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Southwest Rapid Rewards cards
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

Last updated: August 10,2023
Originally Published: July 29,2023
by Pradeep Chandravanshi

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If you’re a frequent flyer with Southwest Airlines and searching for a great card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card might be just what you need. This card is one of the options available with other Southwest Cards, especially if you prefer cards with an annual fee of less than $100. One of its major advantages is the generous sign-up bonus it offers. Moreover, the rewards are pretty decent, and the annual bonus is fantastic.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

It has an annual fee of $99, and you
are going to earn 50,000 points after
you spend $1,000 on purchases
in the first 3 months of the account
opening. One of the major benefits of
this card is the 6,000 points that you
are going to earn annually.

On average, the value of Southwest Points is around 1.5 cents per point. Therefore, these 6,000 points will be worth around $90, almost redeeming your annual fee with this benefit alone. Additionally, there are plenty of other benefits that come with this card. In this article, we are gonna talk about all the pros and cons of this card so you can make an informed decision about whether this card is for you are not.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Overview

  • With this card, you are going to earn 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 6,000 points every year on your Cardmember anniversary.
  • Earn 3X points for every $1 spent on Southwest purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, internet, cable, and phone services: select streaming.
  • Earn 1X points on all other Purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • You will also get 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • Member FDIC

Pros And Cons


  • 6,000 points annually
  • Great signup bonus
  • Fast track to companion pass


  • Rewards rate is low
  • $99 annual fee
  • low reward redemption options

Welcome Bonus

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you can earn 50,000 bonus points by spending $1,000 within the first 3 months, redeemable for different benefits like Southwest flights, gift cards, statement credit, merchandise, etc. The Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed for gift cards, flights, hotels, cruises, and more. Also, there is no expiration on these points, so you don’t have to worry about your stacked points; you can use them whenever you want.

As I have mentioned above that Southwest points are worth around 1.5 cents per point, so your 50,000 welcome bonus will be around $750. However, note that the redemption value changes on the method of redemption, so this value can vary.

Rewards Rate

The rewards rate on Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is low as compared to other travel credit cards in the same category; however, if you are a Southwest loyalist, then you can get decent value from these rewards:

  1. You can earn 3X points for every $1 spent on Southwest purchases; these points can help you book an award flight, companion pass, or other benefits.
  2. Earn 2X points for every $1 spent on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners, some of which include Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, AVIS, Hertz, etc.
  3. Earn 2X points for $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, passenger trains, buses, taxis, parking lots, garages, etc.
  4. Earn 2 points for each dollar spent on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming like Disney+, Netflix, Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube premium, etc.
  5. On all other purchases, you are going to earn 1X points for each $1 spent.

Rapid Rewards Redemption

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card allows cardholders to earn Points for every purchase they make with the card. These points can be redeemed for, on average, between 1 to 2 cents per point for various rewards, including award flights, hotels, and gift cards from popular retailers, restaurants, and other merchants.

You’ve got several great options for using your Rapid Rewards points. You can cash them in for hotel stays, car rentals, awesome experiences, gift cards, and much more through the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal. But if you want to get most of your points, it’s possible only through booking a Southwest flight; you can get at least 1.5 cents per point while booking an award flight. With Southwest, you can redeem your points for flights within the US (including Hawaii) and to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Image Courtesy of Southwest

Unfortunately, Southwest Airlines doesn’t have any airline partners, so your reward redemption is limited; it’s a major drawback for someone who doesn’t fly Southwest frequently.

Southwest Premier Card Benefits

Southwest Airlines don’t have any airline partners, but that doesn’t mean it does not have other benefits. With this card, there are tons of other awesome benefits:

6,000 Anniversary Points

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card comes with a fantastic perk that can really make a difference for travelers. Every year you keep the card, you’ll get a generous 6,000-point anniversary bonus. That bonus is worth approximately $90( based on a redemption value of 1.5 cents per point, it can vary on the method of redemption).

Companion Pass

One of the major benefits, along with the anniversary bonus on this card, is a Southwest companion pass.
With this fantastic pass, you can bring along a companion on your flights without any extra cost whenever you book or use points for your trip. All you need to do is earn 135,000 qualifying points within a year or or fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year. The points you earn with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card count towards unlocking this pass. That includes the points from sign-up bonuses and anniversary bonuses too.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

And if you have a Southwest Credit Card, you’ll get a nice 10,000-point boost every year! This points comes in handy for qualifying, but just to be clear, these particular points can’t be used to book flights. Click here for more details on the companion pass.

Ger A-List or A-List Preferred Status Faster

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card can help you earn elite status in Southwest Airlines; this status comes with many benefits like priority check-in, free same-day standby if you want to fly out earlier on the day of your scheduled flight, a 25% points bonus when purchasing eligible Southwest flights, and other benefits. With A-List Preferred, you will get all the theses benefits and a 100% points bonus when purchasing eligible Southwest flights (rather than just a 25% bonus).

To achieve A-List status with Southwest Airlines, you’ll need to earn 35,000 “tier-qualifying points” within a calendar year. Normally, the only way to earn these points is by flying on Southwest flights. But this card offers you 1,500 tier-qualifying points for every $10,000 you spend; there’s no limit to how many points you can earn! So you can achieve elite status faster.

