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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • $99 Annual Fee

    Fee for maintaining card

  • $750 Welcome Offer Value

    As of 01/2018

  • 1 Point Per Dollar

    Rewards rate

Apply Now

on Chase's website

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card offers very similar benefits, like most airline-specific cards, is most valuable for frequent Southwest fliers, but the Premier is best suited for those who plan to use their card abroad.

This review will help you better understand the benefits and drawbacks of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card.

Highlights

  • Earn 1 Rapid Rewards® point per dollar spent on all purchases, minus returns and credits, and 2 Rapid Rewards® points per dollar on purchases from Southwest Airlines and Car Rental Partners
  • Spend at least $1,000 during your first three months with the card for a reward of 50,000 bonus points (available to new cardmembers who have not received a welcome bonus in the past 24 months)
  • 6,000 bonus points annually on your cardmember anniversary
  • Up to two free checked bags (within size and weight limits), no change fees, no blackout dates, and unlimited rewards flights
  • The opportunity to earn points towards Rapid Rewards® elite status when you spend more than $10,000 in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

At a glance

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Apply Now

on Chase's website

  • Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 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, Bags fly free® and no change fees
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more

$99

$750

1 Point Per Dollar

Annual Fee

Welcome
Offer Value

Rewards Rate

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Card deep dive

From a generous welcome bonus to no international transaction fees, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card is a great way for Southwest travelers to get rewarded for both their flights on Southwest and the rest of their purchases. But with two Southwest cards on the market, be sure to understand the differences between the two options available.

Get it: If you’re a frequent Southwest flier, need a card for international travel, and want to increase your chances of reaching your desired Southwest status tier

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card offers many benefits for Southwest travelers, including the opportunity to earn free flights and take advantage of perks when you fly. The Premier’s real benefit is that there are no foreign transaction fees, in addition to a few extra point-earning opportunities.

Some of the benefits of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card include:

  • Start off on the right foot: Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend a minimum of $1,000 on your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card within three months of opening the account.
    Come for the bonus, stay for the anniversary gift: Earn 6,000 additional points each year on your account anniversary, which can help offset the annual fee when you redeem these points for rewards flights.
  • No foreign transaction fees: The Premier card charges no fee for non-U.S. transactions (as opposed to 3 percent), making it the better option if you’re planning to it outside of the country often
  • Always be earning [points]: Earn 2 points per dollar spent on purchases with Southwest Airlines (including flights, in-flight items, Southwest gift cards, and Southwest vacation packages) and with RapidRewards® hotel and rental car partners. All other purchases, minus returns and refunds, earn 1 point per dollar. In addition, earn 1 point per dollar on the first $15,000 of balance transfers within 90 days of account opening. Note that balance transfers do incur a fee of $5 or 5 percent of the transaction, whichever is greater
  • Fly in style: Additional perks of using the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card include no blackout dates or limited seating, no change fees, and two free checked bags (within size and weight limits). And, as long as your account is active and in good standing, your points won’t expire
  • Spend more, qualify for VIP status sooner: When you spend significantly on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card, you’ll unlock a new type of points—Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs)—which can help you reach A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass status, but do not count as rewards points (i.e. they cannot be redeemed for flights). Earn 1,500 QTPs per $10,000 spent each calendar year on up to $100,000 in purchases. Once you attain a status tier, it will last through the remainder of that calendar year, plus through the following calendar year.

Skip it: If you’re not a loyal Southwest flier, or you don’t plan to travel abroad

Those who don’t fly with Southwest regularly won’t gain the maximum value from this card, and may be better off looking for a card from an airline they fly more frequently, or perhaps for a travel rewards card that allows for point accrual and redemption on multiple airlines.

Consider these drawbacks of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card:

  • High annual fee: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card costs $99 per year
  • High credit standards:The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card requires excellent credit, so it won’t be a great fit for those working to build their credit scores
  • No luxury perks: Southwest is a low-cost airline, so this isn’t the best card if you’re looking for lavish treatment. It won’t get you access to airport lounges, concierge services, or first class upgrades (in fact, there is no first class on Southwest)
  • Limited opportunities to earn elevated rewards: While you can earn two points per dollar for purchases from Southwest and from hotel and rental car partners, you’ll only earn one point per dollar for all other spending. Some travel rewards cards with a similar annual fee earn two points per dollar on every purchase, so you may want to consider other options if you’re not concerned with achieving airline status or taking advantage of in-flight perks with Southwest
  • No airline partners: Unlike many other airlines, Southwest is not part of any alliances, so you won’t be able to stack Rapid Rewards® points with points earned from flights on other airlines
  • No introductory APR period: If you’re looking to finance a large purchase or transfer a high-interest balance, you may be better off looking elsewhere. A variable APR of 17.24% to 24.24% applies right away.

Summary

Southwest fans who plan to use their new credit card abroad may find the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card to be a perfect fit. If you don’t fly Southwest regularly enough to make this card worth it, you might want to consider a different travel rewards card.

 

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