Credit Cards » Credit Card Reviews » Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Review 2024
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Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Review 2024

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier offer is best for frequent Southwest flyers, but you may want to skip it if you're not one.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Rewards Plan

1X – 3X 3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases.

Sign up Bonus

50,000 Points 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Our Rating

4.1
4.1/5

0% Intro

N/A

Annual Fee

$99

APR

21.49%–28.49% variable
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Rewards Plan

1X – 3X 3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases.

Sign up Bonus

50,000 Points 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Our Rating

4.1
4.1/5

PROS

CONS

APR

21.49%–28.49% variable

Annual Fee

$99

0% Intro

N/A

Credit Requirements

Good - Excellent

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is a great choice for frequent Southwest flyers. With a fair earning rate, the card allows you to accumulate Southwest Rapid Rewards points at a good pace.

The card offers 3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases.. All points earned using the card will also count towards earning the highly-desirable Companion Pass, which lets a friend fly with you for free for an entire year.

While the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card can be a great option for frequent Southwest flyers, there are some drawbacks to consider. The card doesn't offer rewards on everyday spending and comes with an annual fee of $99. Additionally, as with other co-branded airline credit cards, the rewards can primarily be redeemed for airline benefits.

 In addition to the standard benefits that come with every Southwest flight, such as free checked bags and no change fees, cardholders can enjoy unlimited tier qualifying points (TQPs), 6,000 anniversary points each year, no foreign transaction fee, and 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.

XX

Flight tickets and Southwest credit card
(Photo by Artem Oleshko/Shutterstock)

In this Review

Estimating Your Rewards: A Practical Simulation

In the following table, you will find a simulation that provides an overview of the expected rewards for the Southwest Premier credit card.

This breakdown is based on both general usage and spending across various categories. By utilizing this table, you can gain a better understanding of the potential benefits that come with using this particular credit card.

It's important to note that the figures presented in this simulation are estimates, and actual rewards may vary depending on individual spending habits and other factors.

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Spend Per Category
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
$10,000 – U.S Supermarkets
10,000 points
$4,000 – Restaurants
4,000 points
$5,000 – Airline
15,000 points
$3,000 – Hotels
6,000 points
$4,000 – Gas
4,000 points
Estimated Total Annual Points
39,000 Points

Pros and Cons

Just like any other credit card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier has some advantages and disadvantages:

Pros
Cons
Rewards Program
Limited Bonus Categories
Sign-up Bonus
Southwest Co-branded
Anniversary Points
Annual Fee
Travel Benefits
Lacking International Routes
Unlimited Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs)
25% Back On Inflight Purchases

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card offers 3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases..

New cardholders can earn 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Cardholders earns 1,500 TQPs toward A-List status for every $10,000 spend.

Southwest A-List Status
A-List Status balance (screenshot from Southwest app)

Cardholders receive 6,000 bonus points on their account anniversary.

The card offers travel benefits, such as car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance plan, and trip delay insurance.

Cardholders receive 25% back on inflight purchases.

While the card offers bonus points for Southwest purchases, it doesn't offer bonus points for popular spending categories like restaurants or gas stations.

Like other Southwest cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is designed to provide benefits and rewards specific to Southwest Airlines.

Therefore, it is most useful for frequent Southwest flyers who can take advantage of these benefits. If you don't fly Southwest often, the card may not be as valuable to you.

Southwest Flight

The card charges an annual fee of $99.

Southwest Airlines offers many domestic destinations, but its international route network is more limited. This could create difficulty for some cardholders when trying to redeem their rewards.

 
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Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

How To Redeem My Points?

Redeeming your Southwest Rapid Rewards points is very straightforward compared to other programs. You don't have to worry about blackout dates or award availability. You can use your points to book any available seat on any flight. The number of points you need is directly linked to the cost of the ticket.

You can use your points to book flights on non-Southwest airlines for international travel through the Southwest More Rewards program. This online portal offers various products for purchase, including international flights with partner airlines.

Southwest Premier card Book with Points
Book flight with Southwest Premier card points(screenshot from Southwest app)

Unlike other airlines that use distance-based award charts, Southwest's redemption rate is tied to the cash price of the fare. This means that the more expensive the fare, the more points you will need to redeem for it.

Southwest doesn't have a set redemption rate for their points, but usually, you can expect a value of around 1.4 cents per point for a Wanna Get Away Fare. However, the number of points required can vary slightly based on the route and whether you're traveling during peak or off-peak periods.

