Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card worth it? | June 2018

Review: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card – June 2018

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Get 50,000 sign-up bonus points, earn unlimited points on all purchases and make the most of flying Southwest

  • Get this card if… you frequently fly Southwest Airlines and want to earn rewards.
  • Good to excellent credit score of 690 to 850 recommended.
Product NameSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)17.49% to 24.49% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )17.49% to 24.49% variable
Annual fee$69
Cash Advance Rate26.49% variable
Card TypeVisa
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 21 days
Returned Payment Fee$37
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars% of transaction value
Minimum Credit ScoreFair (660-699)
Minimum Age18 years of age
Annual fee$69
Returned Payment Fee$37
Late Payment Fee$37
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $69 p.a., but it offers some valuable perks in return. You’ll earn a signup bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. On each account anniversary, you’ll earn 3,000 bonus points. And you’ll also enjoy the overall benefits of flying Southwest: no blackout dates or seat restrictions, two free bags at check-in and no change fees.

The Basics

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is designed for frequent Southwest Airlines travelers. You’ll earn 2x points on all Southwest and qualifying Rapid Rewards purchases as well as 1x points on your everyday spending. Redeem rewards for free flights, seat reservations and more.

The Perks

If you frequently fly Southwest Airlines, you can easily make the $69 p.a. annual fee worth it.

  • Sign-up bonus. To qualify for the 50,000-point sign-up bonus, spend only $1,000 in the first three months after opening your account. Bonus points will post to your Rapid Rewards account within eight weeks.
  • Anniversary bonus. To get 3,000 bonus points on your account anniversary each year, you simply need to keep your account active.
  • Earn reward points. Earn 2x points on purchases directly with Southwest Airlines, includes airline tickets, in-flight amenities, vacations package and gift card purchases, as well as at participating Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Travel benefits. Redeem your points for Southwest seats without worrying about blackout dates or travel restrictions. Your first and second checked bags fly for free. In the event of rescheduling, no change fees apply.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee. While $69 p.a. is only slightly higher than average, paying it won’t do you much good if you don’t fly Southwest Airlines.
  • Foreign transaction fees. If you want a card that you can use overseas, you’re better off looking for a card that comes with no foreign transaction fees.
  • No intro APR. All outstanding balances start attracting interest from the first billing cycle.
  • No airport lounge access. Unlike several other airline frequent flyer credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card offers no airport lounge access.

Compare other Chase credit cards

Rates last updated June 21st, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$450
Earn 50000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card
16.49% to 25.24% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
Chase Freedom® credit card
16.49% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Chase Slate® Credit Card
16.49% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with $0 for transfers in first 60 days. Then $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
$0
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
United MileagePlus® Club card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$450
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95
50000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$99
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and points on all other purchases. Plus 6,000 anniversary bonus points.
United℠ Explorer Card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.* Plus a $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$69
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and points on all other purchases. Plus 3,000 anniversary bonus points.
British Airways Visa Signature® card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$95
Earn Avios on every purchase and 3 Avios per $1 on British Airways purchases.
Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
75000 Bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening with your Marriott Rewards Premier Business credit card.
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$450
2 complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel, after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
The Hyatt Credit Card
17.49% to 24.49% variable
$75
Get 40000 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months from account opening.
Disney® Visa® Card
17.49% variable
$0
Earn 1% in Disney Rewards Dollars on all card purchases.
Disney® Premier Visa® Card
17.49% variable
$49
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

What you should know before applying

Apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card if:

  • You’re at least 18 years old.
  • You’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You have a valid Social Security number.

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

What credit score should I have?

To have a better chance at approval, a good to excellent credit score of 690 or higher is recommended.

How do I apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card?

To apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, you’ll need to provide personal and financial details that include:

  • Your full name and contact information
  • Your Social Security number and date of birth
  • Your gross annual income and monthly housing payment
  • An existing Rapid Rewards number, if you have one

1. Go to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card website and click Apply Now.

step 1 Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

2. Complete the application with your personal information like your Social Security number, email address, phone number, birthday and mother’s maiden name. Click Next.

step 2 Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

3. Enter your financial information and click Next.

step 3 Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

4. Enter additional contact information and click Next.

step 4 Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

5. You can add an authorized user at this point, or simply review your application details and submit.

step 5 Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

How long will it take for me to be approved?

After you submit an online application, you’ll find out about its status almost immediately. The bank typically sends a letter notifying you of the same in 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

Look forward to the travel benefits and more this card offers, but use it with caution.

  • Monitor account activity. Use Chase bank’s online banking platform to keep track of your spending and payments 24/7.
  • Redeem points. Points earned are automatically transferred to your Rapid Rewards account at the end of each billing cycle. Redeem your points for any seat on any flight, subject to availability. Transferring reward points to another Rapid Rewards member is also an option.
  • Avoid interest. Pay off your outstanding balance in full before each due date to avoid paying interest. Remember that cash advances attract interest from the day of the transaction.
  • Avoid penalties. Late payment and returned check fees can go up to $37.00.
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, contact Chase card services at 800-792-0001, on Twitter @ChaseSupport or log in to your account to send a secure email.

Bottom line

It makes sense to get the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card if you frequently fly Southwest Airlines and want to make your spending work for you. If you’re looking for better travel perks, consider comparing other airline frequent flyer credit cards.
Compare Chase credit cards

Common questions about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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