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How to Decide If the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Annual Fee Is Worth It for You

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How to Decide If the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Annual Fee Is Worth It for You

Joseph HostetlerHow to Decide If the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card Annual Fee Is Worth It for YouMillion Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: If you fly Southwest with any regularity, you’ll do well with any of the Chase Southwest cards. And the points you’ll get from the welcome bonus count toward the coveted Southwest Companion Pass!

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 got a welcome bonus of 40,000 Southwest 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 which currently have identical welcome bonuses – the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee) and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee).

So why consider this card? Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card worth it?

Is the Southwest Premier Card worth it? It depends on your travel plans and spending habits

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)

Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Read our review of the Southwest Rapids Rewards Premier Credit Card

With the Chase Southwest Premier, you’ll earn 40,000 Southwest 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:

  • 2 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
Redeem your Southwest points for a family getaway to the beach – now including Hawaii!

If you make the most of the Chase Southwest Premier, 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 Chase Southwest Premier.

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 3 Southwest personal cards, the Southwest Priority 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, 4 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.

If boarding early is important to you, the Southwest Priority is a better pick – it comes with 4 upgraded boardings per year

With the lowest annual fee ($69), the Southwest Plus 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 CardSouthwest Plus CardSouthwest 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 Points6,000 (worth ~$90 in Southwest flights)3,000 (worth ~$45 in Southwest flights)7,500 (worth ~$113 in Southwest flights)
Foreign Transaction FeesNone3%None
Annual Fee$99$69$149
Other PerksUp 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.

Bottom Line

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 Premier card, be sure to consider the other personal Chase Southwest cards as well. You can only have one at a time, so check out:

Which of the Southwest cards is your favorite?  Do you think the Southwest Premier is worth it?

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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