Key takeaways

  • The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers a good earning structure and solid benefits for travelers who enjoy flying with Southwest Airlines.
  • Earning the card's generous welcome bonus is relatively easy, and it more than covers the cost of the card's low annual fee.
  • This card also comes with various travel benefits, an annual points bonus and more.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is a good card for consumers who prefer traveling with Southwest and want to start earning rewards toward travel expenses. You’ll be able to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points which can be redeemed for airfare, hotel stays, gift cards and more.

The card also has many other solid benefits for frequent Southwest flyers, such as a low annual fee and a high welcome bonus. Even though it may not have as many benefits as some premier travel cards, it’s still a valuable card for occasional travelers. Keep reading to learn more about the rewards rates and other benefits offered with this card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card top benefits

Welcome bonus

One of the biggest benefits of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card is that it offers a chance to earn a very nice welcome bonus. Currently, you can earn a earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is an easy spending threshold to meet and an easy way to earn bonus points toward future traveling.

Earns elevated rewards on spending

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card, you’ll earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points on every purchase you make. These points can be redeemed for flights, gift cards, merchandise and more.

Although the card earns a standard 1X points per dollar spent on most purchases, you can earn additional points for purchases made in specific categories. For example, you’ll earn 2X Rapid Rewards points on every dollar spent through Southwest Airlines. Hotel stays and car rentals booked through Southwest or their affiliated partners also earn 2X points per dollar. And you can earn 2X points on local transit and commuting options (including rideshares) and cable, phone, internet and select streaming services.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card annual benefits

Low annual fee

This card offers the lowest annual fee of any Southwest card at $69 per year. Plus, the annual fee can easily be offset by other benefits of the card, such as the anniversary bonus.

Anniversary bonus

Each year on your account anniversary, you’ll earn 3,000 bonus points. According to Bankrate’s latest point valuations, Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents apiece. That means the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus anniversary bonus is worth about $45, which nearly covers the $69 annual fee all on its own.

Companion Pass qualifying points boost

The Southwest Companion Pass is a valuable benefit that allows one person to fly with you for free anytime you fly on Southwest (taxes and fees apply). To get the Companion Pass, you must earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus helps you earn this bonus faster by offering a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each calendar year.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card travel benefits

  • As you might expect, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card comes with solid travel benefits. For starters, the card offers a lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger. While nobody wants to deal with lost or damaged luggage, it is nice to know that you have some coverage when you use your card to pay for your flights and baggage fees.
  • When you use your card to pay for your flights and baggage, you also receive baggage delay insurance. Worth up to $100 per day for three days, this benefit can help you pay for things like clothes and toiletries when your bags are delayed by the carrier for more than six hours. When you fly Southwest, keep in mind that your first two checked bags are always free (size and weight limits apply) — which can save you big bucks on checked baggage fees.
  • With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card, you also receive two EarlyBird Check-In boarding upgrades each year. These are valued at up to $50 and can help you board the plane earlier, helping you to better choose a seat of your liking.
  • You’ll get 25% back on any in-flight purchases you make with your Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card. This comes in the form of a statement credit that appears within one to two billing cycles.
  • The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card also comes with an auto rental collision damage waiver. Simply use the card to charge the entire rental and receive secondary insurance on most rentals covering theft and collision damage.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card additional benefits

Purchase and extended warranty protection

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card offers great purchase protection on items bought with the card. If an item you purchased with the card becomes damaged or stolen within 120 days after purchase, you’re eligible for a reimbursement of up to $500 per event and up to $50,000 per account. Additionally, the card’s extended warranty protection provides an extra year of warranty coverage on items purchased with your card that come with an eligible U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.

Valuable rewards redemptions

Points earned with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card can be redeemed for flights on Southwest Airlines to anywhere they fly. Points can also be redeemed for international travel though Southwest’s airline partners, as well as hotel and resort partners like Best Western and Marriott Bonvoy. You can also redeem points for gift cards, event tickets, merchandise, travel experiences and more.

How to maximize your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card benefits

To maximize the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card’s benefits, be sure to earn the generous welcome bonus. For a limited time, by meeting the $4,000 spending requirement in the first three months, you’ll earn a Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25, plus 30,000 points — which is worth up to $450 when based on Bankrate’s 1.5 cent per point valuation. That means the welcome bonus alone covers the $69 annual fee more than 6 times, which is pretty impressive.

Using the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal can also help you earn additional rewards and take advantage of special discounts. Some merchants may offer up to 5X points or more for every dollar spent through the portal.

Consider taking advantage of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining program and linking your Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card to further maximize your rewards earning potential. Although you don’t need a Southwest card to participate, you can earn up to 3X points per dollar at participating restaurants. Additional bonus points are also available when you sign up for the program.

While it may take some work, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card can also give you a leg up on obtaining the valuable Southwest Companion Pass. With the Rapid Rewards Plus card, you’ll get a 10,000 point boost each calendar year toward earning the 135,000 qualifying points needed to obtain the Companion Pass.

The bottom line

For those who prefer to travel with Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card is one of the best airline credit cards on the market. You’ll earn 2X points per dollar on Southwest purchases, local transit (including rideshare purchases) and more. And you can redeem those points for flights, gift cards, merchandise and other valuable experiences.

The card also offers many other useful benefits for cardholders. The generous welcome bonus and a 3,000-point anniversary bonus help to offset the card’s low annual fee. In addition to several travel and purchase protections, all the points you earn can be used to save money on your next trip.