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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card review

Earn bonus points good toward a Companion Pass, a valuable welcome bonus, bonus points each account anniversary, and more. This is an excellent choice for those loyal to Southwest Airlines.

Written by
Jennifer Doss
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Rewards
  • Receive 6,000 anniversary points each year. Enjoy benefits including 3X points on Southwest® purchases, 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, 2 Early Bird Check-In® each year, 10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points boost each year, and more.
  • Welcome Bonus
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee
  • $99
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4.0
Credit Score: Excellent, Good
Terms and Limitations Apply

Key Features

Editor Analysis:

Pros
  • Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • A nice 6,000-point bonus after your card member anniversary means the bonuses don't end with the introductory offer.
  • There's an annual fee to consider so you'll want to make sure you're able to take full advantage of the card's perks before committing to a new account.
Cons
  • The annual fee applied on your first statement is a bummer, especially given that many travel rewards cards waive that fee during the first year.
ALTERNATE CARD TO CONSIDER

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card_name benefits

If you are a frequent Southwest Airlines passenger or are looking to take advantage of some of the great benefits of their travel rewards program, the CardName could be a great addition to your wallet.

Welcome offer

For those who already fly with Southwest often or are looking to utilize some of Southwest’s benefits like included checked bags flying for free and no change fees on flights, the welcome offer for the CardName can get you well on your way to your next reward flight. As a welcome offer, new cardholders can earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. As rewards flight redemptions have no blackout dates and no seat restrictions, those points can be extremely valuable to those looking to travel to one of the many domestic or international destinations that Southwest serves.

Ongoing rewards

The card_name earns three points per $1 on Southwest purchases; two points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshares) and on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services; and one point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

This card is similar to many airline specific credit cards in that it earns bonus points for qualified spend with the airline and its partners but it also offers bonus points in some other common categories as well. Obviously, to really maximize your points earning with the Premier card, be strategic with the purchases you use it for.

Annual points bonus

card_name offers members a great incentive to hold on to their cards for many years after their initial sign up. The Premier card earns 6,000 bonus points after your card member anniversary, which can be redeemed for flights or any of the other available redemption options.

EarlyBird check-in opportunities

Given Southwest’s “no assigned seat” structure, getting on the plane first can mean the difference between your ideal aisle seat and being stuck in the middle. Premier cardholders can breathe a little easier for a couple of trips each year thanks to two EarlyBird Check-Ins annually.

card_name travel benefits

The CardName has a number of travel and purchase protections to help in the event that you have issues while traveling. The Premier card has included auto rental collision coverage, roadside dispatch coverage, lost luggage insurance for you and your immediate family, baggage delay insurance, and travel accident insurance. For many of your travel related hiccups, the Premier card has you covered.

And, while perhaps not as big of a deal as the protections and benefits mentioned already, this card does offer your 25% off your Southwest in-flight purchases of things like beverages and Wi-Fi.

Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to add on a companion to Southwest flights booked directly with the airline, either paid fare or rewards flights, for only the taxes and fees.

card_name foreign transaction fee

With the card_name you don’t have to worry about paying foreign transaction fees, allowing you to make purchases internationally without concern for incurring extra costs. This benefit can add up quickly for those who travel internationally frequently. Usually, cards that have foreign transaction fees charge a flat 3% for every purchase made outside of the continental United States. For your hiking tour through South America, if you spend $4,000 on international purchases, you could be adding on an additional $120 in fees alone if you were to make those purchases with a card that charges a foreign transaction fee.

card_name potential downsides

One of the biggest drawbacks to the CardName is the AnnualFees annual fee. When you receive your first billing statement, the annual fee is added. There isn’t an introductory year offer, so this is noteworthy as some airline rewards credit cards waive the fee during an introductory period. The welcome offer for new cardholders easily offsets this fee though, and the extra 6,000 points you’ll receive each year moving forward certainly helps too.

Now a few drawbacks to this card aren’t specific to the card itself, but are more generally for Southwest Airlines. If you are someone that prefers luxury amenities and seating, Southwest may not be the airline for you. There is no first class or business class to reserve when you feel like resting your traveling soul. However, if you’re a frequent traveler or someone just trying to get from point A to B in an efficient way, Southwest offers amenities that many of its competitors do not including up to two free checked bags and no premium seating charges.

How do cardholders rate the card_name?

CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results for the card_name:

 Current ScoresPast Scores
Overall Score78.577.7
Rewards Program Satisfaction7.97.7
Customer Service7.57.8
Website/App Usability7.78.0
Likelihood of Continuing to Use8.27.9
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague8.07.6
Scores above reflect the results of surveys with actual cardholders. Full methodology below.

How the card_name compares to other cards

card_name vs. card_name

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If you are looking for a card with a slightly lower annual fee, but still want to earn points that count towards the Southwest Companion Pass, the CardName could be a great alternative. The Plus card earns 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, while the Premier card earns 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the same timeframe. The Plus card has an annual fee of AnnualFees while the Premier card has an annual fee of AnnualFees. The ongoing rewards are slightly different, however, with the Plus card earning two points per $1 on Southwest purchases (vs. three points for the Premier card). The other earning rates are the same (two points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshares) and on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming and one point per $1 on other eligible purchases).

Though the annual fee is lower, the Plus card has some drawbacks in comparison to the Premier card. The anniversary bonus is only 3,000 points compared to the 6,000 points earned by the Premier card. Also, the Premier card has the ability to earn tier qualifying points for A-list and A-list preferred status on credit card spend, while the Plus card does not earn tier qualifying points. For a card with many similar perks and benefits, the Rapid Rewards® Plus card is a great lower annual fee alternative to the Premier card.

card_name vs. card_name

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The CardName is the premium option in the Rapid Rewards lineup of cards. The card earns the same spend rate as the Premier card, but the bonuses are a bit different. The Premier card earns 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, while the Priority card earns 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the same time frame. They both offer 25% back on in-flight purchases.

Where the Priority card sets itself apart is in additional travel perks. These perks include an annual $75 Southwest travel credit and four upgraded boardings per year. With those additional perks, the Priority card also has a higher annual fee than the Premier card at AnnualFees vs. AnnualFees.

The annual anniversary bonus of 7,500 points is higher though than the Premier’s 6,000.

Is the card_name a good card?

Yes, the CardName is a good card; however, if you are already a Southwest frequent traveler or are looking to earn a Southwest Companion Pass, this is a great card. With competitive points earning and redemption options, the Premier card certainly has a lot of benefits. Some things to keep in mind when considering this card include the annual fee and Southwest’s service network not including every major airport. If you don’t mind an annual fee and can fly Southwest with some regularity, the Premier card could be a great addition to your wallet.

Frequently asked questions

The card_name charges a AnnualFees annual fee.
The card_name offers several travel insurance benefits including baggage delay insurance for essential purchases if your baggage is delayed over six hours, lost luggage reimbursement for lost or damaged baggage, trip delay reimbursement for expenses incurred due to delays over 12 hours, and travel accident insurance for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling. Always check the latest terms or contact Chase for the most current information.

Our Methodology

Survey methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September 2023 to conduct surveys among 1,869 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2023-Aug. 31, 2023 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents’ scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to “How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?” was double weighted. Current Scores reflect scores from the most recent survey (2023); “Past Scores” reflect scores from the 2022 survey.

Disclaimer:The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.


This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.


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