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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a solid airline credit card for consumers who regularly fly with the Dallas-based carrier. The card comes with a nice welcome offer, flexible bonus spending categories, travel insurance and several benefits when you fly with the airline. And if you plan on traveling internationally, you won't have to worry about foreign transaction fees.
Since Southwest has several consumer and business credit cards, it's important to consider this one alongside the other offerings.
Below, Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to help you decide if it's the right card for your needs.
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases, 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare; 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming. 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
21.49% - 28.49% variable
Balance transfer fee
5%, minimum $5
Foreign transaction fees
The welcome bonus for the Southwest Premier credit card currently lets you earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Be aware that this bonus isn't available to everyone. You must not currently have a personal Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card and you must not have received a welcome bonus within the last 24 months. However, this stipulation doesn't apply to Southwest business credit cards.
Many travel rewards cards, including the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, also come with great perks that can be used to improve your overall travel experience.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a good choice for consumers who enjoy flying with Southwest Airlines. Once you're approved for the card, you will have access to the following perks:
- 6,000 bonus points on each account anniversary
- Two EarlyBird check-ins per year
- 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List and A-List Preferred status for every $10,000 you spend, with no limit as to how many you can earn
- 25% back on in-flight purchases
- No foreign transaction fees when you use the card abroad
Earning miles for spending
When you spend on the card, you will earn:
- 3X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases with Southwest Airlines
- 2X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners
- 2X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services
- 2X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on cable, internet, phone and select streaming services
- 1X Rapid Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases
By choosing to fly with Southwest Airlines, you'll get to enjoy several benefits, however you don't need a Southwest credit card for these three perks:
- Two free checked bags per person
- No change fees
- Rapid Rewards Points that never expire
By being a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card holder, you'll also receive these additional perks (which are available on many other Chase credit cards):
- Complimentary travel accident insurance and emergency assistance, reimbursement for lost luggage, auto rental collision damage waivers for car rentals, roadside dispatch service, purchase and extended warranty protection and baggage delay insurance
- DoorDash benefits, including $0 delivery fees on restaurant orders above $12 (or groceries over $25), reduced service fees and $10 off your next order when you use your Southwest Premier credit card after you activate your complimentary year of membership by December 31, 2023.
Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards
Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points typically happens in two ways: either by flying with the airline or by spending on its co-branded credit cards. However, there are a few creative ways to earn even more rewards points:
- By holding multiple Southwest credit cards on your own (for instance, a personal credit card and a business credit card) or working alongside your significant other to earn even more Rapid Rewards if they sign up for a Southwest personal or business credit card as well.
- Southwest co-branded credit cards aren't the only ones that earn rewards points you can use for flights on the airline. Transferable travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card award Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which can be transferred to Southwest Rapid Rewards directly at a 1:1 ratio, as well as several other airlines and hotel loyalty programs.
If you're on the fence about which Southwest credit card works best for you, here are the other personal and business cards:
- Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
- Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards
However you earn your Southwest Rapid Rewards points, redeeming them is quite simple, as you can put them toward flights booked directly through the Southwest Airlines website at any time.
When you go to redeem your Southwest points, you'll be given three different fare options for each flight: Wanna Get Away, Anytime and Business Select. Wanna Get Away is always the most economical option, while Business Select is the most expensive, regardless of whether you choose to pay with cash or points. Each option offers different benefits, including how many points you'll earn on each flight and if you'll get priority boarding.
Keep in mind that you won't be able to select your seat when flying on Southwest, as each one is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Late payment fees can be up to $40.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a solid travel rewards card since you can earn valuable points for a modest annual fee. But is it the best card for you?
Select analyzed two other travel credit cards to see how they match up with the Southwest Premier card.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is regarded as one of the best travel rewards credit cards since you can earn transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points in broad spending categories, all for a reasonable $95 annual fee.
As you spend on the card, you will earn:
- 5X points per dollar spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit
- 3X points per dollar spent on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout
- 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 3X points per dollar spent on select streaming services
- 2X points per dollar spent on other travel purchases
- 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
The card also comes with comprehensive travel insurance, including rental car collision damage waivers, the ability to earn 5X points per dollar spent on Lyft rides and no foreign transaction fees, among other cardholder benefits. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 15 transfer partners, including Southwest Airlines.
If you're debating between the two cards, it really comes down to where you will find the most value. If you like the perks of the Southwest Premier card, like the EarlyBird check-in passes or want to earn the valuable Southwest Companion Pass, the Southwest Premier credit card is the better pick of the two. If you value increased flexibility and more options when it comes to redeeming your credit card points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the better choice.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is a small step down from the Premier card, though it still offers great value for Southwest Airlines flyers.
The Southwest Plus card offers an identical sign-up bonus: earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
While the spending categories are also the same, the only difference is that the Southwest Plus card earns 2X points per dollar spent with Southwest® purchases whereas the Southwest Premier card offers 3X points per dollar spent with the carrier.
Lastly, the Southwest Plus card offers slightly fewer miles for each card anniversary at 3,000 Rapid Rewards points per year vs. the Southwest Premier Card's 6,000 per year. And you can't earn unlimited Tier Qualifying Points towards Southwest elite status with the Plus card, while you can with the Premier card.
The Southwest Plus card has a $69 annual fee, while the Southwest Premier has a $99 fee.
If you're debating between the two, it really comes down to how much you plan on spending and flying with Southwest Airlines. If you fly regularly (as in, more than once a quarter), it may be worth the $30 difference in annual fees to pick up the Southwest Premier card. If you fly less than that, the Southwest Plus card will likely suffice.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a great choice for someone who enjoys flying with Southwest Airlines regularly, especially if they're chasing the coveted Southwest Companion Pass or Southwest A-list status. However, it's important to be aware of the Chase 5/24 rule before you apply, as it means you will be automatically denied for a new account if you've already been approved for five or more credit cards in the last 24 months.
The Southwest Premier card is also great for consumers who have a variety of expenses they wish to put on their card, rather than just one or two categories worth of purchases.
Lastly, the card is a solid option for someone who wants travel benefits without having to pay a high annual fee for a premium travel rewards credit card.
Southwest Airlines is regularly ranked one of the best airlines for customer service as it offers a comfortable and economic flying experience. Its personal and business card offerings, including the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, also give consumers a great opportunity to earn rewards on daily purchases.
Before signing up for a new credit card, it's important to make sure your credit score is up to snuff, and that you're able to maintain a well-managed budget. Earning rewards for your purchases can be a fun journey, but it should never come at the cost of accruing interest charges or spending above your means.