Everyone knows Southwest Airlines fans really love Southwest Airlines.  From not charging ridiculous fees to free checked bags and no assigned seating, it’s easy to see why it’s been a fan favorite for so long. Plus, the Southwest crew always seem to have the best humor.  If are a frequent traveler with Southwest Airlines, it might be a good idea to have one of their Southwest Rapid Rewards Travel Cards and enjoy some extra flyer perks with the airline.

BEST SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CARD WITH NO ANNUAL FEE

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus 

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 during first 3 months PLUS 3x points per $1 on dining for 1 year

REWARDS

Earn 2x points on Southwest Airlines purchases; 1x point on every other purchase

APR

15.99% – 22.99%

ANNUAL FEE

$69

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

3%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

670 – 850

The Basics

The Rewards Plus is ideal for frequent flyers with Southwest Airlines who want to earn Rapid Rewards points while paying a low annual fee.  In fact, it does have the lowest annual fee among all Southwest Airlines travel cards, even lower than typical airline credit cards.

Welcome Offer: New members get 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 during the first 3 months of account opening.  In addition, you earn 3x points per $1 spent on dining (including takeout) during the first year.

Rewards & Redemption: Earn 2x points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, vacations, & car rentals booked through the airline.  Points can be redeemed for flights, gift cards, & merchandise.

Additional Perks: Get 3,000 bonus points every card anniversary!

Downside: For those who like to travel internationally, the card unfortunately comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee. Very limited categories earn the 2x points.

BEST SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CARD FOR OCCASIONAL INTERNATIONAL SOUTHWEST FLYERS

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 during first 3 months PLUS 3x points per $1 on dining for 1 year

REWARDS

Earn 2x points on Southwest Airlines purchases; 1x point on every other purchase

APR

15.99% – 22.99%

ANNUAL FEE

$99

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

0%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

670 – 850

The Basics

The Premier card is ideal for frequent flyers who spend enough money with the airline to earn extra rewards and a companion pass.  Unlike the Rewards Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees, however, the annual fee is a bit higher.  

Welcome Offer: Similar to the Plus, new members get 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 during the first 3 month.  Plus, you earn 3x points per $1 spent on dining (including takeout) during the first year.

Rewards & Redemption: Earn 2x points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, vacations, & car rentals booked through the airline.  Points can be redeemed for flights, gift cards, & merchandise.

Additional Perks: Get 6,000 bonus points every card anniversary!

Downside: Higher annual fee, however, it’s also in-line with most airline travel credit cards.  Very limited categories earn the 2x points.

BEST SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CARD 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 during first 3 months PLUS 3x points per $1 on dining for 1 year

REWARDS

Earn 2x points on Southwest Airlines purchases; 1x point on every other purchase

APR

15.99% – 22.99%

ANNUAL FEE

$149

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

0%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

670 – 850

The Basics

The Priority might be the best Southwest Airlines travel card for its frequent jetsetters.  It has tons of Southwest benefits, including a $75 annual travel credit & travel insurance benefits.

Welcome Offer: After spending $1,000 in the first 3 months, new cardmembers earn 40,000 bonus points plus a companion pass.  Additionally, it offers members the opportunity to earn tier points towards the coveted elite status with Southwest.  Plus earn 3x points per $1 spent on dining (including takeout) during the first year.

Rewards & Redemption: Earn 2x points per $1 spent on flights, hotels, vacations, & car rentals booked through the airline.  Points can be redeemed for flights, gift cards, & merchandise.

Additional Perks: Get 7,500 bonus points every card anniversary.  Don’t forget the $75 annual travel credit plus 4 upgraded boardings/year!

Downside: High annual fee & subpar earnings rewards for non-travel purchase categories.

Choosing a Southwest Airlines Credit Card

Picking the best Southwest Airlines card involves an analysis of many things, such as preferences and budget.  First, figure out if your spending gets you enough rewards to offset the annual fee.  Second, do you fly enough with Southwest Airlines or you typically look for the cheapest airfare.  If so, then a general travel credit card, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred or even the Capital One Venture cards might be better options.

Finally, all the Southwest Rapid Rewards Cards offer the same welcome bonus and rewards earnings.  If you’re not in a rush for elite status or priority boarding, then consider the Rewards Plus rather than the Rewards Priority.