Points, Miles & Credit Cards

Review: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Kurt Adams

Kurt Adams

January 26, 2024

6 min read

Going has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Going and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Some of all of the card offers that appear on this page are from advertisers; compensation may affect how and where the cards appear on the site; and Going does not include all card companies are all available card offers.

Who is the Southwest Priority Credit Card Review for?

If you fly often on Southwest, this is the best of the airline’s consumer credit cards. It comes with valuable perks for Southwest loyalists. 

Southwest Priority Credit Card Quick Facts

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Annual fee: annual_fees


Foreign transaction fee: foreign_transaction_fee


Earning rate:

  • Earn 3X points per dollar on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points per dollar on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners
  • Earn 2X points per dollar on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points per dollar on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
  • Earn 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: bonus_miles_full


Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Anniversary bonus points
  • No limit to bonus points you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons:

  • Higher annual fee than similar airline cards
  • No airport lounge access
  • Welcome offer is equal to other, lower-fee Southwest cards 
Our take

If you're a Southwest devotee, the Southwest Priority Credit Card is the best option of the airline's three personal cards. But if you want more perks, like Global Entry credit or lounge access, you may want to consider another travel credit card. 

Southwest Priority Credit Card Review Review

The card_name is ideal for frequent travelers on Southwest Airlines. In addition to earning 3X points per dollar on purchases directly with Southwest, you can get credit for up to four upgraded boardings each year, and 25% back on inflight purchases

The card also offers an annual Southwest travel credit of $75. That alone offsets half of the card’s annual fee.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card also gives you a head start towards earning both the coveted Southwest Companion Pass and A-List elite status. Each year, you’ll receive a 10,000 qualifying point boost toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass. And each card anniversary, you’ll receive 7,500 Rapid Rewards points you can use for redeeming a free flight.

Earning points with the Southwest Priority Credit Card

Like many co-branded airline credit cards, purchases directly with the airline earns the most points per dollar. 

However, if you want to maximize earning points on spending categories outside of the card’s bonus categories, you can enroll in Rapid Rewards dining and use the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal. Each can reward you with additional points per dollar on top of what the card earns itself.  

Redeeming points with the Southwest Priority Credit Card

Redeeming points with Southwest is very simple. You can use the points you earn to redeem for a ticket on a Southwest flight.

Point prices for Southwest flights closely track the cash price of the ticket. This means that the price will vary, but also that you’ll likely be able to find availability. 

Plus, Southwest Airlines regularly offers its “Wanna Get Away” fare class for under 10,000 points per seats, each way. Other domestic airline carriers regularly charge 20,000 points or more for economy class seats on their flights, so this can be a great deal.

Alternatives to the Southwest Priority Credit Card

Similar cards to the Southwest Priority Credit Card

If you’re a Southwest fanatic, but balk at the annual fee, there are two cards that offer lower annual fees: the Southwest Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Premier Credit Card. 

All three cards award you the 10,000 qualifying points toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass annually, but the two lower fee cards award you fewer Rapid Rewards points to redeem for a free flight each card anniversary. Neither lower-tier card offers the annual Southwest travel credit that the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has. 

One word of caution: Chase limits you to only one personal Southwest card and one business Southwest card per person. 

Read our review of the Southwest Premier Credit Card

Read our review of the Southwest Plus Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The main drawback of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is that the points you earn can only be redeemed with Southwest. If you fly other airlines, or just want a travel credit card that offers more flexible rewards, the card_name allows you to transfer your points to 11 travel partners, including Southwest. The only caveat is that Chase Ultimate Rewards points you transfer to Southwest do not count toward earning the companion pass.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

If you prefer flexible travel rewards, but don’t fly Southwest too often, consider the card_name. You’ll earn a flat 2X miles (points) per dollar spent on all purchases, so no need to worry about tracking bonus categories like with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. It also gives you a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, which is missing from Southwest’s top-of-the-line card. However, if you primarily fly domestic, Capital One currently does not have a domestic airline partner to transfer your points to.

Read our review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Frequently asked questions

What does the Southwest Priority Card give you?
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card, you get an annual $75 Southwest travel credit, a head start toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass (10,000 qualifying points annually), 7,500 Rapid Rewards points each card anniversary, an accelerated way to earn A-List status, and up to four upgraded boardings each year.
Is the Southwest Priority Card worth it?
If you’re a Southwest loyalist, the Southwest Priority Card is a great option for you. Among other perks, you’ll get a leg up toward earning Southwest Companion Pass and A-List status.
How do I get the most out of my Southwest Priority Card?
To maximize your Southwest Priority Card, you should use the $75 Southwest travel credit each year. This will offset about half of the annual fee you pay. You should also redeem the 7,500 Rapid Rewards points you’ll receive each card anniversary for a flight. If you want to squeeze every ounce of value out of this card, work toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass and A-List status.
Does the Southwest Priority Card reimburse for TSA PreCheck?
No, the Southwest Priority Card does not include a credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. If you want statement credit for a trusted traveler program, consider the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. The only Southwest credit card that does include a credit for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS is the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

Going has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Going and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses, and recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. Some of all of the card offers that appear on this page are from advertisers; compensation may affect how and where the cards appear on the site; and Going does not include all card companies are all available card offers.

Kurt Adams

Kurt Adams

Marketing


Published January 26, 2024

Last updated February 22, 2024

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