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When shopping for a travel rewards credit card, a lot of people see an annual fee of $99 or even $149 and think: “Totally worth it. Sign me up.” But the most frugal among us take a different view: “That’s an awful lot of money to pay in the hopes of earning so-called 'free' travel.”
If that sounds like the voice in your head, Chase has a card for you: the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card — a well-rounded, no frills card that's good for frugal, not-too-frequent travelers who want to go where Southwest flies.
At $69, the annual fee is solidly on the low end, and the card's perks are good enough to make that fee worthwhile for a cost-conscious occasional Southwest flyer.
Below is an overview of who can benefit from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Those looking for a generous welcome bonus
The welcome bonus makes for an easy cost-benefit analysis: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
With a flexible schedule and a little luck, that’s enough for a round-trip Wanna Get Away Fare from Chicago to Honolulu. The spending requirement is an alluringly low threshold. Plus, for every Southwest Airlines purchase you charge, you’ll earn 2 points per $1. All other qualifying purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
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People who want recurring benefits
Every year on your card anniversary, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card gives you 3,000 anniversary points just for sticking around, making it a little easier to get to your next redemption.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
People who want the Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card might even help you get closer to a coveted Southwest Companion Pass — a benefit that lets you choose one person to travel with you for one year, for only the cost of taxes and fees.
To earn the Companion Pass, you have to fly 100 qualifying one-way segments or earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points. That second goal is a lot easier to attain with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, because both the welcome bonus and points earned through the card count toward the 125,000 threshold.
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 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best airline credit card for you Southwest Rapid Rewards program: The complete guide Benefits of Southwest Airlines credit cards