Edited by: Stella Shon
& Kellie Jez
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Good to Excellent (670-850)
This card focuses on the Southwest traveler with anniversary points, travel credit, upgrades, and money back on inflight purchases.
(at Chase's secure site)
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the most premium personal Southwest card offering from Chase. When you peel back the curtain, it is easy to see why.
Not only does the card offer multiple bonus categories to help you earn more Southwest Rapid Rewards points, but it is also loaded with benefits that are sure to offer quite a bit of value to Southwest flyers.
Here is a full overview of the card to help you decide if it is a good fit for your wallet.
When deciding if the Southwest Priority card is worth it to you, you should first consider how often you fly with Southwest. If that answer is relatively often, then adding a Southwest credit card to your wallet might make sense for you.
Next, you’d need to consider whether or not you think you’ll get enough value out of the card to justify the $149 annual fee that you’d pay.
For most cardholders, this should be relatively easy, as you’ll receive a $75 annual Southwest credit and 7,500 bonus points each year. The 7,500 bonus points should get you about $97.50 worth of Southwest flights — meaning these 2 benefits alone would offer you $172.50 in Southwest flights each year, easily offsetting the $149 annual fee.
Then, when you factor in the card’s other benefits like the Upgraded Boarding certificates, point-earning, card protections, and discount on inflight purchases, it is easy to see why this card is well worth it for Southwest flyers.
Each year, on your account anniversary, you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points so long as you renew the card and pay the $149 annual fee. You’ll usually get about 1.3 cents per point when redeeming your Southwest Rapid Rewards points, so 7,500 points should get you $97.50 in Southwest flight value each year.
Another annual benefit is a $75 Southwest credit that can be used to offset any Southwest purchase you make with your card — including flights! Given that, we look at this credit as a $75 discount off of a future Southwest flight you’ll take the upcoming year.
Frequent Southwest flyers know that Southwest has a unique boarding system, and sometimes you can end up on the short end of the stick with a relatively poor boarding spot — causing you to have a less than desirable seat.
No matter, with the Southwest Priority card, you’ll receive 4 complimentary Upgraded Boarding certificates each year, which will automatically move your boarding position somewhere between A1-A15, making you one of the first people to board the flight.
Purchasing upgraded boarding starts at $30 per segment, but can be quite a bit more expensive than that depending on the itinerary you’re flying — so 4 certificates each year can be a considerable cost savings!
Those looking to work their way towards elite status with Southwest will love that the card offers you the ability to earn Tier Qualifying Points for your spend on the card. Specifically, you’ll earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points towards elite status for every $10,000 you spend on the card.
If you decide you want to purchase Wi-Fi, a drink, or another item on your flight, you’ll receive a 25% discount when you pay with your Southwest Priority card.
Naturally, the 2 most straightforward ways to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points are by taking Southwest flights and using a Southwest credit card like the Southwest Priority card. However, there are many other great ways for you to earn lots of Southwest Rapid Rewards points towards free flights.
Southwest Rapid Rewards points are a fixed point currency, meaning the number of points needed for a ticket is tied to the cash cost of the ticket. Usually, Southwest Rapid Rewards points will give you about 1.3 cents in value per point. So while there is no way to get outsized value for your points, there are still great ways to redeem your Southwest Rapid Rewards points for fantastic trips.
If you’re looking for a more well-rounded card that also earns transferable rewards, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred card might be a better option for you.
The card earns 5x points per $1 on travel purchased through the Chase travel portal, and 2x points per $1 on all other travel purchases. Plus it earns 3x points per $1 on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, along with 1x point per $1 on all other purchases.
While it does have a lower annual fee, it also offers some excellent perks such as various travel protections, an annual $50 hotel statement credit on purchases through the Chase travel portal, a DoorDash DashPass membership (must activate by March 31, 2022), and access to the Chase travel partners.
Read our full comparison of these 2 cards: Southwest Priority card vs Chase Sapphire Preferred card
If you’re more of a casual Southwest flyer and can’t justify the annual fee of the Southwest Priority card, but still want a card that earns Southwest Rapid Rewards points, the Southwest Plus card might be a better fit for you.
With it, you’ll earn 2x points per $1 on Southwest purchases, Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, local transit, and commuting purchases, along with internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services.
The card still has an annual fee, which is $80 less than the Southwest Priority card, but offers benefits including 3,000 annual bonus points at your card renewal, 25% back on inflight purchases, and 2 complimentary EarlyBird Check-ins per year.
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