MoneyGeek’s Take

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Review

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ByGrace Pilling
Reviewed byAlene Laney
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ByGrace Pilling
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Reviewed byAlene Laney
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Updated: June 5, 2024

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With its reliable rewards program, enticing welcome offer, and valuable travel benefits, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is tailored to meet the needs of avid travelers. We'll delve into the card's key features, helping you understand its true value and how it can elevate your journeys. With the same redemption rate as the more expensive Southwest Premier and Priority cards, this card gets you as much bang for your buck for an average annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Annual Fee$69
Welcome OfferEarn 85,000 points
Regular APR21.49% - 28.49% variable

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Overview

As you consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, it's essential to carefully evaluate the array of features it offers. From the generous rewards program to the annual fee and foreign transaction fee, each aspect contributes to the overall value and suitability of the card for your travel needs.

Rewards rate: Earn 2X points on Southwest purchases, as well as on internet, cable, phone services, select streaming services, local transit, commuting and rideshare purchases. Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Welcome Bonus: Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Regular APR: 21.49% - 28.49% (variable)

Annual fee: $69

Foreign transaction fee: 3%

Annual bonus: Earn an annual bonus of 3,000 points on your account anniversary

Flexible redemption: Redeem points for airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, exclusive event access, gift cards and merchandise. Unlimited rewards seats, points don't expire and there are no blackout dates.

Companion Pass: Qualify for Companion Pass by earning 135,000 points from qualifying purchases or 100 qualifying one-way flights

Pros

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Solid rewards rate on various categories

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Impressive welcome offer

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Valuable travel benefits, including free checked bags and in-flight perks

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Opportunity to earn a coveted Companion Pass

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Flexible redemption options for airfare, hotels, and more

Cons

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Foreign transaction fee

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No bonus rewards in popular everyday categories

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Limited options for international travel

Important Card Details

From its generous rewards program encompassing multiple categories to the coveted benefits of the Companion Pass, it's important to examine each feature of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card to make an informed decision. Here are some key features that make this card stand out in the world of rewards and travel.

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    Reliable Rewards Rate

    Earn 2X points on various categories, including Southwest purchases, internet, cable, phone services, select streaming services, local transit, commuting, and rideshare, and 1X points on all other purchases. This broad range of everyday expenses ensures that you can earn rewards on both your travel-related spending and your daily essentials. The absence of bonus miles on everyday spending, such as groceries or gas, could be a drawback for some. But you can still earn bonus points on dining: registering for Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining allows you to earn up to 3X points at participating restaurants and an additional 10 points for writing a review of your experience.

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    Good Welcome Offer

    Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.These points and discount can provide a significant boost, potentially translating to hundreds of dollars in airfaEre.

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    Decent Travel Benefits

    This card is loaded with travel benefits. Lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and even two EarlyBird Check-In® boarding upgrades each year provide peace of mind and added convenience. Plus, the perk of having your first two checked bags fly free (size and weight limits apply) and no fees for flight changes are extra bonuses that can save you a fair bit of cash. You'll also get 25% cash back on eligible in-flight purchases.

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    Coveted Companion Pass

    The Companion Pass feature is the real game-changer for couples or frequent travel buddies. It allows a chosen companion to fly with you for virtually just the cost of the taxes and fees, starting at $5.60 for a one-way flight. The fact that the pass, once earned, is active for the rest of the year and all of the next, potentially gives it almost two-year validity - an incredible deal for frequent flyers.

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    Foreign Transaction Fees

    Foreign transaction fees are uncommon in the travel card space, so it's worth pointing out that this card has them. You'll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases made abroad. While this may not be a problem if you're only flying domestic, it's something to keep in mind if you're looking to get an airline card to also use for spending while traveling overseas.

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    Annual Fee

    The card carries an annual fee of $69, which may give you reason to pause. However, considering the lucrative rewards, if you're a frequent Southwest flyer or spend heavily on the other bonus categories, it should be fairly easy to offset the fee.

How the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Compares

Out of the three co-branded Chase and Southwest Airlines personal credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has the cheapest annual fee. However, if you’re looking to make purchases overseas, its higher-end counterparts, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority may be better options.

How This Card Compares

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: Earn 2X points on Southwest purchases, as well as on internet, cable, phone services, select streaming services, local transit, commuting and rideshare purchases
  • Welcome Bonus: Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Regular APR: 21.49% to 28.49% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $69
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Best For: domestic Southwest flyers
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: Earn 3X points on Southwest purchases, 2X points on Southwest Rapid Rewards hotel stays and car rentals, internet, cable, phone services, select streaming services, local transit, commuting and rideshare purchases, and 1X points on other spending
  • Welcome offer: Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Regular APR: 21.49% to 28.49% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Best for: generous rewards and no foreign transaction fees

About Grace Pilling


Grace Pilling headshot

Grace Pilling was the Senior Content Manager for Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. She previously led personal finance teams at Bankrate, CreditCards.com and MoneyUnder30.

Pilling has a bachelor's degree in English from Western Sydney University and a diploma in book editing, proofreading and publishing. She is focused on empowering readers to make informed financial choices that support their best lives, not a company’s bottom line.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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