5 Things to Do After Getting the Southwest Priority Credit Card

Here's how to familiarize yourself with your new card's benefits so you can start getting the most out of it.

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If you're ready to get back into travel, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card can be your ticket to free or cheap flights and better service while flying Southwest (including a guaranteed A group boarding position four times per year).

Plus, the card currently has the following welcome bonus: New Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Chase, which issues this card, also offers two other Southwest cards but despite its $149 annual fee, we think this one is the best for Southwest loyalists, given its added benefits like a $75 Southwest travel credit per year, 7,500 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary and four upgraded boardings per year when available.

Here’s what new cardholders need to do as soon as their Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card arrives.

1. Start spending (responsibly)

Think about purchases you would have to make anyway — new tires, home repairs, school textbooks, a new mattress you already planned to buy — and, assuming you’re prepared to pay off the card balance when the bill arrives, get shopping. Just don’t fall into the trap of unnecessary spending, which defeats the purpose of getting something free.

2. Pick your travel companion

Normally a Southwest Companion Pass is tough to earn. Only travelers who accumulate 125,000 Southwest points or who fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year get this perk. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card will help you earn one faster and without spending as much if you earn it through the current sign-up bonus.

» Learn more: FAQs about the Southwest Companion Pass sign-up bonus

The Companion Pass lets you choose one person to accompany you on unlimited flights practically for free. They’ll pay fees, often as low as $5.60 each way, but no fares. The Southwest Companion Pass is good for the rest of the year in which it's earned, plus the following calendar year.

3. Browse the Southwest Low Fare Calendar

Southwest flies to over 101 destinations in the U.S. and 10 other countries. Spend some time browsing Southwest’s most popular destinations from your home airport and explore Southwest’s Low Fare Calendar feature. Then, pull out your bucket list and compare.

Also, start getting familiar with how Southwest prices its award tickets so you can start planning getaways with your companion pass guest in tow. The airline also has many sweet spots, allowing you to purchase flights for as little as 4,234 Rapid Rewards points.

4. Look at your availability

Do you know when you can get time off work to travel? Do you know when your companion can take vacation days? Do you know which holidays and long weekends could afford you chances to travel? Do you have a reunion, wedding or other scheduled event coming up that you and your companion will want to attend?

Start getting a handle now on what your upcoming travel will look like. Also, check in with friends and family who live in places where Southwest flies to see when it might be a good time to visit.

5. Understand the Southwest boarding upgrade perk

If you’re new to flying Southwest, you may not be familiar with its boarding procedures and no assigned seats. But Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Cardholders get up to four upgraded boardings per year for free. Finally, no more setting a timer on your phone to check in exactly 24 hours out — or worse — feeling pressured to pay extra for EarlyBird Check-In.

Use one of your four boarding passes and your boarding position will be moved up to the A group, meaning you’ll be one of the first on the plane to choose your seat. Think about whether you want to save your Southwest Premier Card upgraded boarding passes for longer flights or use them right away.

Final thoughts on what to do after getting the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a solid choice for Southwest loyalists and offers a lot of useful perks. If you’re considering the card, check out our guide to getting the most out of it.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

partner programs

IHG® One Rewards
Get exclusive benefits and earn points faster
World of Hyatt
Enjoy free nights, member rates and more
Alaska Mileage Plan
Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
IHG® Rewards Program

IHG® One Rewards

Wherever you go, however you stay, IHG One Rewards offers rewards for every one.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

Highlights:
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt

With the World of Hyatt loyalty program, enjoy a world of rewards designed to revolve around you.

on Hyatt's website

Highlights:
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.

on Hyatt's website

logo image

Alaska Mileage Plan

Mileage Plan is Alaska's loyalty program for anyone who loves to travel and is free to join!

on Alaska's website

Highlights:
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend

on Alaska's website

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