Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus vs Premier: Side By Side Comparison
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Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus vs Premier: 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.
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: April 15, 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: April 15, 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 Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus® Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier® Credit Card are two popular travel rewards cards offered by Chase Bank in partnership with Southwest Airlines.

Both cards are geared towards frequent Southwest flyers, but they have some key differences.

General Comparison

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card is the basic option with a lower annual fee. It's a solid choice for budget-conscious travelers who still want to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

On the other hand, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card comes with a higher annual fee but offers more benefits – cardholders are able to accumulate more points on Southwest and other purchases, earn more points on card member anniversary and TQPs toward A-List elite status.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
Annual Fee
$69
$99
Rewards
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
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
50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from 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
3%
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:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

Southwest Premier vs Plus: Point Rewards Analysis

The Southwest Premier card offers a better point rewards ratio than the Plus card. In our analysis, we can see the impact of this. Based on this spend, Premier cardholders earn more points and its estimated annual redemption value is higher.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Spend Per Category
Rapid Rewards Plus
Rapid Rewards Premier
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
10,000 points
10,000 points
$4,000 – Restaurants
4,000 points
4,000 points
$4,000 – Airline
8,000 points
12,000 points
$5,000 – Hotels
5,000 points
10,000 points
$4,000 – Gas
4,000 points
4,000 points
Total Points
31,000 points
40,000 points
Redemption Value (Estimated)
1 point = ~1.3 cents
1 point = ~1.3 cents
Estimated Annual Value
$403
$520

With both cards, 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.

Southwest Premier card Book with Points
Book flight with Southwest Premier card points(screenshot from Southwest app)

Which Benefits Of You'll Get On Both Cards?

There are some additional types of perks that you will see with both of these cards:

  • 25% Back on Inflight Purchases: Receive a 25% rebate on inflight purchases, making onboard snacks, drinks, and entertainment more affordable for travelers.

  • 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.

Southwest a progress towards Companion pass and A-List Status
Southwest a progress towards Companion pass and A-List Status (screenshot from Southwest app)
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® Each Year: Enjoy the convenience of two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year, allowing cardholders to secure earlier boarding positions and increase their chances of obtaining preferred seating on Southwest flights. This perk contributes to a smoother and more comfortable travel experience.
  • DoorDash Benefits: Cardholders receive a complimentary one-year DashPass membership, offering unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on eligible orders through DoorDash and Caviar.

  • 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.

Use Southwest card to get a companion pass
Using a Southwest card is one of the ways to get a companion pass (Photo by photobyphotoboy/Shutterstock)

Which Benefits Are Unique For Each Card?

There are some additional types of perks which available specifically for each card:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

  • 3,000 Points Annually: Cardholders receive 3,000 bonus points every year on their Cardmember anniversary, adding a consistent boost to their Southwest Rapid Rewards balance.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

  • 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.

When You Might Want the Southwest Premier Card?

You Might Prefer the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier over the Plus card if:

  • Frequent Traveler with Southwest Partners: If you frequently use Southwest's hotel and car rental partners, the Rapid Rewards Premier card could be more advantageous. It offers an additional 1 point per $1 on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases, providing extra rewards for your travel-related expenses.

  • Desire for A-List Status: If you value perks like priority boarding and priority check-in, the Rapid Rewards Premier card is a better choice. It earns you tier qualifying points towards A-List and A-List Preferred status, helping you achieve elite status with Southwest for a more enhanced 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:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 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 Want the Southwest Plus Card?

You Might Prefer the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus if:

  • Cost-Conscious Travelers: The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card is a better choice for individuals who prioritize a lower annual fee. If you want to enjoy the benefits of a Southwest credit card without committing to a higher cost, the Plus card offers a more budget-friendly option.

  • Infrequent Travelers: If you don't travel as frequently or don't often use Southwest's hotel and car rental partners, the additional benefits of the Premier card may not justify the higher annual fee. In such cases, the Rapid Rewards Plus card provides a straightforward way to earn points on Southwest purchases without the added cost.

Compare The Alternatives

If you're in search of a travel credit card offering airline rewards, there are several compelling alternatives worth exploring:

amex platinum

Venture X Rewards

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Capital One Venture X Rewards
Annual Fee
$550
$395
Rewards
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
1X – 10X

5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals and dining when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

1X – 10X 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights and 2 miles per dollar on all eligible 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
60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
75,000 miles 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
$0
$0
Purchase APR
21.24% – 29.24% APR Variable
22.49%–29.49% variable
19.99% – 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.

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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.