Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card review | finder.com

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card review

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Solid earnings with a few valuable perks, but watch out for the annual fee.

  • Get this card if you’re a frequent Southwest flyer.
  • Pick something else if you travel infrequently.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 and above.
Product NameSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$69
Standard Purchase APR18.24% to 25.24% variable
Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Standard Balance Transfer APR18.24% to 25.24% variable
Intro Balance Transfer APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $37
Returned Payment FeeUp to $37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards2x points on Southwest Airlines and 1x points on all other purchases
Base Rewards1x points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

With an annual fee, the card could use a few more perks such as priority boarding or an annual flight voucher. As a consolation, each Southwest flight comes standard with your first and second checked bag free, plus no change fees. Other airlines are all too happy to charge for these.

The card is a solid choice if you’re a frequent Southwest flyer. You’ll earn accelerated points on all Southwest Airlines purchases. And you can pad your rewards with an annual point bonus.

Another airline credit card

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $2,000 in purchases within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn one mile for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms apply.
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The perks

  • Signup bonus: 60,000 Rapid Rewards points.
    To earn this bonus, make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.

How much are 60,000 Rapid Rewards points worth?

Southwest points are worth an average of 1.6 cents each according to our valuation at the time of writing. This means 60,000 points are worth an average of $640.

What can you get for 60,000 points?

You can get a few one-way flights out of these points. Check out the Wanna Get Away award fares and you might find:

Origin/Destination Award cost for one-way flight using Wanna Get Away Fees
Denver (DEN) to Las Vegas (LAS) 4,694 $5.60
Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (LGA) 8,127 $5.60
Atlanta (ATL) to Mexico City (MEX) 8,736 $33.29
Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Seattle (SEA) 17,705 $5.60
Baltimore (BWI) to Nassau (NAS) 26,832 $5.60

How to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points

  • Rewards: Up to 2x points.
    Earn 2x points on Southwest Airlines purchases. Earn 1x points on all other purchases. This reward structure is geared toward frequent Southwest flyers.

    You can redeem points for flights, car rentals, hotel stays, gift cards, merchandise and experiences.

  • 3,000 points each card year.
    You’ll receive these points after your card anniversary. According to our valuation, they’re worth an average of $48.

Is the annual fee worth it?

The card has a $69 annual fee that’s not waived for the first year.

To break even on it with rewards alone, you’ll need 4,313 points according to our valuation. That’s $2,157 spent on Southwest purchases or $4,313 spent on other purchases.

Of course, you’re more likely to have a mix of spending. Here’s a sample expense breakdown to earn 4,313 points.

Category Annual spending Rewards rate Points earned
Southwest purchases $500 2x 1,000
Other purchases $3,313 1x 3,313

Other benefits that could offset the annual fee

  • Signup bonus. Worth $640, it could pay for your annual fee a few times over.
  • Annual point bonus. You’ll earn 3,000 points each year after your card anniversary, which can make a significant dent in the amount of points you need to earn.

The card’s travel and purchase protection can be valuable as well.

Compare Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card vs Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

You’ll also like …

  • Travel and purchase coverage.
    When you make eligible purchases with your card, you’ll be protected by lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, extended warranty protection and purchase protection.

I see a Travel with Transfarency benefit on the card page. Is that a card-exclusive perk?

On the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card page, you’ll see benefits like $0 first and second checked bags, $0 change fees and no hidden fees.

These benefits are included with every Southwest flight, even if you’re not a Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card member.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee: $69.
    Cobranded cards from low-cost carriers typically have similar annual fees. Other midtier airline cards often cost around $95 a year.

Compare airline credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee Filter values
10,000 miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months
2x miles at US restaurants and on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 after your first Delta purchase in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
60,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus $100 after making a Delta purchase in the same time
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases
$195
Earn 75,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you make $3,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Plus $100 after making a Delta purchase in the same time. Rates & fees
75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
$450
Earn 75,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Rates & fees
40,000 bonus LifeMiles after first card use
3x miles on Avianca, 2x miles on gas and groceries, 1x miles on all other purchases and 15% 15% Multiply Your Miles discount
$149
40,000 bonus LifeMiles after first card use

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

You can apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old, 19 years old in Alabama and Nebraska or 21 in Puerto Rico.
  • You have a valid Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification number.

Required information

  • Full name
  • Mailing address, primary phone number and email address
  • Date of birth, Social Security number and mother’s maiden name
  • Residential status
  • Total gross annual income and primary source of income
  • Optional: Rapid Rewards number.

What credit score do I need?

As is common with airline credit cards, you’ll have a better chance of approval with a good to excellent credit score of 670 and above.

What do customers say about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card?

Some customers say Chase periodically changes the signup bonus for this card. You might find a bonus worth tens of thousands of points more or less depending on when you apply.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it receives an F rating from the agency. Reasons for the rating include a failure to respond to dozens of complaints.

The bank currently has just over a one-star rating from over 200 customer reviews.

There are over 2,500 customer complaints on the bank’s profile. According to the BBB, most of them have been answered or resolved.

How to apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  1. Go to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card website and click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with personal information like your name, contact details and financial details.
  3. Review your information and submit your application.

I got the card. Now what?

Best Chase credit card offers

  • Register for an online account. You can register your card at the Chase website. Use your online account to check your balance and pay your bill.
  • Set up automatic payments. Automatic payments can help you avoid late fees and potential decreases to your credit score.
  • Avoid fees and interest. Late- and returned-payment fees can be as high as $37.

    After the close of each billing cycle, you’ll have at least 21 days to pay off your balance. If you do, you won’t be charged interest. To take advantage of this grace period, you must have started the billing period with a zero balance.

  • Contact customer service. If you have issues with your card, call Chase Card Services at 800-792-0001.

How do I redeem points from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card?

After each billing cycle, Chase will automatically transfer your points to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account.
Log in to your Rapid Rewards account on the Southwest Airlines website. You have a variety of redemption options for your Rapid Rewards points, including:

  • Flights
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Gift cards
  • Merchandise
  • Experiences

Wanna Get Away flights will typically give you the best value on your points. For these fares, your points will usually be worth an average of 1.6 cents each.

Bottom line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card travels light on features. But to Southwest’s credit, the airline charges nothing in change fees or your first and second checked bags.

You’ll get the most out of the card’s rewards if you’re a frequent Southwest flyer who can make the most of the Rapid Rewards program. If you’re not, consider a general travel card, which offers points and miles you can redeem for flights, hotel stays and more.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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