Southwest Airlines became the largest domestic carrier back in 2003, and it now serves 99 domestic destinations as well as destinations in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Rapid Rewards is Southwest’s Rewards program, offering free flights and other benefits. It’s Southwest’s version of an airline miles credit card, but it runs on a system of points instead of frequent flyer miles. The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card is one of the Southwest credit cards that lets you accumulate Rapid Rewards points. Here’s everything you need to know about one of the best airline credit cards.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
Some of the Southwest rewards and benefits you get with the Rapid Rewards Plus credit card include two Rapid Rewards points for each $1 spent on Southwest Airlines products like tickets or gift cards and at participating hotel and car rental partners. You earn one point for each $1 spent on other purchases. There are no blackout dates for free flights, and you don‘t pay baggage or ticket change fees. You‘re protected by Lost Luggage and Baggage Delay Insurance, as well as Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection. The annual percentage rate is currently between 16.90% and 23.99% APR, based on your credit score.
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Using Rapid Rewards Points From Your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card
To review the value of this Southwest Visa, consider how many rewards points you’d use to fly to your chosen destinations. For example, booking on Oct. 29, 2017, you would need between 11,399 and 73,874 points to fly on Dec. 1 from New York to Los Angeles. To fly from Chicago to Orlando on that date, you’d need between 7,621 and 55,455 points.
You can also use your Rapid Reward points for other purchases, such as hotel stays, car rentals or gift cards. Southwest automatically transfers your points from your credit card account into your frequent flyer account each month.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card vs. Other Chase Southwest Credit Cards
The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is one of four Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards, with several features distinguishing it from the other three Southwest travel credit cards. Its $69 annual fee is lower than two of the other cards, but the same as the Business Plus card’s fee. It offers the same 40,000 point bonus for spending your first $1,000 within three months as the Premiere card, which is lower than the business card’s bonus. It shares its 3,000 points cardholder anniversary reward with the Business Plus card.
All Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards have the same interest rate spread, and each lets you earn qualifying points toward a Companion Pass or priority boarding and check-in.
Pros and Cons of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card
To help you decide if this is the best airline credit card for you, here’s a quick review of the main advantages and drawbacks this Southwest credit card:
- International flights available on more than 50 carriers
- No blackout dates for earned flights
- Lower annual fee than some of the other Rapid rewards credit cards
- Higher interest rate, currently up to 23.99% APR, for customers with weaker credit
- Lower bonus points than some of the other Rapid Rewards credit cards
- Lower anniversary points than some of the other Rapid Rewards credit cards
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If you fly Southwest frequently and Rapid Rewards is your favorite among the airlines’ frequent flyer programs, this Southwest card could be your best credit card for miles around. As with any other airline credit card, you should review the terms and conditions of the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus credit card and compare it to other rewards cards to confirm if it fits your needs.