*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Dec 26, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
If you’re in the market for an airline travel rewards credit card with a generous sign-up bonus and a relatively affordable annual fee, you should take a look at the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. The card offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining purchases for the first year.
The card also offers the following rewards rate: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card comes with a $69 annual fee. However, the value you can get from the card’s sign-up bonus more than covers that amount during the first year of card membership.
In this post, we’ll break down the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card’s current offer, including if you qualify for the card’s sign-up bonus, how to use the sign-up bonus and additional ways to earn rewards.
In this post:
- Are you eligible for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card sign-up bonus?
- How can you use your sign-up bonus?
- Other ways to earn rewards
- The bottom line
Are you eligible for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card sign-up bonus?
If you are a current cardholder of any Southwest Rapid Rewards card, or if you’re a previous Southwest Rapid Rewards cardholder who received a new cardmember bonus within the past 24 months, you are not eligible to receive the current cardmember sign-up bonus from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.
Additionally, Chase’s unwritten “5/24 rule” prevents you from being approved for a new Chase credit card if you have opened five personal credit cards (from any issuer) within the past 24 months.
How can you use your sign-up bonus?
You can redeem Rapid Rewards points in a variety of ways, including travel, gift cards, merchandise, hotel stays and rental cars. See the redemption options below.
Flights. Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed for an available seat on any flight booked through Southwest Airlines or any other products or services approved by Southwest. For example, in late August 2021, you can get a roundtrip Wanna Get Away fare ticket from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to San Francisco for just over 20,000 points.
Note, the amount of points required to purchase a ticket is subject to change at any time until the ticket is booked. Also, you cannot use points to purchase special fares, such as senior, infant, child, military and government fares.
Gift cards. Points can be redeemed for gift cards from a variety of popular merchants, including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Lowe’s, TJ Maxx, Macy’s and Apple App Store and iTunes.
Merchandise. Rapid Rewards points can be used to purchase a broad range of merchandise, such as electronics, cosmetics, apparel, appliances and sporting goods.
Hotel stays. You can use Rapid Rewards points to book hotel stays at more than 70,000 properties across the globe.
Rental cars. You can also use rewards to rent cars from a number of rental car agencies, including Avis, Budget, Alamo and National.
Other ways to earn rewards
In addition to the sign-up bonus, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card holders can earn bonus points in a variety of ways, including:
Rewards rate. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. The 2-point rate can be earned on Southwest flights, in-flight purchases, Southwest gift cards, Southwest Vacation packages and at participating Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners.
Additionally, new cardholders can earn an accelerated rewards rate on dining during their first year of card membership.
Anniversary bonus. Receive 3,000 bonus points each account anniversary year – meaning, the year beginning with your account open date through the anniversary of your account open date, and each 12 months after that.
Balance transfers. If you transfer a balance from a different card to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, you can earn 1 point per dollar for the first $10,000 of balance transfers made during the first 90 days of account opening. However, the card does not offer a 0% intro balance transfer deal and charges a balance transfer fee of either either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Referral bonuses. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, you can earn up to 50,000 bonus points annually when you invite friends to carry the card, and the friends are approved. Cardholders earn 10,000 bonus points for each person they refer who is approved — up to five referrals per year.
The bottom line
If you’re a Southwest Airlines loyalist, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card provides a great opportunity to earn an influx of rewards to use toward future travel, merchandise and more. In addition to offering Rapid Rewards points on every purchase, the card comes with a generous sign-up bonus – which can get you that much closer to earning the Southwest Companion Pass.