PROS / You automatically qualify for travel accident insurance and lost luggage reimbursement when you use your card to purchase your travel fare.
CONS / Unlike most travel miles credit cards, the annual fee is not waved for the first year.
VERDICT / The Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card lacks many of the travel benefits that the best airline miles credit cards provide.
The Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card from Chase Bank lets you earn points for every purchase you make, which you can then redeem for travel fare. This air miles credit card also lets you earn double points on specific purchases from Southwest and the hotel and car rental companies that it partners with.
New card members can take advantage of the nice sign-up bonus that this air miles credit card offers. If you spend $1,000 in the first three months of having the card, you will earn 25,000 bonus points, which is enough for one average round trip fare. However, there are a few restrictions that apply.
This card offers a few travel features, but not as many as the best airline miles credit cards we reviewed. You can check your first two bags for free when you use your card to purchase your flights through Southwest. Additionally, like the other travel rewards cards we reviewed, this card allows you to use your points to purchase international flights and there are no blackout dates.
When you use your Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card to purchase your flight or other travel fare, this card automatically gives you travel accident insurance, rental car insurance and lost luggage reimbursement while on your trip. Additionally, if you use your card to purchase certain products, purchase protection and extended product warranties automatically apply.
This card has a fairly low annual percentage rate for the purchases and balance transfer transactions you make. Its standard APR is 15.24% Variable, and it’s the same for any balance transfers you make. For cash advances, though, the rate is higher and you can expect to see a 19.24% Variable APR. This card also has a steep 29.99% penalty APR.
The Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Card comes with a $99 annual fee that isn’t waived for the first year like the fee for many other credit cards is. The other fees associated with this air miles credit card are on par with what you would find accompanying just about any other credit card. Cash advance transactions costa minimum $10 or 3% fee, and if you transfer a balance to this card, a minimum $5 or 3% fee is attached to each transaction. One nice break in fees for card members is that it doesn't charge you an international purchase fee, so you aren’t charged the 3% fee that many cards tack on when you use your card to make purchases when traveling overseas.
Chase can be contacted via phone or email for member support. For email, though, you must send it through your online account, which ensures that it’s sent securely to Chase. Additionally, you can access a number of frequently asked questions on its website to answer the general inquiries you have about your account.
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card has a few perks but doesn't provide you with as many travel benefits as the best air miles credit cards offer and also charges you an annual fee. However, the automatic coverage benefits that apply when you use your card to purchase your travel fare are useful to have.
Disclaimer: The Annual Percentage Rate or APR is reflective of the date this review was last updated.