Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card review
Get an annual point bonus that practically pays for the card.
- Get this card if you want more anniversary points than you’ll find with Southwest’s entry-level card.
- Pick something else if you want Southwest benefits like an annual travel credit, limited upgraded boardings and discounts on eligible in-flight purchases.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 and above.
Points as welcome offer
Up to 2x
15.99% to 22.99%
Purchase APR (variable)
|Product Name||Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card|
|Purchase APR||15.99% to 22.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||15.99% to 22.99% variable|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||24.99% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||None|
|Interest free period||Up to 21 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $39|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $39|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
|Rates & fees||rates & fees|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The Dallas Morning News, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a mid-tier Southwest credit card with a $99 annual fee, a strong signup bonus and a solid 60,000 bonus points each year on your credit card anniversary. This is worth around $80, which lowers your card annual fee to $20.
You also get to earn 2x points on your Southwest purchases and 1x points on all other purchases. This is in line with all Southwest personal credit cards.
Because of its 0%% foreign transaction fees and worldwide acceptance as a Visa card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card could be a solid choice for occasional Southwest flyers within the US and abroad.
Southwest’s personal credit cards compared
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card||Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card||Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card|
|Signup bonus||40,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months.||40,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months.||40,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months.|
|Rewards||2x points on Southwest purchases; 1x points on all other purchases.||2x points on Southwest purchases; 1x points on all other purchases.||2x points on Southwest purchases; 1x points on all other purchases.|
|Anniversary points||3,000 points every year after your card anniversary.||6,000 points every year after your card anniversary.||7,500 points every year after your card anniversary.|
|Annual travel credit|
|20% off on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi|
- Signup bonus: 40,000 Rapid Rewards points.
Make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening to earn this bonus.
What can I get for 40,000 Rapid Rewards points?
You may wish you earned more points, seeing as the cheaper Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers a bonus of equivalent value. However, you can get a lot out of 40,000 points, which are worth $640 according to our valuation at the time of writing.
You can potentially redeem these points for a few one-way flights. Here are a few Wanna Get Away award fares you might find on the Southwest website:
|Origin/Destination||Award cost for one-way flight using Wanna Get Away||Fees|
|Denver (DEN) to Las Vegas (LAS)||4,649||$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|
- Rewards: Up to 2x points.
On Southwest Airlines purchases, you’ll earn 2x points. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1x points. This is the same reward structure as the one you’ll find with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, and it’s geared toward frequent Southwest flyers.
Redeem points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, merchandise, experiences, gift cards and more.
- Anniversary point bonus: 6,000 points.
Each year after your card anniversary, you’ll earn 6,000 points. They’re worth $96 according to our valuation — almost enough to offset the card’s $99 annual fee.
Is the annual fee worth it?
The card has a $99 annual fee that’s not waived for the first year.
To break even on it with rewards, you’ll need 6,188 points according to our January 2019 valuation. That’s $3,094 spent on Southwest purchases or $6,188 spent on other purchases.
Your spending will probably be a mix of both categories. Here’s how your budget could break down to give you 6,188 points.
|Category||Annual spending||Rewards rate||Points earned|
Offset the annual fee with these benefits
- Signup bonus.
According to our valuation at the time of writing, this bonus is worth $640. It could pay for your annual fee a few times over.
- Annual point bonus.
Each year after your card anniversary, you’ll earn 6,000 points. That knocks the points you need to earn to offset the annual fee down to 188 — $94 in Southwest purchases, or $188 in other purchases.
Also, consider the value of the card’s travel and purchase protection, which could offer significant savings.
You’ll also like …
- Travel and purchase coverage.
On eligible purchases you make with your card, you’re protected by baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
The card page has a Travel with Transfarency perk. Will I get that only with Southwest credit cards?
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card lists a perk called Travel with Transparency. It’s not a card-exclusive benefit. On each Southwest flight, you’ll get your first and second checked bag free, plus no change fees.
To Southwest’s credit, many other airlines charge for checked bags and change fees. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card may not waive these fees — but it doesn’t have to.
What to watch out for
- Annual fee: $99.
Midtier airline cards have similar fees. For example, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card (see rates & fees) has a $99 ongoing annual fee after the first year and the United℠ Explorer Card has a $95 ongoing annual fee.
Compare similar travel credit cards
Compare Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card with other cards
What should I know before I apply?
You can apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card if:
- You’re at least 18 years old, 19 in Alabama and Nebraska or 21 in Puerto Rico.
- You have a valid Social Security number or taxpayer identification number.
- 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?
For most airline credit cards, you’ll have better approval odds with a good to excellent credit score of 670 and above. Consider following this rule of thumb for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.
What do customers say about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card?
Customers are often impressed with the card’s starting credit limit and signup bonus. However, some cardmembers say they found Chase’s customer service to be poor.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It has an F rating from the agency in part due to a failure to respond to dozens of customer complaints. With an average of 200 customer reviews, its rating is just over one star out of five.
The bank’s profile currently has over 2,500 customer complaints. Many have been answered or resolved according to the BBB.
How to apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Learn more about how to apply for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.
- Complete the application with details like your name, contact information and financial information.
- Review your details. Then submit your application.
I got the card. Now what?
- Earn the signup bonus. To qualify for the bonus, make $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Use these hacks to meet the spending requirement.
- Use your Companion Pass if you qualify for it. You can select one person as your companion. The pass expires on December 31, 2019.
- Register for an account on the Chase website. Use it to check your balance and pay your bill.
- Set up automatic payments. Automatic payments can take the stress out of keeping current on your bill. They can help you avoid late fees and potential decreases to your credit score.
- Avoid fees and interest. You could pay fees as high as $38 for late and returned payments.
After each billing cycle closes, you’ll have at least 21 days to pay off your balance. If you do, it won’t accrue interest. To qualify for this grace period, you must have started the billing cycle 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® Premier Credit Card?
After each billing period, Chase will automatically transfer your points to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account.
Log in to your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account. You can redeem Rapid Rewards points for a variety of options, such as:
- Hotel stays.
- Car rentals.
- Gift cards.
Wanna Get Away flights usually offer the highest value. For these fares, points are typically worth 1.6 cents each on average according to our January 2019 valuation.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is very similar to Southwest’s entry-level card. Its main difference is its 6,000-point anniversary bonus, which we value at $96.
If you want more Southwest perks, you might like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. Additionally, consider other general travel cards for a broader range of options.
Frequently asked questions
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.