Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus 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 Plus Card offers a sizable signup bonus for a card with a relatively low annual fee, but ongoing rewards are also modest.
  • Airline
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Low annual fee
  • High sign-up bonus
  • Ancillary travel benefits and purchase protections

Cons

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Limited rewards kickers
  • Benefits primarily for Southwest customers only

Chase Card Overview

If you’re an occasional Southwest flyer that doesn’t need a lot of extra perks, the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card offers some modest benefits for a relatively low annual fee. The sign-up bonus alone makes the card more than worthwhile to own for the first year, while the value of the ongoing benefits of the card — such as 2x points on Southwest purchases, 25% off in-flight purchases, two early check-ins per year and a 3,000-point anniversary bonus — will depend on whether or not you continue to fly Southwest.

Read: This Credit Score Mistake Could Be Costing Millions Of Americans

Key Features

The most highly rated features of the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card are as follows:

Number of Rewards

For a low-fee card, the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card has a high number of features, including a large sign-up bonus, 3,000 bonus points every anniversary, two Early Bird check-ins per year and 25% back on inflight purchases. The card also offers 2x points on Southwest purchases, local transit and commuting, internet, cable and phone services, select streaming, and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.

Annual Fee

While most low-to-mid-tier rewards cards come with a $95 or higher annual fee, the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card only charges $69. This makes it a low-cost option in the rewards card field. 

APR

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card has an annual percentage rate ranging from , which is much lower than the 29.99% charged by many rewards cards.

Sign-Up Ratio

To get a 50,000-point sign-up bonus with most cards requires paying an annual fee of at least $95, sometimes multiples of that. With just a $69 annual fee, the ratio of sign-up rewards received to the cost incurred is high with the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card.

How the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card Stands Out 

The two most notable features that make the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card stand out are its low annual fee and its high sign-up bonus. After spending just $1,000 in the first three months after you open the card, you’ll be rewarded with 50,000 points, which is very generous for a card that only assesses a $69 annual fee.

If you fly Southwest, some of the card’s ancillary benefits are also attractive, from the two early check-ins per year to the 25% back on in-flight purchases.

Regardless of which carrier you fly on, however, the card also offers lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger and baggage delay insurance of up to $100 per day for up to three days. The card also provides extended warranty protection and purchase protection against damage of theft in the first 120 days for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Comparable Chase Southwest Credit Card Options

Chase offers two additional Southwest-related credit card options that have better perks than the Rapid Rewards Plus Card, but they also charge higher annual fees. 

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card occupies the middle tier of the three-tier Chase/Southwest card structure. For a $99 annual fee, you’ll earn the same 50,000-point bonus as with the other two cards after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership. However, in addition to the perks offered by the Rewards Plus Card, the Premier Card offers the following: 

  • 6,000 anniversary points
  • 3x points for Southwest Airlines purchases
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 you spend, with no limit.

These rewards might be worth the additional $30 per year you’ll pay over the Plus Card for more frequent Southwest travelers.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is the highest-tier card offered by Chase/Southwest, and it also carries the highest annual fee, at $149. However, in addition to the same 50,000-point sign-up bonus offered by the other cards, you’ll receive all of the benefits of the Premier Card plus these additional perks:

  • 7,500 anniversary points
  • 4 upgraded boardings per year, when available
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit.

For more frequent Southwest flyers, the $75 annual travel credit already makes this card a better deal than the Premier Card, and the other added features give it the nod over the Plus Card as well.

How To Apply

Applying for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is easy on the Chase website. As with all cards, you’ll need to provide your date of birth, Social Security number, name and address, and other personal and financial information such as your income and employment status. You can often be approved instantly on the Chase website, but in some cases, the bank will take 7-10 business days for further verification of the information in your application. 

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

As the name suggests, the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is best for travelers who use Southwest Airlines. However, it’s not for those seeking lounge access, elite status or the additional perks that come with top-tier cards. The low annual fee reflects this. It’s also a card best suited for domestic travelers only, as it carries a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Final Take

If you’re just dipping your toe into the world of Southwest Airlines, the large sign-up bonus and kickers for Southwest purchases may be more than enough to offset the $69 annual fee for you. However, if you’re a more frequent Southwest traveler, you’d likely be better served with the enhanced features and benefits offered by some of the other cards in the Chase and Southwest lineup.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.
  • What credit score do you need for Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card?
    • Chase doesn't disclose its minimum required credit score for any of its cards. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is no exception. You should generally expect to have a good-to-excellent credit score to be approved by Chase, however, so you might want to wait to apply until you get your score up to 680 or higher. As with all credit cards, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be approved.
  • How much is 75,000 Southwest points worth?
    • There is no flat conversion rate for Southwest points, as the airline sets the amount of points that each individual flight will cost. On average, points can be redeemed for about 1.3 to 1.5 cents each.
  • Is Southwest Airlines credit card hard to get?
    • While not technically "hard" to get, you should have at least a "good" credit score if you want to apply for the Southwest Airlines credit card.
  • What is the annual fee for a Chase Southwest card?
    • The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card has a $69 annual fee. Fees vary for other Southwest credit cards in the Chase stable.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 7, 2022.

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

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.

Share This Article:

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
Learn More