The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card is a smart choice for those who love to travel. It’s most beneficial if you stick with Southwest Airlines flights because it comes with a list of travel perks, including free checked baggage and lost luggage reimbursement. But even if you travel with other companies, you can still earn Rapid Rewards points, which you can later use to book a flight with Southwest. As a cardholder, you’ll pay 17.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases, and you’ll be assessed a $99 annual fee to your first billing statement. However, if you use the card often, you can easily earn enough points to offset this fee and still come out ahead.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Overview
- Rewards rate: Two points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases, one point per dollar on other purchases
- Sign-up bonus: 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $99
- APR: 15.99% – 22.99% variable
- Balance Transfer Fee: 5% or $5 (whichever is greater)
- Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
Who Should Get Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier?
Best for: With several valuable travel benefits plus no foreign transaction fees and the opportunity to earn Rapid Rewards points with every purchase, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card from Chase is a smart choice for travelers. Use your rewards to pay for your air travel or redeem them for other great rewards, such as gift cards, hotel stays, and rental cars.
Not for: If you were hoping to save on interest charges by taking advantage of an introductory APR, you’ll have to look for another card. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card has no promotions for new cardholders beyond bonus points, so it’s not a good option for making large purchases or consolidating from other cards unless the interest rate is better than you can find elsewhere.
Earn points with every purchase
No matter whether you’re booking flights for an upcoming vacation or picking up something at the grocery store for dinner, you’ll earn points on every purchase. You get the most points—two points per dollar—on Southwest Airlines purchases, but all other purchases still net you one point for every dollar you spend. There are also no limits on the number of points you can earn.
No foreign transaction fees
If you’re a world traveler, you’ll be happy to know that Chase’s Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card charges no foreign transaction fees. This means you can use the card anywhere in the world that Visa is accepted, and the price you see on the menu, souvenir tag, or train ticket is exactly what you’ll pay.
Great travel benefits
A host of other valuable travel benefits make this card a smart option for those who like to travel. When you use the Southwest Rapid Reward Premier Card to pay for your Southwest flight, your first two checked bags fly for free, and you’ll enjoy lost and delayed luggage protection.
During your first billing statement, you’ll be responsible for the $99 charge. Depending on how often you use the card and thus how many points you earn, this fee might offset any rewards you earn.
No introductory APR
If you were hoping to finance a trip without interest or save money by consolidating high-interest cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card can’t help you. It doesn’t offer an introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers, so you’ll start paying interest charges the moment you begin carrying a balance.
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card||Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card||Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®||Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card|
|Rewards Rate||2 points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases, 1 point per dollar on other purchases||2 miles per dollar on Delta Airlines, restaurants, and U.S. supermarket purchases, 1 mile per dollar on other purchases||2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, 1 mile per dollar on other purchases||2 points per dollar on Southwest Airlines, hotels, and car purchases, 1 point per dollar on other purchases|
|Sign-up Bonus||40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months||60,000 miles when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months||50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months||40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months|
|Annual Fee||$99||$0 for the first year, $99 after||$450||$69|
|APR||15.99% to 22.99% variable||17.24% to 26.24% variable||17.49% to 26.49% variable||15.99% to 22.99% variable|
*All information is accurate as of March 2, 2020.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Compared to Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card and the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card share many similarities, including rewards and a sign-up bonus. Both cards issue two points per dollar spent at its respective airlines, but the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card also includes restaurant and U.S. supermarket purchases at this rate. Aside from that, each card issue one point per dollar spent everywhere else.
The two cards also offer a sign-up bonus, but again the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card edges out the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card from Chase by offering 60,000 miles over 40,000 points. However, note that this also comes with a $2,000 minimum spend in three months, whereas the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card only requires you to spend $1,000 in three months.
There are similar interest rates for the two cards, as well as a $99 annual fee. However, the Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card comes out the winner here, though, because it waives the $99 fee for the first year.
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card from Chase, you can look forward to earning great perks on your purchases when you:
- Earn two points for every dollar you spend on Southwest Airlines purchases
- Earn one point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases
- Earn 40,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months on opening your account
- Earn 6,000 points every year on the anniversary of your card opening
The Bottom Line
If you’re loyal to the Southwest brand and do a lot of traveling, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card may be a no-brainer for you. From its 40,000 bonus points and 6,000 anniversary points to the ability to earn unlimited points on every purchase, this card can help you rack up free flights and other valuable travel rewards. It does have a $99 annual fee, but you may not mind that expense if you’re able to earn several free flights every year.