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 Bonus Points
The sign up bonus is one of the highest currently available for Southwest and is pretty straight-forward:
You get 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. That's the standard offer of the Premier and Plus cards, which is lower than the once-typical offer of 50,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points.
It's not as rich as the previous offer, which put you really close to Southwest Companion Pass but it's a decent offer..
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, 65,000 is a solid bonus and $15,000 in that first year is 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.