Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card — Full Review [2021]

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card — Full Review [2021]

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"Unlimited Points That Never Expire!"

This card makes it easy to earn unlimited points and qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass®. The sign-up bonus will help you get started!

Learn More (at Chase's secure site)

As someone who spends a lot of time up in the air, you feel it’s important to get a great deal on your plane tickets.

That’s why you fly Southwest Airlines whenever possible.

It’s also why you have the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. This card helps you earn points for all your spending…earning more reward points is always a good thing for a busy traveler!

Southwest Plus Card — Snapshot

  • Welcome Bonus & Info (Partner Content)
    • Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
    • Now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
    • 3,000 anniversary points each year.
    • Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
    • New! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
    • New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
    • New! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year
    • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
  • Card Categories:
  • Rewards Center
  • Customer Service Number
    1-800-935-9935 (Available 24/7)
  • Login Link

The Ideal Cardholder

Southwest Rapid Rewards Program
Busy travelers can earn Rapid Rewards points with the Southwest Plus card. Image Credit: Phonlamai Photo via Shutterstock

Sign-up Bonus, Unlimited Points, and Earning Categories

You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, 2 points on local transit and commuting, as well as internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Then 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

The annual fee for the card is $69.

Plus, there’s no limit to the number of reward points you can earn – and they won’t expire as long as you keep your account open.

Now let’s look at the other terrific card benefits.

Benefits of the Southwest Plus Card

As a Southwest Plus cardmember, you’ll get 3,000 points after your membership anniversary each year – a nice benefit to look forward to!

Flying on Southwest Airlines comes with its own perks too. For instance, there’s no fee for your first 2 checked bags, which can cost up to $120 on other carriers.

Unlike many airline loyalty programs, there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions on Southwest. That means if a seat is available, you can book it with your points!

You won’t ever have to pay a change fee either. Southwest will just charge you the difference between fares.

Cardmembers can enroll in complimentary Spot Club Platinum status at The Parking Spot for 2 years and will receive 20% off of their first reservation and points for 1 free day of parking. At Groupon, cardmembers can also enroll to receive 10% back on Groupon deals every month for 12 months (up to $50), rewarded as Groupon Bucks.

Bottom Line: Owners of the Southwest Plus card earn 3,000 bonus points every year. Plus, there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions when flying Southwest, and you can check up to 2 bags free!

Earning the Companion Pass

Who doesn’t want to fly free? With the Southwest Companion Pass it’s definitely possible.

You must earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year to receive the Companion Pass.

These must be eligible points, such as points earned from flying (100 one-way flights in a year), Rapid Rewards credit cards (including sign-up bonuses), the Southwest Dining Programshopping portal, or partners.

International Travel With More Rewards

Sure, Southwest is a domestic carrier. But their More Rewards program makes it possible to redeem miles for international travel too!

The More Rewards program is only open to Southwest cardmembers. Here, you can use all the Rapid Rewards points you earn – not just those earned with the credit card.

In addition to travel, More Rewards redemptions include hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards, and exclusive travel experiences!

Bottom Line: More Rewards provides additional reward options including international travel. So you don’t have to be shy about using the Southwest Plus card!

Extra Perks With the Southwest Plus Card

Several extra perks come with the Southwest Plus card.

If you are approved for the Visa Signature version, you’ll receive insurances and services designed to make travel more pleasant.

For instance, the Visa Signature card includes car rental, baggage delay/lost luggage insurance, and travel accident insurance. Other benefits include roadside dispatch and travel/emergency assistance services.

All of these benefits except travel/emergency assistance services come with the Visa Platinum version as well.

We’ll look at these benefits more closely in the Gritty Details section below.

Bottom Line: Extra perks of the Southwest Plus card depend on which version you’re approved for, but will include some travel insurances and emergency service options.

Drawbacks of the Southwest Plus Card

There are a few things to consider before applying for the card.

First, the annual fee is not waived the first year like with some other airline credit cards. However, the $69 annual fee is partially offset by the sign-up bonus and anniversary points.

Also, because Southwest is a budget airline, there aren’t any luxury perks with this credit card. Other programs such as American Airlines AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles offer access to airport lounges.

Finally, there’s no introductory APR on purchases on balance transfers.

Bottom Line: The annual fee is not waived the first year and there aren’t any luxury benefits like you’d see with other cards, but the Southwest Plus card is still a great card to earn extra points.

Great Card If

Don't Get If

  • You prefer luxury rather than budget airlines
  • You don’t have a Southwest hub nearby
  • You won’t spend enough to cover the $69 annual fee

Southwest Plus Card — Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $69
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Interest Rates
    • 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfers
    • 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
    • Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 24.99% Variable
    • Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Best Way To Maximize Southwest Points

Sure, Southwest purchases earn bonus points, and this is a fantastic way to increase your balance. But there are so many more ways to earn Southwest points using the Southwest Plus card!

Tip #1: With Southwest Rapid Rewards, elite status is worth major bonus points. Reach the A-List tier to enjoy a 25% bonus. Even better, A-List Preferred members get a 100% bonus!

Tip #2: Visit the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal to shop online at well-known stores like Staples, Walmart, Apple, and hundreds more.

Each purchase earns points depending on the retailer and special offers. You can earn as many as 6+ points/$1!

Plus, you’ll get 1 point per $1 for using your Southwest Plus card!

Tip #3: Want to ensure you have as many points as possible to spend on Rapid Rewards? Why not transfer reward points earned with other Chase cards to Rapid Rewards points?

As you can see from the table below, there are plenty of Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that allow you to transfer points.

