In this review, I will run you through the main pros and cons of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card®, one of our best rated credit cards for airline rewards.
Things We Like About This Card
Simplified Rapid Rewards points program. Instead of earning credits, you now earn reward points based on how much you spend on your card. You receive 1 point for every $1 spent on the card, and 2 points per $1 spent on direct purchases from Southwest Airlines® flights and on Rapid Rewards purchases at participating partner hotels, or any of their car rental partners.
Get 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. This is a great bonus for first-time cardmembers as 25,000 points can be used for one roundtrip flight. Do note that government fees are not included (they go as low as $6).
Get 6,000 bonus points as an anniversary bonus each year. On your enrollment anniversary each year, you'll receive 6,000 bonus points, which are worth about $86 toward a Wanna Get Away fare.
First and second bag checked in are free with Bags Fly Free®. This benefit will save you a lot of money when flying, especially now that many airlines charge you for checking in your luggage.
No change fees. What if something crops up unexpectedly and you need to change your flight? No worries - you will not be charged any fee if you want to get your flight changed. Do note that you'll still have to pay for any differences in airfares should that apply.
No blackout dates and unlimited reward seats, when you use your points for air tickets on more than 50 global airlines, for any class, anywhere. If a seat is available, you can get it.
Points don't expire. Don't worry about your points expiring with this Southwest card, as long as you have flight or partner earning activity every 2 years. This gives you the freedom to plan for a vacation next month or next year!
Redeem your points for more than just flights. The new Rapid Rewards program now lets you redeem your points for international flights to over 800 destinations on 50+ global carriers, auto rentals, hotel rooms, cruises or store gift cards.
Get 1 point per $1 of balance transfers you make to this card within the first 90 days of card membership. The maximum points you can earn on this offer is 15,000 points, which equates to $15,000 in balance transfers. Note that the variable APR on balance transfers is 15.99%, so it will only save you money if you are currently paying a higher interest on a card balance. Also, for each transfer, you pay $5 or 3% minimum as a balance transfer fee.
No foreign transaction fees. When you use this card for purchases in a foreign currency, you won't have to pay any foreign transaction fees, which most other credit cards will charge. So this gives you additional savings on your holiday spending!
Chip enabled cards give you added security with 24/7 fraud monitoring and worldwide acceptance.
Our Least Favorite Things About This Card
Annual fee of $99. If you fly frequently on Southwest and use your credit card a lot, it’s quite a low fee to pay for its pretty generous rewards program.
No introductory rate on purchases or balance transfers. The variable APR on balance transfers and purchases is 15.99%.
The Southwest Airlines Credit Card is a pretty competitive airline credit card with its fully revamped Rapid Rewards program. I would highly recommend this card to people who usually fly Southwest since it gives you 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines, participating partner hotels and partner auto rentals, as well as 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, which is a pretty good amount of points per dollar of spending.
The $99 annual fee is offset mostly by the 6,000 anniversary bonus points you'll get every year, plus as a new card member, you'll receive 25,000 bonus points (which can be redeemed for one roundtrip flight) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, you won't be charged any fee if you need to change your flight, and your first and second checked bags will be free of charge. Get the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card if you often fly with Southwest and are looking for a card that gives you points for your everyday spending.