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Southwest Premier Credit Card Review

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Everything you need to know about the card before applying for it.

The card has some benefits that other travel rewards cards out there don’t have. In particular, these benefits encourage you to continue using the card.

Since there is a bonus you’re rewarded each year to celebrate your anniversary as a cardholder, you have a chance to accumulate more bonuses faster. Besides, if you’re the one who spends big sums of money on the trips with Southwest, you’ll be able to easily qualify for a certain status and you’ll get the Companion Pass without any problems. Unlike its alternative version – the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, this card doesn’t require you to pay any charges when you use it abroad.

General description


  • You can forget about any limits and restrictions when it comes down to booking a seat.
  • You can successfully use this card while travelling without worrying about any extra charges.
  • The card rewards you an additional bonus each year to celebrate your anniversary.


  • There is an annual fee you’ll have to pay for the privilege of using the card (The fee applies starting from the 2nd year).
  • The card doesn’t offer any luxury perks.
  • With this card you won’t have an opportunity to transfer the bonuses you earn to other loyalty programs.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • APR Special Offer: No offer for this card.
  • Standard APR from 16.99% to 23.99%. The rate can vary. Cash Advance APR amounts to 25.99%, but it’s also a subject to changes.
  • The annual fee you’re expected to pay amounts to $99.
  • Special Offer: In case you spend as much as $1,000 within the first 3 months, you’ll be rewarded 40,000 bonus points.

More information on the card:

  • Those who like huge sign-up bonuses will definitely find the card quite attractive.
  • The card gives you a “present” to celebrate your anniversary. You’ll be rewarded as many as 6,000 bonuses!
  • Keep in mind that the bonuses you earn are doubled if you choose to make your purchases at Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner.
  • The card also implies a flat-rate rewards for all the purchases that have nothing to do with your future trips. For making any of such like purchases, you’re to expect 1 bonus per dollar spent.
  • You’re free to earn as many bonuses as you want. The bonuses accumulated on your account will never expire for as long as the account is active.
  • You definitely can take the card with you earn you’re going to travel abroad. You can make purchases with it without the need to pay any additional fee.
  • The card gives you freedom in terms of booking your flights. Forget about blackout dates! You are able to book a ticket at anytime under the condition that there are still seats left.
  • There is a number of options in terms of how you can redeem the points you have accumulated on your account.

Basic features of the card and our opinion

Below we provide a list of the features that are important to know about before deciding to apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

  • The sign-up bonus new cardholders can get: You’ll be rewarded 40,000 points under the condition that you spend with the card at least $1,000. Remember that the bonus will be given to you only if you do the purchases on the total sum of $1,000 within the first 3 months.
  • The fee to pay for using the card: Be ready to pay $99 each year.
  • The card is great for travelers since there is no fee to pay for using it abroad.
  • The rewards rates: 2 points/$1 (for the purchases you make at car rental partners’ places, as well as for any purchase with Southwest directly. The same rate applies in case you’ll book any of the hotels from the list of Rapid Rewards hotels. You’ll get 1 point/$1 for all the rest purchases made with the card.

Our opinion: We believe the card will be great for those who:

  • prefer travelling with Southwest.
  • travel abroad very often.

The card won’t be the best option for those who:

  • don’t travel that much.
  • want some luxury perks with a credit card.

Other things that are available for the cardholders of this card:

  • You’ll be rewarded 6,000 bonuses each year for as long as you use this card.
  • If you manage to spend at least $10,000 with the card during one year, you’ll get the so-called Tier-qualifying points (1,500 points). The maximal number of such like points you can get within one year is 15,000. The points are necessary for you to get one of the statuses offered by the card. Besides, you can also use your points so that to get a Companion Pass. This Pass will allow your friend to get a flight for free (if he/she is travelling together with you).

The reasons for you to consider applying for the card

Once you get the card, you have the opportunity to enjoy the following advantages:

  • You’ll be the one to get the sign-up bonus. The card can boast one of the biggest sign-up bonuses. Once redeemed, it amounts to $400 statement credit. We think the sum will be enough for you to cover airfare expenses for your trip ahead. Besides, once you get the bonus, you’ll make the first step on your way to getting the Companion Pass.
  • You’ll be the one to get a “present” each year. The card rewards you each year for as long as you continue using it. There is no need to do anything or spend a certain amount of money to get these 6,000 bonuses. The are equal to $60.
  • You’re not required to pay any fee for using the card abroad. This advantage makes the card just perfect for those who like to go shopping when they travel. Even though the airline offers mostly domestic flights, you can find tickets to a number of countries abroad including even the Caribbean. At the same time, you can use your points to book international flights with partner airlines. Consequently, the fact that the Southwest is considered to be mostly a domestic airline doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
  • You’ll have a chance to get the Companion Pass and qualify for one of the statuses faster. Those who are loyal Southwest clients will definitely like the card since they will be able to earn rewards thus “qualifying” for a number of additional perks.

Interesting fact:

This is the only major airline in the US that lets you check 2 bags for free each time you travel with it. Great news!

Some things to know about the Rewards program that you take part in once you get the card

We’ve made some calculations and come to the conclusion that the value you can get for each point earned with the card amounts to 1 cent. Actually, this value is a bit lower than the value you can get for the bonuses that can be earned with some other credit cards available. At the same time, the Southwest card offers a more flexible redemption structure in comparison with other cards. Besides, there are no restrictions in terms of the airlines you can book tickets with using your points.

The card also implies the opportunity for you top earn points in order to qualify for the statuses. This is possible when you buy fares only for yourself (buying fares for your friends won’t bring you any qualifying points). There are 3 categories of fares. Each of them has a different rewards rate. The information on the fares and the rewards are provided below.

  • Wanna Get Away fare – 6 points/$1.
  • Anytime fare – 10 points/$1.
  • Business Select – 12 points/$1.

For example, you decide to purchase a Wanna Get fare with the card. You’ll get 2 points per dollar spent according to the general Southwest rewards program. Apart from this, you’ll also be rewarded 6 qualifying points per dollar spent. It means that the effective rewards rate you get here is 8%. That’s a great “cash back” to get!

The reasons for you to consider applying for a different card

Before making the final decision and applying for the card, there are some drawbacks you need to know about:

  • Don’t expect the annual fee to be waived. Some credit cards that come with travel rewards waive the fee to be paid each year at least for the first 12 months after you open an account. With this card you’ll have no such luck. Once you get it, you’re expected to pay $99 each year.
  • The card isn’t the one to get if you’re looking for some luxury perks. Even though the card is Premier, you won’t be offered any sets of luxury perks with it.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • The card is not good for you if you want to get flat-rate rewards. Many potential cardholders want to get a card that will offer them an easy rewards structure and no bonus categories. If you desperately need a card with a slightly higher rewards rates and loyalty isn’t a big deal for you, think over the possibility of applying for the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. This card will allow you to earn 2 miles for each dollar spent on any kind of purchases and there is no annual fee to pay during the 1st After that, you’re required to pay $95 each year. In addition, there is a wide variety of redemption options for you to choose from.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • You can’t transfer your points to some other loyalty programs out there. If you’re looking for a card with such a feature, the better option for you’ll be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With this card, the new cardholders will get a very appealing sign-up bonus and a chance to transfer their points without any loss of value. It has an annual fee of $95 that you’re required to pay starting from the 2nd year of using it.

Summary: Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card the best option in your situation?

Actually, the card isn’t that beneficial who don’t want to travel or those who are looking for flexibility in terms of earning rewards. If you’re a passionate traveler who loves going on trips with the Southwest airline, this is a great option for you.


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