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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is ideal for people who like to travel. With a generous sign-up bonus of 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you’ll earn 3X points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 2X points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. The Southwest Rapid Rewards priority credit card offers you a $75 annual Southwest travel credit, 25% off in-flight refreshments and Wi-Fi and up to four free upgraded boardings each year. You’ll also get one point for every $1 you spend on other purchases.
Card Details to Know Up Front
- Bonus, Fee or FeatureHas or Not
- Has Annual Fee
- Has Balance Transfer Offer
- Has APR Offer
- Cash Back Rewards
- Travel Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card at a Glance
Southwest Airlines has a good loyalty program that lets customers earn miles by flying or by spending money on the airline’s cobranded credit cards. If you often travel, it’s worth signing up for an airline card to accumulate rewards. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card combines both of these methods.
Additionally, there are no blackout dates with your miles. So, as long as there are seats available in your fare class, you can buy them.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
A great card for Southwest frequent flyers
- Good–ExcellentRecommended Credit
- $149Annual Fee
- 1–2 Points per $1Rewards Rate
- 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
- 1xRewards Rate on Gas
Pros & Cons Explained
The Southwest Rapid Rewards card is offered by Chase. The rewards program is very generous, but there are some downsides you should be aware of before applying. Here are some of the main factors you should consider.
- No foreign transaction feeThe Southwest credit card from Chase charges no fees for foreign purchases. Many cards charge 2-3% in fees on these transactions, so a card with no foreign transaction fee is worth looking into if you travel internationally frequently.
- Generous sign-up bonusSouthwest offers 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first three months. That’s worth up to $560 in airfare. Plus, you’ll get 7,500 points every year on your cardmember anniversary. Points can be redeemed for gift cards or cashback and any unused points will stay active until you redeem them.
- No blackout datesThe Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card does not have any blackout dates. This means that if you want to go on a last-minute getaway, it won’t cost you any extra money to do so.
- Great rewardsYou’ll get three points for Southwest purchases, two points for Rapid Rewards partner purchases, two points for local transit and commuting purchases, two points for internet, cable, phone and streaming services and one point for other purchases.
- High annual fee $149 per yearOne of the biggest concerns with Southwest’s rewards credit card is its high annual fee. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a premier travel reward credit card with a hefty annual fee of $149. This is considered expensive for people who do not travel frequently.
- No intro APR offerThose who like to carry a balance from month to month may not like that this card has no intro APR offer for purchases or balance transfers. There are cards out there that can help you save money on interest when carrying a balance, so if that’s important to you, you may want to look into other options.
According to our credit card research, Southwest Airlines' rapid rewards priority credit card provides various perks. Despite its excellent rewards incentives, it is not our top pick for the best travel credit cards or the best rewards credit cards. You can compare our top travel credit cards and best rewards credit cards to find the ideal choice for you.
Bonuses & Rewards Explained
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has a robust rewards program that gives cardholders the opportunity to maximize their rewards.
Cardholders will receive 50,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership.
Each year, cardholders get a $75 travel credit on Southwest Airlines.
You can earn three points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases and two points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. Other purchases earn one point per dollar.
Earn 25% back on in-flight purchases.
Receive four upgraded boardings per year when available.
Other Features Explained
There are other features of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card that may make it a worthwhile addition to your wallet.
- Card FeatureDescription
- Roadside dispatchIf you have a roadside emergency, call 1-800-847-2869 at any time to get the assistance you need. This might include anything from a tow or jumpstart to a tire replacement, lockout service, winching or gas delivery. You will be given a quote for roadside assistance, which will be charged to your credit card.
- Purchase protectionFor 120 days, your new purchases are protected against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Security ProtectionIf you misplace your card or get stolen, you may lock it using the Chase mobile app. If you recover the card again, you may unlock it to make it active again.
To attain A-List status, you must accumulate 35,000 "tier-qualifying points" in a calendar year. This entitles you to priority check-in, free same-day standby, a 25% points bonus when booking certain Southwest tickets and other perks. Normally, the only method to earn tier-qualifying points is to fly Southwest. However, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card provides you 1,500 of these points for every $10,000 spent, up to 15,000 points each year.
Understanding the Fine Print
Before applying for any credit card, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions to ensure it’s the right card for you.
- Card FeatureAmount or Rate
- APR20.99% – 27.99% Variable
- Annual Fee$149
- Cash Back Rewards
- Rewards Rate1–2 Points per $1
- Airline Benefits
This card’s annual fee is on the high side, which costs $149 per year. Regardless of how expensive it is, the card does have some perks that make it worthwhile if you fly Southwest more than once per year.
Foreign Transaction Fees
Purchases made outside the United States, including online purchases, are not subject to a foreign transaction fee.
High Regular APR
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card's ongoing APR stands between 20.99% – 27.99% variable, which is higher than other credit cards that are not rewards-based and have only introductory APRs.
When comparing this card to other travel credit cards, pay particular attention to the bonus points conversion to airfare and any additional costs that may be linked with it. If you're comparing it to a card you already own, go through your most recent billing statement or visit the website or app of your card issuer. Alternatively, you may look for information about credit card agreements using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database (CFPB).
Who Should & Shouldn’t Consider Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card?
Other Considerations for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card might not be right for everyone, so it's important to evaluate how you plan to use the card before applying for it. Depending on if this will be your first or only card or if you intend to make it an additional card in your wallet, there are some key factors you’ll want to consider.
Things to Consider if This Will Be Your First or Only Credit Card
As someone who travels frequently, Southwest credit cards could save you money on travel-related expenses because they offer great spending categories and generous sign-up bonuses. However, if you don’t travel via Southwest often, you should consider other cards that offer lower annual fees.
Things to Consider if This Will Be an Additional Card in Your Wallet
If you’re looking to upgrade from the card you currently have and make this an additional card in your wallet, the 50,000 welcome bonus points reward you can earn will save you around $560 in airfare. Plus, the no transaction fees on international purchases may also help you save money.
However, you will still have to pay a $149 annual fee. As a result, this card may not be worth it if you don’t fly Southwest frequently.
When evaluating credit cards, we adhere to a well-defined and standardized methodology. Collecting information from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's database, standardizing data points for easy comparison, predicting average expenditure profiles, assessing long-term worth and performing frequent re-rankings are all part of our process.
How Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Compares to Other Cards
Despite its annual fee, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card’s benefits and features outweigh the cost for frequent Southwest users. This is why people who travel often consider the annual fee worthwhile compared to other cards in the same category. However, if you’re not a frequent Southwest customer, other cards could be a better fit for your needs.
Quick Comparison of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $149
- Purchase APR: 20.99% – 27.99% Variable
- Welcome Bonus: 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- International Transaction Fee: $0
- Mini Verdict: Best for people who travel on Southwest often and want many perks and bonuses.
United℠ Explorer Card
- Annual Fee: $0 Intro for First Year, then $95
- Purchase APR: 21.49% – 28.49% Variable
- Welcome Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- International Transaction Fee: $0
- Mini Verdict: Ideal for people who are looking to save on credit cards and don't travel frequently.
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
Before you apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, here are some questions you should consider to ensure the card is a good fit for your needs.
Still not sure about this card? Consider these options.
If you are unsure if Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is for you, you can consider other categories of credit cards such as business credit cards, cash back credit cards or balance transfer credit cards.
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Learn more about credit cards in general
- Southwest. "Rapid Rewards Consumer Credit Cards." Accessed December 14, 2021.
- Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. "Credit card agreement database." Accessed December 14, 2021.
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