Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card from Chase offers a generous 6,000 point anniversary bonus each cardmember year along with perks like 20% back on in-flight purchases, 3,000 bonus points after your account anniversary, and 2x points on every $1 spent on Southwest Airlines purchases with no limits. This comprehensive guide covers the Plus Card’s earning potential, available benefits beyond just travel, steps to get approved including what credit score is recommended, and how it compares to the other Southwest consumer cards.

An Overview of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

As one of Chase’s three co-branded Southwest Airlines credit card options, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card provides bonus points on Southwest purchases to quickly earn reward flight credit. While not as premium as Southwest’s Priority and Premier card products, it does come with the lowest annual fee at $69 (waived the first year).

Cardholders enjoy perks like

  • 2x Points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases
  • 6,000 Anniversary bonus points each cardmember year
  • 3,000 Points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Double airline points accelerate earning frequent flyer credit on Southwest. The yearly anniversary points help negate the low annual fee, providing longer-term value in holding the card after initially signing up.

Maximizing the Signup Bonus and Anniversary Points

New applicants can qualify for up to 9,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points in the first cardmember year between the:

  • 50,000 Point signup bonus after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • 6,000 Point anniversary bonus

Just the 50,000 point promotion alone delivers enough for several domestic roundtrip Southwest reward flights by meeting the reasonable minimum spend requirement. Combine that with the annual anniversary points to offset the annual fee outlay year after year.

How to Earn 2x Points on Southwest Purchases

Aside from the signup and annual bonuses, the real centrepiece ongoing earning potential with the Southwest Plus card is 2x points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases. This accelerates earning frequent flyer credit rapidly across categories like:

  • Southwest airfare
  • Inflight WiFi and drinks
  • EarlyBird Check-In upgrades
  • Additional checked bags
  • Southwest gift cards
  • Southwest Vacation packages

What Credit Score Does Southwest Approve?

An important question for new applicants is “What credit score is needed to get approved for the Plus Card?” The recommended minimum FICO score for approval odds is 700, though scores of 720+ lead to high chances. Applicants with scores in the 670-689 range may first need to start with a lower annual fee Southwest card before potentially product changing up to the Plus Card version after initially establishing a positive history.

Having average/fair credit is still workable, though good or excellent scores are ideal when submitting an application. Red flags that can hurt approval chances include recent late payments, maxed-out cards, thin credit reports, and applying for other new credit simultaneously. Those with a limited history should check for Southwest pre-approved offers before completing applications to avoid unnecessary hard credit checks.

Getting Approved for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

Follow this blueprint when submitting an application to optimize approval likelihood:

  • Review your latest credit reports and FICO or VantageScores so you know where your rating stands presently
  • Reduce balances below 30% on revolving credit cards well before applying
  • Hold off applying for other credit needing hard pulls until this card reports
  • Check for Southwest pre-approved card offers to confirm high approval odds upfront
  • Supply accurate income amounts, ID details, and contact info when continuing any pre-approval offer

Checking eligibility criteria early on and addressing any issues gives the best odds for a smooth application process.

How Does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Compare to Other Southwest Credit Cards?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card is extremely similar to the lower annual fee Southwest Priority Credit Card except for some differences:

  • The Priority Card has more travel perks like upgraded boarding and inflight discounts but charges a higher $149 annual fee
  • The Plus Card earns the same 2x points on Southwest purchases with a lower $69 yearly fee
  • Both confer 6,000-anniversary points each card year

So weigh whether the Priority Card’s additional travel benefits merit paying the steeper $149 annual cost or if the Plus Card’s earning ability with lower yearly fees covers your needs as a casual Southwest flyer.

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