Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Review

GOBankingRates Score

4.7
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is Chase's middle-of-the-road Southwest Airlines rewards card. The $99 annual fee is reasonable for a card that offers 3x points on Southwest purchases and 2x points in spending in several other categories, plus a generous new-member bonus and anniversary points worth $60 each year. There's no intro APR, but the regular APR is lower than those of many other airline rewards cards.
  • Airline, Travel
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Cardholders earn 3x points on Southwest purchases
  • Anniversary and tier qualifying points provide additional value
  • The card offers a nice selection of travel benefits
  • The APR is competitive, and the maximum APR is especially so

Cons

  • The card has a $99 annual fee
  • The card does not offer a 0% APR introductory rate

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Overview

Chase offers three Southwest Rapid Rewards consumer credit cards, each of which is geared to a different type of customer. The Premier card strikes a balance between the more basic Plus card for casual travelers and the full-featured Priority card for frequent fliers.

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card rewards cardholders with 3x Rapid Rewards points on Southwest purchases and two tiers of smaller rewards for other purchases — plus 6,000 points each anniversary of card membership. You can also earn unlimited tier qualifying points on Southwest purchases to qualify for an expanded selection of travel benefits.

A generous sign-up bonus and no foreign transaction fee also make this card worth considering.

Key Features

GOBankingRates considered many card features for their rating and what follows are some of the most influential:

APR

Credit card rates are variable, and like many credit card issuers, Chase has a range of APRs for cards. Where a given card member falls within that range depends on the strength of their credit. APRs for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card range from on both purchases and balance transfers. Those rates compare favorably to similar cards. However, there’s no promotional introductory APR. That could be disappointing to consumers looking to transfer a balance from another card.

Number of Rewards

It’s not unusual for credit card issuers to limit rewards to just a couple of spending categories. That’s not an issue with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card from Chase. It rewards five categories of spending to help you accumulate points faster. Here’s how the rewards work:

  • 3x Rapid Rewards points for Southwest purchases
  • 2x Rapid Rewards for:
  • 1x Rapids Rewards point on all other purchases

Rapid Rewards are just one of the points rewards cardholders earn with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card. Purchases also qualify for tier qualifying points — 1,500 for each $10,000 you spend. Once you’ve earned 35,000 tier qualifying points — or taken 25 one-way flights, you’re an A-List member, which qualifies you for special benefits like priority boarding, a dedicated customer service line and a 25% points-earning bonus. Unlock even more perks by earning 70,000 tier qualifying points or taking 50 one-way flights.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Foreign transaction fees are the fees credit card issuers charge customers when they use their cards to make purchases outside of the U.S. A typical fee is 3% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars. That doesn’t look like a lot at first glance, but it’s actually enough to cancel out all the rewards you earn on purchases — and level the playing field for cards with a higher annual fee but no transaction fees. There are no transaction fees with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Sign-Up Bonuses

The more sign-up bonus points you accumulate, the faster you’ll have enough points to cover airfare and more next time you travel. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card gives you 50,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months after account opening. That’s a $500 value for the bonus points — plus the $10 worth of points you’ll earn from your qualifying purchases.

Additional Perks

Points are the most valuable reward the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card offers, but they’re far from the only benefit cardholders receive. You’re also eligible for these additional perks:

  • Two EarlyBird Check-Ins each year
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • Bags fly free
  • No change fees
  • Unlimited rewards seats with no blackout dates or seat restrictions

How the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Stands Out

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card stands out for striking just the right balance between a card with no or low annual fees that skimps on rewards and a higher-fee card with benefits you might never use. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a card that offers as much in the way of rewards and perks for the $99 annual fee you’ll pay with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card.

Comparable Airline Rewards Card Options

There are plenty of cards out there competing for your business. Here’s how two cards with the same $99 annual fee stack up against the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

As you might expect, American Airlines flies to about three times as many destinations as Southwest, so you could have more opportunities to earn and spend rewards miles. But miles rewards are on the low side — 2x miles for American Airlines purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases — and the new-member bonus and other travel perks are similar to what you’ll get with the Chase card. One thing that could tip the scales toward the Barclays card is its 15-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, this introductory period is followed by a variable APR of 18.99% – 27.99%.

In addition to the larger selection of destinations, the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard waives the annual fee for the first year. And for every mile you earn, you also earn a loyalty point toward AAdvantage status, which is similar to Chase’s A-List but can be used for cabin upgrades. Unlike Southwest, however, American Airlines restricts rewards seats, and customers report having difficulty using their rewards for their preferred travel dates.

How To Apply

You can apply for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card on the Chase website. Log into your account if you’re already a Chase customer. Otherwise, click “Apply as a guest.” The application will ask for personal information such as your name, address, email and phone number, plus your home ownership and employment status. You’ll also need the following information available when you apply:

  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Social security number or tax ID number
  • Annual gross income

Click the Submit button once you’ve completed the application.

Who the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Is Best For

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is best for loyal Southwest customers who fly regularly enough to get their money’s worth from the $99 annual fee. It’s not difficult to do. The 6,000 anniversary points are worth $60 per year, and routine spending in the 2x-rewards categories can easily make up the rest.

Final Take

Southwest Airlines is a favorite among budget-minded travelers. If you count yourself among them, the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is one you’ll want to keep in your wallet. With solid points rewards, including bonus points and tier qualifying points toward A-List status, a competitive APR and valuable travel perks, the card provides good value for the $99 annual fee.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you decide whether this is the right card for you.
  • Does the Southwest Premier card have annual fee?
    • Yes. The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card has a $99 annual fee.
  • Is the Chase Southwest card hard to get?
    • Chase doesn't disclose specific requirements for its Southwest cards, but rewards cards are usually geared toward consumers with established credit.
  • How do I upgrade from Premier to Priority on Southwest?
    • You can upgrade to a Priority card by calling 800-792-0001.
  • What credit score do you need for a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card?
    • Chase doesn't disclose a minimum credit score for its cards. However, rewards cards usually require a credit score of 670 or higher.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 11, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

The information related to Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

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About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.
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