Tip #4: Fill out marketing surveys during your downtime. Sites such as e-Rewards and Valued Opinions make it easy to earn Rapid Rewards points.

Points vary depending on the current offers. You may even be able to earn sign-up bonuses.

Tip #5: Sign up for the Rapid Rewards Dining program and earn bonus Rapid Rewards points per $1 spent at participating restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Just for joining, you’ll get 500 points. Each time you reach another 1,000-point increment, you’ll earn 300 more points!

Though you can link any credit or debit card, you’ll get an extra 1 point per $1 spent when you use your Southwest Plus card!

Rapid Rewards Dining
Join the Rapid Rewards Dining program to earn up bonus points eating at restaurants! Image Credit: johan.lebedevski via Shutterstock

For additional tips on earning southwest points, check out our article on how to do so without even flying!

Best Way To Redeem Southwest Points

Southwest operates independently, which means redeeming points for free flights works a little differently than other airline loyalty programs.

For instance, the point value is determined by the variable cost of a ticket instead of a fixed rate.

Domestic vs. International Travel

If you want to redeem points for a domestic flight, it must be on Southwest. On a positive note, your points will be valued higher with Southwest travel than any other option!

You have more flexibility with international travel. In fact, you can redeem points for international travel with most major airlines. Unfortunately, your points will likely be valued lower than $0.02 each when you redeem them this way.

International travel (including Hawaii) is booked through the More Rewards program. Here are some other ways to redeem points using More Rewards:

Option #1: Cruises

Redeem reward points for gift cards good for cruises on Carnival Cruise Lines ($100) or Royal Caribbean International ($100 and $500).

Option #2: Rental Car Vouchers

Vouchers from car rental agencies such as National, Alamo, Budget, and more are available starting with as few as 5,000 points.

Option #3: Hotel and Resort Stays

Choose from more than 70,000 hotels through iHotel, or book with regular hotel partners like Best Western and Fairmont when you redeem Rapid Rewards points.

Option #4: Shopping

There’s a gift card for almost everything you can think of when redeeming reward points including restaurants, office supplies, online retailers, and lots more.

Option #5: Experiences

Whether it’s tickets to a Broadway show or a California wine tour, you can find the perfect experience available in exchange for your Rapid Rewards points.

Southwest does not have airline partners or alliances for domestic travel. You can redeem points for international travel on major airlines through the More Rewards option.

Hotel Partners: Carlson, La Quinta, Best Western, Hyatt, Choice, Marriott, MGM, and more than 70,000 hotels through

Rental Car Partners: Thrifty, Hertz, Alamo, Payless, Budget, National, Dollar

Additional products and services are also available through the More Rewards program.

Alternative Cards to the Southwest Plus Card

Southwest also offers the upgraded version of the card: the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. It offers a couple of benefits not found with the basic version of the card.

With the Southwest Premier Credit Card, cardmembers earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases (up to 15,000 points each calendar year).

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need To Know

Qualifying for a Companion Pass requires 125,000 points in a single calendar year. Points earned from flying, credit card spend, the Southwest Dining Program, or through the Southwest shopping portal all earn qualifying points.

As long as you keep your account open and current, you can earn unlimited reward points that never expire.

Other Unique Features

Depending on whether you qualify for a Visa Signature or Visa Platinum card, you will receive a variety of features and benefits with the Southwest Plus card.

Here are examples of the shopping and travel perks that may be included:

Extended warranty – Extends warranties of 3 years or less by up to 1 year and $10,000 per claim.

Purchase protection – Covers items against loss, theft, or damage up to 120 days after purchase. Maximum claim is $500 per item and $50,000 per account.

Car rental collision insurance – Decline the agency’s waiver and pay for a car rental with your card to receive car rental collision coverage.

Roadside dispatch – Receive towing, fuel delivery, tire changing, jump starting, and more for a set fee of $59.95.

Travel accident insurance – Get insurance coverage up to $500,000 in case of a severe accident.

Travel and emergency services – Call for emergency assistance when traveling. (You are responsible for third party service charges.)

Lost luggage insurance – Purchase travel on a common carrier with the card and luggage will be covered up to $3,000.

Baggage delay insurance – Get reimbursed up to $100 per day for 3 days if baggage is delayed 6 hours or more (for essential items such as clothing and toiletries).

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of the Southwest Plus card? Why should I get it?

The Southwest Plus card is just one of the Southwest credit cards co-branded by Chase Bank.

With this card, you can earn unlimited points that don’t expire if your account is current. Purchases earn up to 2 points per $1:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
  • 2 points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare
  • 2 points per $1 spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 1 point per $1 for all other purchases

In addition, you earn 3,000 points after each yearly anniversary, no fee for your first two checked bags, and no blackout dates or seat restrictions.

Cardmembers can enroll in complimentary Spot Club Platinum status at The Parking Spot for 2 years and will receive 20% off of their first reservation and points for 1 free day of parking. At Groupon, cardmembers can also enroll to receive 10% back on Groupon deals every month for 12 months (up to $50), rewarded as Groupon Bucks.

How can you earn a Companion Pass with the Southwest Plus card?

You need to earn 125,000 points in a calendar year to earn an annual Southwest Companion Pass.

Does the Southwest Plus card earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQP)?

No. The card does not earn TQP, unlike the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, which earns Tier Qualifying Points (TQP) for every $10,000 spent.

However, you can still earn TQP with any paid Southwest flight.

How do you redeem Southwest Plus card points?

When you earn reward points they are automatically deposited into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account. Then you can redeem them through the Southwest portal.

How can I log in to my Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus account?

The login for Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus is

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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