Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card: There’s a Lot to LUV - NerdWallet
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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card: There’s a Lot to LUV

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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card: There’s a Lot to LUV

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Editor's Rating: 2.9 / 5

Do you value an air carrier that provides free checked bags, friendly service and all the honey roasted peanuts your heart desires? If so, Southwest Airlines – and the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card – is just the ticket.

With this credit card, you’ll earn big rewards, an annual anniversary bonus, and pay no foreign transaction fees. The Nerds think there’s a lot to LUV about the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and we’re ready to share it all.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit

Bonus Offer

Earn 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Annual Fee

$99

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • APR: 16.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Named 2015 Freddie Award Winner for Best Loyalty Credit Card
  • Chip-enabled cards with 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Points Don't Expire, No Blackout Dates, Bags Fly Free®
  • 6,000 points after your Cardmember Anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases and participating Hotel and Car Rental partners
  • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases

At a glance
Annual fees $99
Foreign transaction fee None
Rewards program Southwest Rapid Rewards points
Signup bonus Earn 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Verdict: If you’re a dedicated Southwest Airlines customer, we say go for it
Good for:
  • Someone who frequently flies Southwest Airlines
  • Someone who frequently travels internationally
  • Someone who doesn’t have the patience for most frequent flyer programs (we’ll explain later)
Bad for:
  • Someone who doesn’t frequently fly Southwest
  • Someone who wants the ability to redeem rewards on any airline
  • Someone who wants luxury travel perks and upgrades

In this article:

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card: The basics
Where the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card shines
Use your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to get to Companion Pass status fast
Where the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card falls short
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card versus the competition
Is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card right for you?

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card: The basics

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card earns 2 points per dollar spent with Southwest Airlines, 2 points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and Rapid Rewards partners and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Let’s dig into the features that make it stand out.

Where the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card shines

When you do the math, you’ll sometimes find that co-branded airline credit cards offer a raw deal. But the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card doesn’t fit this mold. It offers:

An anniversary bonus – As a “thank you” for being a card member, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card will give you 6,000 bonus points every year on your account anniversary with no annual spending requirement. That partially offsets the annual fee, and is a reliable way to pad your Rapid Rewards account every year.

Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees – Saving money on baggage fees is one of the major perks of flying Southwest. But if you use the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you’ll save on foreign transaction fees, too. Plus, the card comes chip-enabled, so it’s a good choice if you frequently travel overseas.

Easy award travel booking – Choosing a credit card that earns frequent flyer points or miles always seems like a good idea, until it’s actually time to fly. Many programs don’t release many award seats, and popular travel dates are often blacked out.

This isn’t the case with Southwest; if there’s a seat available on the flight you want, you’ll be able to use your points to book it. Qualitatively, this makes the rewards you’re earning with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card just a little more valuable.

Use your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card to get to Companion Pass status fast

Southwest Airlines offers a unique elite status known as Companion Pass, and using your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card will help you get there. If you qualify for Companion Pass, you’ll be able to get one ticket for a friend or family member to fly with you for free on any Southwest flight you book. What’s more, Companion Pass status is good for the calendar year you achieve it and the following calendar year, too.

There are 2 ways get to Companion Pass status: Complete 100 qualifying one-way flights on Southwest in a calendar year or earn 110,000 qualifying Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. Rewards earned with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card are considered “qualifying” points, so every time you swipe, you’re getting closer to two-for-one tickets.

Where the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card falls short

No credit card is without fault, so it’s important to consider the following drawbacks before pulling the trigger on your application for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card:

Annual fee isn’t waived for the first year – It’s common for co-branded airline credit cards to waive their annual fees for the first year, but this isn’t the case with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. You’ll pay the $99 right off the bat, which is something to think about if you’re very cost-conscious.

No luxury perks – Southwest is a no-frills airline, which means that getting its cobranded card doesn’t come with any luxury perks. If you’re interested in airport lounge access, concierge service and the like, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

No ability to stack points with alliance members – Southwest isn’t a member of any of the three major airline alliances. This means here’s no way to seamlessly stack the Rapid Rewards points you’re earning with the points or miles you’re scoring in other frequent flyer programs. For hard-core travel hackers, this might be a deal-breaker.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card versus the competition

To decide if the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is right for you, it’s helpful to compare it to some of its competitors. Take a look at how it stacks up:

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card versus the Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • A large bonus
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cool factor - metal card
  • Rewards redemption bonus through Ultimate Rewards

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Best for savvy travelers

Bonus Offer

Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • APR: 16.24%-23.24% Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named a 'Best Credit Card' for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel and shop with confidence with premium Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Purchase Protection and more
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Do you like using frequent flyer miles, but don’t want to commit to just one program? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® might be for you. With it, you’ll earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining in restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Generally, points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® are worth $.01 each, but if you choose to book a trip directly through Chase’s online platform, the value of each point rises by 25%.

