Southwest Airlines Just Got Even Better with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Card

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 18 April 2017. 0 comments

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As one of the most popular airlines, Southwest is also known for providing a number of perks such as free bags and no change fees. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Card, however, includes these benefits plus more, providing a valuable combination of airline rewards and credit card perks. If you travel with Southwest Airlines, this card can not only help you get the most out of your purchases but also points for free flights. (See also: Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards)

Why We Like This Card

  • 40,000 point bonus offer
  • 3,000 anniversary points

How This Card Works

This card awards two points per dollar spent on Southwest and Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental partner purchases and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The annual fee is $69.

Bonus offer. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

You can redeem your points for award flights, gift cards, and other travel perks such as car rentals and hotel stays with Southwest partners. There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn, and points do not expire.

Other Benefits

No change fees. There are no change fees with Southwest Airlines, which can save you hundreds of dollars if you need to change your flight.

Bags fly free. First and second checked bags fly free with Southwest Airlines.

Anniversary bonus points. You get 3,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary each year.

Costs

  • $69 Annual Fee
  • 16.74%-23.74% Variable APR
  • 5% Balance Transfer Fee (minimum $5)
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee

Considerations

Annual fee. Although the annual fee is only $69, it is still an extra expense, especially if you don’t earn enough points for award flights or use any of the card benefits. If you find the annual fee on this card to be too high, you should instead consider a travel reward card with no annual fee. (See also: Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fees)

Foreign transaction fee. The foreign transaction fee of 3% can become costly if you frequently travel abroad. For foreign purchases, it’s best to use credit cards that do not charge this fee. If you want to stick with a Southwest Airlines credit card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers similar benefits with no foreign transaction fee but a higher annual fee of $99.

(See also: Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees)

Competitors

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a general travel rewards credit card that awards a flat rate of 2x miles on all purchases. This card is a competitor because you can earn miles on all your purchases and then redeem them for a variety of travel purchases ranging from airfare and hotel stays to car rentals and cruise purchases. There is a one-time bonus offer of 40,000 miles, worth $400 in travel, if you spend $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of approval. There is no foreign transaction fee. The annual fee of $59 is waived the first year.

Who This Card Is Best For

This card is best for travelers who frequently fly with Southwest Airlines and can take advantage of its rewards program to get free flights.

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