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Apply online for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
About Our Ratings
Credit Needed
Excellent, Good

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Pros & Cons

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • A nice 6,000-point bonus after your card member anniversary means the free bonuses don't end with the introductory offer.
  • Since you earn double points for purchases when you book directly with Southwest or with Southwest Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, you'll earn your way to A-list and companion fare status more quickly.
  • The $99 annual fee applied on your first statement is a bummer, especially given that most travel rewards cards waive that fee during the introductory period.

Top Features

Rewards
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Bonus Rewards
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$99

Full Review

Curtis Arnold Editor-in-chief

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Essentials

Are you a domestic traveler looking for a sweet deal on airfare and free checked bags every time you fly? If you’ve answered yes to either question, it’s time to explore the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Cardholders can earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. Also, receive 6,000 points as an annual bonus after your account anniversary each year – not too shabby.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card's best features:

  • 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Earn 2 points/$1 spent Southwest Airlines® and participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners.
  • Earn 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary
  • No foreign transaction fees

What Our Editors Like Most About the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The most attractive incentives with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card are the ability to get to A-List and Companion Pass status faster. A-List perks include: priority boarding, standby priority and earning 25 percent more points on each flight. And if you’re a frequent flyer, you already know companion passes are the Holy Grail. Companion passes allow card holders to bring a friend or family member to fly with you for free.

If your aim is Companion Pass status, use your Southwest card to book directly with Southwest (2X the points + the 25% points bonus for each flight) and book other travel plans through Southwest’s Rapid Rewards partners (Hyatt, Marriott, Choice Hotels, Avis, Hertz + more). You will earn additional bonus points for each purchase granting you A-List and Companion pass status faster.

There are no seat restrictions or blackout dates for cardholders looking to redeem points. Southwest also rewards customers for loyalty — giving them 6,000 bonus points after their cardmember anniversary.

Whether you’re a cardholder or not, bags fly free on Southwest and no change fees are assessed (you’ll still pay the fare difference though), which is a welcomed perk on any airline.

Potential Downsides of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The big drawback with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is the $99 annual fee. The fee is applied to your first billing statement. This feature seems like an outlier for most airline credit cards, as most waive the fee during the introductory period.

If you’re into luxury perks and upgrades, Southwest probably isn’t the card (or airline) for you. There is no first class or business class to reserve when you feel like resting your traveling soul. But if you’re a commuter, frequent traveler, or someone just trying to get from point A to B in an effective way, Southwest might be a partnership to consider.

How the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Compares to Other Airline Credit Cards

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

Southwest® offers points that you can redeem for flights, gift cards and other merchandise, whereas Delta offers miles only redeemable on its airline. Delta cardmembers only get one free checked bag on Delta® (a $25 discount) which is less exciting than the “bags fly free” promise of Southwest.

Our take: Unless you’re a loyal Delta customer, the free bags, no change fee and the flexibility for redemption options on Southwest® are more appealing.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The annual fee is waived the first year with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, before jumping to $95.

With Capital One®, you get 50,000 miles (or $500 in travel) when you spend $3,000 in the first three months, a higher-than-typical welcome offer for the card right now. Redemption options also include flights, hotels, car rentals and cruises, which gives you the same flexibility that points offer. The rewards you get with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can be used for any airline or hotel purchase. Capital One®’s flexibility and points structure may give it a slight edge on the Southwest card.

Who Should Get This Card?

If Southwest already has your loyalty, then this card is right for you. A large family also can benefit from the free baggage policy, which could easily total an extra $100 for a family of four on most airlines. Though Southwest may not fly out of some major airports — including JFK and Miami International — most domestic travelers will be happy with the airline’s flight options and their ability to redeem points for a variety of purchases.

This page was last updated on February 14, 2019

This card compared to other airline cards

Rewards
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations.* Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.* Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants.*
Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
Bonus Rewards
Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Earn 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.
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
18.24% - 26.24%* Variable 
17.99% - 26.99% Variable 
Annual fees
$99
$99, waived for first 12 months*
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Rates and Fees
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card details

Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro Period
N/A
Purchase Intro
APR:
N/A
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$99

What Chase says about this card

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your card account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more.

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Featured offers
Currently available on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Earn 40,000 points
After you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
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Apply online for Citi<sup>®</sup> / AAdvantage<sup>®</sup> Platinum Select<sup>®</sup> World Elite<sup>™</sup> Mastercard<sup>®</sup>

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 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.
  • Earn 2 miles on every dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Want even more flexibility? Pay with Miles is a Card Member feature that gives you the option to redeem miles for all or part of the price of your tickets on Delta.com.
  • Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Credit Needed:
Good, Excellent