When it comes time to use your points, you’ll also be able to transfer them to participating frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 ratio. Southwest is an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, as are other major carriers like British Airways and United. This provides a little more flexibility in how you can use your rewards as compared with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

Like the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® charges no foreign transaction fees and comes chip-enabled. This makes it another good card for traveling overseas.

Another advantage to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is that it charges a lower ongoing annual fee than the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. You’ll pay an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. But keep in mind that if you transfer points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® into your Rapid Rewards account, they won’t count towards getting you to Companion Pass status.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card versus the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Apply Now on Barclaycard's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • 0% on balance transfers for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Has annual fee

Bonus Offer

Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.

Annual Fee

$89 - Waived first year

Intro APR Promotions

0% on balance transfers for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)

APR

  • APR: 16.24% or 20.24%* Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24% or 20.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

You may be interested in the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card because you’re a budget traveler, but it’s not the only game in town. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is also a good choice; with it, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend. Miles are worth $.01 each — but you’ll get 5% of them back on every time you redeem.

Speaking of redeeming, it couldn’t be easier with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. You’ll simply book your trip as you normally would with the card, then go online and redeem your rewards for a statement credit. This means you can search out the best deal on your trip and still use your miles to pay for it.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® also comes chip-enabled  with PIN capability and charges no foreign transactions fees, so using it while traveling internationally will be cheap and convenient.

Finally, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® charges a lower annual fee than the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, so that’s something to keep in mind. You’ll pay $89 - Waived first year. Unless you’re very loyal to Southwest, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® bests the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card on nearly every metric.

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card versus the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • Signup benefits
  • Free checked baggage
  • Early boarding group

Cons

  • Has annual fee
  • Needs excellent credit

Bonus Offer

For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*

Annual Fee

$95, waived for first 12 months*

Intro APR Promotions

None

APR

  • Min APR: 14.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 22.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • For a limited time, earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy Group 1 boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • NEW – No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases1
  • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*

American Airlines may have the largest presence among domestic airlines, so it might be worthwhile to take a look at its co-branded card.

With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, you’ll earn 2 AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines and 1 mile per dollar spent elsewhere. You’ll also score some other useful perks, including:

  • Free checked bags for you and up to four of your loved ones (if tickets are booked on the same reservation).
  • Group 1 boarding on all American Airlines flights.
  • 25% discount on in-flight purchases made on American Airlines.

Also, American Airlines is a oneworld alliance partner, which means you’ll be able to use the miles you’re racking up to book travel on lots of other major carriers.

The annual fee charged by the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® is pretty close to that of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. You’ll pay $95, waived for first 12 months*. It also doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee, making it a good choice to use overseas.

The major factor when deciding between the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is how frequently you fly each airline. Unless the merger will make American Airlines flights much more available to you, sticking with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card isn’t a bad idea.

Is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card right for you?

Travelers who are dedicated to flying Southwest Airlines will get good value out of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. It offers solid rewards, a generous anniversary bonus, and could help fast track you to Companion Pass status. If you LUV what you’re hearing, consider applying today.

Lindsay Konsko is a staff writer covering credit cards and consumer credit for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @lkonsko and on Google+.


Image via iStock.

  • Jmurphy8

    If I go on a one-way flight for a wanna getaway fee of $100, can I go free by using these points for the trip?

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi there,

      Yes, the bonus points are worth $400 of Wanna Get Away fare, but you still have to pay some small fees and taxes like the 9/11 security fee.

    • Tubsy

      Yes they should pay for a few $100 Wanna Get Away flights. They can be worth up to $1.42 in some cases! nice!

  • Jmurphy8

    If I go on a one-way flight for a wanna getaway fee of $100, can I go free by using these points for the trip?

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi there,

      Yes, the bonus points are worth $400 of Wanna Get Away fare, but you still have to pay some small fees and taxes like the 9/11 security fee.

    • Tubsy

      Yes they should pay for a few $100 Wanna Get Away flights. They can be worth up to $1.42 in some cases! nice!

