HomepageFinanceCredit CardsSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Review
Last updated on Mar 02, 2020

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Review

A low-cost travel rewards card with generous bonus offerings ​
We recommend products and services based on unbiased research from our editorial team. We may receive compensation if you click on a link. Read More.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  • Use points toward flights, gift cards, hotel stays, experience packages, and more
  • No blackout dates
  • Use any or all points toward a Companion Pass to fly with a companion for free
Similar Products
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
  • View Details
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premiere Credit Card
  • View Details
  • Citi® AAdvantage® Executive World EliteTM MasterCard®
  • View Details

How We Review Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

4 cards compared

7 features evaluated

20 hours researched

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a travel rewards credit card with a $69 annual fee, making it an affordable option among competing cards. It offers a hefty sign-up bonus and an extra perk on your enrollment anniversary each year. Furthermore, you can earn points on all the purchases you make, plus earn more when spending with Southwest or its hotel and car rental partners.

The program also comes with various benefits like no blackout dates, bags fly free, no change fees, and companion passes. This card is ideal for individuals who prefer to fly with Southwest, but don’t want to pay a higher annual fee that comes with the brand’s higher-tier card options.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Overview

  • Rewards Rate: Two points for every $1 spent on qualifying Southwest Airlines flights and with hotel and rental car partners, one point for every $1 on other purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus: 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months
  • Annual Fee: $69
  • APR: 15.99% – 22.99% variable
  • Additional Fees:
    • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount (whichever is greater)
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Recommended Credit Score: N/A
Pros Cons
  • Sign-up bonus: Receive 40,000 points within eight weeks of earning them

  • Anniversary bonus: Receive 3,000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary

  • Double points for Southwest and partner program purchases: 2x points apply to purchases made directly through Southwest Airlines

  • Free bags: First and second checked bags are free
  • No intro APR: No introductory promotions to reduce initial costs

  • Foreign transaction fee: Pay a 3% fee on every purchase with a foreign merchant

  • Annual fee: Pay $69 per year for the rewards
  • Who Should Get Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card?

    Best for: Individuals who choose to fly Southwest, but don’t need elite status perks when traveling. If you only fly occasionally, Chase’s Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card can help you earn points that help cover the costs of future travels.

    Not for: The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card may not be the best option for consumers who spend a lot of time flying for personal or business purposes. Because this is Southwest’s most basic card, you may be missing out on elite travel perks—like upgraded boarding status and private airport lounges, which typically come with premium travel credit cards.

    Main Benefits

    Sign-up bonus

    You can earn 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 within your first three months of being a cardmember. You should receive your points within eight weeks of meeting the spending threshold. Please note that this will not be available to you if you already have a Southwest Rewards Credit Card or if you have received a new cardmember bonus in the previous 24 months.

    Cardmember anniversary bonus

    You’ll be rewarded with 3,000 points every year on the anniversary based on the date that you opened your Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card account. This helps to cover the annual fee.

    Rapid rewards points program

    This card offers great rewards for cardholders who enjoy traveling, especially for anyone who prefers to fly with Southwest Airlines. You can earn 2x the points for purchases made with Southwest or the hotel and rental car companies the company partners with. You’ll also earn one point for each dollar you spend on your everyday purchases. You can redeem these rewards for Southwest Airlines flights, gift cards, merchandise, rental cars, hotel stays, and international flights with over 50 global carriers. Your points won’t expire, and there are no blackout dates to prevent you from traveling based on your schedule.

    Possible Drawbacks

    No intro APR

    Unlike some travel rewards credit cards, there isn’t an introductory APR rate. Once you open your Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, you immediately begin paying anywhere from 15.99% – 22.99% APR on any carryover balances, depending on your creditworthiness.

    Foreign Transaction Fee

    If you travel internationally, this isn’t the best card to save you money. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. Be sure to limit your transactions to U.S. retailers and explore other options for traveling abroad.

    The Competition

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
    Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
    Citi®/ AAdvantage ® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
    Rewards Rate
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on qualifying Southwest flights and partner purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 on other purchases
  • 2x the miles for every $1 spent
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on qualifying Southwest flights and partner purchases

  • 1 point for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • 2x miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases

  • 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Sign-Up Bonus
    40,000 points after spending $1,000 in first 3 months
    50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
    40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
    50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
    Annual Fee
    $69
    $0 for the first year; $95 after
    $99
    $450
    APR
    17.49% to 24.49% variable
    17.49% to 24.49% variable
    17.49% to 24.49% variable
    17.49% to 26.49% variable

    Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Compared to Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

    The most appealing features of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card from Chase are its large 40,000-point sign-up bonus and the annual bonus of 3,000 points on your cardmember anniversary. But if you’re open to flying with other airlines, you may be able to score a better deal by exploring the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

    It has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles and provides 2x the miles on every dollar you spend. Additionally, it has no foreign transaction fee and comes with the ability to transfer your miles to over 15 travel loyalty programs.

    Although the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has more flexibility, it also requires an annual fee of $95 after the first year. If you prefer to fly Southwest, you may benefit from choosing the lower annual fee and focusing your efforts on building and redeeming points with the brand.

    Earning Rewards

    Earn perks on your everyday purchases, especially ones involved in travel. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, you can receive points by:

    • Spending $1,000 in your first three months of opening your account and earn 40,000 bonus points
    • Making purchases with Southwest Airlines, including flights, vacation packages, in-flight items, and purchases with participating hotel and rental car partners and getting 2x the points
    • Receiving 3,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary each year
    • Earning one point per dollar spent everywhere else

    The Bottom Line

    Chase’s Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is a good option for anyone who wants to fly Southwest Airlines while enjoying basic rewards and credit card perks. As a new cardholder, you can take advantage of a generous sign-up bonus to help you reach your rewards goals faster and a yearly anniversary bonus to help cover the $69 annual fee.

    If you don’t fly frequently, this card is a great balance between maintaining a card with an annual fee and reaping the benefits from its rewards program. However, frequent Southwest travelers may see more benefits from a higher-tier Rapid Rewards card.

    About the Authors

    Jessica Walrack

    Jessica Walrack Contributing Writer

    Jessica Walrack is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney, Interest.com, The Simple Dollar, and PersonalLoans.org. She specializes in personal finance topics.