Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Plus Credit Card Review Southwest Rapid Rewards<sup>®</sup> Plus Credit Card Review

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Review

Bonus Points

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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is one of three personal Rapid Rewards credit cards offered by Chase. New cardmembers can earn 50,000 bonus points just for signing up for the card and meeting the minimum spend requirements, and all of those points count towards the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Annual Fee$69
Welcome Bonus Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 3,000 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Member FDIC
  • 2X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 2X points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare
  • 2X points per $1 spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

How the Southwest Rapid Rewards Program Works

Southwest’s loyalty program, Rapid Rewards, is a revenue-based frequent flyer scheme. That means the cost of an award flight in points is tied directly to the cash price of the ticket. That sets it apart from traditional programs like Alaska’s Mileage Plan, which uses a static award chart.

While that leaves less room to manipulate point values than a traditional mileage-based program, it does provide a firm value on which to calculate the cost of rewards travel goals.

The Southwest Plus Card is a great card for frequent flyers living in one of the many U.S. cities that Southwest serves, and also for anyone trying to attain one of the most valuable perks around, the Southwest Companion Pass.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Logo

No Blackout Dates, Bags Fly Free & No Change Fees

Southwest deserves its reputation as an airline providing exceptional value, particularly when compared to the three big legacy carriers.

  • Award flights booked using your Rapid Rewards points have no blackout dates. So, you have the freedom to travel when you want, not when the airline has enough free space.
  • Bags Fly Free — Your first two checked bags are free (subject to size/weight restrictions). If you check bags, you could potentially save up to $140 per roundtrip flight compared with flying other U.S. airlines.
  • And Southwest charges no change fees if members need to make changes to an award ticket.

Welcome Bonus

Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Already had the Southwest Plus Card? The good news is that you may still be able to earn this signup bonus. You'll need to have closed your previous card and waited at least 24 months from the last time you earned the sign-up bonus before applying again.

As per the card's terms and conditions:

“The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.”

In addition to the limitations on who can earn a bonus, this card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

Southwest Plus Card Benefits

3,000 Bonus Points Each Account Anniversary

The Southwest Plus Card offers an annual points bonus each year you keep your card and pay the annual fee. The value of those extra points is close to the cost of the annual fee—significantly lowering the out-of-pocket expense of holding the card if you use those points.

Each year, you'll receive 3,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after your account anniversary. Each point is worth approximately 1.4 cents towards the cost of Southwest flights, so that gives you a value of roughly $42—effectively reducing the net cost of your annual fee to around $27 per year.

Visa Signature Travel Protections

The Southwest Plus Card is a Visa Signature card, which entitles cardholders to multiple benefits simply for possessing the card, including auto rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)baggage delay coverage, and lost luggage protection.

The benefits are not as strong as some in the Chase Visa family, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. But, for a card with only a $69 annual fee, it offers significant protections for unexpected travel setbacks and disruptions.

Does the Card Have Any Downsides?

The card does have two disadvantages to note when comparing with other options:

Final Thoughts

While the Southwest Plus Card doesn't compete with the premium travel rewards cards that offer more perks for a higher annual fee, it's a fantastic choice for Rapid Rewards members who want great value at a low cost.

The Southwest Plus Card will earn you 50,000 bonus points after hitting the minimum spend, which can translate into a significant amount of travel if you play your cards right!

5 / 5 - (5 votes)
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  • I’ve had the SW card which I cancelled early 2018. My husband had SW in 15/16. We are looking to get the SW with the companion pass offer, but my question is if it is in my husbands name does he have to be the traveler and I would be the companion or can I as a card holder on his account be the main traveler and my sister be the companion pass holder? Just working thru the wording in the details.

  • A quick question regarding the Southwest Companion pass and when the points will post to my Southwest account. SW branded cards bonus points are currently at 60,000 points right now, and the bonus expires on 10/4/17 . I would like to have the points hit my Southwest account January 2018 so that I have get the companion pass for Jan 2018 through Dec 2019.

    If I applied for two Southwest cards (either both personal or one personal and one business) on 10/3/17 which in 90 days from that date would be 1/1/18. My statements would end 11/3/17, 12/3/17 and 1/3/18. If I made sure to meet the minimum spend in the statement beginning 12/4/17 and before 1/1/18 those points that I would earn from the spend during that statement as well as the bonus for hitting the minimum spend requirements would post to my account on or after 1/3/18 which I think would be the statement close date.

    Is that correct?

