Southwest offers several travel rewards cards, three personal cards, and two business cards. If you aren’t going to choose a Southwest business card but aren’t sure which Southwest card to get I got you covered. In this post, we’ll take a look at their premium top of the line personal card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.
Currently, you can earn a 50,000 point bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. This is among one of the better offers for this card.
The timing of this large welcome bonus gives you an opportunity to enjoy up to two years of free flights with the Southwest Companion Pass.
Even better, all eligible purchases and the welcome offer points count towards earning the Companion Pass!
There are three things that set the Southwest Priority Card above the other personal Southwest credit cards: $75 Southwest travel credit, 4 upgraded boarding passes, and the 7,500 point anniversary bonus.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Benefits
Here’s a quick summary of the benefits of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card:
- $75 Southwest® travel credit each year
- 4 upgraded boardings each year
- 10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points boost each year
- 3X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
- 25% back on inflight drinks and Wi-Fi
- 2X points on internet, cable, phone, select streaming, Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners, rideshare, local transit and commuting
- 1X point on all other purchases
- 7,500 bonus points on every cardmember anniversary
- Earn up to 15,000 tier qualifying points towards A-List and A-List Preferred status
- No foreign transaction fees
- All points earned from this card count toward the Southwest Companion Pass
- Points don’t expire
- Member FDIC
Southwest Priority Card $75 Travel Credit
One unique perk of the Southwest Priority Card is the $75 travel credit. This yearly credit is valid on airfare, pet carrier fees, and extra and oversized bag fees. You can also use it to pay the government taxes and fees on an award ticket.
The $75 credit doesn’t roll over. So if you don’t use it, you lose it. You can buy a ticket and if you have the Companion Pass, it becomes a BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) flight.
If you rarely pay cash for your Southwest tickets because you know all the ways to earn Southwest points without flying, check out our pro tip on how to save the credit for future use.
Pro-tip: The trick to “rolling over” your $75 travel credit from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card is to buy a ticket and cancel it two days later. I prefer buying a ticket that’s $75 or more that way I don’t “lose” any credit.
Waiting at least two days gives you enough time for the credit to show on your card. You can also log into your Southwest Priority Card in your Chase account to verify the credit posted.
This works because when you cancel a Southwest flight you get a travel credit that never expires! You can use that credit next year, the year after, or even years from now.
Remember to buy a Wanna Get Away Plus ticket instead of a Wanna Get Away Fare because those travel funds are transferrable to anyone.
You can’t use the $75 travel credit on inflight purchases (drinks and Wi-Fi) or upgraded boarding. Good thing this card comes with upgraded boarding.
Upgraded Boarding With Southwest Priority Card
Another great benefit of the Southwest Priority card is upgraded boarding. Each year you get four upgraded boarding passes.
Southwest has an open seating plan and doesn’t assign seats. You can sit anywhere on the plane. You get an assigned boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1 through 60) when you check-in for your flight. A boarding pass with an A1 boards first whereas C60 is last.
Upgraded boarding is key If you want your first pick of seats or to sit in the exit row with the seat that has twice the legroom.
If you don’t have elite status, buy inexpensive Wanna Get Away tickets, or are traveling as a family this is a nice perk. Family boarding is only allowed if your children are six or younger.
So if you get assigned a B or C boarding group especially if leaving from Florida after a cruise, you may end up with a middle seat. You can pay for upgraded boarding for a coveted A1 to A15 spot. When using one of your 4 yearly upgraded boarding passes from Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card you’ll receive a statement credit for the cost.
Upgraded Boarding costs $30 to $80 per person per flight. So this one perk saves you up to $320 a year!
Pro-tip: There’s no cap on the statement credit for your yearly upgraded boarding passes. So you get a better value when you redeem them for the highest price.
Yearly Anniversary Bonus of 7,500 Points
Another nice perk of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the yearly anniversary bonus of 7,500 points. You get these points after paying your $149 annual fee.
The annual fee is higher than the other two personal Southwest cards. But with the $75 travel credit and the up to $320 yearly statement credit for upgraded boarding, you’re getting paid to keep this card.
Pro-tip: Anniversary bonus points are Southwest Companion Pass qualifying points. Getting you that much closer to another two years of free flights!
Who Should Get The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
If you fly Southwest Airlines often you should get the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.
You can earn A-List and A-List Preferred status sooner because you earn 3 points for each dollar spent on Southwest purchases.
Plus you earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) towards A-List and A-List Preferred status for every $10,000 in eligible purchases spent on this card each year.
Pro-tip: Starting January 1, 2024, you’ll earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) towards A-List and A-List Preferred with every $5,000 in eligible purchases spent on this card each year.
There’s no cap on how many TQPs you can earn. you can earn A-List status without flying just through spending.
With the reduced A-List requirements of 35,000 tier qualifying points a year (or 20 one-way flights) starting January 1, 2024, you’d have to spend $116,500 a year on the Southwest Priority Card. It would be less expensive to earn A-List flying during their $29 flight sales.
More Advantages of This Card
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, you get a 25% discount on inflight purchases such as drinks and Wi-Fi.
You also earn 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points a year if you keep your card for the entire 12 months. To earn a Southwest Companion Pass you have to fly 100 one-way flights or earn 135,000 points in a calendar year.
With the 50,000 points from the welcome offer (after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account), you only have to earn another 84,000 points.
Pro-tip: You can earn the extra Southwest points through spending, flying, earn Southwest points without flying, shopping, dining, or from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card or Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
Southwest points never expire. There are no blackout dates when using points for free flights.
Who Shouldn’t Get This Card
There are some disadvantages of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card such as no airport lounge access and bonus categories.
You earn 2 points for each $1 spent on rideshare, transit and commuting, internet, cable, phone, and certain streaming. You also earn 1 point on all other purchases including other travel.
Both of these cards make our list of the best travel rewards credit cards.
Pro-tip: You can transfer those points (Chase Ultimate Rewards points) to 14 airline and hotel partners including Southwest. This gives you more travel options like Hawaii or flying First Class to Europe.
Who Can Get the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
You are eligible for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card if you don’t have a personal Southwest credit card and haven’t received a bonus from a personal Southwest card in the last 24 months.
Plus, this card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months (5/24), you might not get approved.
Pro-tip: If you’re close to 5/24 and want to get the Southwest Companion Pass, you should take this offer.
Other Southwest Cards
Both cards offer similar benefits but with lower annual fees. Here’s how to decide which Southwest card to get.
You can also get one of two Southwest business cards.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a great option if you want a Southwest credit card and fly Southwest often.
Southwest points aren’t as flexible as transferrable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, or Capital One Rewards.
Frequent Southwest flyers and those who can leverage the Southwest Companion Pass for lots of free travel can get significant value from Southwest points.
Points earned from the welcome offer, eligible everyday spending, anniversary bonus, and the 10,000 points for having the card for 12 months all count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
The upgraded boarding passes can secure an A1 to A15 boarding slot four times a year. You can use the yearly $75 travel credit for a travel credit that never expires. Just these two perks cover the card’s cost.
Does the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card have a place in your wallet?
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