SWA credit cards are good options for travelers who fly with the airline often and want to earn a large sign-up bonus. But, whether you should get one depends on your travel and spending patterns, the value you can derive from the card’s rewards and perks and your ability to manage credit responsibly.
All of the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards offer similar welcome bonuses and card benefits. The difference is the annual fee, with pricier cards costing more but also providing additional travel perks. For example, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card costs $149 a year but comes with a $75 Southwest travel credit, four upgraded boardings per anniversary and 1,500 tier-qualifying points toward A-List status for each $10,000 spent on purchases.
Flying High with Points: The Ultimate Guide to Southwest Airlines Credit Cards
Other cards, such as the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Premier Business Credit Card, have lower annual fees but less impressive perks. All of the cards, though, earn 2X pts on Southwest and Rapid Rewards restaurant purchases and 1X pt on all other purchases. All of the cards give two EarlyBird Check-In credits per year, which can save you between $15 and $25 on a one-way flight.
To qualify for any of the Southwest credit cards, you need a good to excellent FICO credit score of 670 or higher. However, a low credit score doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from getting a card, as you may be able to qualify for a preapproval offer before submitting a formal application. A pre-approval does not impact your credit score and doesn’t require a hard pull, so you can test out the cards without a hit to your report.