Southwest Airlines Credit Card Review - Plus vs Premier

Southwest Airlines Credit Card Review - Plus vs Premier
Eric Goldschein
on March 18, 2020
Read in 2 min

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card is one of two credit cards put out by the low-cost airline.

If you’re looking for a loyalty card and you fly often, you may be wondering how this card stacks up vs. cards offered by other airlines, or against the Premium Southwest Airlines credit card.

In this review, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of having the Southwest Airlines RR Plus card, and you can decide if the rewards and savings offered are right for you.

What is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card?

The Rapid Rewards Plus card is one of two branded loyalty cards put out by Southwest Airlines, a carrier known for relatively low prices and good customer service.

The Plus card doesn’t have quite the range of benefits as its Premier cousin, but it’s still considered one of the best airline loyalty cards in the business.

What do I need to know about this card?

Here are the numbers, fees, and costs associated with the Plus card:

  • Annual fee: $69
  • APR: 17.49% – 24.49% (variable)
  • Maximum late fee: $37
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Sign up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases; 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Bags fly free and no change fees

What are the pros of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card?

As airlines cards goes, the Plus card has a relatively high sign-up bonus, assuming you spend enough to get it.

Their monster anniversary bonus also helps card members rack up miles.

If you’re a frequent flyer, you may be able to get to 110,000 points within a calendar year, which would qualify you for a free Companion Pass—allowing you to take a friend or family member with you for free every time you purchase a flight for the remainder of the year and the following one.

The card also gives you flexibility in terms of points redemption:

You can redeem points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, and more!

What are the cons of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card?

The Plus card has a fairly high APR, which means you’ll have to be careful about stacking up debt.

In comparison to the Rapid Rewards Premium card, the Plus card has a smaller sign-up bonus, smaller anniversary bonus, and foreign transaction fees.

Also, as carriers go, Southwest is limited in its international destinations.

This card is best for frequent domestic flyers.

Which Southwest airline credit card should I get?

If you often use Southwest flyer, the Rapid Rewards Plus card is practically a no-brainer.

The only reason you wouldn’t want it is because the Premium card has even more value, albeit at a cost.

If you’re on a verge of a big trip, like to travel, and want to rack up points (with enough money to pay your debt in full), you could do much worse than the Southwest credit card.

Eric Goldschein Finance Journalist

Eric Goldschein is a freelance journalist who covers entrepreneurship, small business trends, emerging technologies, culture and sports.

He was previously the managing editor of, and has written for Business Insider, Trep Life, the Huffington Post, Fundera and more.