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Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card Review 2017

History & Company Information

The establishment of Southwest Airlines is the stuff of Texas lore. Herb Kelleher, described by Fortune Magazine as a "Wild Turkey 101-drinking, chain-smoking founder and chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines" came up with the plan for the US low-cost carrier on the back of a cocktail napkin and put it into action in 1967.

The airline had a bumpy start with lawsuits from other carriers worried about the competition from an airline touting such low prices, and appeals from Kelleher to get permission to service Dallas, Houston and San Antonio airports. Finally winning with a decision by the United States Supreme Court, Southwest offered one-way tickets between the three airports for $20.

According to their website, Southwest Airline's purpose is "To connect People to what's important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel."

founder

Contact Information

Southwest Airlines Corporate Offices

Southwest Airlines Headquarters

2702 Love Field Dr.

Dallas, TX 75235

Phone: 1-214-792-4000

Twitter

Facebook

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Southwest Rapid Rewards

P.O. Box 36657,

Dallas, Texas 75235

Southwest Airlines Credit Card Services

Correspondence Address:

Chase Card Services

P.O. Box 15298

Wilmington, DE 19850

US: 1-800-792-0001

International: 1-302-594-8200

Southwest flights or Rapid Rewards accounts: 1-800-I-FLY-SWA.

Online Contact Form, customer Service will respond within four hours.

Twitter: @ChaseSupport

Southwest Credit Cards

Southwest Credit Cards

Southwest credit cards are an extension of its excellent low-fare flights and great customer service. The cards are perfect for those who fly Southwest Airlines frequently for either business or pleasure, and the Rapid Rewards Points can add up quickly translating to free trips, products and services, and even a Companion Pass allowing cardholders the opportunity to bring someone along on all their flights free for a year. If you live near a Southwest hub, this may be the travel credit card for you.

(You may also be interested in learning more about travel credit cards.)

Southwest offers four credit cards which are essentially two consumer cards and their business counterparts: Rapid Rewards Premier Card, Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card, Plus Credit Card and Plus Business Credit Card.

All Southwest credit cards are similar in their interest rates and fees. The real difference lies in the benefits and rewards.

Southwest Credit Cards APR, Fees & Penalties

Rapid Rewards Premier Card Rapid Rewards Plus Card Rapid Rewards Business Premier Card Rapid Rewards Business Plus Card
Purchase Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 16.99 - 23.99% 16.99 - 23.99% 16.99 - 23.99% 16.99 - 23.99%
Annual Fee $99 $69 $99 $69
Balance Transfer APR 16.99 -23.99% 16.99 - 23.99% 16.99 - 23.99% 16.99 - 23.99%
Balance Transfer Fee The greater of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer The greater of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer The greater of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer The greater of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer
Cash Advance APR 25.99% 25.99% 25.99% 25.99%
Cash Advance Fee The greater of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction The greater of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction The greater of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction The greater of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction
Foreign Transaction Fee None 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars None 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Late Payment Fee Based on balance:
$99 or less: Up to $15
$100-$229: Up to $27
$250 or more: Up to $37
Based on balance:
$99 or less: Up to $15
$100-$229: Up to $27
$250 or more: Up to $37
Based on balance:
$99 or less: $15
$100-$249: $29
$250 or more: $39
Based on balance:
$99 or less: $15
$100-$249: $29
$250 or more: $39
Retuned Payment Fee Up to $37 Up to $37 $39 $39
Default APR for Late or Returned Payment N/A N/A Up to 29.99% Up to 29.99%

Rewards & Benefits

All Southwest credit cards offer cardholders a point-accumulating rewards program called Rapid Rewards. The points are unlimited and do not expire.

Rewards Points

  • 2 points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airlines flights, inflight purchases, gift cards, and Southwest Vacations packages, as well as participating hotel/rental car partners.
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Cardmembers receive Card Anniversary points.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions when Southwest Airlines tickets are redeemed with points.

