The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card costs just $99 per year, making it the mid-tier option within the airline’s family of credit cards. With a sub-$100 annual fee, it’s easy to try out the card to see if it works for your family.
While the card costs $30 more a year then the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (which has a $69 annual fee), it’s fairly easy to offset that extra cost. That’s because starting with the second year you have the Southwest Premier card and every year thereafter, you’ll earn 6,000 bonus points on your card holder anniversary. Those 6,000 points are worth $84 when redeemed for the airline’s “Wanna Get Away” fares, which effectively offsets almost the entire annual fee each year.
You’ll also earn more points on Southwest travel spend with the Southwest Premier card, along with the opportunity to earn qualifying points toward A-List elite status and no foreign transaction fees. Unfortunately though, you’ll be missing out on many of the benefits that come along with the more expensive Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, such as travel statement credits, upgraded boarding and a discount on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi.
But the real benefit of the Southwest Premier card — and all Southwest credit cards — is that the points earned from the sign-up bonus, along with all your regular spending on the card, count toward the amazing Southwest Companion Pass. With this pass, a friend or family member can fly with you for free (plus taxes and fees) an unlimited number of times. Think of it as a buy-one-get-one deal, which could save you thousands of dollars during the length of the pass (which expires on Dec. 31 the year after the pass is earned).
That makes the Southwest Premier card a great choice if your sole purpose is to try to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. That’s because the card is currently offering new card holders up to 100,000 bonus points — 50,000 after spending $2,000 within the first three months after opening the account, plus another 50,000 points after spending $12,000 total within the first 12 months. That’s the highest sign-up bonus offer we’ve ever seen on this card.
You typically need 125,000 points in a calendar year to earn a Southwest Companion Pass, so after earning the sign-up bonus on the Southwest Premier, you can earn the remaining Companion Pass-qualifying points with the everyday purchases you make on the card, as well as Southwest flights and partner activity, such as purchases made through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal, car rentals and hotel stays.