Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Review

If you book Southwest flights frequently, you should consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card from Chase. This card enables users to earn Rapid Rewards on all purchases and bonus rewards for Southwest purchases. The card also comes with a bonus offer and plenty of travel perks.

What is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a rewards credit card offered by Chase in partnership with Southwest Airlines. Cardholders can earn Rapid Rewards points with Southwest that can then be redeemed for flights by using the card. This card is aimed at borrowers with good to excellent credit scores and has a regular APR of 15.99% to 22.99%.

How does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card work?

To get the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card, you’ll need to apply through the Chase website. If you already have an account with Chase, you can sign in to speed up the application process. Otherwise, you can apply as a guest.
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You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself, including your name, social security number, and income.
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Once you submit your application, there’s a chance that you might be automatically approved. Otherwise, you’ll typically have to wait several weeks to hear back from Chase. If your application is approved, you’ll receive your card in the mail shortly after.

How much does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card cost?

The card comes with an annual fee of $69. It also charges a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, a cash advance fee of either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, and foreign transaction fees of 3%. The card comes with a late or returned payment fee of up to $40.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card features

This card comes with plenty of great features, like Southwest points, a welcome bonus, and travel perks.

Points

This travel credit card offers 2 points for every $1 you spend on Southwest purchases and 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases. Using this card can help you to earn enough points to cover the cost of your next flight. Since the card consistently earns at least 1 point per dollar, with no upper spending limit, it’s a great card to use for everyday purchases if you’re saving up for travel.

Welcome bonus

The card also comes with a welcome bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. In addition to these points, new cardholders can enjoy 3 points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants for the first year.

Anniversary bonus

The bonus points don’t end with the welcome bonus—cardholders also earn additional anniversary points for each card member anniversary. Users can earn 3,000 additional bonus points each year.

Travel perks

As an airline-affiliated credit card, it makes sense that the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card comes with some great travel perks. This includes two free checked bags, a $0 change fee, and no hidden travel fees. The card also comes with lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000, baggage delay insurance of up to $100 a day, and purchase protection. Regular flyers can also unlock a companion pass if they earn enough points.

Flexible redemption options

Most people use this card to redeem points for Southwest purchases, but that’s not the only way that you can take advantage of the rewards program. You can also use them to purchase hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and merchandise.

Who is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card best for?

People who like Southwest

Airline credit cards are great for people who already have a preferred airline. If you’re already a frequent flyer with Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a great choice for you and your family. Earn rewards on everyday purchases, and exchange them for flights.

People who travel frequently

This card is best suited to frequent travelers. If you only hop on a plane every couple of years, there aren’t as many lucrative redemption options for this card. On the other hand, if you travel regularly, there are plenty of opportunities to reap the benefits that this card has to offer.

Who shouldn’t use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card?

People who don’t travel often

If you’re not a huge traveler (and mainly if you don’t often travel by plane), this card might not be the best fit. You should consider a cashback rewards card or a card with spending categories that reward your particular spending patterns, like groceries, gas, or online shopping.

People who aren’t brand-loyal

If you’re constantly scouring different airlines looking for the best deal, this card probably won’t work best for you since redemption options are geared towards flights with Southwest. It also might not be a good fit if Southwest doesn’t frequently operate in your area or areas where you usually travel.

People with bigger budgets

If you don’t mind a slightly higher annual fee, there are other Southwest rewards credit cards that pack a bigger bang for your buck in terms of rewards and perks, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.

Pros & cons

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card vs. competitors

CardRewardsAnnual feeWelcome bonus
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card2 points for every $1 you spend on Southwest purchases, and 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases$6940,000 points
Chase Sapphire Preferred5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 2x points on other travel purchases, 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, 1x points on all other purchases$95100,000 points
American Express Platinum CardAmerican Express Platinum Card5x points on flights and hotels, 1x points on all other purchases$695125,000 points

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is another great option for a rewards credit card. This card rewards travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards with a hefty 5x point per $1. The card also earns points on other travel purchases, dining, online grocery orders, and select streaming services. The card has an annual fee of $95 and a welcome offer of 100,000 bonus points, which have a value of $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

American Express Platinum Card

Looking to upgrade your travel credit cards? Look no further than the American Express Platinum Card. While this card comes with a sizable $695 annual fee, it also has stellar travel rewards, including 5x points per $1 spent on flights and hotels and 1x points on all other purchases. The card also comes with plenty of other travel perks, like a $100 Global Entry credit, $200 hotel credit, and $200 airline fee credit.

FAQs

Does this card have blackout dates?
There are no blackout dates for redeeming points for flights.
Does this card come with an annual fee?
There is an annual fee of $69 that is applied to the first billing statement. However, most cardholders can more than make up that fee with the card’s rewards.
Do points expire?
Rapid Rewards points never expire, so you can continue to use them as part of the Rapid Rewards program as long as your card is still open and in good standing.

The bottom line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is a great option if you're a Southwest loyalist and frequent traveler. This card has the lowest annual fee among Southwest cards, a generous sign-up bonus, and a lucrative rewards system. However, if you can cover the higher annual fee, there are also Southwest rewards cards with even more benefits available. Borrowers interested in the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card should also consider the Southwest Premier and Priority cards.
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