Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card

Southwest Airlines offers a rewards credit card that can be used to earn points towards flights. Points can also be used for hotels stays, car rentals, discounts on cruises, gift cards and other rewards. The cards are issued by Chase and carry the Visa logo. All cards may be used anywhere the Visa logo is displayed.

Through Chase customers gain 24 hour account access. They can receive online statements, alerts and the ability to manage both the account and the rewards program online. Chase also offers zero liability in the event the card is used for unauthorized purchases.

Southwest offers four different credit cards. The Rapid Rewards Plus Card and the Rapid Rewards Premier Card. They also Offer business versions of both the Rapid Rewards Plus and Rapid Rewards Premier cards.

Southwest airlines does not charge baggage fees or flight change fees. They have generous sign on bonuses for the credit cards, which can result in a free flight just for signing up and meeting the promotional spend levels. Spend levels can be met by charging things like utility bills and then paying them off when the bill arrives. This strategy may enable the cardholder to reach the spending requirements without additional spending.

The annual fee is not waived for the first year like many airline cards, but the other benefits can make it well worth the cost of the annual fee. One other significant benefit is that the airline points do not expire. This makes saving enough points for free flights easier to obtain. No blackout dates are also standard when redeeming rewards for flights.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card

The Rapid Rewards Premier Card is the best card available through Southwest airlines. There is a standard 25,000 point sign on bonus for new card holders. A new card holder is defined as an account that has not had a Southwest card for at least 24 months. This sign on bonus is earned when $1,000 is spent on the card in the first 3 months the account is open. The 25,000 points are often enough for a free flight, excluding government taxes and fees. With over 85 destinations, the rewards can be used for both domestic and international flights. Occasionally the credit card will run specials that will bump the bonus to 50,000 miles.

The annual fee for the Premier rewards card is $99 and is billed on the first billing cycle. On each anniversary the cardholder receives an additional 6,000 point bonus. The card earns points with every purchase. 1 point for every $1 spent is available for all purchases made with the card. Bonus points of 2 points for every dollar spent are offered for all flight purchases made on Southwest and AirTran flights. Purchases must be made directly with the airline to obtain the bonus points. 2 points per $1 spent is also offered for hotel stays, car rentals through its partner program.

Cardholders can earn Tier Qualifying Points of 1,500 toward preferred flying status. This is granted with every $10,000 charged on the card with a maximum of 15,000 points earned each calendar year. No foreign transaction fee is charged for foreign purchases made with the Premier card.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card

This card offers a bonus of 25,000 miles after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus is offered to new accounts holders, defined as not having an active account for 24 months. Points can be redeemed for flights, car rentals, hotel costs, cruises or gift cards.

The Rapid Rewards Plus card annual fee is $69 and is charged on the first billing period. Cardholders receive 1 point for every $1 spent on all purchases. Bonuses of 2 points for every $1 purchased are available on Southwest and AirTran. Qualifying purchases must be made by calling the airline directly.  Hotels or rental car purchases made through Southwest’s partner program also qualify for the 2 point bonus. Cardholders will receive a 3,000 point bonus on each anniversary.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

This card offers all of the benefits of the individual premier card with addition benefits. The business card offers free cards to employees. This enables the business to gain rewards faster and for the business to provide a credit card for employees who travel. The card also provides free business reporting tools. This benefit generates a breakdown of purchases and helps track employee spending and separates business from personal spending. The business card also has a $99 annual fee.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Business Card

The Plus Business card offers all of the benefits of the individual Plus card along with the free employee cards and expense tracking tools of the Business Premier card. The annual fee for this card is $69 per year.

Other Terms and Conditions applying to all credit cards

The standard APR on purchases and balance transfers is 15.99%. There are sometimes bonus points offered for balance transfers. Cash advances and overdraft usage charges 19.24% from the date of the transaction. The penalty rate of 29.99% can kick in if late payments are made, return payments occur, or over the limit transactions occur. This penalty rate is permanent on the account.

Balance transfers are charged a fee of $5 or 3% of the transaction. For cash advances the fee is $10 or 3% of the transaction. The larger of the two numbers is the fee charged to the customer. If the balance is paid in full each month the cardholder can benefit from a minimum of a 21 day grace period. This interest free period is offered when a balance is not carried from month to month. For other purchases interest begins on the day the purchase is made.