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Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Review – 40K Bonus + 4 Upgraded Bookings!

Last updated: December 20,2021
Originally Published: October 29,2021
by Jestan Mendame

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The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card comes with premium perks that are worth hundreds of dollars. It’s one of the three consumer cards in the Chase-Southwest cobranded lineup, and also the one with the most expensive annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card

The card used to have a 100k bonus offer which was more than enough to compensate for the expensive annual fee. Now, it’s back to 40k but despite that, the travel credits, status booster, and of course, the Southwest Companion pass are still enough to justify the $149 annual fee. Or is it? Let’s dive deeper into the card’s details.


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Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Key Features

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within three months of card membership
  • A 3-2-1 rewards structure on travel and everyday-spend categories
  • Reach elite status in no time with status boost
  • Get 25,000 bonus points to fast track your way to earning the Southwest Companion Pass
  • Get a 7,500-point anniversary bonus, $75 travel credit, and 4 upgraded bookings per year
  • The card comes with basic travel protection and insurance

The card doesn’t have foreign transaction fees as well so you get to earn points during your trips abroad without having to worry about extra fees that usually costs 3.5% per transaction.

40,000-Point Welcome Bonus

New cardholders of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card will get 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within three months of card membership. The bonus used to be 100,000 points but now they changed it back to 40,000.

Take note that Rapid Rewards points are worth around 1.2 cents apiece so your 40,000 points are approximately worth $480 towards travel.

Earning Points On Your Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card

What’s great about the Priority Card is that it gives you the flexibility to earn more points on various spending categories. Here is the card’s current rewards structure:

  • 3X points on Southwest purchases
  • 2x points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner
  • 2X points on local transit and commuting (including rideshare)
  • 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Since the rewards structure covers a lot of everyday spending, cardholders will be able to reach the spending requirements for the 100,000 welcome bonus a lot faster.

Get Elite Status With Status Boost

The Priority Card lets you earn 1,500 Tier-Qualifying Points (TQPs) for every $10,000 spent on the card. This can fast-track your journey towards A-list status which requires 35,000 TQPs or A-list Preferred which requires 70,000 TQPs in a calendar year.

Here are some of the additional perks you’ll get once you reach elite status:

  • A-list Status – A-list members willl get priority boarding, 25% bonus points on qualifying flights, priority check-in and security lane access, same-day standby, and a dedicate A-list member phone line.
  • A-list Preferred Status – A-list preferred will get priority boarding, 100% bonus points on qualifying flights, in-flight WIFI, priority check-in and security lane access, same-day standby, and a dedicate A-list member phone line.

Speed Up Earning Your Southwest Companion Pass

A Southwest Companion Pass is basically a travel voucher that allows you to bring one companion on Southwest flights for FREE (taxes and airline fees aren’t included).

Cardholders must earn a total of 125,000 qualifying points in order to get the Companion Pass, and what’s great about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is it comes with 25,000 qualifying bonus points so you’re only 100,000 points closer to getting your Companion Pass.

Here are some examples of the spending categories that will earn you qualifying points for the Companion Pass.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card
Spending on these categories will earn you qualifying points for the Companion Pass (Image courtesy of Southwest Airlines).

Cardholders can use their Companion Pass on the same year it was obtained and also the year after. For example, if you got your Companion Pass in September 2021, you can still use it until December 2021 and also use it for a full calendar year in 2022.


Read More: How To Use The Southwest Companion Pass


Image courtesy of CanvaPro from nazdravie/Getty Images Signature.

Travel Credits & Bonuses

Apart from the Companion pass, welcome bonus, and earning rates, here are other perks that come with the card:

  • Four upgraded boardings per year – Use your Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority credit card at the ticket counter to pay for A1-A15 boarding spots (up to 4 times per year). You’ll then get a refund for the money you spent on the upgrade which will come inn the form of statement credit.
  • 25% inflight savings – Get a 25% statement credit for purchases you’ve made during the flight such as WIFI, drinks, food, and entertainment.
  • 7,500-point annual anniversary bonus – Cardholders will get a bonus point of 7,500 ponts every card anniversary.
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit – Get a $75 statement credit that can be uses towards different travel categories.

Additionally, travelers who fly Southwest won’t have to pay for change or cancellation fees. There are also two free checked bags. The statement credit alone brings the annual fee down to $74 and if you factor in all the bonus points, discounts, and perks, it seems like your annual fees are already paid off.

Travel Protection and Insurance

The card also comes with basic travel protection and insurance such as the following:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection

Who Is The Card For?

The answer is pretty straightforward. The card is perfect for Southwest loyalists as they can surely max out the benefits that the card has to offer. It’s also perfect for people who have various spending categories.

Just remember that Southwest cards are a part of the Chase program which means that it’s subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. It’s an unspoken rule which states that a consumer may not own another Chase card if he or she has already 5 other credit cards in the past 24 months.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card VS Other Southwest Consumer Cards

The main advantage of the Priority card is its 25% cashback for inflight services, $75 travel statement credit, four upgraded boardings per year, and 7,500 annual bonus points.

Other than that, all the co-branded cards in the Southwest consumer card lineup have the same features. They even have the same welcome bonus of 40,000 points after meeting the spending requirements. Here are some key details about the other two cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card has an annual bonus of 3,000 points and an annual fee of $69. As for the rewards, here are the categories:

  • 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases
  • 2 points per dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare
  • 2 points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass(R)

The Plus card might be the cheapest card but it does carry foreign transaction fees. Imagine having to pay a fee every time you make purchases abroad!

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with 6,000 bonus points for every card anniversary and an annual fee of $99. The rewards structure is very similar to the Priority Card:

  • 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases
  • 2 points per dollar spent with Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare
  • 2 points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • All points count towards Companion Pass

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Thoughts From Points Panda

Southwest Airlines’ co-branded consumer cards are having their all-time high bonuses, so it really doesn’t matter which one you’d pick if you’re not too picky about the perks.

However, if you’re a Southwest Airlines frequent flyer who is looking for long-term benefits, then the Priority Card would suit you best because of its 7,500 annual bonus points, $75 statement credits, and upgraded seats.

Welcome Offer: 100,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months of your membership when you sign up for the New American Express Platinum

Special Bonus: Earn 10x on restaurant spend worldwide in the first 6 months of your membership, up to 225,000 additional points, this is in additional to the record high welcome bonus.

Every traveler should have this card in their wallet, and the welcome offer of 100k is the highest offer Points Panda has seen in many years!

Annual Fee: $695

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