Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Review (2022)

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Review (2022)

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Earn 40,000 bonus points | $149
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Earn 40,000 bonus points | $149
Earn 3x points on Southwest Airlines purchases
Earning Southwest Companion Pass
Anniversary Bonus Points
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Southwest Airlines has some fantastic co-branded credit cards with Chase. Of the three personal cards, my favorite one is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Card. In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at the card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Basics For January 2022

Even though the Southwest Priority Card has the highest annual fee of any personal Chase Southwest Card, I think it’s worthwhile for a vast majority of consumers. Why? Because the card offers some incredible perks for anyone who flies Southwest with any frequency.

Many people love flying Southwest for the ability to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, the lack of change fees, and the two free checked bags. For others, Southwest is just a practical airline to fly on occasion, given its massive route network. Regardless, there’s lots of value in having points and benefits on Southwest.

Southwest Priority Card Bonus: 40,000 Points

The Southwest Priority Card is offering a welcome bonus where you can earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based frequent flyer program, and you can generally expect that each point will get you about 1.2 cents towards airfare. In other words, the bonus should get you roughly $480 towards airfare.

40,000 Rapid Rewards points will get you lots of travel

Welcome Bonus Restrictions

Chase and Southwest have some pretty strict rules when it comes to who is eligible for the card. The card is not available to anyone who currently has a Southwest Rapid Rewards personal card, or anyone who has received a welcome bonus on a Southwest Rapid Rewards personal card in the past 24 months.

However, you are eligible if you have a Southwest business credit card.

5/24 Rule

Beyond the restrictions related to which Southwest cards you have, Chase cards are subjected to the 5/24 rule, meaning you typically won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months.

Southwest Priority Card $149 Annual Fee

The Southwest Priority Card has a $149 annual fee. As a point of comparison, the other personal cards have annual fees of $69 and $99, so the annual fee on this card is a bit higher. However, as I’ll explain below, the benefits justify the premium annual fee.

Earning Points With The Southwest Priority Card

The Southwest Priority Card recently improved its rewards structure, and the card now offers the following points for credit card spending:

  • 3X points on Southwest purchases
  • 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare
  • 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Personally I’d generally only put spending on the card if you’re going for A-List status and/or Companion Pass, because there are better cards for everyday spending otherwise. But still, those are some fairly solid bonus categories.

Earn 3x points on Southwest purchases with the Priority Card

Earn Southwest Companion Pass

One of the very best values in travel is the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, and the bonus on the Southwest Priority Card can help you easily earn that.

With Southwest Companion Pass you can have someone travel with you for the entire year (whether on a cash ticket or award ticket), and just pay taxes and fees for them. This is such an incredible deal, and basically doubles the value you can get from flying Southwest.

Companion Pass requires earning 125,000 Rapid Rewards points per calendar year, though only certain types of points accrual qualify, including Southwest credit card spending and the associated welcome bonus.

Earn Southwest A-List Status

In addition to being able to earn Companion Pass through spending on the card, the Southwest Priority Card also lets you earn unlimited Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs). Specifically, you can earn 1,500 TQPs towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent on the card.

A-List is Southwest Airlines’ version of status, and offers perks like priority boarding, a 25% points bonus, same-day standby, priority check-in and security lane access, and a dedicated phone number.

A-List status ordinarily requires earning 35,000 TQPs in a calendar year, so spending on a Southwest Priority Card could help you earn that. This is the only personal Southwest card that offers that feature. Whether or not that’s worth it depends on how much you’d otherwise fly with Southwest.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Southwest Priority Card has no foreign transaction fees, so this could be a useful card for your spending abroad. This is a Visa as well, and Visas are accepted pretty widely around the globe.

The Incredible Southwest Priority Card Perks

The reason to get the Southwest Priority Card is because of the perks, including anniversary bonus points, upgraded boardings, a $75 annual Southwest travel credit, 25% savings on eligible inflight purchases, and more.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about each of these perks.

Southwest Priority Card 7,500 Anniversary Bonus Points

On your cardmember anniversary each year you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points. For context, Southwest Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based frequent flyer program, and generally speaking you need to redeem 83 points per dollar of airfare. That means each Rapid Rewards point gets you roughly 1.2 cents towards the cost of an airline ticket.

In other words, you can get around $90 worth of Southwest airfare with those 7,500 points, and that recoups almost two-thirds of the annual fee on an ongoing basis.

Get anniversary bonus points with the card every year

Southwest Priority Card $75 Annual Credit

The Southwest Priority Card offers a $75 credit every anniversary year. While the 7,500 point anniversary bonus only kicks in after 12 months, this credit kicks in immediately.

The way this works, the first $75 in Southwest flight purchases each cardmember year will be reimbursed. The statement credit should post as soon as the eligible charge posts to your account.

Assuming you spend at least $75 per year on Southwest Airlines tickets (or even taxes and fees, if redeeming points), then this should more or less be worth face value.

Using this benefit and the 7,500 point annual bonus, we’re talking about $165 worth of value, which is more than the annual fee.

Southwest Priority Card Upgraded Boardings

Just for having the Southwest Priority Card, you get four upgraded boardings per anniversary year (starting with your first year), when available.

The way this works, you’ll be reimbursed for the purchase on the day of departure of up to four upgraded boardings in positions A1-15.

The upgraded boarding fees will be reimbursed within eight weeks, though in reality generally post much faster than that. Since the price of upgraded boardings varies by flight, it’s hard to put a dollar value to this benefit.

Southwest Priority Card Drink & Wi-Fi Savings

If you pay with your Southwest Priority Card you can save 25% on inflight Wi-Fi and drink purchases. You’ll receive statement credits for the 25% within two billing cycles of your purchase (though usually much faster than that).

