Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. 

Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the companies featured here provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service. Compensation and in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear below. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Ready to soar with rewards? Apply now and elevate your travel experience with a Companion Pass® and thousands of bonus points!

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Learn More

Ready to soar with rewards? Apply now and elevate your travel experience with a Companion Pass® and thousands of bonus points!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.


For individuals loyal to Southwest Airlines, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card presents a tempting proposition. Designed to reward frequent flyers, this credit card offers a range of benefits tailored to make traveling with Southwest more rewarding and convenient.

Key features include a valuable welcome bonus, points on every purchase that can be redeemed for flights, and exclusive perks for cardholders. With a focus on enhancing the Southwest travel experience, this card aims to deliver both savings and satisfaction to its users.

Welcome Bonus

One of the most attractive features of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is its sign-up bonus, designed to get new cardholders off to a flying start. Upon approval, new members can usually take advantage of a generous points bonus after meeting a minimum spending requirement within the first few months of account opening.

  • Generous Points Offer: New cardholders typically receive a substantial welcome offer of points. This bonus can vary, but it’s often enough for a roundtrip flight or two, depending on the destination and timing.
  • Spending Requirement: To qualify for the welcome bonus, you’ll need to hit a spending threshold in the initial months. This amount is usually set at a level achievable for most regular spenders.
  • Activation Period: There’s often a time limit to meet the spending requirement, encouraging cardholders to begin using the card as their go-to payment method right away.

Given its value, the welcome bonus alone can be a compelling reason to apply for the card, especially if you have upcoming expenditures that can help you meet the spending criteria. Make sure you understand the terms of the bonus, including the timeframe and the spending requirement, to ensure you can take full advantage.

Earning Rewards

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card turns every purchase into an opportunity to travel. Earn points on your daily expenditures, whether you’re dining out, making a grocery run, or booking your next adventure. Points accumulate quickly with this card, particularly on Southwest-related purchases.

  • Points on Southwest Purchases: Achieve Rapid Rewards points at an accelerated rate for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines flights, vacation packages, and in-flight purchases.
  • Everyday Spending: For all other purchases, you’ll still earn points, albeit at a lower rate than Southwest-specific spending. This ensures that every swipe of the card contributes to your future travel plans.
  • Bonus Categories: Occasionally, the card may offer additional points in other categories or promotions, adding even more potential for earning.
  • Anniversary Bonus: Cardholders are also rewarded with an annual points bonus on their cardmember anniversary, a thank you gesture that makes up for the annual fee and incentivizes loyalty.
  • No Earning Caps: There’s no cap on the number of points you can earn, which means your potential for earning is unlimited.

The card’s earning structure is straightforward and rewarding for those who frequently fly with Southwest. If you integrate the card into your regular spending routine, you can watch your point balance soar, bringing your next travel goal within reach sooner than you might think.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card makes it surprisingly simple to accumulate points, but it is particularly potent for those who spend heavily on Southwest Airlines expenses. By centering your travel and everyday spending on this card, you harness its full potential to earn flights and other rewards rapidly.

Redeeming Rewards

The joy of accumulating points with your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is matched by the flexible and potentially lucrative ways you can redeem them. Here’s how you can turn your earned points into exciting travel experiences:

  • Southwest Flights: The primary redemption option is for flights on Southwest Airlines. Your points can cover the cost of travel, including taxes and fees, with no blackout dates. The number of points required for a flight varies based on factors like destination, time, and flight demand.
  • More Than Just Flights: While flights are the main draw, you can also redeem points for car rentals, hotel stays, gift cards, and more. However, the value you get for non-flight redemptions may differ.
  • Transferrable to Partners: Your points can also go toward travel experiences with partner airlines, hotels, and more. This brings an international dimension to where your points can take you.
  • No Expiry on Points: As long as your account is open, your points never expire. This is excellent for saving up for a big trip without worry about losing your hard-earned rewards.
  • Point Value: The value of points can vary, but generally, you get the most bang for your buck when redeeming for Southwest flights.

Take full advantage of the Southwest Rapid Rewards program by planning strategically and keeping an eye on fare sales and promotions, which can stretch the value of your points even further. Redeeming points is where the card shines, so make sure to use them on options that maximize their value.

Perks and Benefits

In addition to its rewards program, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with a suite of perks and benefits that enhance its value proposition for frequent travelers. These additional cardholder benefits can significantly improve your travel experience, save you money, and offer you peace of mind.

