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Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a much better card for Southwest Rapid Rewards points since you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. The Sapphire Preferred has a higher sign-up bonus of 40,000 after spending $3k in 3 months. Plus, you get 2x points per $1 on dining and travel. You can see more details and apply below.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If you are already flying on Southwest Airlines regularly, you’re probably thinking about the Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier credit card. And if you’re not already turning to Southwest for much of your domestic travel, maybe it’s time to consider it.

Besides offering consistently low airfare prices, especially the web-only Wanna Get Away fares, Southwest also allows the first two checked bags free for all customers, resulting in major savings. They also don’t charge any change fees; you only have to pay the fare difference. No wonder the airline recently scored near the top in a customer satisfaction survey. There is one caveat, though. Southwest doesn’t have a first class; in fact, they don’t even use assigned seats. It’s first-come, first-serve, which can sometimes result in awkward situations. Think of a bus, only it’s a plane.

Anyway, if you already fly on Southwest, the Premier version (that’s the black card) is essentially free for you. That’s because you receive 6,000 bonus points (think miles) every year after renewing, which is equivalent to $100 Wanna Get Away credit. This serves to completely offset the annual membership fee of $99 (which is not waived the first year for this card).

There is also the Plus version of the card, which costs $69 annually but only gives you 3,000 bonus points after renewing. As you can see, in the case of the Plus the bonus does not pay for the annual fee. On top of that, the Premier card charges no foreign transaction fee, while the Plus charges 3%. In this case, the fancier card is definitely worth it.

With these Rapid Rewards cards, you receive 2 points for Southwest/AirTran purchases, and 1 point for everything else. You also get double points on car rental or hotel partners purchases. A good way to earn points is to utilize Chase’s bill pay system. And you can get extra bonus points per purchase by taking advantage of other Rapid Rewards partners. These offers allow you to get triple points or more for stuff as simple as buying flowers. Get even more rewards on your balance transfers in the first 90 days. Every dollar transferred gets 1 point, up to 15,000.

Another nice thing about the Premier card is that it gives you 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 you put on the card. Tier Qualifying Points count towards A-List and A-List Preferred status, which can get you Priority Check-in, priority boarding, and additional bonus points on flights flown. Preferred customers can surf the net or send emails on flights at no charge.

So, how many points for a free flight? It’s been estimated that the average round trip Wanna Get Away fare costs 25,000 points. And coincidentally, you happen to get a 25,000 point sign up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months. Yes, unfortunately the 50,000 points bonus expired recently. An offer to the tune of two free tickets doesn’t stick around forever. Promotions come and go and there is no guarantee that the 50k will come back. We like all free tickets, so this is still a good deal. Especially when you consider that the points do count towards the 110,000 needed for a Companion Pass, which lets you bring a companion on your reservation for no extra charge.

The Southwest Premier travel rewards card comes with the usual Visa Signature benefits if you qualify for them. This includes stuff like Visa discounts, rental car coverage, travel protection, and purchase protections that protect you if goods are lost or stolen. This card is not super hard to get, but you do need a good to excellent credit score to qualify.

Check out our guide to benefits below, with [the Plus card in brackets] where it’s different.

Money Math

  • Annual Fee: $99  [Plus: $69]
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0 [Plus: 3%]
  • APR: var 15.24%
  • APR for Balance Transfers: var 15.24%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • APR for Cash Advance: 19.24%
  • Cash Advance Fee: 3%
  • Late Fee/Returned Payment Fee: $15/$35
  • Penalty APR: var 29.99%, applies with late/returned payment, exceeding credit limit if applicable


  • Bonus: 25,000 bonus points after spendng $1,000 in first 3 months
  • 2 points earned per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases
  • 2 points earned per $1 spent on participating A+ Rewards and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental purchases
  • 1 point earned per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 1 point per $1 transferred from other account in first 90 days (up to 15,000)
  • Points Worth: 1 point = 1.6 cents for Wanna Get Away fares,
  • Rewards Limit: None
  • Rewards Expiration: None, unless there is no flight or Partner earning activity for 24 months
  • Redeem Rewards For: domestic and international flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals, gift cards, experiences
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points annually after renewing account  [Plus: receive 3,000 bonus points annually after renewing account]
  • Receive 1,500 bonus Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 spent, up to 15,000 annually [Plus lacks this bonus]

Benefits (assuming Visa Signature card)

  • Access special offers with Visa Signature Access and Visa Signature Dining
  • $0 Fraud Liability Protection
  • Purchase Protection: Yes
  • Trip Insurance: Yes
  • Rental Car Insurance: Yes
  • Extended Warranty: Yes
  • Customer Service: 24/7 concierge service


This offer is constantly changing, so check out this page for most up to date offer.

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best travel credit cards and best rewards credit cards.