Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card worth it? | July 2018

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card review – July 2018

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Get 40,000.00 signup bonus points and take advantage of flying Southwest.

  • Get this card if… you frequently fly Southwest Airlines and are looking for no foreign transaction fees while traveling.
  • Pick something else if… you want to redeem rewards through another airline or would like a card with free airport lounge access.
  • Excellent credit score of 740.00 or higher recommended.
Product NameSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card
Card TypeVisa
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance Transfer Fee5.00% or $5.00 (whichever is greater)
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10.00 or 5.00% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21.00 days
Minimum Interest$0.00
Annual Fee$99.00
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Returned Payment Fee$37.00
Late Payment Fee$37.00
Additional Cardholder Fee$0.00
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome BonusEarn 40,000.00 points after your first purchase
Reward Value per Dollar2.00 points

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card comes with a slightly higher fee — $99 p.a. a year — than the lower-tier Rapid Rewards Plus card. But to make up the difference, you’ll earn twice the number of bonus points on each account anniversary: 6,000 points. Another great bonus for frequent travelers: no foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases.

Like the Plus card, you’ll earn a 40,000.00-point signup bonus when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening your account. You’ll also find no blackout dates or seat restrictions, no change fees and you can fly with up to two bags for free on Southwest.

The Basics

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card is designed for frequent Southwest Airlines travelers. You’ll earn 1.00x points on all Southwest and qualifying Rapid Rewards purchases, as well as 2.00x point 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 $99.00 annual fee worth it.

  • Signup bonus.

    To qualify for the 40,000.00-point signup 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 6,000 bonus points on your account anniversary each year, you simply need to keep your account active.

  • Reward points.

    Earn 1.00x points on purchases made directly with Southwest Airlines, including airline tickets, in-flight amenities, vacation packages and gift card purchases, as well as at participating Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners. Earn 2.00x points on all other purchases.

  • A-List qualifying points.

    Earn 1,500 tier-qualifying points toward A-List and A-List Preferred status for every $10,000 spent with this card.

  • Travel benefits.

    When redeeming points for flight tickets, there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions. If you need to reschedule your flight, pay no change fees. Your first and second checked bags always fly for free.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    Unlike the Rapid Rewards Plus card, you’ll pay no fees on overseas spending with this one.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    If you’re not a frequent flyer with Southwest Airlines, paying $99.00 each year might not be worth it.

  • No intro APR.

    Prepare to pay interest on all outstanding balances from the first billing cycle.

  • No airport lounge access.

    Unlike several other airline frequent flyer credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card offers no airport lounge access.

Compare rewards credit cards

Name Product APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 thereafter)
Earn 50,000.00 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.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$450.00
Earn 50,000.00 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®.
16.74% to 25.49% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0.00
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
16.74% to 25.49% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0.00
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.
16.74% to 25.49% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
$0.00
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$450.00
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 thereafter)
50,000.00 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$99.00
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and points on all other purchases. Plus 6,000 anniversary bonus points.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($95.00 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.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$69.00
Earn 2x points on Southwest® purchases and points on all other purchases. Plus 3,000 anniversary bonus points.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$95.00
Earn Avios on every purchase and 3 Avios per $1 on British Airways purchases.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0.00 annual fee for the first year ($99.00 thereafter)
75,000.00 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.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$450.00
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.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$75.00
Get 40,000.00 Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months from account opening.
17.74% variable
$0.00
Earn 1% in Disney Rewards Dollars on all card purchases.
17.74% variable
$49.00
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

Submit an application for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card if:

  • You’re at least 18 years of age.
  • You’re a US 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?

An excellent credit score of 740.00 or higher will increase the chances of your application’s approval.

How do I apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card?

To apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier 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 rent payment
  • An existing Rapid Rewards number, if you have one

1. Go to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card website and click Apply Now.

2. Complete the application with your personal and financial information, review your details and submit.

How long will it take for me to be approved?

Chase will inform you of your application’s status almost as soon as you submit it online. It also typically sends a letter with the information you need in 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

Make the most of this card by flying Southwest, but don’t let watchfulness take a back seat.

  • Monitor account activity. Use Chase bank’s online banking platform to keep a 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 rewards 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 at @ChaseSupport or log in to your account to send a secure email.

Bottom line

You can get a lot out of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card if you frequently fly with this airline and want to ramp up your rewards through everyday spending. If you’re looking for a card that offers more options in redeeming rewards, compare other credit cards out there.

Common questions about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card

Images: chase.com

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