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Is Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Worth the Annual Fee?

Feb. 24, 2020
Airline Credit Cards, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
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You might have applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card last year when Chase was offering a Companion Pass for the rest of 2019, along with a welcome bonus. That was a great deal if you got in on it, and hopefully you were able to maximize both the points and Companion Pass.

But in the coming months, the annual fee of $149 will be due, and you’ll need to determine if the continuing card perks are worth it.

Consider the benefits you have used, beyond the Companion Pass and welcome bonus, to determine whether this card is worth a space in your wallet and the cash outlay. Also, think about how much you plan to fly Southwest to help you decide if it’s worth renewing.

Card perks

Let’s take a look at the benefits and point-earning ability of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card to help you evaluate whether the annual fee is worth it:

» Learn more: Southwest Priority Card review: Pay more, get more

2X points on flights

If you fly Southwest regularly because it services your home airport, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card may be worth keeping. You get 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases (including those with Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car partners), and 1 point on everything else.

7,500 anniversary points

Cardholders receive 7,500 points every anniversary. If you’ve already got a good stash of Rapid Reward points, this is a nice chunk to add to it. It could be just what you need to book that vacation you’ve been eyeing.

$75 annual travel credit

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card also comes with an annual $75 credit toward Southwest purchases.

So figure that perk into your calculations. Between this credit and the anniversary points, the card practically pays for itself, provided you use both benefits.

» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained

Four upgraded boardings

If you fly Southwest enough, you know that the airline does not give out seat assignments in advance. However, Southwest does offer early boarding, which can be purchased for $30-$50. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, you get four upgraded boardings every year, allowing you to board in group A1-A15.

Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list status

Cardholders earn 1,500 points toward elite status for every $10,000 spent on the card. That benefit is capped at 15,000 tier qualifying points per year.

The Companion Pass

You may have grown fond of the Companion Pass benefit. If that’s the case, then you can devise a strategy to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. Keep in mind that you get to use the pass for the remainder of the year you earned it as well as the following year.

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 2020, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best travel credit card for you
Southwest Rapid Rewards program: The complete guide
Which Southwest Airlines credit card should I get?

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