Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Alaska Airlines Visa Signature vs Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Comparison
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Alaska Airlines Visa Signature vs Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Comparison

Both Alaska and Southwest Premier have similar annual cashback values. While there is no clear winner, each card has its own unique perks
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier are both airline credit cards that offer valuable rewards for frequent flyers. However, they have different benefits and drawbacks that make them better suited for different types of travelers.

General Comparison

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card is a solid choice for domestic travelers who prefer a straightforward rewards program.

Southwest Airlines focuses on domestic routes, making it suitable for those who frequently travel within the U.S. The card offers a generous sign-up bonus and the potential to earn tier-qualifying points, bringing you closer to elite status for additional perks.

Flight tickets and Southwest credit card
(Photo by Artem Oleshko/Shutterstock)

On the other hand,  the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature is ideal for those who prioritize flexibility in airline choices. With Alaska Airlines, you can fly not only within the U.S. but also to various destinations worldwide through its extensive partner network.

The card provides a valuable companion fare each year, allowing a friend or family member to accompany you on a trip at a significantly reduced cost. Additionally, you earn miles for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and more.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the card's main features:

Alaska Airlines Visa®

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
Annual Fee
$95
$99
Rewards
unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2X on eligible gas, EV charging station, cable, streaming services and local transit (including ride share) purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus
70,000 Bonus Miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
0% Intro APR
N/A
N/A
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
$0
Purchase APR
19.74% – 27.74% variable
21.49%–28.49% variable
Read Review
Read Review
Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

hilton honors card

Rewards Plan:
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
70,000 points 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriot bonvoy bevy card art

Rewards Plan:
2x – 6x 6X points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2X points), 2X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 points 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

hilton honors card

Rewards Plan:
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
70,000 points 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriot bonvoy bevy card art

Rewards Plan:
2x – 6x 6X points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2X points), 2X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 points 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Rewards Battle: A Side-by-Side Analysis

We checked how many points you earn when you spend money with each card, and there is no clear decision. Both cards offer similar points rewards ratio – while Alaska is better when it comes to gas purchases, the Southwest card offers more points on hotel purchases.

Alaska Airlines Visa®

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Spend Per Category
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
15,000 miles
15,000 points
$5,000 – Restaurants
5,000 miles
5,000 points
$5,000 – Airline
15,000 miles
15,000 points
$5,000 – Hotels
5,000 miles
10,000 points
$4,000 – Gas
8,000 miles
4,000 points
Total Miles
48,000 miles
49,000 points
Estimated Redemption Value
1 mile ~ 1.3 cents
1 point = ~1.3 cents
Estimated Annual Value
$624
$637

With Southwest Premier card, you can use points for flights with no blackout dates, allowing flexible travel. Points cover ticket costs, taxes, and fees. Additionally, you can redeem points for international flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and gift cards.

Redeem Southwest points for flights - Wanne Get Away, Anytime, Business Select
Redeem Southwest points for flights - Wanne Get Away, Anytime, Business Select (screenshot from Southwest app)

Which Card Provides Better Travel Perks & Insurance?

When it comes to extra airline and travel perks, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier is the winner, primarily due to the variety of travel insurance and protections it offers:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature

Alaska Airlines Visa®

  • $99 Alaska's Companion Fare: Receive a $99 Companion Fare (plus taxes and fees) annually after spending $6,000 or more within the prior year, applicable to all Alaska Airlines flights booked on alaskaair.com.
  • Free First Checked Bag: Cardholders, along with up to 6 additional guests on the same reservation, can check their first bag for free when purchasing airfare with the card.
  • Priority Boarding: Enjoy priority boarding for quicker access to your seat when you use your card to pay for your flight.
  • 10% Rewards Bonus: Receive a 10% rewards bonus on all miles earned from card purchases with an eligible Bank of America® account.
  • 20% Back On Inflight Purchases: Get 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases 
  • $100 Lounge Membership Discount: get a discount on an annual Alaska Lounge+ Membership when paying with the card.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

  • 25% Back on Inflight Purchases: Receive a 25% rebate on inflight purchases, making onboard snacks, drinks, and entertainment more affordable for travelers.
  • 6,000 Points Annually on Cardmember Anniversary: Cardholders receive an additional 6,000 bonus points every year on their Cardmember anniversary, further enhancing the annual point accumulation and boosting the overall rewards potential.

