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Lyn writes about how to fly free on Southwest and has written a free guide that walks you step-by-step through how to easily earn the coveted Southwest Companion Pass. The pass lets 1 person fly nearly free with you for up to 2 years. The Million Mile Secrets team agrees it’s THE best deal in travel.
With the release of the new Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card, we’ve asked Lyn to share with our readers some considerations if you are thinking of upgrading to the new card.
Lyn: Like many of you, I’m sure, I’m excited Southwest has released another credit card that offers many enhanced benefits. Overall, I DO recommend the Southwest Priority Card IF you are eligible and IF you fly the airline frequently.
But, we’ve learned there are a few restrictions for those who may want to upgrade their current Southwest personal card (either Plus or Premier) to the new Priority card.
Here are some considerations to determine if you are eligible and if you should make the jump.
5 Things to Consider Before Upgrading to the New Southwest Priority Card
1. Do you hold any other personal Southwest cards?
If you don’t hold either card, you can APPLY for the new card IF you have not earned a bonus on any Southwest personal card within the last 24 months.
The exact wording from Chase reads:
“The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapids Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.”
2. When were you approved for that card?
Chase has confirmed with me that you also WILL NOT be eligible for the new Priority card if you have not held your current personal Southwest card for at least 12 months.
3. How often do you fly Southwest?
Before you decide to upgrade, consider if you fly Southwest with enough frequency to make the higher annual fee of $149 worth it.
You’ll need to be able to take advantage of the $75 Southwest travel credit, which is good for anything EXCEPT upgraded boarding and in-flight purchases. It DOES include purchasing Early Bird seating, as well as flights.
Will you be able to use the $75 credit? We purchase Early Bird seating for my husband for ALL of our Southwest flights so we can easily make use of that credit!
That makes the $149 annual fee really only $74 for us, which is LESS than what we pay for the Premier card, that comes with a $99 annual fee.
4. Would early boarding order be helpful?
The Chase Southwest Priority card also comes with 4 yearly upgraded boarding positions to rows A1-15. This is the perk that is the most exciting to me! I love the idea of getting early boarding on 4 flights every year!
If you have a family, this can be very helpful in alleviating the worry that a child and a parent may not be able to sit together. This has NEVER happened to us, even in the C boarding zone, but it’s definitely a worry. And if you can eliminate some stress when traveling, you definitely should!
5. Is the Southwest Companion Pass a goal for you?
Chase Southwest Priority cardholders also get 7,500 Southwest points on their card anniversary each year. These points DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, so if you’re looking to earn a Companion Pass NEXT year (they will credit 1 year from when you are approved), these points could be helpful.
I use my anniversary card points every year to help earn my Companion Pass like I did in 2017.
Whether or not you can take advantage of the bonus offer on the Priority card (and I actually recommend you only go for the 40,000-point bonus, NOT the full 65,000 points if you’re a new applicant; here’s why), I still think this card is worth getting purely for the BENEFITS.
Plus, they have emailed select holders of current Southwest personal cards and offered them 5,000 points when they upgrade if they make a purchase on the card by September 30, 2018. If you didn’t get this email, you should certainly ask if you can get these points anyway!
How to Upgrade to the Southwest Priority Card?
Chase suggests calling the number on the back of your current Southwest personal card to see if you are eligible.
You can also check this link and see what it says when you enter your information.
Before you decide to upgrade to the new Southwest Priority card, which has some great benefits for regular Southwest flyers, consider the following:
- How often you fly Southwest
- If you currently hold a Southwest personal card
- When you were approved for your current card
- If you need a Companion Pass next year
- Whether you want earlier boarding options