Southwest Airlines Priority Card Review 2021

By Adam Jusko, ProudMoney.com, adam@proudmoney.com

Updated June 17, 2021 – Southwest Airlines offers three consumer credit cards. The Rapid Rewards Priority Card is the high-end card in the group, with the most features and perks but also the highest annual fee.

Is it worth it to pay more? Let’s look at the features of the Southwest Priority Card first, then we’ll compare and contrast it with the other Southwest credit cards.

The Miles

The Southwest Airlines Priority Card is a Visa credit card issued in partnership with Chase. It offers the following points reward formula:

  • 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases as well as on purchases from Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • 1 point per dollar everywhere else

Bonus Opportunity

  • As of this writing, you’ll get 65,000 bonus points if you spent $2000 with the card in the first three months of having it.

Other Features

  • You’ll earn 7500 points on your card anniversary each year.
  • You’ll get a $75 travel credit on Southwest purchases annually (but not on in-flight drinks or Upgraded Boarding, so mostly for actual ticket purchases or extra checked bags/oversized bags)
  • 4 Upgraded Boarding reimbursements per year — you pay for upgrades initially but get reimbursed
  • 20% discount (reimbursement actually) on in-flight drinks, Wi-Fi, movies
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases outside of the United States.
  • 1500 tier qualifying points for every $10,000 charged to the card (up to $100,000 in purchases per year/15,000 tier qualifying points). Note that reaching A-List status requires 35,000 points or 25 one-way flights on Southwest.


How Does It Compare?

There are two other Southwest Airlines credit cards on the market. Here’s how they compare to the new Priority credit card:

  • Plus Card: $69 annual fee, same points structure on purchases (2 points per dollar on Southwest + partners, 1 point everywhere else) and same 65,000-point bonus opportunity upfront. However, this card offers only 3000 points on your card anniversary (vs. 7500 with Priority Card) and it does not offer a number of things the Priority card offers: no $75 travel credit, no reimbursements on Upgraded Boarding, no 20% discount on in-flight purchases, no tier qualifying points. It also does charge an extra 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases outside of the U.S.
  • Premier Card: $99 annual fee, same points structure on purchases (2 points per dollar on Southwest + partners, 1 point everywhere else) and same 65,000-point bonus opportunity upfront. However, this card offers 6000 points on your card anniversary (vs. 7500 with Priority Card) and it does not offer the $75 travel credit or the reimbursements on Upgraded Boarding or the 20% discount on in-flight purchases. However, like the Priority card, it does offer the same 1500 tier qualifying points it has no foreign transaction fees.

The Verdict

The new Southwest Airlines Priority credit card clearly offers extra benefits for people that fly Southwest and who at least occasionally actually pay for their Southwest tickets. If you are a paying Southwest customer, the extra $75 travel credit and Upgraded Boarding reimbursements in particular could make this card worth the cost.

On the other hand, if you want a Southwest Airlines credit card specifically to earn points toward the occasional free ticket and you rarely would actually pay for a Southwest ticket, then the Priority Card won’t make sense for you. In that case, you would probably be best off sticking with the $69 annual fee Southwest Plus credit card.