If you’re getting the urge to travel, you may be looking for a heavy-duty travel rewards card that meets your needs. Two options include the Mastercard Black card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card. Both treat you like a VIP flyer, but one comes out ahead of the other.
Southwest Rapid Rewards
The Southwest card is stronger because it has a much lower annual fee. People love it because the generous bonus helps them earn the coveted companion pass. When you spend the right way within months of opening the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card, you'll earn bonus points as a welcome gift.
Additionally, the Companion Pass is a lucrative travel perk since it allows a person of your choosing to fly with you on all flights for two years for free—though you will be responsible for paying taxes and fees. Plus, most points you earn qualify towards securing elite status.
The biggest customer complaint about the Southwest card is that the points aren't great for long international flights. Southwest is primarily a domestic airline, though it does fly to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. You'll get a better value redeeming the points for short-haul domestic flights.
Mastercard Black Card
The Mastercard Black card may suit you better if you're not near a Southwest hub. If you don't typically fly Southwest, or most of your travel takes you outside of the United States, then the Mastercard Black card may be a better fit.
Travel in style. The Mastercard Black card entitles you to complimentary access to airport lounges in the Lounge Club, 24/7 access to Luxury Card Concierge and room upgrades. You'll also receive complimentary food and beverages and spa credits when you book travel through Mastercard's Luxury Card Travel portal.
Mastercard Black cardholders receive a credit each year on airline baggage and other fees. Also, when you redeem your Mastercard points for travel, you'll get cashback on your purchases. Add an introductory APR to the mix, and it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
The biggest customer complaint about Mastercard Black card is its astronomical annual fee. This is a premium Mastercard and it charges for the rewards and extra services accordingly, with a fee among the highest out there. Additionally, many customers say that if you don't travel often enough, you are better off with a travel rewards card like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier.
Get Flying with Southwest
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card offers tremendous value—and it's one of the best credit cards for loyal Southwest Airlines customers. Get extra points on Southwest flights and a special anniversary bonus. To celebrate your cardmember anniversary, you'll get bonus points each year that help offset fees. Take this card on your next trip overseas. The Rapid Rewards Premier card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, saving you money spent outside of the United States.