Southwest Airlines is building a loyal following among travelers who appreciate its extensive network of routes and free access to things like checked baggage and ticket replacements. And with one of Chase’s five Southwest credit cards, you can earn Rapid Rewards points towards flight awards. When you pay for your tickets with Rapid Rewards points, your travel on Southwest Airlines suddenly becomes unaffordable, and becomes almost useless, and you have to pay only taxes and government fees.
With an annual fee of just $69, Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus is the cheapest card in the lineup. New candidates can receive a limited-time offer: Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months. And best of all, all points earned count toward Southwest’s incredible Companion Pass.
Your current reward rate will include: 2X points for Southwest purchases; Double points for local transportation and travel to work (including shared travel); and 2X hotspots on the Internet, cable, phone services, and some streaming services. You will also earn 3,000 Bonus Points every year on the anniversary of your account opening.
This card differs from other Rapid Rewards cards in that it only charges $69 per year, while all other Rapid Rewards cards charge $99 or more. Another feature of this card is that it has a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all payments processed outside of the United States. If you are planning a lot of international travel, this is not the best card to use when leaving the country.
The Premier version of the Rapid Rewards card is very similar to the Plus version. The annual fee is $99, which is $30 more than the Plus card, but you get 6,000 bonus points every year on the anniversary of your card membership. That’s twice as much as the Plus card and costs an extra $30. Another difference is that the Premier card is not subject to foreign transaction fees, so there are no additional costs to use it on your next trip outside the US.
Another benefit of the Premier card over the Plus card is the ability to earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQP) towards elite status. You will earn 1,500 TQP for every $10,000 purchase, up to $100,000 in annual purchases, which equals 15,000 TQP. This will allow you to be A-List or A-List Preferred every year with fewer flights or dollars spent on Southwest tickets.
Otherwise, you can still take advantage of the limited-time offer: Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months. All points earned will count toward the Companion Pass. However, this card offers 3 times more points for purchases in the Southwest; Double points for local transportation, commuting and travel; and 2X hotspots on the Internet, cable, phone services, and some streaming services. If you’re willing to spend the extra $30 on the annual fee, you’ll offset it in Reward Points and pay no foreign transaction fees.
The Priority card is a premium card, ideal for frequent flyers to the southwest. Even though the annual fee is $149, you’ll find that the card more than makes up for it by offering you both points and perks. For example, you will receive four free upgrades every calendar year, if available. This allows you to upgrade your gate area to A1-A15, which typically costs $30, $40, or $50 per flight. You’ll also earn 7,500 Bonus Points every year on your account anniversary, which is worth over $100 with Southwest Travel, plus $75 in annual travel credit.
These benefits are on top of everything you get with the Premier card, including a limited-time offer: Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months. You also get 3 times more points for shopping in the Southwest; Double points for local transportation, commuting and travel; and 2X hotspots on the Internet, cable, phone services, and some streaming services. You will also earn 1,500 TQP for every $10,000 spent per year (up to $100,000).
For an additional $50 in annual fees on top of the Premier Card, the Priority Card offers you at least $120 in upgraded accommodation plus 1,500 bonus points each year on your account anniversary. This is fantastic value for those who are willing to spend a little more on the annual fee.
The Premier Business card is the less expensive of the two Rapid Rewards cards offered to small business owners. However, this card offers new applicants the chance to earn a generous bonus. You earn 60,000 Reward Points by spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account.
With the card, you and your employees will earn 3x points on Southwest purchases, 2x points on Rapid Rewards partners in hotels and cars, 2x points on shared rides, and 1 point for every dollar spent in the other place. You’ll also earn 6,000 Reward Points worth approximately $80 towards Southwest Airfare each year on the anniversary of your account opening. Another perk: you will receive two EarlyBir Check-In® services each year. And just like with the personal version of the Premier card, you can earn 1,500 TQP for every $10,000 you spend per year (up to $100,000). The card comes with a $99 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
This Southwest card is the most fully featured Rapid Rewards card on offer and includes several extremely valuable perks and bonus points offers. New candidates earn 80,000 Reward Points by spending $5,000 on new purchases within three months of opening an account. Achieve this and you will be halfway to earning the Companion Pass. You will also receive up to 365 credits per year for onboard Wi-Fi service, which is typically $8 per day. Then there are four upgraded boarding classes per year, which typically sell for $30, $40, or $50 per flight. Another valuable perk is a $100 credit to apply for a TSA or Global Entry pre-screening every four years.
But it’s also a great card for business purchases. Not only will you earn 4x points on Southwest purchases, but also: 3x points on Rapid Rewards partners in hotels and cars; 2X points for ridesharing; Double points for advertising in social networks and search engines, Internet, cable and telephone service; and 1X points on all other purchases.
As with the Premier Business card, you will earn 1,500 TQP for every $10,000 spent per year (up to $100,000), but you will earn 9,000 Reward Points, which is at least $120 on flights Southwest counts every year. Anniversary. The annual fee for this card is $199 and there are no foreign transaction fees.
|Map||Interest rate||Best for|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card||
||Minimization of annual fees|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card||
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card||
||Frequent Passengers of the Southwest|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card||
||Budget business travelers|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card||
||Frequent business trips|
With three different consumer cards and two business owner cards, Southwest Rapid Rewards® cards are one of the best airline credit cards available. Plus, no matter which option you choose, you can earn up to 3X points on qualifying restaurant purchases as a Rapid Rewards Dining member.
The difference between Southwest’s most affordable consumer card and the most expensive is only $80, and the difference between the two Small Business Rapid Rewards cards is only $100, which isn’t that much.
By taking a close look at each card’s rewards, benefits, and fees and how they compare to your spending and travel habits, you’re sure to find the right card for you.
*Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card information has been independently collected by CreditCards.com. The card details have not been verified or approved by the issuer.