Redeem Points For:

  • Southwest Airlines Flights
  • International Flights
  • Hotels
  • Car Rentals
  • Online Merchandise including time-sensitive sales
  • Gift Cards from 115 retailers using as little as 3,000 points
  • Rapid Rewards Access Events including Live In The Vineyard weekends, Ultimate Spring Training Packages, VIP Ski Retreats, and Celebrity Chef Dinners.
  • Companion Pass:A companion pass allows you to take one person with you for free every time you fly Southwest Airlines for one calendar year plus the remaining time of the year the points were earned. Qualifying points must be earned by either:
  • - Taking 100 qualifying one-way Southwest Airlines flights
  • - Collecting 110,000 Rapid Rewards Premier Card qualifying points

southwest stat

Introductory Offers:

  • Consumer credit cards: Spend $1,000 on your card within first three months and get 40,000 points.
  • Business credit cards: Spend $3,000 on your card within first three months and get 60,000 points.
  • Rapid Rewards Dining: Earn up to 1,000 extra points in first 30 days by eating at restaurants in Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver and Orlando.

Other Benefits

  • Bags fly free
  • No change fees for tickets
  • Promotions such as friend referral: 10,000 bonus points for each friend you refer who receives a Southwest credit card up to 50,000 points per year.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Cards

Tier Qualifying Points

Cardmembers can earn up to 15,000 tier qualifying points to achieve A-List or A-List Preferred Status.

A-List Status

Qualifying points must be earned in one calendar year by either:

  • Taking 25 qualifying one-way Southwest Airlines flights
  • Collecting 35,000 Rapid Rewards Premier Card qualifying points

A-List Status Benefits

  • Priority boarding
  • Priority check-in/security lane access
  • 25% more Rapid Rewards points earned on each flight
  • Free same-day standby
  • Dedicated phone line

A-List Preferred Status

Qualifying points must be earned in one calendar year by either:

  • Taking 50 qualifying one-way Southwest Airlines flights
  • Collecting 70,000 Rapid Rewards Premier Card qualifying points

A-List Preferred Status Benefits

  • Priority boarding
  • Priority check-in/security lane access
  • 100% more Rapid Rewards points earned on each flight
  • Free same-day standby
  • Dedicated phone line
  • Free inflight WiFi

Other Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fee and save 3% on international purchases
  • Cardmember Anniversary Points: 6,000

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card VS Plus Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card VS Plus Credit Card

The differences in benefits are the same for both consumer and business credit cards.

Premier Credit Card Plus Credit Card
Anniversary Points: 6,000 Anniversary Points: 3,000
Foreign Transaction Fee: None Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
Annual Fee: $99 Annual Fee: $69
Can Earn Tier Qualifying Points: Yes Can Earn Tier Qualifying Points: No

11 Little-Known Facts About Southwest Airlines:

Southwest Credit Cards Account Information

Southwest Credit Cards Account Information

Which bank is the card issued through?

The Southwest credit cards are issued through Chase Bank USA, a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chase Bank is very financially secure.

Southwest Credit Limits

Credit limits for Southwest credit cards are based on the creditworthiness of the applicant. Signature accounts offer at least $5,000 and Platinum accounts will be no less than $2,000

How can I increase my limit?

You can apply to increase the limit on your Southwest credit card by followingthis link here.

drinking for free image

How do you apply for a Southwest credit card?

Applying online for a Southwest credit card is relatively easy. Just open the application form for the Southwest card you want, fill out the information (including your Social Security Number and financial information). Submit your form and keep your confirmation number.

Eligibility Criteria/Qualification Requirements for a Southwest Credit Card

To be eligible for a Southwest credit card, you must be 18 years or older and live in the U.S.

To qualify for a Southwest credit card, you will need really excellent credit with a FICO score in the high-600s to mid-700s, as well as a solid credit history, good debt-to-income ratio, etc. Read more about good credit scores here.

How user friendly is the mobile app to manage my account?

The Chase Mobile App has received great reviews from users across the board. Using the app, customers can:

  • View credit card balance and activity
  • Make payments

How long does it take to get your Southwest credit card?

the peanut airline

You should receive an email about the status of your application within four days of applying, but the card will not arrive until about 7-10 days after.

