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Review: The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card – Is It The Best Value?

Updated Jul 01, 2021 | Published Jul 01, 202012 min read

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Min Credit Level Good
Annual Fee $69
Regular APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
At a glance

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card will make your flights more rewarding. You’ll get 2X points per dollar on purchases made with Southwest Airlines and its Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, and 1X point everywhere else.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

Our Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card three out of five Stars. For a relatively small annual fee, you’ll be able to make your traveling experiences more rewarding, and earn the chance to bring along a friend for a whole year. But it doesn’t quite stack up to the other cards in the Southwest Airlines family.

Why We Like It

  • 2X points per dollar for Southwest Airlines and Rapid Rewards purchases
  • 3,000 annual bonus points awarded on your account opening anniversary
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months; 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
  • Expedites earning the Companion Pass
  • No blackout dates for award flights

Why It Could Be Better

  • Foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Doesn’t offer much for the annual fee, compared to the other Southwest cards
  • Limited benefits
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$69
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is one of many cards offered through the airline. It’s the lowest annual fee card, but therefore carries the fewest benefits.

It still can be somewhat useful. It’ll help you earn a Companion Pass faster, which is an additional ticket for one person of your choosing to fly with you for an entire year.

Although they have higher annual fees, the other Southwest Airlines cards offer better perks, including travel credits that bring their effective annual fees down.

So for around the same price as this card, you could gain better perks and a travel credit, all the while earning extra points towards a Companion Pass. It’s a good idea to check out the other options before settling on this one.

Here’s an overview of all the cards co-branded with Southwest Airlines:

Card Annual Fee Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (This review) $69
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 3,000 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (Review) $99
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 6,000 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Review) $149
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 7,500 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card (Review) $99
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 6,000 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card $199
  • 3X points at Southwest and partners
  • 9,000 anniversary bonus points
Insider tip

If you prefer a different airline or don’t want to be tied to one at all, take a look at our favorite travel cards.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Travel through Southwest: You’ll earn the most points from purchases of Southwest flights and with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners (2X per dollar). That’s how your card will reward you best, so as long as you can’t find a better price elsewhere, be sure to book all of your traveling needs through Southwest.
  • Get the Companion Pass: Once you earn 125,000 points or go on 100 one-way flights, you’ll be able to bring a friend with you for a full year. That is a pretty high cap, but the intro bonus of 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months; 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year could help you get there quicker.
  • Happy anniversary: Southwest will award you 3,000 bonus points every year on your cardmember anniversary.
  • Redeem your points for airfare: You’ll find the best value for your points when you redeem them for airfare through Southwest.
  • Watch the fee when you’re abroad: This card has a foreign transaction fee, so if you plan on leaving the country, you’ll be responsible for 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars when making purchases overseas.
Insider tip

If you do have plans to leave the U.S., there are other travel cards available with no foreign transaction fee, including the other Southwest cards above.

The Rewards

You can earn 2X points per dollar for all purchases made through Southwest Airlines, or with Southwest’s hotel and car rental partners. You’ll get 1X point for everything else.

If you redeem your points through Southwest they’ll likely be worth around 1.3 cents, or more. At that rate, you’ll get a cash back equivalent of around 2.6% for the 2X categories and about 1.3% everywhere else.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 2X points per dollar on eligible purchases from:
    • Southwest Airlines
    • Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partners
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months; 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year

The points you earn — whether you’re spending with Southwest or anyone else — will also count towards a Southwest Companion Pass. However, you’ll need to either fly 100 one-way flights or earn 125,000 points in order to unlock it.

That’s a tall order, but if you manage to reach it, every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight, you’ll get a free ticket for a friend or family member. You’ll have the opportunity to take someone along for the remainder of the year you hit the spending cap, and for the full duration of the following calendar year.

The welcome bonus with this card is pretty great, and has a relatively low spending requirement to reach.

There are no limits to the points you can earn.

Redeeming

Your points, on average, are worth about 1.3 cents according to our research, but you might be able to find more (or less) value depending on the flight you’re using them to book. Just like ticket prices, redemption values may fluctuate.

You have a few options available when it comes to how to use your points. You can redeem them for:

  • Booking Southwest Airlines flights and international flights on global carriers
  • Booking hotels and rental cars through Rapid Rewards partners
  • Merchandise, gift cards, and exclusive cardmember experiences

You’ll get the best value when redeeming for flights through Southwest or its travel partners. There are no blackout dates for Southwest award flights.

