Does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Make Sense For You?

Southwest is my favorite airline. A few years ago, I got their business and personal Chase credit cards, scored Companion Pass, and we haven't looked back since.

As they've added new international locations (and Hawaii!), the value of Companion Pass has only gone up.

Chase and Southwest have partnered up to offer an even bigger bonus on a higher tier card – the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.

So should you get it?

Let's break it down…

Sign Up Bonus: 40,000 points

The signup bonus has been recently juiced up.

You get 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.. That's a great offer for the Premier and Plus cards.

It puts you really close to Southwest Companion Pass.

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In-Flight Perks

Southwest added a few in-flight perks to this card that are more icing on the cake if you're a frequent Southwest flyer (which you should be if you're considering this card!).

First, you get $75 in Southwest travel each year, which takes the $149 annual fee down to just $74. That's just $5 more than the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card and $25 less than the Southwest rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.

You also get four Upgraded Boardings each year. This is when you walk up to the gate with your C-whatever boarding pass in your hand and opt to pay for the A1-15 spot. It's usually anywhere from $30-$50 to get this Upgraded Boarding. It's nice but if you've managed to score A-List Preferred, not all that useful unless you're giving it to someone else (because you feel bad saving seats!).

When we fly as a family, we are always in family boarding (which boards right after A60), so this isn't such a huge perk for us. It would be nice if you fly a lot without family though.

You get 20% back on in-flight purchases – drinks, Wi-Fi, messaging, and the movies. Just pay for it and it'll appear as a credit.

Lastly, you get 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and their Rapid Rewards partners.

One Bonus Per Person per 2 Years

You can only get the Rapid Rewards bonus for one personal consumer Southwest credit card. There are three cards – Plus, Premier, and now Priority – but you can only get the bonus for one card every 24 months. If you got it within the last 24 months from one of the cards, you're ineligible to get it again… even if it's a different card.

In 2018, Chase added new language to the offer details (including the Priority Card):

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. To qualify for your bonus points, you must make Purchases totaling $1,000 or more during the first 3 months from account opening. Please allow up to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your Rapid Rewards® account. (“Purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions, any checks that access your account, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, and fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.) To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment.

Should You Get This Card?

If you travel a lot of Southwest and Companion Pass is worth it to you, then this card is worth getting.

When it comes to bonuses, 75,000 is the highest bonus I've ever seen and you only need to spend $6,000 in the first six months. It's a high bar but not unreasonable. The card itself has a higher annual fee that is offset by all the perks (like Southwest credit) so anyone who uses Southwest with any regularity will see it as a better deal than the Premier card ($99 annual fee with no Southwest travel credit).

Finally, you get 7,500 Rapid Rewards points on your anniversary. Premier only gets you 6,000 and the Plus only gives you 3,000 – so that's another area where you get more value for the card.

It looks like a solid offer to me.

If you have the Premier or Plus card, there are rumors that can you convert your card to the Priority but you will not get access to the 65,000 bonus point promotion. I will update this as I hear more.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

9.5

Overall

9.5/10

Strengths

  • $75 Southwest travel credit
  • 65,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year
  • 7,500 bonus points on anniversary
  • 20% off in-flight purcahses

Weaknesses

  • Must have excellent credit

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

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