Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Review

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Rewards rate:

Earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 40,000 points
  • Annual fee: $69
  • Regular APR: 15.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Southwest Rapid Rewards®  Plus Credit Card is a good option for loyal Southwest Airlines flyers who want to take advantage of Southwest’s perks and benefits and score a great welcome bonus

For a $69 annual fee, you can earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.

At a Glance

  • Earn 2x points on Southwest purchases and 1x points on everything else
  • Earn a 40,000-point welcome bonus after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening
  • Earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 3,000 bonus points on every anniversary of card membership
  • $69 annual fee
  • 15.99% to 22.99% variable APR

Pros

  • High-value bonus point welcome offer

  • Extra bonus points on every anniversary

Cons

  • $69 annual fee

  • 2x points rewards limited to Southwest purchases

  • Not a great choice for international travelers

Additional Card Details

The card can help you boost your balance of Rapid Rewards points, which can get you free or discounted travel on Southwest flights. Your Rapid Rewards points don’t expire, either, as long as your account is in good standing, so any points you accumulate today you’ll still be able to use once it’s safe to travel again.

You’ll typically get the best value redeeming your points for Southwest flights, but you can also use them to purchase other travel and gift cards, for as little as 3,000 points.

In addition to points, Rapid Rewards Plus comes with many shopping and travel protections standard among travel credit cards, like purchase protection, extended warranty, travel accident insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. But unlike many other travel cards, it does charge foreign transaction fees.

Should You Get This Card?

You’ll benefit most from this card if you’re a frequent or even semi-frequent Southwest Airlines flyer and you want to start maximizing Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program.

The card carries a $69 annual fee, which is lower compared to other travel cards on the market, but a fee nonetheless. Because of that, it’s important to make sure you can offset the cost with this card’s rewards and benefits.

If you typically fly other airlines, or aren’t planning on traveling often even once it’s safe to do so again, you likely won’t get much value out of this card. And if you’re planning a lot of future international travel, you might also want to look elsewhere — Southwest doesn’t offer many flight options beyond North America, and this card charges foreign transaction fees.

How to Use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

You’ll want to maximize this card’s 40,000-point welcome offer by meeting the $1,000 minimum spending threshold within three months. Just be careful not to spend more than you normally would simply to score the bonus; any interest you accrue on revolving balances can quickly outweigh a points bonus. 

You should use this card for all purchases you make with Southwest Airlines to earn 2x bonus points.

Those bonus points rewards can help you score Southwest’s coveted Companion Pass®. With it, you can choose a companion to fly with you free of charge (except taxes and fees) on Southwest. This applies whether you purchase the flight or use points to book the flight, and you can change your designated companion up to three times per year. To earn the Pass, you must take 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in one calendar year.

You’ll also get a bonus 3,000 Rapid Rewards points every cardmember anniversary, which can help recoup the annual fee cost year after year. We don’t recommend canceling credit cards since it can damage your credit score — and this bonus offers incentive to keep the card open long-term. 

The card comes with a variable APR between 15.99% and 22.99%. You should pay off your balance in full and on time every month to avoid taking on high-interest debts.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Compared to Other Cards

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  • Intro bonus:
    40,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $69
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card

  • Intro bonus:
    10,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Bottom Line

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards card is a solid, low cost pick for Southwest flyers. It can help you earn the airline’s Companion Pass and save money while earning points toward future Southwest flights. But if you don’t fly often, or don’t prefer Southwest Airlines, consider other travel rewards cards that may better suit your spending.    

*All information about the American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card have an annual fee?

Yes, this card charges a $69 annual fee.

How do you earn the Companion Pass with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card?

To earn Companion Pass, you’ll need to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points each calendar year.

What credit score do you need to get approved for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa Signature Card?

This card requires a good-to-excellent credit score (670 or higher) for the best chances of approval.