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  • http://www.seabreezetravels.com/flights-to-toronto-lester-b Cheap Flights to Toronto

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  • Aurban16

    So… if I apply and get the free flight only getting me a rate of say $230 for a ticket, what if I want to use it on a flight that is say $275? Can I use it for that flight and just pay the difference or do I have to find a flight under $230? Just wondering…

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi there,

      My impression is that you need to save up enough points for an award flight, and I haven’t seen any “buy points” options out there. My guess is that you’ll have to meet the threshold to redeem. But I could be wrong – has anyone had experience with this?

      • Hammy

        Yes. You can buy points. You just need to call them directly to redeem your rewards points and they will charge you a fee to purchase the points to cover the remainder. I did this when I took advantage of the 50,000 free points last year. I’m also saddened to see that now you have to make $1000 purchase to get the rewards.

  • Aurban16

    So… if I apply and get the free flight only getting me a rate of say $230 for a ticket, what if I want to use it on a flight that is say $275? Can I use it for that flight and just pay the difference or do I have to find a flight under $230? Just wondering…

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi there,

      My impression is that you need to save up enough points for an award flight, and I haven’t seen any “buy points” options out there. My guess is that you’ll have to meet the threshold to redeem. But I could be wrong – has anyone had experience with this?

      • Hammy

        Yes. You can buy points. You just need to call them directly to redeem your rewards points and they will charge you a fee to purchase the points to cover the remainder. I did this when I took advantage of the 50,000 free points last year. I’m also saddened to see that now you have to make $1000 purchase to get the rewards.

  • guest

    Can the free flight be used by anyone or the card holder only?

  • guest

    Can the free flight be used by anyone or the card holder only?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLZ6VLPARQHH4EP6I2OZ6JR7Q AmyD

    My problem is that the Southwest Airlines Card is issued by Chase, a bank I will NEVER do business with EVER again. I love Southwest Airlines, fly them when I travel but I will NEVER take a card from Chase, EVER.

    • Alison Phillips

      I agree! Just paid off all my chase cards. Sorry to see SWA partnered with them. Will never use Chase again!

    • Brian

      I have two Chase cards, Sapphire Preferred and Freedom – their customer is literally the best I have ever encountered. They pick up my phone call within 1 minute and have the best most personable people I ever spoked to at a credit card comapny (maybe because I spend alot?). not sure, but . . . my experience has been great with them.

    • Tubsy

      care to elaborate as to WHY? p.s. those caps made your post soooooo much easier to understand 😛

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VZLZ6VLPARQHH4EP6I2OZ6JR7Q AmyD

    My problem is that the Southwest Airlines Card is issued by Chase, a bank I will NEVER do business with EVER again. I love Southwest Airlines, fly them when I travel but I will NEVER take a card from Chase, EVER.

    • Alison Phillips

      I agree! Just paid off all my chase cards. Sorry to see SWA partnered with them. Will never use Chase again!

    • Brian

      I have two Chase cards, Sapphire Preferred and Freedom – their customer is literally the best I have ever encountered. They pick up my phone call within 1 minute and have the best most personable people I ever spoked to at a credit card comapny (maybe because I spend alot?). not sure, but . . . my experience has been great with them.

    • Tubsy

      care to elaborate as to WHY? p.s. those caps made your post soooooo much easier to understand 😛

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  • Preczewskij

    Frontier with Barclay backing is a rip off. They make few 25,000 point trips available and they are used up quickly. They then offer seats on the same flight at 45,000 points each. People should stay away from both Frontier and Barclay Bank. When I tried to get resolution from either they pointed to the other party as responsible.

  • Preczewskij

    Frontier with Barclay backing is a rip off. They make few 25,000 point trips available and they are used up quickly. They then offer seats on the same flight at 45,000 points each. People should stay away from both Frontier and Barclay Bank. When I tried to get resolution from either they pointed to the other party as responsible.

  • Jodi Helm

    i allready have 2 free flights i would like to redeem

  • Jodi Helm

    i allready have 2 free flights i would like to redeem

  • Jodi Helm

    I also have car rentals and hotel stays resort vacations and more

  • Jodi Helm

    I also have car rentals and hotel stays resort vacations and more

  • dongrubbs

    I want the free air flights of Southwest Airlines. I will avail the Credit Card to get their free flights.