How can I check the status of my credit card application?

You can check the status of your application by calling Chase Bank at 1- 800-432-3117 and providing the confirmation number you received after you submitted your online application.

Southwest Credit Card Payment Options

Southwest Credit Card Payment Options

What are the minimum payments?

Your minimum payment is found using the following equation:

Either $25 or 1% of new balance

  • interest charges
  • Any fees

= Minimum payment

Where and how can I make my payments?

Where and how can I make my payments?

Online: Using debit/credit cards or a one-time or recurring ETF through your bank at youraccount.

screenshot

Automated phone service: using debit or credit cards at 1-800-436-7958

Mail check or money order to:

Cardmember Services P.O. Box 94014 Palatine, IL 60094-4014

Pay at aChase Bank Branch

Pros

  • Great rewards for frequent Southwest travellers
  • Great sign-up and annual bonus points
  • Companion Pass
  • Free baggage on flights
  • Automatic car rental and travel insurance and purchase protection

Cons

  • Need excellent credit history & score
  • Annual fees

What are the customer reviews on the credit card?

There are many customers who really enjoy the benefits of having a Southwest credit card, but some are unhappy that they are not receiving more incentives for remaining loyal cardholders. Frequent fliers are pleased with the Rapid Rewards Points and savings they receive as a Southwest credit cardholder as well as their experiences with Southwest and Chase customer service.

Common Complaints about Southwest Credit Cards

Common Complaints about Southwest Credit Cards

As with most credit cards, online complaints are often because an applicant was denied a card due to their low credit score or bad credit history.

See How to Choose the Best Credit Cards.

Recent complaints have come from applicants who were instantly approved online for Southwest credit cards, but then were unable to book flights because they were not given their credit card number. It seems a recent promotion applies to flights booked online at the moment. Customers are very confused about whether this is a Southwest or Chase issue.

Is it worth it?

Southwest credit cards are definitely worth it if you are a frequent Southwest Airlines flyer. Even with the annual fee, if you earn enough Rapid Rewards Points, the benefits well outweigh the drawbacks. Plus, Southwest has a cool image and is known to invest in a fun, party atmosphere. If those things are important to you as well, then this is the card for you.

FAQs

  • How can I cancel my card?

    You can cancel your Southwest credit card by calling Chase Bank at 1- 800-432-3117.

  • What can I use my Southwest credit card for?

    Your Southwest credit card can be used for any product or service that accepts VISA, however you can accumulate double the points if you use it for Southwest Airlines flights and partner hotels/car rentals.

  • Where and what stores can I use my Southwest credit card?

    Southwest credit cards can be used anywhere that accepts Visa.

  • Can I use my credit card outside the US?

    Southwest credit cards can be used internationally. Rapid Rewards Premier cards have no fee for international transactions, but Rapid Rewards Plus cards charge 3% per transaction.

  • How long does it take Southwest to refund my credit card?

    If you make a payment before 8 pm EST, your credit card will be refunded the same day.

  • How can I check my Southwest credit card balance?

    Southwest credit card balances can be checked online by logging into your account.

  • Can I get cash advance and are there any related fees?

    Cash advances are not offered on all cards and only given to those most creditworthy. If your credit card offers cash advances, the APR is 25.99% and the fee is the greater of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction.

  • Can I pay for my Southwest credit card with a gift, a different credit card? Or PayPal?

    You cannot pay your Southwest credit card with a gift card unless it is a prepaid credit card. You can pay with your debit/credit card, check, money order or cash (if you pay at a Chase Bank branch). You cannot use PayPal to pay your credit card bill directly.

  • Can I use my Southwest credit card without the card?

    You only need your credit card number to make online purchases or to book a flight.

  • How to add an authorized user to Southwest credit card?

    Authorized users can be added to your Southwest credit card by logging into your online account.

  • Are there any upgrades on Southwest credit card?

    If you have a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card, you can apply to upgrade your account to a Premier credit card. The annual fee is $30 more but you can earn more rewards points and there is no international transaction fees.