We found most award flights produce a point value of around 1.3 cents, which isn’t too high but it’s still pretty good.

Southwest Travel Partners

See the travel partners right here.

Rental Car Partners Hotel Partners
Alamo Southwest Hotels
AVIS Best Western
Hertz Radisson Rewards
Budget Choice Hotels
Dollar Car Rental Rocketmiles
National Car Rental MGM Resorts International
Payless Car Rental Mariott Bonvoy
Thrifty Car Rental World of Hyatt

Redeeming Rapid Rewards Points for Flights

Take a look at a few point value calculations we’ve done for different flights, which all come out to around 1.3 cents:

Flight Cash Point Cost Point Value
Rochester to Denver $481.48 36,417 + $5.60 1.32 cents
Cleveland to Philadelphia $508.48 38,523 + $5.60 1.32 cents
Orlando to Chicago $516.48 39,147 + $5.60 1.32 cents
Houston to Phoenix $578.48 43,983 + $5.60 1.32 cents
Chicago to Indianapolis $242.48 17,775 + $5.60 1.36 cents

How you redeem your points will affect their value, making them worth more or less. If you’re planning your trip far enough ahead, you may be able to wait to book and look for a better deal. If you can’t find a good point value, consider paying with your card and saving your points for later.

The Benefits

The benefits attached to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card are minimal unfortunately, but you will gain some useful travel and shopping protections. Some cards will be issued with expanded Visa Signature benefits, while others will be issued the less impressive Visa Platinum benefits. Check the Guide to Benefits that comes with your card to make sure you understand which benefits your specific account has.

  • Anniversary points: As an added bonus, Southwest will give you 3,000 points every year on your account’s anniversary.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Provides coverage for collision damage and theft of eligible rented vehicles, when you decline the rental company’s own insurance
  • Roadside Dispatch: Should you ever break down while driving, you can get help like towing and fuel delivery. Third-party fees will apply, however.
  • Purchase Protection: Your new purchases are covered from damage and theft for 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Get an additional year of manufacturer’s warranty on eligible products (if the warranty is three years or less).
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If you or a family member suffers damage to your luggage or the carrier loses your bags, you’re covered up to $3,000 per person.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: If your luggage is delayed for more than six hours you’ll be reimbursed for up to $100 per day, for three days, so you can make essential purchases like toiletries.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: You’ll be covered for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling for no additional cost, up to $500,000 ($250,000 for Visa Platinum).
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services: Get help coordinating medical, legal, and travel services while you’re away from home (Visa Signature only).

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable 15.99% - 22.99% Variable 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$69 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
Up to 29.99% None Up to $38

Take note of the foreign transaction fee, which is rare to find on airline cards. If you’re going to be traveling outside the country, it’d be a good idea to consider a travel card that doesn’t carry a fee.

Insider tip

There are other cards in the Southwest Airlines family that you may wish to look at first, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Review).

Its annual fee is a bit higher, but it offers a $75 annual travel credit that effectively drops it to $74.

That’s pretty close to what the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card asks, but the Premier offers more cost-saving benefits. It also doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, so you won’t have to worry about using your card overseas.

The Bottom Line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card can be pretty rewarding, if you fly with Southwest Airlines. The bulk of its value comes from the ability to expedite the unlocking of a Companion Pass, and earning more points to fund your travels.

It’s probably best used as a beginner travel card, as it doesn’t have very many benefits like travel credits or priority boarding. However, you’d be better off choosing the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Review), which offers more for your money.

But if you like the Plus card and start to travel more often, you could upgrade to better cards in the Southwest Airlines family. For a more sizable annual fee, you’ll get some handy benefits to make your traveling experiences more enjoyable and cost effective.

How Do I Apply for the Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card?

Just follow the link below. You’ll be able to securely get to the credit card issuer’s site where you can fill out an application. You’ll typically hear back instantly if you’ve been approved or not.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card?

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is designed for people with good credit.

If you’re within 670–739 for FICO or 700–749 for VantageScore, you’re considered to have good credit.

But having good credit doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to get the card. When deciding if you’re eligible for a card or not, credit card issuers take more into account than just your credit scores, like income.

