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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and
United Gateway℠ Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
APR on purchases
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Free Access to Credit Score
Free Checked Bags
Roadside Assistance
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Fees for Authorized Users
0% Intro APR on Purchases
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Concierge Services
Annual Fee
$69
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
APR on purchases
-
Ongoing APR
21.49%-28.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
3x Airfare

Applies only to tickets purchased directly from Southwest. Other airfare earns 1X.

2x Transit
2x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
2x Cellular Phone Service
2x Streaming Services
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.014
Bonus Offer
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.73) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The Southwest Plus Card charges the lowest annual fee of any Southwest credit card, making it a tempting option for travelers that enjoy flying Southwest.

In exchange for the modest $69 annual fee, cardholders will be reimbursed for up to two EarlyBird Check-In purchases each year, get 25% back on inflight purchases on Southwest Airlines, plus get 3,000 bonus points each card anniversary.

Get 25% back on Southwest inflight purchases.

Cardholders earn 2 Southwest points per dollar spent in a range of spending categories, including Southwest purchases (including inflight purchases), Southwest Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners, local transit, commuting, rideshare, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services.

Points earned count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass. However, Southwest Plus Credit cardholders won’t get Tier Qualifying Points toward earning A-List Status. If you want to earn Tier Qualifying Points, you’ll need to get the Southwest Priority or Premier Credit Card instead.

Southwest Plus cardholders can't earn Tier Qualifying Points on purchases

In addition, the Southwest Plus credit card charges foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases. While that might not be a problem for some travelers, international flyers may want to get the Priority or Premier Card instead.

Frequent Southwest flyers should consider the Southwest Priority Credit Card instead. Although it charges the highest annual fee of any Southwest credit card, the card offers a $75 Southwest annual travel credit, four Upgraded Boardings every cardmember anniversary, and a 7,500-point anniversary bonus. Plus, the card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Those perks more than offset the additional annual fee.

Lastly, this card is great for getting a large piece of the to a Southwest Companion Pass with the bonus offer, since the points earned from the signup bonus count. Read our guide on earning a Southwest Companion Pass for up to two years via new account bonuses.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Free Checked Bags
yes
Roadside Assistance
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
0% Intro APR on Purchases
no
No Foreign Transaction Fees
no
Concierge Services
no
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
APR on purchases
0% Intro APR (on purchases for 12 months, 21.99%-28.99% thereafter)
Ongoing APR
21.99%-28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
2x Airfare

Applies only to United purchases. Otherwise, earn 1X

2x Transit
2x Gas Stations
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer
Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.75) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The United Gateway card does a solid job of providing enough benefits to make you wonder if it will be sufficient, vs investing $95 or more on one of the other Chase United credit cards since this is the only one with no annual fee.

The answer will depend on you.

If you fly several times a year and check a bag each time, then you’ll come out ahead paying the $95 annual fee on the United℠ Explorer Card since you’ll get free checked bags (one for you and a companion on the same itinerary) every time you pay with your card on a domestic flight. You also won’t get priority boarding with the Gateway card.

However, if you are on “Team Carry-On Only,” then this card provides many of the same benefits, including the benefit that gives you access to expanded Saver economy coach availability just like a United Silver Premier member. However, unlike all of the other United cards, you won’t be entitled to upgrades on award tickets.

Additionally, you won’t have any opportunities to earn PQPs from spending on this card whereas all the other United cards do offer that benefit.

Lastly, you might do better with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you aren’t using the checked bag benefit or the expanded award availability benefit. That’s because you’ll have more opportunities to earn points from spend on the Sapphire Preferred, and while you can transfer those points right over to United, you can also take advantage of all of the other Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners.

united-gateway-card

In the end, it depends on you if this is a good card for you, or if another similar card might be better.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Free Checked Bags
no
Roadside Assistance
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
0% Intro APR on Purchases
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Concierge Services
yes

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