Credit Karma Weighs In: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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Credit Karma Weighs In: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Are you shopping around for a new credit card? Credit Karma is here to help! Some members of our team are sharing their opinions on the cards in their wallets. In this edition of "Credit Karma Weighs In," our Director of Offline Marketing, Adam, shares his thoughts on why you might want to consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Card if you're looking for an airline rewards program.


Frequent flyers take note: the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Card may be an easy way for you to earn free flights around the country. While it comes with a $99 annual fee, there are plenty of opportunities to rack up points, which can be redeemed for Southwest® flights, hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards and more.

Adam's Ratings

Rewards: The Rapid Rewards® Premier Card offers multiple ways to earn points quickly. You can receive 40,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 within three months of signing up and 6,000 points every year you hold the card. Using your card for purchases will earn you points too -- two points for every dollar spent at Southwest® or a partnering Rapid Rewards® hotel or rental car company and one point for every dollar spent on anything else. I use my Rapid Rewards® card on about 80 percent of my purchases and am typically able to score a free flight every three or four months. Also, every $10,000 in purchases will get you 1,500 Tier Qualifying points, which can help you earn preferred flying status that includes priority boarding, check-in and security lane access, among other benefits.
Adam's Rewards Rating: Four Stars

Customer Service: I've called customer service three or four times and have found it to be one of the highlights of this card. The service representatives were friendly, efficient and eager to ensure you have a working card in your hands. Whenever I requested a replacement, I received a new card within the day.
Adam's Customer Service Rating: Five Stars

Application Process: I had no trouble applying for the Rapid Rewards® Premier Card, which I did online -- although they also hand out applications on Southwest® flights. The only drawback is that, once you submit your initial application online, they mail you a follow up application that you have to fill out and send back in. However, the paperwork comes in a prepackaged envelope and is fairly easy to complete.
Adam's Application Process Rating: Four Stars

Tips and Tricks

Spend enough and you can qualify for 40,000 bonus points. You have to spend $1,000 within the first three months to receive the bonus points, which you can redeem for flights throughout the country. Keep in mind, though, that if you aren't able to pay off your balance at the end of each month, you could be charged interest, which may offset the rewards you've earned.

Redeem your points for more than just Southwest® flights. Don't forget that there are multiple ways to use your points. They can get you everything from gift cards, merchandise and car rentals to hotel stays, cruises and international flights.

Take advantage of the daily promotions offered on the Southwest® website. These promotions, offered at partnering hotel and car rental locations, could allow you to save significantly on purchases while earning up to twice the points you normally would.

Bottom Line

If you're a Southwest® flyer looking to earn points quickly, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card may be right for you. Free flights can be relatively easy to earn, and there are plenty of other ways to cash out. Just make sure you can afford the annual fee before you sign up.

If you're considering applying for a new credit card, it's generally a good idea to first check out consumer reviews to see what current cardholders really think. If you've got a credit card that you love, consider writing a review to help others out!

Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.

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Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

All Comments

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My entire family has flown exclusively with Southwest and we all have our own Rapid Rewards accounts. We've been loyal customers for 30-40 years now and yet every year for the past six I've tried getting their credit card. You'd think with such fantastic customer loyalty the company would be happy to extend us the privilege of gaining even more money in annual fees and monthly interest charges from us since they've had our money in flights for all these years. Every year I've been denied. Every year no one in our family has ever been able to get a card from them and by this point I wonder if it's simply the top 1% of the population that's eligible for this card. Ridiculousness.

Top Contributor
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Helpful to 1 out of 3 people

Annual Fee Credit cards like this one are the most useless Credit cards around.

Where did this Adam Rating come from?   That is also useless.

Credit Karma Team
Top Contributor
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4485 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

These are team members sharing their own opinions of cards they use in their personal lives. For many cardholders, the free flights they earn can outweigh the annual fee. We certainly understand why some people do not choose cards with annual fees. 

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