  • RuthM

    We opened a Southwest Airlines credit card within the last 6 months or so to get the free flights. All we had to do was make a purchase of any size on our credit card. Shocked to see that you now have to spend $1000 in the first 3 months to get the same 50K points!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/raiderschick Cheryl Repass

      seriously I was just telling my friends to sign up for this card so they could get the 2 free round trip flights and I’m shocked to see how much the rules have changed. that’s the only reason I ever got that card.

  • RuthM

    We opened a Southwest Airlines credit card within the last 6 months or so to get the free flights. All we had to do was make a purchase of any size on our credit card. Shocked to see that you now have to spend $1000 in the first 3 months to get the same 50K points!!

    • Cheryl Repass

      seriously I was just telling my friends to sign up for this card so they could get the 2 free round trip flights and I’m shocked to see how much the rules have changed. that’s the only reason I ever got that card.

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  • CandaceG

    Why does Southwest charge this $69 annual fee? Just curious because I’m interested in this card, but still skeptical about it. And is this card really worth it? Thanks for the advice

  • CandaceG

    Why does Southwest charge this $69 annual fee? Just curious because I’m interested in this card, but still skeptical about it. And is this card really worth it? Thanks for the advice

  • CandaceG

    Why does Southwest charge this $69 annual fee? Just curious because I’m interested in this card, but still skeptical about it. And is this card really worth it? Thanks for the advice

  • Jlc

    When we hit the apply button to go to Chase, it says when you spend $1000 in the first 3 months you get 25,000 rapid rewards points or over $400 in wanna get away fares. Why the difference from what it reads above? Thanks!

  • Jlc

    When we hit the apply button to go to Chase, it says when you spend $1000 in the first 3 months you get 25,000 rapid rewards points or over $400 in wanna get away fares. Why the difference from what it reads above? Thanks!

  • Jlc

    When we hit the apply button to go to Chase, it says when you spend $1000 in the first 3 months you get 25,000 rapid rewards points or over $400 in wanna get away fares. Why the difference from what it reads above? Thanks!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/chelsey.hillen Chelsey Hillen

    You say no minimum and no time stipulation but then right below post the requirements where it CLEARLY says you have to spend $2,000 in the first 3 months… how did you get this job?

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Chelsey, thank you so much for catching this error! The bonus does indeed require that you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months.

      • disqus_l097MksWK9

        and $99 annual fee

  • http://www.facebook.com/chelsey.hillen Chelsey Hillen

    You say no minimum and no time stipulation but then right below post the requirements where it CLEARLY says you have to spend $2,000 in the first 3 months… how did you get this job?

  • virginia clark

    how do i go about getting my 2free tickets after spending 2000.00the first 3months. thank you virginia clark

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Virginia,

      The points should post to your Rapid Rewards account in 6-8 weeks.

  • virginia clark

    how do i go about getting my 2free tickets after spending 2000.00the first 3months. thank you virginia clark

  • virginia clark

    how do i go about getting my 2free tickets after spending 2000.00the first 3months. thank you virginia clark

  • virginia clark

    how do i go about getting my 2free tickets after spending 2000.00the first 3months. thank you virginia clark

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Virginia,

      The points should post to your Rapid Rewards account in 6-8 weeks.

  • ddugan1011@gmail.com

    really confused on looking at all cards. Is Southwest the best or what about Capital One VentureOne – Rewards? Thanks

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hey there-

      If you fly Southwest often, this is a great offer because the anniversary bonus pretty much nixes the annual fee. However, the Capital One cards are more versatile. The Venture Rewards earns you 2 miles on every $1 spent and allows you to redeem on more than Southwest flights, while the Capital One Quicksilver gives a flat 1.5% cash back and has no annual fee. It depends on whether you’re willing to give your loyalty to one airline, or are willing to accept lower rewards and greater flexibility.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hey there-

      If you fly Southwest often, this is a great offer because the anniversary bonus pretty much nixes the annual fee. However, the Capital One cards are more versatile. The Venture Rewards earns you 2 miles on every $1 spent and allows you to redeem on more than Southwest flights, while the Capital One Quicksilver gives a flat 1.5% cash back and has no annual fee. It depends on whether you’re willing to give your loyalty to one airline, or are willing to accept lower rewards and greater flexibility.