    Thank you for your help

  • Ashley Menke says:

    I would definitely not recommend getting this card, they falsely promised the 60k reward points when you spend $2,000 in three months on the offer i signed up for. I spent the required amount of money and then when i did not receive the points and called to ask what happened they tell me “oh there was two offers at that time one for the 50k points and one for 10k points for spending $500 and you must have selected the wrong ad when you signed up.” First off there was no “option to choose an offer” and if there was why would i have selected the one for less!? They then tell me since 90 days have past since i signed up they cannot change it…..of course 90 days have past the time frame for spending was three billing cycles. I would have not know anything was incorrect before 90 days because i had to wait that long for the offer. I have emailed and called customer service and they refuse to do anything about it. I really like the points for spending and the amount of rewards points compared to what you flights you can redeem for but this whole thing has put such a sour taste in my mouth i will be closing this card after i pay it off and collect on flights for the points that i do have. Completely false advertising and terrible customer service. Pretty much they have my money now, they are going to collect their interest on it, and they don’t care if they lost a customer.

    • Ashley, I’d highly recommend you reach out to Chase and ask to speak to a member of the customer service management team. If you met the spend requirement of an offer that was otherwise publicly available I think you stand a reasonable chance to have something honored.

      If it means writing a letter to Chase’s Executive Office to state your case, I’d highly recommend doing that. Don’t let the frustration of an experience with a customer service over the phone/email stop you. If over the phone you can’t make progress, simply ask for proper contact information for their Executive Offices (I’ve seen the email float around).

      Your experience has nothing to do specifically with this card, but rather a technology issue on your side, Chase’s side or a combination of both, tied with a frustrating customer service experience — don’t take it out on a great 60k offer.

      Good luck and I hope you get the points you expect!

      • Ashley Menke says:

        I have reached out via phone, via email, and via their in website messaging system, all to no avail. I have yet to write a letter or email to the executive office so thank you for that info which I will try but to be honest I do not have high hopes at all. I think that it could be a great card and a great rewards program if they didn’t pull bait and switch advertising. I will update here if I am ever able to get a resolution.

        • Ashley, just be sure to take a step back with a clear head before you write anything.

          At the same time keep in mind the person receiving your letter is likely to have a healthy amount of skepticism — heck, my gut reaction to reading your response was “well, she probably clicked something” — but that is because I am a cynic with just about everything in life.

          State your case, the facts, and what you’re looking for. You’ll get further with sugar/honey all day, every day. Good luck!!!

    • Linda Bosford says:

      I am going round and arohnd with the same issue. Have moved cross country but when I find my ad from signing up they and southwest fordoing business with Chase will be hearing from me till they fix it.

  • Living in a southwest hub makes this a needed card, great bonus, best ticket and bag policy, and now flights to mexico and Caribbean.

  • I wish they offered a credit card with no annual fee, instead of the initial 50,000 points. Some airline cards waive the annual fee for the first year.

  • If I had someone else open up a rapid rewards card and earn the 50k miles would it be possible to transfer them to my account and would they count towards the 110K that gives you the buddy pass?

  • Sadly Chase enforces 5/24 on WN CCs.

  • Unless you’re looking for last minute points towards qualifying for the Companion Pass, I see no reason to get the Plus card vs. the Premier card. The extra $30 in annual fees is made up for by the extra anniversary points and, perhaps more importantly depending on your situation, the lack of foreign transaction fees.

  • Def valuable towards companion pass. My experience with SWA is if your not near a hub it is like a greyhound bus with too many stops.

  • Should have mentioned 5/24 here! It’s one of the limited cards.

  • darn that Chase 5/24 rule!

  • It must be interesting for Southwest frequent flyers otherwise I think it’s better a programme like membership rewards which allows more flexibility on redemption of points.

  • I assume this is subject to Chase 5/24 rule?

  • Is the Plus Card even publicly available anymore? I never see it on Chase’s website directly anymore, just the Premier. For people with any of the other SWA cards, you could always product change to this Plus card though.

  • Have to admit, I’ve always overlooked SWA in favor of the legacy carriers, so it’s good to be reminded that the card/program do offer some excellent value.

  • Cathy Krasnianski says:

    Is this card subject to the 5/24 rule?

  • My husband and I moved to PHX recently from FL and it’s time we considered flying Southwest and personally experience their product. The low minimum spend on this offer has a certain appeal and it may just be time to apply.

  • Good catch on the time sensitive nature of the companion pass. I had missed that the first time around, and was looking at the card/hotel point option.

  • does anyone know if this card is subject to the 5/24 rule with Chase?

  • Argh anothing Visa! lol! I’m looking for a Mastercard with no annual fee that would benefit traveling. I have so many Visas. I’ve been looking around but nothing has popped yet.

    This does look interesting. However, I hate, hate that Southwest only leaves from Dallas Love Field. I hate driving downtown and I know I could get a taxi, etc but ugh still. I want to fly them just to see what it’s all about though. That DAL just gets me everytime. I like going out of the international airport. Maybe I’ll have to look into another trip rather than one that starts in Dallas.

    Normally do their miles expire every year or as long as I have activity they stay? Sorry! Couldn’t find it on their website…possibly user error but do I really want to admit that? lol! ;o)

    • There’s the Upromise Mastercard offering some bonus cash back on dining and travel, but not as comprehensive as an airline card.