  • Unlimited Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs): For every $10,000 spent, earn 1,500 TQPs toward A-List status, with no limit on the amount of TQPs you can accumulate, facilitating progress towards elite status and associated benefits.
Southwest A-List Status
A-List Status balance (screenshot from Southwest app)
  • 10,000 Companion Pass Qualifying Points Boost: The card provides an annual boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points, bringing cardholders closer to earning the highly coveted Southwest Companion Pass.
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® Each Year: Enjoy the convenience of two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year, allowing cardholders to secure earlier boarding positions. 
  • DoorDash Benefits: Cardholders receive a complimentary one-year DashPass membership.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: Receive coverage up to $3,000 per passenger for lost or damaged checked or carry-on luggage.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: Get reimbursed for essential purchases (up to $100 per day for 3 days) in case of baggage delays over 6 hours.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Extend the manufacturer's warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • Purchase Protection: Enjoy coverage for new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, providing added security for your acquisitions.
  •  
Book Experiences, gift cards and merchandise with Southwest card
Book Experiences, gift cards and merchandise with Southwest card (screenshot from Southwest app)

When You Might Prefer The Alaska Visa Signature Card?

Here are the main reasons why you may prefer the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card:

  • Global Travel Enthusiast: If you love exploring destinations worldwide, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature is a better fit due to its partnership network that allows you to use miles for flights beyond the U.S.

  • Companion Travel: If traveling with a friend or family member is a priority, the Alaska Airlines card provides an annual companion fare, allowing your travel companion to join you at a reduced cost.

  • Alaska Airlines Hub Access: If you live near or frequently travel through airports where Alaska Airlines has a strong presence, the card can offer more convenience and direct flight options, enhancing your overall travel experience.

Top Offers

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

hilton honors card

Rewards Plan:
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
70,000 points 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriot bonvoy bevy card art

Rewards Plan:
2x – 6x 6X points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2X points), 2X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 points 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

hilton honors card

Rewards Plan:
3X – 7X 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery) U.S.supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and 3x points for each dollar on other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
70,000 points 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership

Marriot bonvoy bevy card art

Rewards Plan:
2x – 6x 6X points on purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 4X points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined purchases per year, then 2X points), 2X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 points 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

When You Might Prefer The Southwest Premier Card?

Here are the main reasons why you may prefer the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card:

  • Frequent Southwest Flyers: For individuals who frequently fly with Southwest Airlines due to its convenient routes and hubs, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card offers benefits like priority boarding and in-flight discounts, enhancing the overall travel convenience and experience with the airline.

  • Domestic Traveler: If your travel primarily involves domestic destinations within the United States, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier is a strong choice, as Southwest Airlines focuses on providing extensive coverage within the country.

  • Better Travel Insurance: As we've shown above, the travel insurance and protections the Southwest Premier card offers are better than the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card, so if you prioritize this aspect – it may be a better choice.

Compare The Alternatives

If you're looking for an airline credit card with travel rewards – there are some good alternatives you may want to consider:

Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card Review

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite
Annual Fee
$150, $0 intro first year. (See Rates and Fees.)
$99
$99 (waived for the first 12 months)
Rewards
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 – 3X 3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases.
1X – 2X Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases. Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases.
Welcome bonus
65,000 Miles 65,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months
50,000 Points 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
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.
$0
$0
Purchase APR
20.99%-29.99% Variable
21.49%–28.49% variable
21.24% – 29.99% (Variable)

Compare Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

We think the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier wins – it's cheaper and there is no significant difference in points rewards or airline perks.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier vs Priority: Side By Side Comparison

If you're a frequent flyer, the Premier card has the edge so that you can cover the annual fee difference. If not, the Plus card is enough.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus vs Premier: Side By Side Comparison

The AAdvantage Platinum Select and the Southwest Premier card share many common features.

Here's where each card shines: AAdvantage Platinum Select vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

The United Explorer and the Southwest Premier card have numerous shared features. Let's explore the distinctive strengths of each card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier vs. United Explorer: Comparison

While the Southwest Premier card extra travel perks are better, the JetBlue Plus Card is our winner in this comparison. Here's why.

JetBlue Plus Card vs Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Side By Side Comparison

Both cards have similar annual cashback value and diverse airline benefits. While there is no clear winner, each card has its unique perks.

Frontier World Mastercard vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Side By Side Comparison

Compare Alaska Visa Signature Card

The Capital One Venture is a clear winner as it offers higher annual cashback value and better travel perks than the Alaska Visa Signature.

Alaska Visa Signature vs Capital One Venture: Side By Side Comparison

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our winner due to its higher annual cashback value and various redemption options compared to Alaska card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card: How They Compare?

While the Hawaiian World Elite Mastercard offers a higher miles rewards ratio, we think the Alaska card offers a bit better airline perks.

Hawaiian World Elite Mastercard vs. Alaska Visa Signature: How They Compare?

While the airline benefits are pretty similar, The JetBlue Plus Card is a clear winner due to much higher cashback rates than the Alaska card.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature vs JetBlue Plus Card: Side By Side Comparison

While Alaska Visa Signature card offers higher miles rewards ratio on airline, the Delta SkyMiles Gold is our winner. Here's why.

Alaska Visa Signature vs Delta SkyMiles Gold: Side By Side Comparison

The Alaska Visa offers higher annual cashback value than United Explorer, but the latter takes the lead when it comes to airline perks.

Alaska Visa Signature vs United Explorer: Side By Side Comparison

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.