  • ddugan1011@gmail.com

    really confused on looking at all cards. Is Southwest the best or what about Capital One VentureOne – Rewards? Thanks

  • ddugan1011@gmail.com

    really confused on looking at all cards. Is Southwest the best or what about Capital One VentureOne – Rewards? Thanks

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hey there-

      If you fly Southwest often, this is a great offer because the anniversary bonus pretty much nixes the annual fee. However, the Capital One cards are more versatile. The Venture Rewards earns you 2 miles on every $1 spent and allows you to redeem on more than Southwest flights, while the Capital One Quicksilver gives a flat 1.5% cash back and has no annual fee. It depends on whether you’re willing to give your loyalty to one airline, or are willing to accept lower rewards and greater flexibility.

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  • sfomsp

    This is inaccurate – this offer is no longer available

  • clipboarder

    Can you apply for the cards now, wait with activating them in January, and still reap the 50k miles?

  • clipboarder

    Can you apply for the cards now, wait with activating them in January, and still reap the 50k miles?

  • clipboarder

    Can you apply for the cards now, wait with activating them in January, and still reap the 50k miles?

  • Glenn S.

    I picked up this card recently just by searching for a “No Foreign Transaction Fee” card. I fly mostly Southwest but at least once a year or two I hit another continent. After returning from Iceland recently I got hit with a TON of FTFs from another card I had used for that trip. What a bummer I wasn’t paying attention before! Southwests No FTF card coupled with a 50,000 point bonus and annual bonus makes this card a no brainer for me.

  • Glenn S.

    I picked up this card recently just by searching for a “No Foreign Transaction Fee” card. I fly mostly Southwest but at least once a year or two I hit another continent. After returning from Iceland recently I got hit with a TON of FTFs from another card I had used for that trip. What a bummer I wasn’t paying attention before! Southwests No FTF card coupled with a 50,000 point bonus and annual bonus makes this card a no brainer for me.

  • Guy Ice

    I picked up this card recently just by searching for a “No Foreign Transaction Fee” card. I fly mostly Southwest but at least once a year or two I hit another continent. After returning from Iceland recently I got hit with a TON of FTFs from another card I had used for that trip. What a bummer I wasn’t paying attention before! Southwests No FTF card coupled with a 50,000 point bonus and annual bonus makes this card a no brainer for me.

  • Christopher Barnes

    Is this still available? What if I already have a Southwest card?

  • Christopher Barnes

    Is this still available? What if I already have a Southwest card?

  • Christopher Barnes

    Is this still available? What if I already have a Southwest card?

  • Jessica Benedetto Resser

    How do I sign up and get two free flights do I need a promo I know u have to spend a certain amou t

  • Jessica Benedetto Resser

    How do I sign up and get two free flights do I need a promo I know u have to spend a certain amou t

  • Jessica Benedetto Resser

    How do I sign up and get two free flights do I need a promo I know u have to spend a certain amou t

  • Brandon

    I’m getting BOTH cards. but major purchases will not happen within the first 3 months, but probaly 4 months. how long does the card typicall stay around for? I dont want to miss out on the 50k points, but may go to waste if not taken advantage of.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      It really depends, usually a few months but it’s hard to predict. I don’t know how long the bonus will be around this time, unfortunately.

  • Brandon

    I’m getting BOTH cards. but major purchases will not happen within the first 3 months, but probaly 4 months. how long does the card typicall stay around for? I dont want to miss out on the 50k points, but may go to waste if not taken advantage of.

  • Brandon

    I’m getting BOTH cards. but major purchases will not happen within the first 3 months, but probaly 4 months. how long does the card typicall stay around for? I dont want to miss out on the 50k points, but may go to waste if not taken advantage of.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      It really depends, usually a few months but it’s hard to predict. I don’t know how long the bonus will be around this time, unfortunately.

  • Jade

    Hi I just received my premier card today. I was wondering what I can buy to get to 2k in the first 3 months. In terms and conditions it says no balance transfers. What if I just paid one month of a credit card or say my mortgage, cable, electric?? could this count towards it? Or only cash like purchases?

  • Jade

    Hi I just received my premier card today. I was wondering what I can buy to get to 2k in the first 3 months. In terms and conditions it says no balance transfers. What if I just paid one month of a credit card or say my mortgage, cable, electric?? could this count towards it? Or only cash like purchases?

  • Jade

    Hi I just received my premier card today. I was wondering what I can buy to get to 2k in the first 3 months. In terms and conditions it says no balance transfers. What if I just paid one month of a credit card or say my mortgage, cable, electric?? could this count towards it? Or only cash like purchases?

    • trekker ranger

      utility bills will count towards purchases. As for mortgages, not sure.