You’ll have a better chance the higher your scores, but even people within the recommended range might not get the card. And, people outside the range still have a shot.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply (19 in Alabama/Nebraska, 21 in Puerto Rico)
  • Personal identifying information: Birth date, Social Security number
  • Address and contact information: Email, phone number, address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, source of income, monthly mortgage/rent payment
  • Rapid Rewards account number, if available
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$69
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Frequently Asked Questions

Include your Rapid Rewards account number when you apply and your credit card account should be linked to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account. Otherwise, you’ll need to contact Chase card services in order to connect your Rapid Rewards Plus card to your Rapid Rewards account.

Take a look at some of the places you’ll earn Rapid Rewards points, and how to get the best value for them.

What are my Southwest points worth?

On average, your points are worth around 1–1.5 cents. Based on our research, you’ll often find a 1.3 cent value when redeeming through Southwest Airlines, or its travel partners.

Do Southwest points expire?

No, your points won’t expire.

What’s the annual fee of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card?

The annual fee for this card is $69. There are other cards in the Southwest Airlines family with higher fees but greater benefits.

For example, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Review) has an annual fee of $149 but also features an annual $75 travel credit. So that effectively drops the fee to $74, putting it on par with the Rapid Rewards Plus card’s fee but offering stronger perks.

You might find similar situations with some of the other Southwest Airlines credit cards.

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Alternatives to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$149
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks and WiFi.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Why We Picked It

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (Review) is perhaps the best personal credit card in the Southwest Airlines family.

It features stronger benefits than the Rapid Rewards Plus, but has a higher annual fee. However, one of those benefits, along with a larger anniversary point bonus and 20% back on in-flight purchases, is a $75 annual travel credit. That credit effectively drops the Priority’s annual fee to $74.

That’s pretty close to what the Rapid Rewards Plus card asks, but the Priority offers much more. The reward programs are the same, so all of the redemption options outlined above still apply here, which means you’d be getting a better card for practically the same price.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 2X points per dollar on eligible purchases from:
    • Southwest Airlines
    • Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partners
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months; 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year
Key Features
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit: Receive a $75 annual travel credit to use to book your flights, Rapid Rewards hotel stays, or car rentals each year.
  • 7,500 anniversary points: Every year you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points.
  • Four upgraded boardings: Snag an A1–A15 seat, without the hassle. Each anniversary year, you’ll be reimbursed for up to four Upgraded Boardings for A1 through A15 seats. The price of an Upgraded Boarding varies depending on your flight, but usually costs between $30 and $50.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases: You’ll receive 20% back on in-flight Southwest purchases like drinks, meals, entertainment, and WiFi.
  • No blackout dates or restrictions: There are no blackout dates or restrictions on award flights.
  • Travel protections: Rental car insurance, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and travel and emergency assistance
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $149
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$99
  • Regular APR18.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.
  • Earn 6X points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2X points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1X point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year automatically after your account anniversary.
  • Get 10% of your points back every time you redeem.
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights.
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to three traveling companions.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food.
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card.
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $99 annual fee.
Why We Picked It

The JetBlue Plus Card is another example of a co-branded airline travel card.

It features higher rewards than the Rapid Rewards Plus card, and is focused on JetBlue. So your points can be earned and redeemed for JetBlue flights, where they could be worth anywhere from 1–1.5 cents in most cases. You’ll get more useful benefits here, like a big in-flight discount and 10% point refund when you redeem for award flights.

It’s hard to say exactly what kind of shopping and travel protections are attached, but they’ll probably end up being similar to the Rapid Rewards card. If you prefer JetBlue, this card can be pretty rewarding and would save you some money.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 6X points per dollar on JetBlue purchases
  • 2X points per dollar at:
    • Restaurants
    • Grocery stores
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 60,000 bonus points for paying the annual fee and spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Key Features
  • Anniversary points: Get 5,000 points on the anniversary of your account opening.
  • 50% savings on in-flight food and drink: As long as your account is in good standing, you’ll save 50% on your in-flight drinks and snacks.
  • 10% point refund for award flights: You’ll get 10% of your points back if you redeem them for a JetBlue award flight.
  • Free first checked bag: You and up to three companions will get your first checked bags free of charge.
  • $100 statement credit: Every calendar year you purchase a JetBlue vacation package worth $100 or more, you’ll receive a $100 statement credit.
  • Purchase APR: 18.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months (for balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening), then 18.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $99
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Why We Picked It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) is an example of a general travel card, not tied to any airline.

