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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Sign-Up Bonus
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Rewards Rate
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
Rates & Fees
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Who is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card best for?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is certainly a card you should consider having in your wallet if you’re a regular Southwest Airlines flyer and belong to its Rapid Rewards® loyalty program and are looking for a quick way to earn A-List or A-List Preferred elite status as the card awards you 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 spent on the card.

New card members can receive the following sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

If you’re looking for airline perks like airport lounge access and a bevy of travel-related benefits offered by other cards, you won’t find that with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. In the end, it comes down to whether the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card’s ability to earn bonus points that help with elite status, extra points for your cardmember anniversary and a few more travel and purchase perks make the higher annual fee worth it to you.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card overview

    • New Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • 6,000 anniversary points each year.
    • Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
    • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
    • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
    • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
    • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Credit needed:
    750 850
    Excellent
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card foreign transaction fees
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-ins each year
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • Purchase protection
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Extended warranty protection

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

17.49% - 24.49% Variable

Intro BT APR

N/A

Regular BT APR

17.49% - 24.49% Variable

Annual Fee

$99

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

$0

Balance Transfer Fee

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Ability to earn the Companion Pass
  • Generous bonus points
  • Ability to earn TQPs (Tier Qualifying Points)

Cons

  • Limited flights available outside the U.S.
  • Preferred status does not include flying companions

What we like about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Ability to earn Companion pass

    The coveted Companion Pass lets you choose one person to fly with you for free (you will only be responsible for taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) each time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. The pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earned it, as well as the following full calendar year.

    To get the Companion Pass, you either have to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. The points you receive as a signup bonus count toward the Companion Pass.

  • Generous bonus points

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.

    Plus, you can earn 20,000 bonus points for each friend who gets the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, up to 100,000 points a year.

  • Ability to earn TQPs (tier qualifying points)

    Besides the Companion Pass, the biggest benefit of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is the ability to earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) every time you spend $10,000 with the card — with no limit on the amount of TQPs you can earn. These TQPs go toward earning A-List or A-List Preferred elite status on Southwest.

    A-List status gives you priority check-in and dedicated security lanes (where available), along with priority boarding, a 25% points bonus on tickets booked, a dedicated customer service line and free same-day standby on flights. A-List Preferred members get all of the above, plus a 100% points bonus and free in-flight Wi-Fi.

What to watch out for with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Limited flight availability outside U.S.

    Don’t get this card if you want to use your points on flights outside of the United States because the number of places you can go are very limited. You can fly Southwest Airlines to the Caribbean, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica, but you’re out of luck if you want to go to other international destinations, since the airline doesn’t have partnerships with any global carriers.

  • Preferred status doesn't include flying companions

    Cardmembers with A-List or A-List Preferred status flying with family members or travel companions cannot share their early boarding benefits.

Alternate Southwest card to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Compare it with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

| Disclosures
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$69
Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit
  • New Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 3,000 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

 

If you’re trying to decide between the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, it could be tough — they have the same sign-up bonus and points per $1 spent. They also both have the ability to earn the popular Companion Pass and many of the same travel and purchase benefits, but the annual fee for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is a bit more affordable at $69.

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you get 6,000 bonus points each account anniversary, compared to just 3,000 with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.

However, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers 20,000 bonus points for each friend who is approved for the card, up to 100,000 a year).

But the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card also offers the ability to earn 1,500 TQPs each time you spend $10,000 on the card toward elite status, which the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card does not.

Neither card has blackout dates or seat restrictions and there are no limits on how many points you can earn.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card does charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars where the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card charges $0. But that’s to be expected for an airline card with such a low annual fee.

Compare the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Premier Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Plus Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred<sup>®</sup> Card Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Welcome Offer
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Annual Fee
$99 $69 $95 $149
Rewards Rate
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
Intro Purchase APR
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Regular APR
17.49% - 24.49% Variable 17.49% - 24.49% Variable 17.49% - 24.49% Variable 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent Excellent/Good Excellent Excellent
Card Details
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card right for you?

There’s not much difference between the sign-up bonus and rewards earning rate between the three Southwest Airlines consumer cards: the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee), the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee) and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee).

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is the mid-tier card, and for a few more dollars, you get double the anniversary bonus points, $0 foreign transaction fees and the ability to earn 1,500 TQPs every time you spend $10,000 on the card. If you’re a big spender, then this card can help you achieve A-List or A-List Preferred elite status faster. But if getting that elite status isn’t that important to you, you’ll probably be better with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site