  • Erich Hyneck

    Anisha,
    Great article. One big question. Above you said you can transfer 30k points from Chase to Southwest through Hyatt (long story). Can you explain that a little more? I want to sign up for both cards and transfer my points from Chase to Southwest. I read another blog that said direct transfer from Chase to Southwest didn’t count towards the companion pass. I assume by transferring to Hyatt then transferring to Southwest this gets around that problem? Is that why the 40k in points you get from Chase goes to 30k when routing it through Hyatt (I assume they have a lower transfer rate)? Thanks.

  • Erich Hyneck

    Anisha,
    Great article. One big question. Above you said you can transfer 30k points from Chase to Southwest through Hyatt (long story). Can you explain that a little more? I want to sign up for both cards and transfer my points from Chase to Southwest. I read another blog that said direct transfer from Chase to Southwest didn’t count towards the companion pass. I assume by transferring to Hyatt then transferring to Southwest this gets around that problem? Is that why the 40k in points you get from Chase goes to 30k when routing it through Hyatt (I assume they have a lower transfer rate)? Thanks.

  • Erich Hyneck

    Anisha,
    Great article. One big question. Above you said you can transfer 30k points from Chase to Southwest through Hyatt (long story). Can you explain that a little more? I want to sign up for both cards and transfer my points from Chase to Southwest. I read another blog that said direct transfer from Chase to Southwest didn’t count towards the companion pass. I assume by transferring to Hyatt then transferring to Southwest this gets around that problem? Is that why the 40k in points you get from Chase goes to 30k when routing it through Hyatt (I assume they have a lower transfer rate)? Thanks.

  • Jim Weberg

    Do you have to open a rapid rewards account on southwest.com or by getting the card, does that create a new account? Are the account #’s different? Currently, I have been approved for the card and do not have a rapid rewards account on southwest.com. The card should be here this week. Should I wait until I get it to enroll on southwest.com?

  • Jim Weberg

    Do you have to open a rapid rewards account on southwest.com or by getting the card, does that create a new account? Are the account #’s different? Currently, I have been approved for the card and do not have a rapid rewards account on southwest.com. The card should be here this week. Should I wait until I get it to enroll on southwest.com?

  • Jim Weberg

    Do you have to open a rapid rewards account on southwest.com or by getting the card, does that create a new account? Are the account #’s different? Currently, I have been approved for the card and do not have a rapid rewards account on southwest.com. The card should be here this week. Should I wait until I get it to enroll on southwest.com?

    • Tubsy

      as the documentation most certainly stated…. if you don’t have a rewards membership, they’ll sign you up when you get the card. Kinda scary to think you just handed all your personal information over without even bothering to read the non-fine print 😛

  • Jody

    Can you transfer debt off current credit card to the new southwest card to earn tickets?

  • Jody

    Can you transfer debt off current credit card to the new southwest card to earn tickets?

  • Jody

    Can you transfer debt off current credit card to the new southwest card to earn tickets?

  • Frances L. Agnew

    I applied for a Premier credit card last November hoping to get 50,000 points for 2 roundtrip Flights after spending $2,000 on purchases the first three months. I was disappointed to find that my purchases only amounted to only $1,800 and not $2000. I feel that I should at least hve qualified for at 25,000 points and 1 round trip flight. I’ve been a loyal member of the Southwest Rewards Rapid Rewards for many years and feel that since I was only $200 short l should have at least qualified for one round trip flight. I would appreciate your looking into this matter for me. My preferred airline is Southwest Airlines and it is the only airline I travel with, unless I travel to Hawaii. Thank you.

  • Frances L. Agnew

    I applied for a Premier credit card last November hoping to get 50,000 points for 2 roundtrip Flights after spending $2,000 on purchases the first three months. I was disappointed to find that my purchases only amounted to only $1,800 and not $2000. I feel that I should at least hve qualified for at 25,000 points and 1 round trip flight. I’ve been a loyal member of the Southwest Rewards Rapid Rewards for many years and feel that since I was only $200 short l should have at least qualified for one round trip flight. I would appreciate your looking into this matter for me. My preferred airline is Southwest Airlines and it is the only airline I travel with, unless I travel to Hawaii. Thank you.

  • Frances L. Agnew

    I applied for a Premier credit card last November hoping to get 50,000 points for 2 roundtrip Flights after spending $2,000 on purchases the first three months. I was disappointed to find that my purchases only amounted to only $1,800 and not $2000. I feel that I should at least hve qualified for at 25,000 points and 1 round trip flight. I’ve been a loyal member of the Southwest Rewards Rapid Rewards for many years and feel that since I was only $200 short l should have at least qualified for one round trip flight. I would appreciate your looking into this matter for me. My preferred airline is Southwest Airlines and it is the only airline I travel with, unless I travel to Hawaii. Thank you.

