Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit Card Review

A lot of frequent fliers use Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card. But is it the best travel rewards card you can get your hands on? You probably have it already and got it due to the lure of free flight. One of my friends did just that. When we studied the card closely, we found there’s not much this card has to offer other than the introductory bonus point which converts to $400 towards travel voucher. 

Probably not, we published a list of best 3 travel rewards cards in 2012 last month. Southwest is not one of them.

Let’s see if Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card can work for you.Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card offers:

  • Limited Time! Earn a round trip free flight (actually $400) after your first purchase.
  • You will receive 3,000 Points every year on your Card member Anniversary (date of application), which can be redeemed for a $50 Wanna Get Away® Fare
  • You can also redeem for International Travel, Hotels, Gift Cards.
  • Earn 2 Points per $1 Spent on Southwest Purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on all Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases and 1 Point per $1 Spent on everything else.
  • Free baggage check-in. No Blackout Dates, Points Don’t Expire, and Unlimited Reward Seats.
  • No Change fees – if you need to change your flight, you wont be charged a fee.
  • Limited time offer – Earn 1 point per $1 in balance transfers up to 10,000 points within 90 days of opening your account. The balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.

We feel that one time bonus point towards free flight is a great offer. Once you make your first purchase with this card, you earn 25,000 bonus points, which will convert to a $400 in Wanna Get Away® Fare voucher.  That means a round trip ticket for you. You may have to pay price difference. You also must pay certain fees from your pocket.

Existing customers are not  eligible for this offer.  Your balance transfers, cash advances, and checks from the account don’t count as first purchase.  Once you make a purchase, it will take 6-8 weeks for bonus points to appear in your account. As soon as you see the bonus points in your account – you can buy the free ticket.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Point system

1) One thing cool about the card is every year on your card member anniversary you get 3,000 points.  That is almost $50 in travel fare.

2) You earn two (2) points for every dollar you spend with Southwest Airlines, including flights tickets, in-flights purchases, Southwest Airlines Vacations packages, Southwest Airlines gift cards and when you make purchases through Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners.

3) All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent.  You get to earn points on your everyday spending.

For balance transfers within the first 90 days of enrollment earns 1 point per $1 transferred. This offer is only for the first 90 days so keep that in mind if you have a balance on another card you are looking to transfer.  This is maxed out at 10,000 points or rather $10,000 in balance transfers.There is a balance transfer fee and no ‘introductory APR rate’ as an offer. This card is not for balance transfer.

The points you earn never expire and there are variety of ways to use your points – Gift Cards, Car Rentals, Cruises, Hotel Stays.

APR rates for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Purchase Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 15.24%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.a
Balance Transfer APR 15.24%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.a
Cash Advance APR 19.24%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.b
Overdraft Advance APR 19.24%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.b
Penalty APR and When It Applies 29.99%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.c
The Penalty APR will be applicable to your Account if you:

  • fail to make any Minimum Payment by the date and time due (late payment);
  • exceed your credit limit (if applicable);
  • make a payment to us that is returned unpaid; or
  • do any of the above on another account or loan you have with us or any of our related banks.


Our rating

If you’re a frequent flier then Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card can be a great way to earn travel rewards.

Apart from the initial bonus, this card has nothing great to offer. 15%+ APR rate along with $69 annual fee doesn’t meet our expectation. If you are not a frequent flier or don’t always travel with Southwest you can give this card a pass.

Earning only about 1% on everyday purchase is not lucrative enough to our opinion.

If you use southwest a lot, go ahead ans apply for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card.

Lastly, the best way to handle any credit card is by paying off debt in full every month , you have to pay interest on the remaining balance otherwise. That will negate all the card benefits you’ll receive.

Some other reviews you might be interested in

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  1. […] from Finance Product Reviews Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card and says “When we studied the card closely, we found there’s not much this card has to offer […]


  2. I think it’s a pretty good card if you’re in a place where SW flies out of. I’d go so far to say that there’s no reason not to have this card if you live in Chicago or in close proximity.



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