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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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!
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