  • Pat Smith

    I
    have an offer from Southwest for the Plus Credit Card. You will get 50000 bonus
    points. The annual fee is $69.00. There is no blackout dates and you can use
    the points to book someone else a flight if you want. This offer is good till
    Sept 30, 2014. Please email me at patomaha@yahoo.com and I will email you the
    offer. 50k is good for two round trip tickets to most places.

  • Pat Smith

    I
    have an offer from Southwest for the Plus Credit Card. You will get 50000 bonus
    points. The annual fee is $69.00. There is no blackout dates and you can use
    the points to book someone else a flight if you want. This offer is good till
    Sept 30, 2014. Please email me at patomaha@yahoo.com and I will email you the
    offer. 50k is good for two round trip tickets to most places.

  • Dan

    Quick question. I have a Premier Card and received 50k points. I have an offer for the Plus card with 50k point bonus. I was hoping to apply for this card and get enough points to get my companion pass. I was just told on the phone that I am not eligble for the bonus points because I already have a consumer card with them. I have read that you can risk it and they might give you the bonus points if you spend the required $2000 in three months. Does anyone know about this? Also, I was told I could get the bonus if I signed up for the business card, but I don’t have a small business. Would I still be able to apply for the business card? What info would I need?
    Thanks for you help.

  • Dan

    Quick question. I have a Premier Card and received 50k points. I have an offer for the Plus card with 50k point bonus. I was hoping to apply for this card and get enough points to get my companion pass. I was just told on the phone that I am not eligble for the bonus points because I already have a consumer card with them. I have read that you can risk it and they might give you the bonus points if you spend the required $2000 in three months. Does anyone know about this? Also, I was told I could get the bonus if I signed up for the business card, but I don’t have a small business. Would I still be able to apply for the business card? What info would I need?
    Thanks for you help.

  • Dan

    Quick question. I have a Premier Card and received 50k points. I have an offer for the Plus card with 50k point bonus. I was hoping to apply for this card and get enough points to get my companion pass. I was just told on the phone that I am not eligble for the bonus points because I already have a consumer card with them. I have read that you can risk it and they might give you the bonus points if you spend the required $2000 in three months. Does anyone know about this? Also, I was told I could get the bonus if I signed up for the business card, but I don’t have a small business. Would I still be able to apply for the business card? What info would I need?
    Thanks for you help.

  • Arnold

    I have a few referrals left for 50,000 point bonus, instead of current one of 25,000pts bonus offer.. You have to sign up until September 30, 2014 so please hurry up and email me and I can give you more detail on this deal. my email: arnoldas01@yahoo.com

  • Arnold

    I have a few referrals left for 50,000 point bonus, instead of current one of 25,000pts bonus offer.. You have to sign up until September 30, 2014 so please hurry up and email me and I can give you more detail on this deal. my email: arnoldas01@yahoo.com

  • Caity

    I recently got the SW Rapid Rewards Plus card. I see that it takes 6-8 weeks for the 25000 bonus points to post to your account, but does anyone know if that is from the time you spend $1000 or at the end of the 3 months?

  • Caity

    I recently got the SW Rapid Rewards Plus card. I see that it takes 6-8 weeks for the 25000 bonus points to post to your account, but does anyone know if that is from the time you spend $1000 or at the end of the 3 months?

  • Caity

    I recently got the SW Rapid Rewards Plus card. I see that it takes 6-8 weeks for the 25000 bonus points to post to your account, but does anyone know if that is from the time you spend $1000 or at the end of the 3 months?

    • trekker ranger

      That is 6-8 weeks from the time you spend or met the spending hurdle of $1000.

  • Everett

    So, I signed up for the card to get the 50k bonus. I’ll have the spend complete by January. I also have 50k points on my Chase Sapphire card. Problem is, I don’t have any Hyatt points or cards, not sure how that works to get those to contribute towards the companion pass? I have already done 3 roundtrip flights through work.

  • Everett

    So, I signed up for the card to get the 50k bonus. I’ll have the spend complete by January. I also have 50k points on my Chase Sapphire card. Problem is, I don’t have any Hyatt points or cards, not sure how that works to get those to contribute towards the companion pass? I have already done 3 roundtrip flights through work.

