Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card review | finder.com

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card review

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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.
      Product NameSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
      Card TypeVisa
      Annual Fee$99
      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 FeeNone
      Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
      Late Payment FeeUp to $37
      Late Payment Fee ConditionsUp to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250; up to $ $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
      Returned Payment FeeUp to $37
      Additional Cardholder Fee$0
      Rates & FeesRates & Fees
      Minimum Age18 years of age
      Welcome Offer60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
      Rewards2x points on Southwest Airlines® purchases and 1x points for all other purchases
      Base Rewards1x points

      The basics

      Southwest has three cobranded personal cards, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card sits at the middle of the pack.

      Compared to the airline’s entry-level card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers more anniversary points. But you’ll pay a higher annual fee in exchange.

      If you want more Southwest perks, try the airline’s top-tier card. You’ll find an annual travel credit, limited upgraded boardings and discounts on eligible in-flight purchases. You’ll also receive more points after each card anniversary than with the mid-tier option.

      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.
      Read less
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      See Rates & Fees
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      Southwest’s personal credit cards compared

      Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
      Annual fee $69 $99 $149
      Signup bonus 60,000 points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. 60,000 points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. 60,000 points when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
      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
      x
      x
      $75
      Upgraded boardings
      x
      x
      4
      20% off on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi
      x
      x
      checkmark

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

      The perks

      • Signup bonus: 60,000 Rapid Rewards points.
        Make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening to earn this bonus.

      What can I get for 60,000 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 60,000 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

      How to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points

      • 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
      Southwest purchases $1,000 2x 2,000
      Other purchases $4,188 1x 4,188

      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

      Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

      Compare similar travel credit cards

      Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual Fee Filter values
      75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
      7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
      $0
      Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
      60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
      5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
      $550
      Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
      35,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
      3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
      $250
      35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
      25,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 4 months
      2x points on gas, groceries or airlines, whichever you spend the most on each month, 2x points on cell phone services and charities and 1x points on all other purchases
      $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter)
      Earn 25,000 enrollment FlexPoints worth $375 in travel after spending $2,000 in the first 4 months. 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

      Compare up to 4 providers

      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.

      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?

      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

      1. Navigate to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card website and click Apply now.
      2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact information and financial information.
      3. 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.
      • Best Chase credit card offers

      • 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:

      • Flights.
      • Hotel stays.
      • Car rentals.
      • Experiences.
      • Merchandise.
      • 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.

      Bottom line

      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

      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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