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INSIDER SECRET: Even though this card has the highest annual fee of any of the Chase Southwest cards, you’ll get perks worth much more than your yearly cost if you make use of them.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the newest member of the Southwest family of credit cards offered by Chase and it’s already the head of the household.
With the card, you’ll earn up to 60,000 Southwest points (worth ~$900 or more in travel) after meeting the card’s minimum spending requirements. The Chase Southwest Priority card also comes with a slew of terrific benefits, including a $75 travel credit and 7,500 Southwest points on your card anniversary. Here’s our Southwest Priority card review.
Southwest Priority Card bonus
Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
If you fly Southwest often or have a Southwest hub nearby, the Southwest Priority Card is great to have in your wallet. After spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, you’ll earn 40,000 Southwest points. You can earn an additional 20,000 Southwest points after spending $12,000 in total (an additional $11,000) in the first 12 months of account opening.
A Southwest point’s value is ~1.5 cents (and sometimes more), so it’ll be easy to get at least $900 worth of travel from the 60,000-point bonus. Award flights are based on the cash price of the ticket, so you’ll never have blackout dates when redeeming your hard-earned points. Plus, everyone gets two free checked bags and there are never any change or cancellation fees on Southwest.
Benefits and perks of the Southwest Priority Card
Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best deals in travel. The Southwest Priority Card’s welcome bonus and the points you earn from spending on the card both count toward earning the pass. To earn a Companion Pass you need to complete one of the following tasks in a calendar year:
- Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights
- Earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points
Once you earn the Companion Pass, a friend or family member can travel with you on paid and award flights for just the cost of taxes and fees. This can easily save you hundreds of dollars per flight. I use this for flights with my fiancé and we saved $1,000+ last year alone.
$75 in Southwest travel credits every year
Each year, you’ll receive $75 in statement credits after making eligible Southwest purchases. Basically, any Southwest purchases except for upgraded boarding and inflight purchases qualify. You can use this credit to purchase a ticket and effectively cut your annual fee in half.
7,500 anniversary points
Every year on your account anniversary, you’ll receive 7,500 Southwest points (worth ~$113 in airfare). That’s a nice way to offset most of the annual fee.
Four upgraded boardings
On your day of travel, when available, you can purchase an upgraded boarding. My last flight to Chicago was offering these upgrades for $50. Just use your card to purchase the upgrade and you’ll receive a statement credit up to four times per cardmember year. That’s worth up to $200.
20% back on inflight purchases
When you purchase inflight drinks, entertainment and Wi-Fi, you’ll receive 20% back in statement credits with no maximum. Wi-Fi is available for $8 per device, per flight. So you can save ~$2 when you purchase Wi-Fi.
Earn tier qualifying points
You earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQP) for each $10,000 you spend with your card on up to $100,000 in purchases every calendar year (15,000 TQP). These points count toward earning Southwest status.
Is the Southwest Priority Card worth it?
The annual fee of $149 is not waived the first year, but it’s not hard to get much more value than that. The anniversary points alone are worth ~$113 and the four boarding upgrades can be worth up to $200 (4 X $50). When you add those to the annual $75 in credits for Southwest purchases, you could get nearly $400 in value for only paying $149 fee.
For those who may not make use of all of the perks, we’ll suggest other cards below that might be a better deal.
Chase will not approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank (not counting Chase business cards and certain other business cards) in the past 24 months.
How to earn points with the Southwest Priority Card
It’s easy to earn points with the Southwest Priority Card. You can earn points in three ways:
- 2 Southwest points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases, including airfare
- 1 Southwest point per dollar on every other purchase
- 7,500 Southwest points each year on your card anniversary
How to redeem Southwest points
Southwest award prices are based on the cash price of the ticket. This means no blackout dates as along as a paid ticket is available, but it also means no defined-award pricing. In general, Southwest points are worth ~1.5 cents each, but I’ve seen them go up to 1.8 cents each, and occasionally higher.
You can only redeem Southwest points for Southwest flights. In addition to award flights, you can also donate your points to charities or gift your points to another Southwest frequent flyer program member.
It’s really easy to redeem your Southwest points using their website or mobile app. In fact, they have a really fancy map that shows you all the routes they fly. I use this for inspiration when I want to see where I can travel.
To use your points, click on the “Points” button in the top right when searching for flights. On the next screen, you’ll see three columns showing you Business Select, Anytime and Wanna Get Away fares. The latter will offer the best value for your points. You’ll always get two free checked bags and free cancellations and changes with any fare. Select the flight you want and hit continue.
The next page shows you your specific itinerary, your points cost, and the taxes and fees (usually ~$6 for a one-way domestic flight).
If you ever need to cancel or change your flight, just head to your account page. You can see your future flights and choose the “Cancel/Change” button to see your options. If you don’t like any of the alternatives, you can cancel your flight. Your points will return to your account and your ~$6 will be refunded to your credit card or can be held on your account for future use — your choice.
Does the Southwest Priority Card have a foreign transaction fee?
Southwest Priority Card customer service
The Southwest Priority card is issued by Chase. In my experience, Chase has excellent customer service and a useful website and mobile app. For most issues you don’t even need to call Chase because you can send a secure message, which isn’t an option available with all banks.
Cards similar to the Southwest Priority Card
Here are cards we’d recommend in addition to or in place of the Southwest Priority Card:
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top recommendation as a first credit card for beginners in the points-and-miles hobby. The points you earn are extremely valuable, because you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from this card to airline and hotel partners, including Southwest.
If you don’t fly Southwest enough to make the Southwest Priority Card worth the annual fee, check out our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred to see why team member Scott has paid his Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee four times.
After spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth $750 when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal and potentially more when you transfer your points to airline and hotel partners, like Southwest.
2. Other Chase Southwest Cards
Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Read our Southwest Premier card review
Apply Here: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Read our Southwest Plus card review
If you like earning Southwest points but prefer a lower annual fee, consider the other personal Chase Southwest cards. Each has the same welcome bonus as the Chase Southwest Priority. You’ll earn 40,000 Southwest points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening and another 20,000 points after spending $12,000 in total in the 12 months your account is open:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card – $99 annual fee
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – $69 annual fee
If you don’t qualify for a personal card, consider:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – Earn 60,000 Southwest points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening; $99 annual fee
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card -Earn 80,000 Southwest points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening; $149 annual fee
It’s no longer possible to have more than one personal Southwest card at the same time. But you can still get one or more business cards and a personal card.
The Southwest Priority Card is the top dog among all the Chase Southwest cards.
You’ll earn 60,000 Southwest points (worth ~$900 in travel) after meeting minimum spending requirements. The card offers a recurring value of nearly $400 for only a $149 annual fee, not including the ~$900 in value from 60,000 Southwest points.
If you fly Southwest regularly, you’ll get great use of this card. However, if you don’t fly Southwest often, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for its versatility and well-rounded value. Plus the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Sapphire Preferred card transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio.
To learn more about the Chase Southwest Priority and Southwest points, check out these guides:
- Chase Southwest Priority benefits and perks
- Southwest Rapid Rewards review
- Southwest points value
- Southwest status
- Best way to use Southwest points
- How to use the Southwest Companion Pass
- How to earn Southwest points
- How to set up a Southwest account
- How to use Southwest points
- Southwest award chart
- Do Southwest points expire?
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