With the right planning, travelers can benefit from this budget airline, its loyalty program and Southwest credit cards. But whether Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card is right for you depends on what you want out of your card. There are several options to consider when looking for a travel card, including cards not co-branded with an airline.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card vs. the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card has many of the same benefits as its sibling card with a lower annual fee. You’ll get the same welcome bonus, and all your points count toward a Companion Pass. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus offers a slightly lower rewards rate of 2X points on Southwest purchases, but the other 2X categories are similar: local transit and commuting, internet, cable, phone, select streaming, and Southwest hotel and car rental partners.
The Rapid Rewards Plus card also makes for a less appealing international travel card, as it charges a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. However, if your travel plans only include domestic travel, the card’s lower $69 annual fee may make it a better choice.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier vs the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a flat-rate travel card that helps cardholders earn miles and redeem them for purchases with its travel partners. It offers much more flexible redemption options than its counterpart, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card.
If you redeem your points on Southwest flights for as much value as possible, the Rapid Rewards Premier card is an easy decision. But if you want redeem your miles with as much flexibility as possible on multiple airlines, the Capital One Venture Rewards card is a better bet.
Best card to pair with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card
Because Southwest doesn’t have any airline transfer partners, Rapid Premier cardholders have few redemption options. Alternatively, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can transfer points at a 1:1 rate to many hotel and airline partners. If you enjoy flying Southwest but require flexibility in your travel plans, the Sapphire Preferred is a good choice for pairing. Sapphire Preferred cardholders also get a 25 percent boost to points redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.