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The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card has been making waves lately, thanks to an unprecedented sign-up bonus: The coveted Companion Pass and 30,000 points after $4,000 spent in 3 months. Southwest credit cards usually offer sign-up bonuses around 50,000 points, so this a pretty great incentive. But how does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card stack up in other areas? Below is a break-down of the card’s various features:
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card sign-up bonus
While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is pretty impressive, it may not be for everyone (I know – blasphemy!). You’re giving up 20,000 points in exchange for a companion pass, which normally takes 110,000 points to earn. If you’re a frequent traveler who will save 20,000 or more points a year on a companion’s fare, then absolutely go for it. But if you’re a solo traveler or plan on redeeming less than 20,000 points for a companion’s airfare, then you might be better off with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus. I’m not knocking the Companion Pass – it’s an incredibly valuable perk for those who actually make use of it. But those who won’t are better off with a bigger point bonus.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card category bonuses
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card earns 2 points per $1 on Southwest flights, hotel and car rental partners. All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. I’m not much of a fan of restricted category bonuses like this one. I prefer putting travel spending on credit cards that earn flexible rewards points. Like the Citi Prestige or Amex Platinum. They offer bigger bonuses (3 and 5 points, respectively) and flexibility when it comes to redeeming points. Overall, I’m not swayed by the category bonuses on this card, since they’re pretty standard for an airline credit card.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card annual bonus
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit cardholders get 7,500 anniversary points every year they renew the card. Not a huge bonus, but it can come in handy for covering cheap fares. For example, you can frequently find roundtrip fares under 7,000 points on short-haul routes (i.e. Sacramento to Los Angeles). The paid fare for these flights? Around $120 roundtrip. So this 7,500 point anniversary bonus can definitely go a long way.
Another type of “bonus” offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card is the ability to earn up to 15,000 tier qualifying points (TQP’s) every year. Cardholders earn 1,500 TQP’s for every $10,000 in purchases, up to ten times. If you’re a big spender, you can channel $100,000 to this card every year in order to earn 15,000 TPQ’s. I personally don’t think that’s a big enough return on such a large volume of spend, but to each his own.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card travel perks
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority cardholders are entitled to a $75 Southwest annual travel credit and up to four upgraded boardings per year. The boarding upgrades (i.e. A-Group) are applied as a statement credit. Charge the expense to your credit card and you’ll get reimbursed four times a year. I really enjoy flying Southwest, but their boarding process can be a little stressful. A-Group boarding does make a huge difference, in my opinion. This is a great example of an airline credit card offering a meaningful benefit. The same goes for the $75 annual travel credit. It helps take the sting out of the higher annual fee…
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card annual fee
At $149, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card’s annual fee is the highest of all Southwest cards. It’s $50 more than the Premier version and $80 higher than the Plus card.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card: Is the annual fee worth it?
That depends. Right now, all of three Southwest credit cards come with the same sign-up bonus: Companion Pass + 30,000 points after $4,000 spent in 3 months. The three cards are indistinguishable when it comes to sign-up bonus and bonus categories. The only real differences are the annual bonuses, foreign transaction fees (the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card charges 3%). I think most people can probably suffice with the Southwest Premier Card instead. But if you’re going to maximize all the benefits of the higher-annual fee card, then I say go for the Priority version.
What do you think of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card? Is it worth getting?
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- Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases with your new Card in the first 3 months.†
- Earn 15,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 15,000 bonus miles after you reach $30,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in the calendar year.
- Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.
- Settle into your seat sooner with Priority Boarding and enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend overseas.‡
- Complimentary Delta Sky Club® Access.‡
- Terms and limitations apply
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Per dollar on eligible purchases with Delta Purchases