Points, Miles & Credit Cards

Review: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Kurt Adams

Kurt Adams

January 26, 2024

6 min read

Going has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Going and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Some of all of the card offers that appear on this page are from advertisers; compensation may affect how and where the cards appear on the site; and Going does not include all card companies are all available card offers.

Who is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card for?

The Southwest Plus Card comes with the lowest annual fee of all Southwest cards, but it also doesn’t pack the same punch. If you don’t need all the benefits that the others offer, this might be a good option.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit  Card Quick Facts

card_name

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Annual fee: annual_fees


Foreign transaction fee: foreign_transaction_fee


Earning rate:

  • Earn 2X points per dollar on points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points per dollar on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners.
  • Earn 2X points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points per dollar on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
  • Earn 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full


Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Low annual fee
  • 10,000 points each year toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass
  • 3,000 Rapid Rewards® points each anniversary

Cons:

  • Higher-tier Southwest cards offer travel credits and other perks
  • Points can only be redeemed on Southwest 
  • You don’t need to hold a Southwest credit card to take advantage of Southwest Airlines’ two free checked bags per ticket
Our take

Of the three personal Southwest cards, the Southwest Plus Card has the lowest fee and fewest perks. But if you're OK with flying the no-frills airline, you probably won't miss them anyway.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Review

The card_name is the entry-level card of the three Southwest Airlines co-branded personal cards. Its current welcome offer is equivalent to the ones its bigger siblings offer. The current welcome offer is : bonus_miles_full.

Each year all three personal cards grant you 10,000 qualifying points toward the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, so why not go with the card_name, since it has the lowest annual fee of three?

The simple answer is the higher-annual-fee Southwest cards offer more benefits and perks. Both the middle-of-the-road Premier Card and top-of-the-line Priority Card allow you to earn more bonus points on Southwest purchases, grant you more anniversary bonus points, and the ability to earn A-List elite status.

Earning points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The card_name offers plenty of opportunities to earn points. Like most co-branded airline credit cards, you’ll earn bonus points for purchases directly with the airline and through its dining and shopping portals.

In addition, the bonus categories on this card could make it a go-to card in your wallet to use for many of your recurring expenses. You’ll also earn double points per dollar on local transit and commuting expenses, like rideshares, buses, taxis, tolls, and parking garages. And, you’ll earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming services.

Redeeming points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

You can Southwest Rapid Rewards® points for a free Southwest flight. You could also redeem the points for hotel stays, rental cars, gift cards, events, or merchandise, but these options wouldn’t offer maximum value.

The price it costs to book a Southwest Airlines flight with points tracks the cash fare price. That means that the amount of Rapid Rewards points will fluctuate based on the dollar cost of the ticket.

Alternatives to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Similar cards to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

If you’re a Southwest frequent flyer, there are two cards that offer more benefits with somewhat higher annual fees.

You could slice and dice this one of two ways: On the one hand, for a slightly higher annual fee, you can get more anniversary points, plus get a head start toward earning A-List elite status. 

On the other hand, all three of these cards offer the same welcome bonus and the same amount of qualifying points toward the Companion Pass In terms of points-earning potential, the major difference is that the middle-of-the-road Premier Card and top-of-the-line Priority Card each let you earn 3X points on Southwest purchases. 

None offer lounge access or TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credits, so it ultimately comes down to how much of the extra perks, like Companion Pass and A-List status, matter to you.

Read our review of the Southwest Premier Credit Card

Read our review of the Southwest Priority Credit Card

Be aware, though, that Chase has specific application rules for Southwest cards. If you’ve earned a welcome offer on a personal Southwest credit card in the last 24 months, or have any other personal Southwest card, you wouldn’t be eligible for the welcome bonus on this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If a lot of your spending is in categories like transit, dining, and streaming, but you aren’t a Southwest loyalist, consider the card_name. This general-purpose card travel credit card allows you to earn bonus points in lots of the same categories as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, however the Chase Ultimate Rewards ® points you earn are much more flexible. You can transfer and redeem your points with nearly a dozen airlines, including Southwest.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Going has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Going and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Some of all of the card offers that appear on this page are from advertisers; compensation may affect how and where the cards appear on the site; and Going does not include all card companies are all available card offers.

Kurt Adams

Kurt Adams

Marketing


Published January 26, 2024

Last updated February 22, 2024

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