Southwest Premier card Book redeem points
Redeem points with Southwest Premier card (screenshot from Southwest app)

Southwest credit card holders can also use their points to exchange for gift cards to popular restaurants, department stores, retailers and more via the Southwest More Rewards portal. However, the redemption rates for these options tend to be poor, typically costing 15,000 points for a $100 gift card, which equals a value of 0.6 cents per point.

Buying physical items on the Southwest More Rewards platform using Rapid Rewards points is generally not recommended, as it tends to provide poor value. Items like electronics, home and garden tools, travel insurance, pet gifts, coffee, and sunglasses are not worth purchasing with points on this platform. It is better to redeem your points for Southwest flights or gift cards for better value.

When You May Want To Consider It?

Here are some situations when you may want to consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card:

  • You use it only for airline purchases: if you have another card for everyday spending and you need another card for airline purchases, the Southwest Premier card can be a good option. If you plan to rely on this card as your primary card, it may not be a good idea to choose it.

  • You usually fly domestic: Southwest international routes are limited. If you tend to fly domestic either for travel or business, this may be a right choice. If you tend to use internationally, United, Delta or American Airlines cards may offer better alternatives.
  • You Prefer to Fly Southwest: If you fly with Southwest Airlines regularly, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card can help you earn rewards for your spending and enjoy a variety of travel-related benefits that can make your trips more comfortable and convenient.
Card
Rewards
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee

southwest_rapid_rewards_premier_art

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
1X – 3X 3X points on Southwest® purchases,2X on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners, local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming and 1X points on all other purchases.
50,000 Points 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$99

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

1x – 2x 2X points on Southwest purchases, Southwesthotel and car rental partners, local transit and commuting (including ride-shares),internet, cable, phone and select streaming services, and 1X points on all other purchases
50,000 points 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$69

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

1X – 3X 3X points on Southwest purchases, 2X points on Southwest’s Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit and commuting (including rideshares) and internet, cable phone and select streaming services; 1X points on all other purchases
50,000 points 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$149

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
1x – 4x 4X points on Southwest purchases, 3X points on participating hotel and rental car partners, 2X points on local transit, rideshares, commuting, 2X points on social media and search engine advertising as well as internet, cable and phone services; 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 points 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months
$199

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business
1x – 4x 4X points on Southwest purchases, 3X points on participating hotel and rental car partners, 2X points on local transit, rideshares, commuting, 2X points on social media and search engine advertising as well as internet, cable and phone services; 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 points 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months
$199

How To Apply For The Southwest Premier Card?

Here's how you can apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card:

  1. Go to the application page: Visit the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card application page on the Chase website.

  2. Fill out the application: Provide your personal information, including your name, address, and social security number, and answer questions about your income and employment status.

  3. Review and submit: Read through the terms and conditions of the card to make sure you understand the terms. Once you've completed the application and reviewed the terms and conditions, submit your application online.

  4. Wait for a decision: After you submit your application, Chase will review it and let you know if you've been approved or denied. If approved, you'll receive your new card in the mail within a week or two.

Note that you'll need to have a good to excellent credit score to be approved for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. However, there are cases when you can get even if you fair credit score.

How It Compared To Other Southwest Cards?

Comparing the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card to other Southwest cards reveals distinct advantages and target audiences for each option.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, with a $99 annual fee, stands out as a mid-tier choice. On the other hand, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, with a lower $69 annual fee, appeals to budget-conscious travelers. It lacks some Premier Card benefits, making it suitable for those who prioritize cost-effectiveness over additional perks.

For premium benefits and a higher annual fee of $149, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card offers $75 in annual travel credit and up to four upgraded boardings, making it ideal for frequent travelers seeking enhanced privileges.

Overall, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, with its moderate annual fee and well-rounded benefits, seems geared towards a broad audience of Southwest enthusiasts.

Compare Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

We think the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier wins – it's cheaper and there is no significant difference in points rewards or airline perks.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier vs Priority: Side By Side Comparison

If you're a frequent flyer, the Premier card has the edge so that you can cover the annual fee difference. If not, the Plus card is enough.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus vs Premier: Side By Side Comparison

The AAdvantage Platinum Select and the Southwest Premier card share many common features.

Here's where each card shines: AAdvantage Platinum Select vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

The United Explorer and the Southwest Premier card have numerous shared features. Let's explore the distinctive strengths of each card.

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While the Southwest Premier card extra travel perks are better, the JetBlue Plus Card is our winner in this comparison. Here's why.

JetBlue Plus Card vs Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Side By Side Comparison

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Frontier World Mastercard vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Side By Side Comparison

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Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
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95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
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Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
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Review Airline Credit Cards

Picture of Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Best Cards Per Category
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
85,000 miles 85,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.