How to Earn the Sign-Up Bonus on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card

Feb 11, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is currently offering the following sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

If you’re considering applying for this card but wouldn’t normally spend enough to meet that threshold, you’ll have to think ahead to make sure you'll be able to do so, especially given that the card has a $99 annual fee. Your strategy should set you up for long-term success, which might include working toward the Southwest Companion Pass.

» Learn more:

Start with the categories where you earn bonus points

To get the most out of any rewards credit card, start by taking advantage of the category bonuses. For the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, that means earning 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases. It also earns 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting (including rideshares), internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming, plus 1 point per dollar on everything else. (You’ll earn these points on top of any points you might earn as a Rapid Rewards program member.)

One way you could earn your sign-up bonus: Take a trip during your first few months with the new card. You could charge Southwest flights, other transportation, meals and lodging on your card to help you meet the minimum spend.

Here’s a list of Rapid Rewards partner vendors that may be useful in your trip planning if you’re interested in earning bonus points right off the bat with your spending to earn the sign-up bonus:

  • Best Western

  • Choice Hotels.

  • La Quinta.

  • Marriott.

  • MGM Resorts.

  • Radisson.

  • Rocketmiles.

  • World of Hyatt.

  • Car rentals
  • Alamo

  • Avis.

  • Budget.

  • Dollar.

  • Hertz.

  • National.

  • Payless Car Rental.

  • Thrifty.

  • Pick additional categories and items for spending

    If you decide to plan a trip during your first few months with the card, add up those expenses to see how much you still need to spend to earn the sign-up bonus. Then, pick categories where you have a good idea of how much you spend each month.

    For example, maybe you buy a coffee and a biscotti at the same place every morning five days a week. That could add up to $120 per month. If you count on spending that $360 across three months, it will add up to a large part of your minimum spending requirement on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

    Next, look for other categories with predictable spending. For instance, if you know your electric bill is at least $100 monthly, then you can count on completing $300 in spending requirements from that over the three-month period.

    Between electricity, coffee and biscotti, you’d have at least $660 toward the minimum spending requirement. This should be enough if you also took a trip as mentioned above — but you might also need to use the card for your cell phone bill, lunches or gym membership.

    Mark dates to check your spending totals on a calendar

    If you don’t complete the minimum spending requirement, you won’t get even a single point of your sign-up bonus. So make sure you're clear on the amount you need to spend, and the deadline you need to spend it by. Check your progress regularly on your online account.

    Pick a day each month to pay your bill, and a day each week to check on your account activity. (If you make a payment on your card too frequently, it will get harder to track your total spending during this period.) If you aren’t spending enough to meet the sign-up bonus requirement, checking in regularly will give you a chance to make changes before it’s too late.

    How to maximize your rewards

    You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

    Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
    Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.