Is the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier annual fee worth it?
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Folks who like Southwest points or are hoping to earn the Southwest Companion Pass should consider one of the Chase Southwest personal cards, including the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card .
It’s currently offering a welcome bonus of up to 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
It’s also got a $99 annual fee, not waived the first year – but comes with nice benefits and perks that can make it worth getting and keeping.
There are two other personal Southwest cards that currently have identical welcome bonuses, too – the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee) and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee).
So is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card worth it? Here’s what you should think about before pulling the trigger on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Is Worth It (But Consider Other Southwest Cards Too)
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you’ll earn up to 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
There’s a $99 annual fee, not waived the first year.
You can make up for the annual fee with the card’s perks, which include:
- 3 Southwest points per dollar on Southwest purchases
- 1 Southwest point per dollar on every other purchase
- 6,000 Southwest points every card member anniversary
The anniversary points alone nearly negate the annual fee, so if you’ll redeem them for Southwest flights you’re already in good shape. You’ll also get perks like:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Rental car insurance (secondary in the US, primary outside the US or if you don’t have your own auto insurance)
- Travel accident insurance
- Trip delay insurance
- Baggage delay insurance / lost luggage reimbursement
- Extended warranty protection
- Purchase protection
If you make the most of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you’ll come out ahead. But keep in mind there are two other Chase Southwest cards, and you can only have one Southwest personal card at a time now. So have a look that the other two cards before you decide on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.
The Southwest Priority or Plus cards might suit you better
Chase offers identical welcome bonuses on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card.
Of the three Southwest personal cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is actually my favorite. Even though it has the highest annual fee ($149), if you fly Southwest a lot you can actually get a value worth much more than the yearly cost from goodies like an annual $75 Southwest credit, four upgraded boardings a year, and 7,500 Southwest points (worth ~$113 in airfare) each card anniversary. Here’s more about the Chase Southwest Priority’s benefits and perks and our review of the Southwest Priority card.
With the lowest annual fee ($69), the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card might be a better fit if you just want the lowest cash outlay in the first year. It comes with fewer perks, like 3,000 points on your card anniversary (worth ~$45 in airfare), and it charges foreign transaction fees. So it’s not a good choice if you want a card you can use abroad. Here’s Erin’s post about why the Southwest Plus benefits made it her top Southwest card pick. You can also read our full review of the Southwest Plus card.
Still having trouble deciding? Here’s a chart summarizing what you’ll get with each personal Chase Southwest card:
|Southwest Premier Card||Southwest Plus Card||Southwest Priority Card|
|Earnings on Spending||• 2X Southwest points with Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases|
• 1X Southwest points on all other purchases
|• 2X Southwest points with Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases|
• 1X Southwest points on all other purchases
|• 2X points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards car and hotel purchases|
• 1X points per $1 on all other purchases
|Anniversary Points||6,000 (worth ~$90 in Southwest flights)||3,000 (worth ~$45 in Southwest flights)||7,500 (worth ~$113 in Southwest flights)|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None||3%||None|
|Other Perks||Up to $75 in statement credits for eligible Southwest purchases each account anniversary year|
4 upgraded boardings (position A1 to A15) per account anniversary year (worth up to $200)
20% discount on Southwest inflight purchases
Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases up to $100,000 in purchases annually (which equal 15,000 TQPs) - this can help you earn elite status
And don’t forget, even if you have a Chase Southwest personal card open, you can still qualify for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card if you have a small business. It comes with 60,000 Southwest points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, with a $99 annual fee. Here’s our Southwest Business card review.
Note: All of the Southwest cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, which means if you’ve opened five or more cards (from any bank, excluding certain business cards) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is definitely worth it, and not just for the 40,000 Southwest point welcome bonus you’ll earn after meeting minimum spending requirements – all of which count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. In fact, the 6,000 Southwest points you’ll earn each card anniversary knocks out most of the $99 annual fee.
It also comes with goodies like travel and shopping protections and no foreign transaction fees. It’s a nice deal!
But before you jump on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, be sure to consider the other personal Chase Southwest cards, that currently come with the same sign-up bonus. You can only have one at a time, so check out:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee) – Geared to frequent Southwest flyers with better travel perks including a Southwest statement credit
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee) – Lowest annual fee and ideal if you won’t travel overseas with it and just want the least expensive card
Which of the Southwest cards is your favorite? Do you think the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is worth it?
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