  • How soon can I use my Southwest credit card once I receive it?

    You can use your Southwest credit card right away.

  • How to contact Southwest credit card services?

    You can contact Chase Bank credit card services at 1-800-432-3117.

  • How to report stolen Southwest credit card?

    If your Southwest credit card is lost or stolen, contact Chase Bank immediately at 1-800-432-3117, 24/7.

  • Can someone cosign for a Southwest credit card?

    Like most credit card companies these days, you cannot use a cosigner to apply for a credit card, but you can add an authorized user after you get a card.

  • Can I use my card online? Will I be charged for shipping if I use my card online?

    You can use your Southwest credit card online anywhere that accepts Visa, but there are no shipping discounts.

  • What credit score do I need to get approval for a card?

    Your credit score should be in the high-600s to mid-700s.

  • What credit score do I have to maintain so my account is not closed?

    Chase Bank will periodically check your credit score so you should try and maintain (at least) the score you had when you received the card.

  • Will my credit score drop when my account gets closed?

    Not necessarily. If you have paid your credit card off and then closed your account, your credit score should be fine. However, if your account is in default, you can expect to see a drop in your score.

  • Which credit bureaus does Southwest credit card report to?

    Chase Bank reports to all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

  • Can I build my credit with the Southwest credit card?

    A Southwest credit card is probably not the best credit-building card. Branded credit cards always have higher interest rates and can negatively affect your credit if you do not pay them off every month.

  • Is there a credit insurance program and how will it cover me if I lose my job?

    Chase Bank does offer lots of insurance coverage for Southwest cards, but not a credit insurance program. To see all insurance coverage, click here.

  • Can I have two credit cards from Southwest at the same time?

    Some applicants have applied for and received both Southwest's Rapid Rewards Premier and Plus cards in order to get the large first-time bonus points.

  • Can I transfer balance from my Southwest credit card to another?

    No, you can only transfer a balance from another credit card to your Southwest card.

  • Is it hard to get a Southwest's credit card?

    You do really need to have excellent credit to receive a Southwest credit card.

  • How long does it take to receive the card once I have been approved for it?

    You will receive an email letting you know if you have been approved within four days of your online application, but the card will take 7-10 days to come in the mail.

  • How do I earn points with Southwest credit cards?

    You can receive large rewards points with the introductory and promotional offers from Southwest, as well as these mainstays:

    • 2 points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airlines flights, inflight purchases, gift cards, and Southwest Vacations packages, as well as participating hotel/rental car partners.
    • 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • 3,000-6,000 Anniversary points
  • How do I redeem Southwest credit card points?

    You can redeem your Southwest credit card points through your online account on the southwest website.

  • Can I get a Southwest credit card with bad credit?

    The short answer is no, but never say never. As it stands, most people need a credit score in the high-600s to mid-700s to qualify for a Southwest credit card.

  • Does southwest credit card cover rental car insurance?

    Yes, Southwest credit cards offer an Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver covering theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.

  • Do southwest credit card points count towards companion pass?

    Yes, you can earn a Companion Pass by flying on Southwest for 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 Qualifying Points in one calendar year. Every $1 you spend on your your Southwest credit card that is not on Southwest products, services or partners earns you 1 point.

  • When do the Southwest points expire?

    Southwest reward points will not expire as long as you continue to use your credit card. If you have not used your credit card in 24 months, Southwest will cancel your points.

  • How many rapid reward points do I need for a free flight?

    Earning enough points for a free flight is subject to many factors including fare, destination, time, day of travel, demand, class, redemption rate, etc.

  • How long does it take southwest points to post?

    Your points will appear up to 30 days after your statement cycle date.

  • How to add past flights to southwest rapid rewards?

    You can add past flights points to your member account for up to 12 months by visiting the Southwest website.

  • How to transfer rapid rewards points to someone else?

    You can transfer your Southwest rewards points to another member or to a Southwest charity through the southwest website.

  • How to apply rapid rewards to southwest flight?

    You can apply your Rapid Rewards Points to any flight you book through Southwest Airlines online.


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