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

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card review – October 2018

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Get 40,000 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 or higher recommended.
Product NameSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$99
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Late Payment Fee$37
Returned Payment Fee$37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome Offer40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
Reward Value per Dollar1 points

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit card comes with a slightly higher fee — $99 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-point signup bonus when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 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 2x points on all Southwest and qualifying Rapid Rewards purchases, as well as 1x 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 annual fee worth it.

  • Signup bonus.

    To qualify for the 40,000-point signup bonus, spend only $1,000 in the first 3 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 2x 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 1x 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 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 airline credit cards

Updated October 22nd, 2018
Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar Annual Fee
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
1 points
$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
25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
1 points
$250
25,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
2 points
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
3 points
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Rates & Fees
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
3 points
$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
10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
1 miles
$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
30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
1 miles
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
1 points
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1 points
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
2 points
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
An intro offer rewards cardholders with a $250 value (25,000 online bonus points) after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
1.5 points
$0
An intro offer rewards cardholders with a $250 value (25,000 online bonus points) after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
1 points
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Earn 50,000 bonus points - a $500 value - after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening
1.5 points
$95
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
50,000 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®.
1 points
$450
Earn 50,000 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®.
2 miles
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
1 miles
$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.
40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
1 points
$99
40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Compare up to 4 providers

What you should know before applying

Submit an application for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier credit 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.

What credit score should I have?

An excellent credit score of 740 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.
  • 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

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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