7 Reasons Why the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is Best for Retirees

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Southwest has become a fan favorite for domestic airlines in the U.S. Its cheap fares, regular promos, and valuable credit cards are just some of the reasons why.

And of all the consumer and business cards the airline has to offer, we particularly love the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.

So no matter if you’re just entering retirement or have enjoyed that lifestyle for years, the Southwest Plus card is your best option for cheap, easy, and domestic getaways.

Below, you’ll find our list of the seven best reasons why the Southwest Plus card is the best option for retirees.

1. The welcome offer

The Southwest Plus card currently has a welcome offer of 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of holding the card.

To put this simply—that’s a generous amount of points.

For example, if you live in Denver but the grandkids live in Boston, you could book a non-stop flight there for a little as 10,000 points 👇

Example booking on Southwest from Denver to Boston

And with the current welcome offer, you could book this flight almost FIVE TIMES. That’s a lot of nearly free trips to visit the kiddos!

2. Companion Pass boost

One of the big-hitters of this card is the boost toward Southwest’s incredible Companion Pass.

And if you aren’t aware, the Companion Pass allows you to designate a second traveler to fly with you for almost free (you’ll still need to pay for the minuscule taxes and fees).

Current requirements include either flying 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year, or earning 135,000 tier qualifying points in a calendar year.

With the current bonus points being offered, you can clearly see how much closer you’ll get toward that tier points requirement!

This is an amazing travel feature to have no matter if you and your spouse are traveling together to visit family or jet-setting off to a blissful vacation.

Speaking of vacation-worthy destinations…

3. Best for domestic travel

Let’s face it. International travel can be stress-inducing and is outright exhausting!

Some of us still love it, but some of us don’t.

Fortunately, Southwest is the best budget airline for domestic travel in the U.S.—and that’s for both cash and point redemptions.

When we have destinations like Hawaii, Palm Springs, Sedona, and Key West, it’s hard to imagine wanting to leave the country!

Want to skip the rain and get some sun? Here’s an example route from Seattle to Palm Springs for just over 6,000 points 🎉

4. The low annual fee

For many people, even though a card might have a stellar welcome offer, a high annual fee could still be quite off-putting.

And we get it, being retired also means sticking to a defined budget.

Fortunately, the Southwest Plus card comes in pretty darn low at just $69 a year.

The amount of Southwest points you’re getting and the amount of money saved by booking flights with those points will FAR outweigh the cost of that tiny annual fee.

5. Solid earning rates

A colorful bar graph trending upwards

To be clear, this isn’t a premium card. So you won’t find any crazy 4X or 5X points-per-dollar earning rates with the Southwest Plus.

However, you will find PLENTY of 2X points per dollar categories for this card 👇

  • 2X per $1 on Southwest purchases

  • 2X per $1 on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners

  • 2X per $1 on local transit and commuting, including rideshare

  • 2X per $1 on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming

  • 1X per $1 on all other purchases

If you’re getting this card to fly more on Southwest, then boom, that first bullet point is a given.

And I don’t know about any of you, but I spend a decent amount each month on rideshares, internet, phone, and streaming services because… it’s 2024 🙃

Being able to earn double the points on common spending categories is a surefire way to accelerate your earnings over time.

6. Card anniversary perks

Southwest truly loves its customers.

By holding the Southwest Plus card, you’ll receive 3,000 points every year on your cardmember anniversary.

Additionally, you’ll also receive 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points to boost your stash each year.

That’s pretty darn generous considering this is the airline’s lowest-tier card!

7. Additional travel benefits

Hand graphic with a gold star, ribbon, and dollar sign on a coin

Who doesn’t love a little something extra, eh? Each year you hold the Plus card, you’ll also receive:

  • 2 EarlyBird check-ins

  • 25% back on inflight purchases

  • Free checked bags

  • No change fees

  • Unlimited reward seats with no blackout dates

Bottom line

This may not be a premium travel card, but it certainly has plenty to offer!

Getting on board (literally) with Southwest and one of its credit cards is an excellent option if you’re looking for easy and affordable travel within the U.S.

And as a retiree, you certainly deserve to sit back, relax, and enjoy time spent with family (or on a beach!).

If you’d like to learn more or apply for this card, you can do so HERE.

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