Southwest currently offers four different co-branded Visa credit cards – two personal and two business. Typically, they all offer the same sign up bonus for new applicants as well.
So what are the four different cards, and what are the differences between them?
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card - $99/year fee, but you receive 6,000 points annually starting at your first card member anniversary. As of right now these 6,000 bonus points is equal to $100 towards a future Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare, however, come March 31, 6,000 points will be equivalent to $85. As of right now this annual bonus equals the cost of keeping the card. No foreign transaction fees. And if you are interested in earning Southwest status, you’ll earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases put on the card up to 15,000 TQPs each calendar year.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card - Similar to the card above, but this is the business version. Same annual fee of $99/year, 6,000 points after each card member anniversary, no foreign transaction fees, and Tier Qualifying Points.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card - $69/year fee, but you only receive 3,000 points annually after after each card member anniversary. As of today, 3,000 points equals $50 towards a future Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare, but come March 31, it will only equal $42.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Business Card - Similar to the card above, but this is the business version. Same annual fee of $69/year and 3,000 points after each card member anniversary.
Which one should I apply for? First you need to decide if you want to apply for a personal card or business card. Then decide if you want the Premier or Plus version. This decision is based on a few different factors:
- If you will be using the card internationally, then go for the Premier card as there are no foreign transaction fees. The Plus card comes with 3% fees on all foreign purchases.
- If you care about earning Southwest status and need a slight boost, then go for the Premier card. With every $10,000 in purchases on the card you’ll earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points, up to 15,000 points. To qualify for A-List status you’ll need to earn 35,000 TQPs per calendar year and to qualify for A-List Preferred status you will need to earn 70,000 TQPs per calendar year.
- If you plan on only keeping the card for one year, then go for the Plus card. The annual fee is $30 less.
- If you plan on keeping the card for three or more years, then the annual fee and the anniversary bonus points pretty much equal each other out for the Premier vs. Plus version (this is assuming no increase/decrease in annual fee or another devaluation of points)
The terms of each offer do state, “Note: the bonus may be earned on one first-time personal and one first-time business Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card new account.” However, does anyone have experience getting the offer on both the personal Plus and Premier card or both the business Plus and Premier card? A little over two years ago I personally applied for the personal and business Plus card. I have since cancelled my business card and will soon be canceling my personal card.
Remember, the sign up bonus points from the credit card counts towards earning the Southwest Airlines companion pass. You can read more about this here.
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post your experience in the comments section to help other readers!
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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.