If you’re a frequent traveler, then you know that Southwest is one of the best airlines out there! Even for economy travelers, passengers are allowed two free checked bags, which is unheard of in the airline industry. But I like to leverage Southwest as much as possible.
I’m a Rapid Rewards member, and point perks have made my experience with Southwest much better. But one of the smartest ways to get the most out of being a Southwest customer is to get a credit card through them. But what is the best Southwest credit card? Well, I’ll offer my opinion in the content below and give insight into what to consider before applying for a Southwest credit card. Are you interested in learning more? If you are, continue reading
The Bottom Line Up Front
Overall, I prefer the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card. The anniversary bonus points are great, and it offers 1500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status. Plus, it offers some of the same benefits as the Southwest business credit cards. In my opinion, this is one of the best options for Southwest customers who don’t have a business but want to get as many perks as possible.
My Top Picks Up Front
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card: I like this card because it offers a lot. The anniversary points are great, and the 3X the points for Southwest flights are a really good deal. Not to mention, there are no foreign transaction fees, which I appreciate a lot. In comparison to the other Southwest consumer card, I feel like this one offers more incentives. Plus, the annual fee is only $149. That’s not bad considering all the perks that come along with this credit card.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card: In my opinion, this card gives you the most benefits. The 9,000-anniversary points come in handy when you’re booking flights. Also, receiving 4X the bonus points for Southwest purchases is incredible. Also, the TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and the unlimited tier qualifying bonus points makes having this card even better. Although the annual fee is $199, I still don’t think that’s too expensive, especially for the perks that this card offers.
Advice for Getting a Southwest Credit Card
Make Sure the Card is Beneficial for You
When it comes to finding the best Southwest Airlines credit card, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you must make sure that you find a card that offers rewards that you will actually use. There is no sense in signing up for a card with great rewards if you rarely fly on Southwest or if you never stay in hotels.
Check the Interest Rate
Also, you need to make sure that the card you choose has a low-interest rate. Otherwise, you will end up paying more for your travel than you need to. Finally, you should make sure that the card you choose does not have an annual fee. While some cards do charge an annual fee, it is generally not worth it to pay this fee unless the card offers some amazing rewards.
Consider the Sign-Up Bonus
One of the best things about Southwest Airlines credit cards is that many of them offer a sign-up bonus. This means that you can earn a large number of points or miles just by signing up for the card and using it to make your first purchase. In some cases, you may even be able to earn enough
just by signing up for the card.
Pay Your Balance in Full Each Month
This is a bonus tip that’s a no-brainer, but I think it’s worth noting. Another great way to make sure that you get the most out of your Southwest Airlines credit card is to pay your balance in full each month. This will help you avoid interest charges and late fees, and it will also help you rack up points or miles much faster. There’s no point in getting a card that offers amazing rewards, only to have them diminished by interest and fees. So, use your card responsibly, so you can get the most out of it!
Ways to Earn Rapid Rewards Points
While getting a credit card with Southwest is a good idea, it’s also smart to leverage your Rapid Rewards account. Here are just a few ways to earn points:
- Fly on Southwest Airlines: You’ll earn points for every dollar you spend on your flight, including the base fare and any Southwest Airlines fees.
- Stay at a Rapid Rewards hotel partner: You can earn points when you stay at hotels like Marriott, Hyatt, and Best Western.
- Rent a car from a Rapid Rewards car rental partner: You can earn points when you rent a car from companies like Alamo, Avis, and Budget.
- Shop with Rapid Rewards online mall partners: You can earn points when you shop at retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Gap.
- Eat at Rapid Rewards dining partners: You can earn points when you dine at restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster.
- Complete Rapid Rewards surveys: You can earn points by completing surveys about your travel experiences.
- Refer friends to Rapid Rewards: You can earn points when you refer your friends to sign up for Rapid Rewards. Plus, they’ll get bonus points, too!
As you can see, there are many ways to earn Rapid Rewards points. By utilizing all of these methods, you can earn enough points for a free flight in no time. Furthermore, there are several tiers within the Rapid Rewards program. The more points you earn, the higher tier you’ll achieve. Each tier comes with its own set of benefits, such as priority boarding and increased point earnings.