The main focus of this card is the reward program, which includes some excellent redemption options. The bonus categories differ quite a bit from the Plus card, and their redemption options are far from equal. The Sapphire Preferred earns on all things travel, and isn’t consigned to a single airline. There’s also a dining category, and you’ll earn 5X points per dollar on Lyft rides.

Through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, your points will be worth 1.25 cents for travel. That’s pretty comparable to what you’d get with the Rapid Rewards card if you redeem through Southwest Airlines. But with the Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners for a much higher value, potentially 2 cents or more, giving you a 4% cash back equivalent or more.

You’ll also gain the Shop through Chase and Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection benefits, both of which could provide more savings than what the Rapid Rewards Plus card offers.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on
    • Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for:
    • Travel
    • Restaurants
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening

Chase boasts a very rewarding program for point redemption, called Chase Ultimate Rewards. While you’ll get a slight bonus (25%) to your point value if you redeem for travel expenses through that program, you can find an even better deal by transferring your points to Chase’s travel partners.

And, one of Chase’s travel partners is Southwest, so even if you choose this card over the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card, you would still be able to redeem your points for Southwest airfare.

Key Features
  • 1:1 point transfer: 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points. The travel and hotel partners include Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, United, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG Rewards Club.
  • DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. That’ll get you free delivery and reduced service fees for orders over $12.
  • Referral bonus points: You can invite friends to apply for the Sapphire Preferred, and for every friend who’s approved you’ll get 20,000 bonus points. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus points per year in this way.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is provided by Chase, and includes benefits at over 1,000 locations around the world.
  • Shop through Chase: Cardholders can get more points at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace.
  • Chase Offers: Receive exclusive offers from a variety of different merchants through Chase.
  • Credit Journey: Monitor your VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on your TransUnion credit report, and get advice to improve your credit.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
  • Travel protections: Trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, primary auto rental collision damage waiver, and roadside dispatch
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Regular APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) is a high-end card that first popularized the high fee, high reward travel card trend.

The annual fee is far greater than what the Rapid Rewards Plus asks, but its benefits far outshine that card as well.

Don’t be intimidated by the large fee; the Platinum Card features more than a few annual credits that can set it off quite a lot.

Not only that, but you can earn over double the rewards when you book through Amex Travel. You can also get more for your points when you transfer them to Amex’s travel partners. You could see 2 cents or more, which is far better than the 1.3 cents you’d often get from the Rapid Rewards card.

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms apply.

Rewards
Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar (starting 1/1/21, on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year) on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through American Express Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months

If you can redeem your points for 2 cents or more, you could earn a minimum 10% cash back equivalent in the 5X categories. To do so, transfer your points to Amex’s travel partners and look for a great deal.

Key Features
  • Global Lounge Collection: Enroll for complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get up to $15 in Uber Cash per month, plus a bonus $20 in December; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • $200 hotel credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid hotels booked through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts; must pay with the Platinum card.
  • $300 Equinox credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $300 in statement credits annually with Equinox (up to $25 per month), for Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox, or Equinox+ membership fees.
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $240 in statement credits annually for digital entertainment (up to $20 per month), only for eligible purchases from Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • CLEAR credit: Up to $179 in statement credits annually for CLEAR biometric security, enough for a membership.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • Uber VIP status: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get Uber VIP status where available.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four and a half years)
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: Daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, amenities valued at $100, and more at eligible properties
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Resy provides access to exclusive reservations and dining experiences.
  • Point transfer: To a selection of airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty; Return Protection; Baggage Insurance Plan; Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance; Trip Delay Insurance; Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $695

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
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  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$69
  • Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card your go-to travel companion? How do you like it? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more 5 Southwest Credit Card Offers That Could Help You Fly for Free

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Written by

Evan Zimmer

Evan graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism and creative writing. In his professional writing career, he strives for precision and comprehension in his work. He’s written news articles, blog posts, and copy, working across a slew of different mediums. With in-depth research and great care for accuracy and detail, he now works to bring you the most up-to-date credit information.

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts are accurate and/or questions are answered.

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