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Southwest Airlines is a fan-favorite because of their competitive pricing, easy-going crew, and their first two bags fly free allowance. That’s why frequent Southwest patrons and those who sometimes opt for Southwest’s Anytime fare class will enjoy the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. With a suite of Rapid Rewards benefits and a 40,000-point signup bonus, there’s a lot to offer.

southwest rapid rewards priority card

Southwest Airlines and Chase . This new addition is the most upscale of the three personal credit cards available. Let’s review some of the perks of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card in comparison to the other cards available.

Annual Fee

The annual fee is $149, but you can enjoy several exclusive benefits that are easily worth more.

Your annual fee for the other Southwest credit cards are either $69 or $99 you don’t have as many perks. Even though you pay less for these other two cards, you can save more money long-term with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. For instance, with a single $75 Southwest travel credit, your annual fee immediately reduces to $74. You’ll still have more benefits (that are outlined below) for a comparable annual fee.

Earn 40,000 Bonus Rapid Rewards Points

New cardholders have the opportunity to earn 40,000 Rapid Rewards points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

You’ll be nearly halfway to earning the Southwest Companion PassPlus, all of the points you earn from credit card spending apply towards the 110,000-point requirement.

Once you earn the Companion Pass, it’s valid for the rest of the year and all of 2020. When you book a ticket with cash or points, your travel companion only needs to pay fees and taxes to fly alongside. In most instances, that’s $5.60 each way.

7,500 Points Anniversary Bonus

Each anniversary year, you will get a 7,500-point anniversary bonus. The other two personal Southwest credit cards offer annual bonuses of 3,000 points and 6,000 points.

With one-way award flights for as low as 3,600 points, this bonus can easily help you book a roundtrip short-haul flight when you don’t want to pay cash.

$75 Annual Southwest Travel Credit

You will also get a $75 annual travel credit on Southwest Airlines each year. This credit essentially reduces the annual fee to $74.

Up To 4 Free Upgraded Boardings Each Year

Another benefit that elevates the Priority card above the other Rapid Rewards cards is the opportunity to have four free upgraded boardings each year. Upgraded boarding normally costs between $30 and $50 per flight and gets you a secured spot in the A1-A15 boarding group on a space-available basis.

If you want to save $200, this benefit alone recoups the $175 annual fee. Plus, you don’t have to fight for that last window seat!

20% In-Flight Savings

You will also receive a 20% statement credit on the following in-flight purchases:

  • Drink
  • Wi-Fi
  • Messages
  • Movies

Each purchase can cost up to $8. With the credit, you essentially get a free in-flight purchase for every five paid purchases. Plus, you earn two points for every dollar spent on Southwest purchases.

Shared Benefits With the Other Southwest Credit Cards

So far, you’ll enjoy these exclusive benefits by owning the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card:

  • $75 Southwest travel credit
  • Four free Upgraded Bookings
  • 7,500-point anniversary bonus (instead of 3,000 or 6,000 points)
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases

The following benefits are the same as the two current Southwest credit cards:

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • All purchase rewards apply toward earning the Companion Pass
  • Earn tier qualifying points for A-List and A-List Preferred Status
  • No foreign transaction fees

As always, your points never expire as long as you own a Southwest credit card. And, you never have to worry about blackout dates when redeeming your points. You’ll never pay change fees and your first two bags always fly free.

1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards Point Transfers

Southwest Airlines continues to be a 1:1 point transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Although your transferred Ultimate Rewards points don’t count toward the Companion Pass requirement, they can top off your current Rapid Rewards balance to book your next award flight sooner instead of later.

By using a Chase Sapphire for your non-Southwest travel purchases, you can always earn double points when you travel.

Other Cool Happenings at Southwest

Southwest Priority Tour

To celebrate the launch of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, Southwest is hosting Priority Tour stops in 10 cities across the country between late July and early August 2018. If you can stop by and say hi, you can earn bonus Rapid Rewards points and even win a free roundtrip for two!

Flights to Hawaii

Southwest made waves earlier in 2018 with the announcement of flights to Hawaii. Although an official date hasn’t been set yet, Southwest is still planning on selling the first ticket in 2018 when all governmental approvals have been made. Once these flights go on sale, maybe you’ll put your 65,000 bonus points or the Companion Pass to good use!

When to Apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card?

With three different Southwest Airlines rewards card to choose from, the choice might be difficult to make at first glance.

You should apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card when:

  • Can use the $75 annual travel credit
  • Periodically purchase Upgraded Boardings (Potentially saving $200 every year!)
  • Make regular in-flight purchases and want 20% back
  • Want the 40,000-point signup bonus to get the Companion Pass even sooner
  • Want the 7,500-point anniversary bonus instead of 6,000 points

As long as you fly Southwest a few times a year, the Priority Card pays for itself with the $75 travel credit, 20% in-flight purchase discount, and the 7,500 bonus points every card anniversary. You might even find yourself flying Southwest more because of these new card benefits. If you are considering using this card for business, you may want to check out the Southwest business credit card.

If you are more focused on earning purchase rewards and won’t use the additional Priority Card benefits, one of the other two Southwest options is better. You can save a few dollars and your point balance will never expire.

Summary of The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card

It seems like every new travel rewards credit card is better than the last. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card doesn’t disappoint. With its generous signup bonus, you still have time to earn the Companion Pass this year. Plus the travel credits and Upgraded Seating benefits add value to every Southwest flight.

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