Aw nerds! It looks like this page may be out of date. Please visit NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards for more info.
If you’re a Southwest Airlines enthusiast (and who isn’t?), you’re going to want to listen up. For a limited time, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is offering a sky-high signup bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open..
These points could definitely come in handy right before the holidays, but is this card a good fit for you? Take a look at the details below.
More about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
If you’re a frequent Southwest flyer, getting its co-branded airline card might be on your to-do list. Now is a great time to pounce because of the signup bonus, but the card offers a lot of other great features, including:
- Earn 2 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases made directly through Southwest or Air Tran airlines
- Earn 2 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases (more on that in a minute)
- Earn 1 Rapid Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Earn 6,000 Rapid Rewards points on your cardmember anniversary
- Annual fee: $99
Nerd note: We value each Rapid Rewards point at 1.43 cents apiece, assuming that you’re redeeming for a Wanna Get Away fare. Although Southwest devalued Rapid Rewards points significantly in the spring of 2014, this is still a very high value per point by industry standards.
Racking up (and redeeming) Rapid Rewards
Using your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card on airfare and for daily purchases isn’t the only way to rack up big Rapid Rewards points. As discussed above, you’ll also earn 2 points per dollar spent on partner hotel and car rental purchases. Rapid Rewards hotel partners include:
- Best Western
- Choice Hotels
- La Quinta
- M life
- Rocket Miles
Rapid Rewards car rental partners include:
All this means that if you’re booking with any of the partners listed above, be sure to use your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card so that you’ll score 2 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent.
When it comes time to redeem, you’ll get the most value out of cashing in your points for a Wanna Get Away flight; 70 Rapid Rewards points are worth $1 of Wanna Get Away fare, but you’ll need 100 points for $1 of Anytime fare. This means points are worth more when you opt for budget seats – think of it as a savings double whammy.
You can also use your Rapid Rewards points for gift cards, car rentals, cruises, hotel stays and merchandise. However, the value you’ll get per point with these alternatives isn’t quite as high as redeeming for a Wanna Get Away ticket, so we recommend that you stick to this option.
Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card right for me?
If you prefer flying Southwest (again – who doesn’t?) and do so frequently, this card is a good choice. It has great earning and redeeming power, plus a reasonable annual fee. Just be sure to act fast – there’s no telling how long the stellar signup bonus offer will last, or when it will become available again.