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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card Review

Earn double points – not miles – on Southwest purchases

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The Premier version of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card has a higher annual fee but offers more bonus points.

Who the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card Is For

  • People who want to earn rewards for spending at Southwest Airlines.

Credit Rating Required

  • Good to Excellent (700+)
  • Generous purchase rewards.
  • 30,000 bonus points after your first purchase.
  • Relatively low APR.
  • No limits on points earned.

Pros

  • Generous purchase rewards.
  • 30,000 bonus points after your first purchase.
  • Relatively low APR.
  • No limits on points earned.

Cons

  • High annual fee.

Rewards

  • Two points per dollar spent at Southwest Airlines and hotel and car rental partners.
  • One point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • One point per dollar on all balance transfers during first 90 days of account opening (limit 15,000 points).
  • 6,000 bonus miles each year on card anniversary date.

APRs

  • 14.24%
  • Penalty APR: 29.99%

Fees

  • Annual fee: $99.
  • Late fee: Up to $35.
  • Returned payment or check fee: Up to $35.
  • Balance transfer fee: 3% of balance

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card Review

Southwest Airlines recently revamped its frequent flyer credit cards with Chase. The card comes in two versions: this one, the higher priced of the two at $99 a year, has richer rewards. The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card costs $69 but doesn't have many of the Premier card's bonus rewards.

The basic rewards package is the same on both cards: Two points per dollar spent at Southwest Airlines and its hotel and car rental partners, one point on all other purchases. The 14.24% APR is the same on both cards.

The differences are in the bonuses you can earn. With this card, you earn 30,000 bonus points on your first purchase. You earn 6,000 bonus points every year on your anniversary date, which is worth $100 toward a "Wanna Get Away" fare. You can also earn one point per dollar on balance transfers during the first 90 days you have the card, up to 15,000 points.

You also earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 you spend on the card. You don't earn those extra points on the Plus card. Tier Qualifying Points let you graduate to the A-List and A-List Preferred status where you get priority boarding, standby status and other benefits.

With both cards, there are no blackout dates, no limits on the points you can earn, and points never expire.

Recommendation

If you fly frequently on Southwest and are interested in either card, this card makes more sense. It seems to be worth the additional $30 to get the extra bonus points.

Unlike most other frequent flyer credit cards, this card rewards you in points, not miles. You can use the points to get free flights on Southwest, but you also have the option to redeem them for hotel stays and car rentals, vacation packages or gift cards at various retailers.

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