To achieve A-List Preferred status with Southwest, you’ll need to earn 70,000 tier-qualifying points within a calendar year. You can use tier-qualifying points(TQP) you rack up using the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card count towards reaching this status as well.

Two EarlyBird Check-In

As a cardholder, every year on your account anniversary, you’ll get two EarlyBird Check-Ins as a reward. These check-ins are awarded to you as a statement credit after you make a purchase with your card. EarlyBird Check-In is usually priced between $15 to $25 for each way of your flight. But with this benefit, you don’t have to worry about paying that fee. It automatically takes care of your check-in process 36 hours before your flight’s departure.

Other Perks And Benefits

In-Flight Purchase Discount

Whenever you use your card to pay for inflight drinks or Wi-Fi, You’ll receive 25% back as a statement credit, which means you’ll get some of that money back on your credit card bill.

Purchase Protection

With this card, any new purchases you make are automatically protected with purchase protection for a generous 120 days. That means you’re covered in case of damage or theft, giving you peace of mind while you enjoy your new items. The coverage extends up to $500 per claim and a total of $50,000 per account.

Lost Luggage and Delay Insurance

When you use your card to pay for your fare, you and your immediate family members are protected if the airline loses or damages your checked or carry-on luggage. The coverage can go up to $3,000 per passenger. Additionally, if your bags are delayed for six hours or more, you can get reimbursed up to $300 (at $100 per day for a maximum of three days) for essential items like toiletries and clothing.

How Much Are Southwest Premier Card Rewards Worth?

It is an important question when choosing a card; if you aren’t able to maximize your rewards, you must look into it. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has a major drawback: low reward redemption options. But with the available options, you can get a value of around 1.5 cents for each point. This is a good value for your points.

When it comes to using your Rapid Rewards points, the best bang for your buck comes from redeeming them for travel on Southwest flights. It’s the way to go if you want to make the most out of your points! While there are other options available, like gift cards and merchandise, they typically won’t give you as much value as those flight redemptions.

Who is the Southwest Premier Card For?

3X points per dollar spent are only for Southwest purchases, indicating that if you are a Southwest frequent flyer, then this card could be what you are looking for. Even if you occasionally fly Southwest, this card’s other benefits, like the Anniversary bonus, companion pass, etc., could make up for your $99 annual fee.

The card’s welcome offer and ongoing rewards are a great choice if you’re looking to score free or discounted travel on Southwest Airlines. But when it comes to redeeming your points, your options are a bit restricted as there are no airline partners of Southwest. At last, it all depends on you what are your needs and expectations from this card.

Other Credit Cards to Consider

It’s important to note that the best competitor for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card will depend on your specific spending habits and goals. Before choosing a card, it’s important to compare the rewards and benefits of each option to determine which one will provide the most value for you.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the top card offered by Southwest, with its annual fee of $149 being higher than the Premier card. The rewards rate and signup bonus are similar in both cards. However, with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, you will receive 7,500 bonus points annually as an anniversary bonus.

Another benefit that makes the Priority Card dominant is the $75 Southwest travel credit, which you can use towards your travel expenses. Additionally, the Priority Card offers 4 upgraded boardings per year when available, whereas the Southwest Premier card only offers 2 EarlyBird check-ins per year.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Among the credit cards offered by Southwest, the one with the lowest $69 annual fee is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. However, with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus, you will only earn 2X points per dollar spent. When comparing the anniversary bonus, the Rewards Plus card offers only 3,000 points annually, which is just half of what the Premier card provides.

Additionally, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card does not earn any tier qualifying points, and it also has a 3% foreign transaction fee, whereas the Southwest Premier Card has no foreign transaction fees.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one of the top travel cards out there. There are so many benefits of this card that it dominates the Premier card in every way and with an annual fee of $95. The interesting part is that you can transfer your Chase points to Southwest at a ratio of 1:1, so if you wanna book a Southwest flight with points, this card has a solution for you. You are going to earn 5X points per dollar spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

With this awesome credit card, you’ll enjoy a bunch of fantastic travel protections, plus there’s a $50 annual hotel credit too. So, It’s like a one-sided win with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you don’t fly Southwest frequently.

Bottom Line

The most important factor, according to me, when selecting a Southwest card is whether you’re a frequent Southwest flyer or not. If you find yourself traveling with Southwest quite often, this card can offer you maximum benefits and advantages. However, even if you only fly with Southwest occasionally, this card can still be a great addition to your wallet. Its price point and perks are quite appealing, and you won’t have to worry about the higher costs associated with some other travel credit cards.

Keep track of your spending categories and select a credit card that rewards you for your most frequent purchases. Sign up for our travel concierge service, and we will help you uncover the finest credit cards of 2023, as well as incredible travel deals and how to leverage your points for maximum value.

Advertiser Disclosure

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 2X miles on everyday spend.
  • Earn 10X miles on hotels and car rentals, and 5x on flights booked on Capital One Travel
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles every account opening anniversary.
  • Get a $300 credit to use on Capital One Travel each year.
  • Unlimited Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges internationally.
  • $395 annual fee.
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