One of the main reasons why I chose the credit cards on this list is the perks. For me, my credit cards have to work for my lifestyle, and they have to give me extra benefits. When it comes to Southwest, their credit cards offer perks that you don’t get as a general Rapid Rewards member. However, these credit cards take being a Rewards member to the next level.
I feel like the annual rewards for Southwest credit cards are pretty affordable. A couple of them are a bit steep, but as I stated before, I think the annual fees aren’t that bad considering the perks that the cards offers. In comparison to some credit cards, these annual fees are mild. There are some cards that have $450 annual fees, which is steep! I feel like you can pay Southwest credit card annual fees and not experience too much of a burden.
Points per dollar
Southwest does a fantastic job of making sure that their credit card holders get a lot of bang for their buck. I like that the points per dollar are good. Some credit cards will only offer 1 point per dollar for everything. However, these cards offer up to 4X the points. Not to mention, the points that you receive aren’t just for travel expenses. You can get them for Southwest flights, rideshares, and monthly bills, like internet and cable. It’s good that you can collect points for everyday purchases.
Credit Card Recommendations
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card
If you fly Southwest Airlines frequently, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is worth considering. You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
You’ll also get 3,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, and you’ll get 25% back on all in-flight purchases. This card also includes 2 Early-bird check-ins per year. You’ll even receive 2 points per every dollar spent on phone services, rideshares, and more!
The annual fee for this credit card is $69.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
With this card, you’ll earn 3X points on all Southwest Airlines purchases, 2X points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases. You’ll also receive 7,500 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary.
Other benefits include a $75 Southwest Annual Travel Credit, 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available, and 25% back on in-flight purchases. You’ll also get 2 points per every dollar spent on phone services, internet, cable, and more! The annual fee for this credit card is $149.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card offers many of the same perks as the personal card, but with a few key additions. You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
You’ll also get 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, and you’ll get 25% back on all in-flight purchases. This card also includes 2 Early-bird check-ins per year. You’ll even receive 2 points per every dollar spent on phone services, internet, cable, and more! Plus, you’ll get a $500 fee credit for point transfers. The annual fee for this credit card is $99.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
This credit card is best for business owners who fly Southwest Airlines often and want to earn Rapid Rewards points quickly. You’ll earn 4 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 3X Rapid Rewards on hotel and car rental partner purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
You’ll also get 9,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, and you’ll get 25% back on all in-flight purchases. The annual fee for this credit card is $199.
Southwest partnered with Diner’s Club, making it simple for Diner’s Club members to convert their Diner’s Club points into Rapid Rewards points. All you need to do is log in to your Diner’s Club account and link it to your Rapid Rewards account. Once you’ve done that, you can start transferring your Diner’s Club points to Southwest. 1,500 club reward points can be transferred over to 1,200 rapid rewards points.
Question: Is it difficult to get a Southwest credit card?
Answer: No, it’s not difficult to get a Southwest credit card. You can apply for a Southwest credit card online, and you’ll usually get a decision within a few minutes. However, please note that you will need to have good to excellent credit in order to be approved for a Southwest credit card.
Question: What are the benefits of becoming a Rapid Rewards member?
Answer: You can earn points towards flights, as well as shopping, dining, and travel experiences. Plus, you’ll get access to exclusive member deals and discounts. You can also use your points to book flights on any airline, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
Question: How many points do I need to earn a free flight on Southwest?
Answer: You’ll need to earn as low as 6,000 Rewards points in order to book a free flight on Southwest. However, the number of points you’ll need depends on the flight you’re booking and when you’re traveling. Also, the number of points that you have may only be enough for a one-way ticket.
Question: When do my Southwest Rapid Rewards points expire?
Answer: The good news is that they don’t expire! However, if you delete your account, you’ll forfeit all of the points in your account.
Question: What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
Answer: The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to choose one person to fly with you for free (or for a reduced fare) whenever you fly on Southwest Airlines. You must earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year in order to qualify for the Companion Pass. Once you have the Companion Pass, you can use it for the rest of the year in which you earned it, as well as the entire following calendar year.
Final Thoughts on the Best Southwest Credit Card
As you can see, Southwest offers incredible incentives to their credit card holders. If you like flying with Southwest, I highly recommend getting one of their credit cards. It’s an easy way to rack up reward points toward travel and other goodies. What I like about Southwest is that you can use your reward points for shopping and dining, which is a big help.
So, has this article inspired you to sign up for a Southwest credit card? Hopefully so!