Save on inflight purchases with the Priority Card

Southwest Priority Card Travel & Purchase Protection

The Southwest Priority Card offers a variety of travel & purchase protection benefits, including:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage; it’s secondary within the US, and primary internationally
  • Baggage delay insurance, which can reimburse you up to $100 per day for three days when your bag is delayed by at least six hours
  • Lost luggage reimbursement, which reimburses you up to $3,000 if your bag is damaged or lost
  • Travel accident insurance, with the maximum coverage ranging from $250,000-500,000, depending on the situation
  • Extended warranty protection, which extends your US manufacturer warranty by a year on eligible warranties of three years or less
  • Purchase protection, which covers you for up to 120 days for damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account

Of course, you’ll want to check the cardmember agreement for the full terms & conditions associated with these benefits.

Yes, The Southwest Priority Card Is Worth It

If you’re eligible for the Southwest Priority Card and fly Southwest with any frequency, then this card is absolutely worth it. I’d argue this card is a better value all around than the two other Southwest personal cards.

For the card’s $149 annual fee you’re getting a 7,500 point anniversary bonus annually, a $75 Southwest credit, and much more. Let’s look at a few other things to consider regarding this card, and Southwest cards in general.

Complement: Southwest Performance Business Card

If you’re looking to complement your Southwest Priority Card with a Southwest business card, consider the incredible Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card (review). This card has outstanding perks, including:

  • A welcome bonus of 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
  • A 9,000 point anniversary bonus
  • Four upgraded boardings per year
  • Up to 365 $8 Wi-Fi credits per year on Southwest, which could get you a lot of Wi-Fi
  • $500 towards points transfer fees per anniversary year
  • A Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit
  • The ability to earn A-List status or Companion Pass with spending

This card is the single best Southwest card because of the Wi-Fi credit, as far as I’m concerned.

Comparing This To Other Southwest Personal Cards

In addition to the Priority Card, Chase and Southwest also have the $69 annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (review) & $99 annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (review). All cards have the same welcome bonuses, but the perks are significantly different.

Why do I think the $149 annual fee Priority Card is almost universally better?

  • Neither the Plus nor Premier offers a $75 annual Southwest credit, which should more or less be worth face value; so to do a direct comparison, that’s almost like lowering the “out of pocket” on the Priority Card from $149 to $74
  • The Priority Card offers 7,500 anniversary bonus points, while the Plus offers 3,000 bonus points and the Premier offers 6,000 bonus points

Those two perks alone should show why the Priority Card is worth the annual fee by comparison, and that doesn’t even account for upgraded boardings, a better rewards structure, the ability to earn A-List status through spending, and more.

Should You Use A Southwest Card Or Chase Ultimate Rewards Card?

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a transfer partner with Southwest Rapid Rewards, and points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. As a general rule of thumb, you’re going to earn points at a faster rate through Ultimate Rewards than through Rapid Rewards, not to mention that your points have a lot more flexibility.

Should you earn Rapid Rewards points directly with a Southwest card, or with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card?

  • If you’re trying to earn Companion Pass or A-List status then you have to spend on a Southwest card, since Ultimate Rewards points don’t count towards earning Companion Pass
  • If you don’t care about Companion Pass or A-List and just want to earn as many Rapid Rewards points as possible, earn points with Ultimate Rewards, and then transfer them over

For context, some of the best cards for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points include the following:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) offers 3x points on dining, online grocery stores, and select streaming services, and 2x points on travel; the card has a $95 annual fee
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (review) offers 3x points on dining and travel, plus a $300 annual travel credit; the card has a $550 annual fee
  • The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases annually on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; the card has a $95 annual fee

On top of that, the following four no annual fee cards earn points that can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio in conjunction with one of the above cards:

  • The Chase Freedom FlexSM (review) offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, on up to $1,500 of spending per quarter; the card has no annual fee
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) offers 1.5x points on everyday spending; the card has no annual fee
  • The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (review) offers 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each anniversary year on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services, plus 2x points on the first $25,000 spend in combined purchases each anniversary year on gas stations and restaurants; the card has no annual fee
  • The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review) offers 1.5x points on everyday spend; the card has no annual fee
Earn Southwest points through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Southwest Priority Card Summary

I know many have a hard time deciding which of the three Southwest credit cards makes the most sense, so I’m happy that in this case, the answer is pretty easy.

When providing credit card advice, my answer to whether or not it makes sense to get a certain card is usually “it depends.” In the case of the Southwest Priority Card, I think it’s actually pretty clear-cut. Assuming you fly Southwest with any frequency (and if you don’t, you shouldn’t get this card):

  • The Priority Card is superior to the Plus and Premier Cards
  • The Priority Card is worth having long-term for the benefits that more than justify the annual fee

If you want to learn more about the Southwest Priority Card or apply, follow this link.

Apply Now

Conversations (4)
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  1. Jill Guest

    Awesome card
    Thank You
    Mr. Schlappig

  2. Erik Guest

    Value of "upgraded boarding's" is zero because of a bug causing Southwest to reject this card as a form of payment for these.

    The airline is an operational disaster for the time being.

    1. Jefferson Guest

      I've used this card for upgraded boardings twice in the last two months including one the beginning of last week. I'm not sure what the issue Erik has run into is, but it doesn't seem to impact all RR Priority cards.

    2. Erik Guest

      Thanks for the additional data point.

      It's affected both me and my authorized user (spouse), but glad it works for some people.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Erik Guest

Thanks for the additional data point. It's affected both me and my authorized user (spouse), but glad it works for some people.

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Jefferson Guest

I've used this card for upgraded boardings twice in the last two months including one the beginning of last week. I'm not sure what the issue Erik has run into is, but it doesn't seem to impact all RR Priority cards.

0
Jill Guest

Awesome card Thank You Mr. Schlappig

0
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