  • Anniversary Points: Each year on the anniversary of your account opening, you’ll receive bonus points, helping to offset the card’s annual fee.
  • Travel Protections: The card includes travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement, offering a safety net when you’re on the move.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Make purchases abroad without worrying about incurring additional charges, as the card waives foreign transaction fees.
  • Tier Qualifying Points: For every $10,000 you spend, earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs), up to $100,000 in spending annually, which equates to 15,000 TQPs. These points count towards reaching A-List status, which provides benefits like priority boarding and bonus earning potential on Southwest flights.
  • EarlyBird Check-In® Credits: Cardmembers may receive credits for EarlyBird Check-In, allowing you to improve your boarding position.
  • Exclusive Cardmember Events: Enjoy access to events and experiences exclusive to Southwest cardholders, which can include entertainment and culinary events.

These benefits add substantial value to the card, especially for those who travel frequently with Southwest Airlines. The added travel protections are a boon, providing reassurance that you’re covered against the unpredictable elements of travel.

Pros and Cons

Every credit card has its advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a summary of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card pros and cons:


  • Generous Welcome Bonus: An impressive bonus upon meeting the spend criteria can fund multiple flights.
  • Earn on Every Purchase: Accumulate points on Southwest purchases and all daily expenditures.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Ideal for international travel without extra charges.
  • Annual Bonus Points: Get points every cardmember anniversary, offsetting the annual fee.
  • Travel Insurance: Gain peace of mind with included travel-related insurance policies.


  • Annual Fee: The card comes with an annual fee, which may be a downside for some.
  • Limited to Southwest: The card’s maximum value is tied to loyalty with Southwest Airlines.
  • High APR: Carrying a balance could incur significant interest due to the card’s APR.

Considering these factors will help determine if the Southwest Premier card aligns with your spending habits and travel goals.

Comparison to Other Cards

When considering the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, it’s essential to see how it stacks up against other cards in the travel category. Let’s compare it to other popular travel rewards cards:

  • Annual Fee: The card charges a moderate annual fee. Other travel cards might offer lower fees but may also provide fewer benefits or higher fees with more extensive travel perks.
  • Earning Potential: While this card offers a good return on Southwest purchases, other travel cards may provide broader earning categories or higher rates on all travel and dining expenses.
  • Sign-Up Bonus: The welcome offer is competitive, but some cards might provide more sizable bonuses. Consider the spending threshold and your ability to meet it, as some cards might require higher spending for the bonus.
  • Redemption Flexibility: Points earned with the Southwest card are most valuable when redeemed for Southwest flights. Conversely, other travel cards offer more flexibility, allowing you to transfer points to various airline and hotel partners.
  • Travel Perks: The Southwest card’s travel benefits are focused on air travel, particularly with Southwest. Other cards may include broader travel perks such as airport lounge access, additional travel insurance options, and TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credits.
  • Interest Rates: The APR for the Southwest Premier card might be less favorable than some other travel cards, making it important to pay off balances each month to avoid interest charges.

In summary, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is an excellent choice for those loyal to Southwest Airlines. If Southwest is your primary or exclusive airline, you’ll likely find the benefits and rewards well aligned with your travel habits. However, if you’re looking for versatility in point redemption or richer travel perks across various airlines and hotels, you might want to explore other travel reward card options.


The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card comes out as a strong contender for those committed to Southwest Airlines. Its balance of a good welcome bonus, rewards on spending, annual anniversary points, travel protections, and absence of foreign transaction fees underscore its value for regular flyers of the airline. While the card is not the best fit for those seeking versatility outside of Southwest or concerned about the annual fee and APR, it remains a purposeful choice for Southwest enthusiasts who can leverage the card’s benefits to their fullest. If your travel schedule prominently features Southwest Airlines, the Premier card could very well be your ticket to faster, more rewarding travel experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a credit card with a 5000 limit? Getting a credit card with a $5,000 limit depends on various factors such as your credit history, income, and the credit card issuer’s policies. Building a strong credit score and having a stable income increases your chances of being approved for a higher credit limit.

Does applying for a credit card hurt your credit score? Yes, applying for a credit card can temporarily hurt your credit score. Credit inquiries typically cause a small and temporary decrease in your credit score. Multiple applications within a short period can compound this effect.

What is the easiest airline credit card to get approved for? “Easiest” can vary depending on individual credit factors, but cards with fewer benefits and lower annual fees often have more lenient approval criteria. Always check the card’s requirements and compare it with your credit profile.

Is it better to cancel unused credit cards or keep them? It depends on your overall credit situation. Cancelling unused credit cards can potentially hurt your credit score by increasing your credit utilization ratio. However, if the card has a high annual fee or tempts you to overspend, it might be better financially to cancel it.

How can I improve my credit score to get better credit card offers? To improve your credit score, make payments on time, keep credit utilization low, maintain a mix of credit accounts, and avoid opening too many new accounts at once. Review your credit report regularly and correct any inaccuracies.

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