This card lets you earn rewards fast with its everyday categories, but the airline perks make the Southwest Priority card stand out for brand loyalists.
Rewards: Plenty of ways to earn and redeem points
Racking up points should be no trouble with your Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card if you frequently fly with Southwest and regularly commute with local transit and ridesharing services. Southwest purchases earn 3X points. This includes flights, in-flight purchases and Southwest Airlines gift cards. You can also net 2X points on other legs of your journey with the airline’s hotel and rental car partners. Once you’re home, stock up toward your next trip with 2X points on local transit (including rideshares) and your monthly internet, cable, phone and select streaming service bills. All other purchases earn 1X points.
On top of that, you can earn points by shopping through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal, eating out at restaurants in its Dining Rewards program (registration required) and taking advantage of other promotional point offers as a Rewards Member. Although these reward opportunities can be pretty niche, you could earn decent points from TurboTax and 1-800-Flowers purchases, among others.
Your Rapid Rewards points will never expire while your account is open. There are no blackout dates or restrictions for award flights, and you have flexible redemption options for an airline card. For instance, you can redeem through the More Rewards program or Chase for more options, which include:
- International flights with other carriers
- Hotel stays
- Rental cars
- Rapid Rewards Access Event exclusive experiences
- Gift cards
- Transferring or gifting points to other Rapid Rewards members
- Donating points to eligible charities
- Statement credits toward eligible Chase Pay Yourself Back purchases
This is a solid roster of choices, but several other airlines’ cards may provide even more flight-centric redemption options, such as seat upgrades, in-flight purchases, incidental airline expenses, and airport lounge access.
Bankrate estimates that Southwest points average 1.5 cents per point, which rivals competing cards. However, your reward value will fluctuate depending on several factors, including the redemption option and your reward flight’s destination, time and date.
Perks: Solid travel credits
While you won’t get fancy perks like airport lounge access with this Southwest card, you’ll save plenty. You can enjoy the following travel benefits:
- Four Southwest upgraded boardings a year (subject to availability)
- A $75 Southwest travel credit every year (automatically applied when using your card on eligible travel purchases through the airline)
- 7,500 anniversary bonus points
- 25 percent back on inflight purchases, such as drinks and Wi-Fi
- 10,000 Companion Pass points every year
- 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) towards elite status per $10,000 in purchases
- One year of DoorDash DashPass for $0 delivery fees and lower service fees (after that, you’re automatically enrolled at the current monthly DashPass rate; must activate by Dec. 12, 2024)
Since the annual bonus points can be worth almost $113 (at a value of 1.5 cents apiece based on Bankrate's estimates), this perk along with the annual travel credit could easily offset the annual fee every year. If you take advantage of the additional discounts and credits, then this Southwest card can be quite lucrative.
You also receive several protection benefits as a Visa cardholder like auto insurance coverage for rental cars and roadside dispatch. These protections can be helpful while traveling.
Additionally, this card can help you achieve Southwest elite status. With the Priority card’s bonus of 1,500 TQPs per $10,000 in purchases, you can start working your way to A-List or A-List Preferred. With A-List status, you earn 25 percent more points on Southwest purchases, while A-List Preferred delivers an extra 100 percent.