  • Everett

    So, I signed up for the card to get the 50k bonus. I’ll have the spend complete by January. I also have 50k points on my Chase Sapphire card. Problem is, I don’t have any Hyatt points or cards, not sure how that works to get those to contribute towards the companion pass? I have already done 3 roundtrip flights through work.

  • Laura Brown

    I’m having a hard time deciding between this or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I know you get 1.25% travel rewards when you actually book travel through Chase with the Sapphire card. But I’m having trouble interpreting which card’s points go further. You say with the SW card, it’s 2.96% bonus/1.43% base on a wanna get away fare. Are those numbers referring to point redemption when you book travel? And what is the bonus? SW is my favorite airline, and I would use the Sapphire card for SW only anyways. So which would be more beneficial? Thanks!

    • Tubsy

      Someone please give this beautiful lady an answer!

  • Laura Brown

    I’m having a hard time deciding between this or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I know you get 1.25% travel rewards when you actually book travel through Chase with the Sapphire card. But I’m having trouble interpreting which card’s points go further. You say with the SW card, it’s 2.96% bonus/1.43% base on a wanna get away fare. Are those numbers referring to point redemption when you book travel? And what is the bonus? SW is my favorite airline, and I would use the Sapphire card for SW only anyways. So which would be more beneficial? Thanks!

  • Laura Brown

    I’m having a hard time deciding between this or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I know you get 1.25% travel rewards when you actually book travel through Chase with the Sapphire card. But I’m having trouble interpreting which card’s points go further. You say with the SW card, it’s 2.96% bonus/1.43% base on a wanna get away fare. Are those numbers referring to point redemption when you book travel? And what is the bonus? SW is my favorite airline, and I would use the Sapphire card for SW only anyways. So which would be more beneficial? Thanks!

    • Tubsy

      Someone please give this beautiful lady an answer!

  • Tubsy

    “One drawback to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that it charges a higher ongoing annual fee than the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.”
    What? Can we double-check this?

    • Bronson

      Chase Sapphire Preferred charges $95 as the annual fee. I just got hit with it last week. :)

      • Tubsy

        Right, isn’t the SW card $99?

      • Tubsy

        Right, isn’t the SW card $99?

  • Tubsy

    “One drawback to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that it charges a higher ongoing annual fee than the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.”
    What? Can we double-check this?

  • Tubsy

    “One drawback to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that it charges a higher ongoing annual fee than the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.”
    What? Can we double-check this?

    • Bronson

      Chase Sapphire Preferred charges $95 as the annual fee. I just got hit with it last week. :)

      • Tubsy

        Right, isn’t the SW card $99?

  • Tubsy

    as the documentation most certainly stated…. if you don’t have a rewards membership, they’ll sign you up when you get the card. Kinda scary to think you just handed all your personal information over without even bothering to read the non-fine print 😛

  • Tubsy

    as the documentation most certainly stated…. if you don’t have a rewards membership, they’ll sign you up when you get the card. Kinda scary to think you just handed all your personal information over without even bothering to read the non-fine print 😛

  • drew

    I have links to BOTH the SW Premier and the SW Plus cards with the 50,000 mile bonus for spending $2k in 3 months.

    Email me direct for links.

    drew.bignall@yahoo.com

  • drew

    I have links to BOTH the SW Premier and the SW Plus cards with the 50,000 mile bonus for spending $2k in 3 months.

    Email me direct for links.

    drew.bignall@yahoo.com

  • DBA

    I just received referrals for the Southwest Plus credit card. The annual fee is $69. You spend $2000 in three months you will receive 50000 (50k) bonus points
    Email me if you want of my referrals
    flyingby123@yahoo.com

  • DBA

    I just received referrals for the Southwest Plus credit card. The annual fee is $69. You spend $2000 in three months you will receive 50000 (50k) bonus points
    Email me if you want of my referrals
    flyingby123@yahoo.com

  • trekker ranger

    That is 6-8 weeks from the time you spend or met the spending hurdle of $1000.

  • trekker ranger

    That is 6-8 weeks from the time you spend or met the spending hurdle of $1000.

  • trekker ranger

    utility bills will count towards purchases. As for mortgages, not sure.

  • trekker ranger

    utility bills will count towards purchases. As for mortgages, not sure.

  • Pat Smith

    I have referrals for the Southwest Personal Plus Credit Card with the 50K bonus.

    If you would like one please email me at

    danbandersen2@yahoo.com