Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card has so many generous perks, including an anniversary bonus, which let you earn miles faster. And if you fly on Southwest often, you can qualify for A-List status and Companion Pass faster. Let’s look at everything this card has to offer!
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Basics
Southwest Airlines is known for its friendly service, free checked bags and efficient boarding process. The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is best for budget travelers based in the United States who frequently fly to major cities in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. There are more than 3,900 flights a day to more than 100 destinations operated by Southwest. If you become a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, you’ll earn points for every dollar that you spend on Southwest flights and with the airline’s hotel, car rental and retail partners.
- Bonus offer – Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Annual Fee is $99
- APR: 17.24% – 24.24% Variable APR
- Earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as your card account is open
- No foreign transaction fees
- No blackout dates or seat restrictions
- Bags fly free
- No change fees
- Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards and more
Southwest Rapid Rewards Loyalty Tiers
The Southwest Rapid Rewards program has three loyalty tiers beyond general membership:
You can earn this status by flying 25 qualifying one-way flights or earning 35,000 Tier Qualifying points in a calendar year. As an A-List status member, you will get:
- Priority boarding
- 25% earning bonus on flights
- Standby priority
- Priority check-in and security lane access
- Dedicated A-List member phone line
To reach this status you need to fly 50 qualifying one-way flights or earn 70,000 Tier Qualifying points* in a calendar year. As an A-List Preferred status member, you will receive:
- All of the standard A-List tier benefits
- 100% earning bonus on flights
- Free in-flight WiFi (when available)
- Dedicated A-List Preferred member phone line
Southwest Companion Pass
You can earn this status by flying 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. The Companion Pass entitles a designated traveling companion to fly free with you for the remainder of the calendar year in which you earned the status and for the entire calendar year immediately following.
Getting More Rapid Rewards Points
You may earn more rewards depending on types of flights you purchase. For example, non-refundable economy Wanna Get Away? flights earn 6 points per dollar spent; refundable economy Anytime fares earn 10 points per dollar spent; and Business Select fares earn 12 points per dollar spent.
Shopping and dining
You can get more Rapid Rewards points by shopping with partners, which include hotels, online retailers, restaurants, gift cards vendors and more. You can also join Southwest’s free Rapid Rewards Dining program. As a Dining member, you will earn 3 points per dollar spent with any major credit card and bonus points for restaurant reviews.
If you have a Diners Club credit card, you can convert your Diners Club Rewards points to Rapid Rewards points at a 1.5-to-1.2 ratio.
You can also purchase Rapid Rewards points at a rate of 2.75 cents each, though sometimes Southwest offers bonus points with a purchase as a promotion. Rapid Rewards points average about 1 cent each, so buying points probably isn’t worth the cost.
Southwest Rapid Rewards points don’t expire as long as you have earning activity through flights with Southwest or partners every 24 months. Your account will expire 24 months from the date from your last qualifying activity. Unlike other airlines, Rapid Rewards has no blackout dates or restrictions.
Redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards Points
You can use your Rapid Rewards points to pay for the cost of air travel on any Southwest flight, and if you are a Southwest credit card holder, you can also use points to cover the cost of flights on other carriers, on over 70,000 hotel stays, cruises, car rentals and gift cards, spa packages, golf trips, wine tastings and more!
Like many other Frequent Flyer programs, you should think if signing up for this card will be beneficial for you. With such a high annual fee and the points that expire after two years, you need to be using Southwest Airlines on a frequent basis for it to be worth signing up for this credit card. You can compare it to other airline credit cards, like United Mileage Plus or other budget airlines, like Spirit and Frontier also offer Frequent Flyer programs that are cheaper and could work better for you!