.
This allows one person to fly with you each time you purchase or use your points for a Southwest flight.
If you or a family member has check or carry on luggage lost or damaged by the carrier, you’ll have up to $3,000 per passenger coverage.
You’ll also have up to $100 a day for three days to reimburse you for essential purchases if your baggage is delayed by over six hours.
If you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and pay for the entire rental cost with your card, you’ll have coverage for theft and collision damage for most rental cars.
Your new purchases will be covered against damage or theft for 120 days. The insurance cap is $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account. This extends the time period of the manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible purchases.
Here are the main drawbacks to consider before you apply:
Although there are a many options for domestic travel within the United States, traveling internationally is a different story.
There are very limited options when it comes to traveling abroad, so if international travel is something that a potential cardholder was hoping to benefit from, then they might want to look at other options.
There is an annual fee of $69 for having the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.
While this is lower than other cards that are both travel rewards based and not travel rewards based, there is also a 3% foreign transaction fee. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card also have no intro APR for new cardholders, and the variable APR is 21.24% – 28.24% variable APR.
If you're not a loyal customer of Southwest, the rewards rate is lower compared to what you can find on other travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Capital One Venture.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card has some great flight options for Southwest airlines. However, because Southwest doesn’t have any partner airlines, cardholders who are looking to use these points to flight are limited to only flying Southwest.
While this card is designed for Southwest purchases and more specifically for Southwest loyalists, not having any flexibility is something that could deter potential cardholders from applying.
Simulation: How Much Miles You Can Earn?
If you're a frequent traveler, there is no doubt you can leverage the Rapid Rewards Plus card to get a bunch of miles rewards, in addition to another benefits it offers. But how much exactly can you earn?
In order to understand that, we need to calculate the miles based on the card terms and spend per each category. However, everyone has its own habits, so it's important to adjust the according to your specific category breakdown.
Spend Per Category
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority
$12,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$4,000 – Restaurants
$3,000 – Airline
$3,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Redemption Value
1 point ~ 1.4 cent
Estimated Annual Value
How to Redeem Your Point Rewards?
Points that are earned using the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card can be redeemed for a number of things outside of just Southwest Airlines flights. You can use your points to book Southwest Airlines flights to over 90 destinations, car rentals and hotel stays, Rapid Rewards Access Events, gift cards, or merchandise.
Chase offers a rewards dashboard where you can track your points and double-check the benefits that come with your card. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card has a tiered structure that awards three points for every dollar spent on Southwest products.
You'll get two points for every dollar spent with Southwest partners such as Rapid Rewards car rental and hotel partners, but you'll also get two points for local transportation such as ridesharing, streaming, internet, cable, and phone services. Any purchases in other categories will earn you one point for every dollar spent.
While the best rewards do come in the travel area, meaning the flights and hotel stays, it is nice to have the flexibility and options to look into other means of rewards. These points also don’t expire over time, just so long that the account stays open.
Best Ways to Maximize Miles Rewards
One of the best ways to maximize your rewards with the Southwest Rapid Rewards program is to achieve A List status.
A List Status requires at least 35,000 tier qualifying points or 25 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year, but you'll get 1,500 points for every $10,000 you spend on your card. When you achieve A List status, you will not only receive airport perks, but you will also earn 25% more points for each flight.
You can also increase your point balance by participating in the refer a friend scheme. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus points per year, with 20,000 points awarded for each friend who obtains a Southwest Rapid Rewards card through your referral link.
How To Apply For Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card?
Applying for the Southwest card is quite simple process, here are the main steps:
Visit the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card and get started.
A page appears to get you started, which includes your names, mailing address, date of birth, etc.
Next, specify your statement and communication delivery preference.
Now, take your time to read through the E-Sign Disclosure as well as the Pricing & terms.
Lastly, agree to the certifications and click “Submit.”
Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card Right for You?
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is a strong credit card that is certainly designed for Southwest loyalists. The card has a great sign-up bonus, as well as many options for domestic traveling.
The travels perks, flexibility in point redemption, and its points rewards plan are all great reasons to consider this card. Combine this with a lower annual fee than competitor cards, and it makes sense as to why the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a great option to consider adding to your wallet.
Compare The Alternatives
If you're looking for an airline credit card – the Southwest is definitely a good option. However, there are some good alternatives:
United℠ Explorer Card
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
$95 ($0 first year)
$99, $0 intro first year. See Rates and Fees.
$99 Waived for the first 12 months
1X – 2X 2x per $1 spent on United purchases, hotel accommodations, restaurants & eligible delivery services and 1x per $1 spent on all other purchases
1X – 2X 2X miles on delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide (including take-out and delivery in the U.S) and at U.S. supermarkets, and 1x miles on all other eligible purchases
1X – 2X 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
60,000 miles 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
40,000 Miles 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months
50,000 Miles 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
0%. See Rates and Fees.
21.49% – 28.49% variable APR
21.24% – 29.99% (Variable)
While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card does have baggage delay insurance, this is only for if your baggage is lost or delayed by your carrier, it will not cover any expenses you incur as a result of your flight being canceled. You’ll need to cover any unreimbursed costs yourself.
Southwest does not allow you to transfer points to other airlines, but there is an Other Travel section within the Rapid Rewards catalog. Here you’ll find international flights on a variety of carriers that are priced in Rapid Reward points.
Chase typically has a full application form for its cards and this includes the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card. This means that you need to be prepared for a hard credit pull and whether it will impact your credit when you apply.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards allows you to earn unlimited rewards, so you don't have to worry about timing your purchases so that you don't exceed a rewards cap at the end of the year. In fact, the card encourages you to earn more rewards by providing you with additional benefits.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus include rental car insurance. In most territories, if you decline the rental counter collision waiver coverage and pay for the rental with your card, you will have theft and damage protection. Please review the terms and conditions before to make sure you're covered.
As with most credit cards, Chase will consider your credit score when determining your approval status. The The Southwest Rapid Rewards necessitate a good to excellent credit score, which is only possible if you have a relatively low debt-to-income ratio. However, if you are approved, Chase will use your income to determine your credit limit.
Chase is quite discreet about initial credit limits for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority, but some customers have reported a credit limit of $2,000 or more initially.
Although there are other airline cards that offer more perks, these typically have a higher annual fee. If you want to keep your annual fees low and still enjoy some decent card benefits, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority fits the bill.
These are decent cards for travel and other spending, while offering some nice rewards, which can appeal to the less frequent traveler.
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Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express