Southwest Personal Card Reviews
Many view the Chase Southwest credit cards as a means to get the Southwest Companion Pass. But once you get the Companion Pass, are any of the Southwest personal cards worth holding in the long run? In this Southwest personal card reviews we will break down the offer, earning structure card perks and give our thoughts on these cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Current Southwest Personal Card Welcome Offers
The Southwest Priority, Premier, and Plus cards all currently carry the same welcome offer:
- Earn 50,000 Southwest points after $1,000 of spend in the first 3 months.
- The annual fees are NOT waived
- Priority card has a $149 annual fee.
- Premier card comes with us $99 annual fee.
- Plus card has a $69 annual fee.
Southwest Personal Card Reviews: Application Rules
As with any other Chase card, you cannot qualify for either card if you have opened more than 5 credit cards with any bank in the last 24 months. In addition, you cannot open a new Southwest personal card if you already hold a personal Southwest card. If you have a Southwest personal card, you must close it before applying for a new personal card. This rule applies across the different Southwest personal cards. This is different than Southwest’s business cards, which you can have more than one.
As for the welcome offer, you will not qualify for a bonus if you have received a welcome offer from any Southwest personal card within the last 24 months. This does not include the Southwest business cards.
Southwest Personal Card Earning Rates
Here is a breakdown of each card. You will notice many similarities in the two cards with higher annual fees.
Like the Southwest business cards, these personal cards are not great for earning points. For Southwest purchases, you would be better off earning transferable points currencies like Ultimate Rewards, ThankYou Points, or Membership Rewards versus earning Southwest Rapid Rewards. The lone exception would be if you were chasing status or a Southwest Companion Pass.
Southwest Personal Card Reviews: Card Benefits
Benefits and perks across the three cards differ based on each card’s annual fee. The Priority card has more robust perks than either the Premier or the Plus card.
|Points earned every year on your cardmember anniversary||7,500||6,000||3,000|
|$75 Southwest annual travel credit||
|4 Upgraded Boardings when available||
|Two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year||X||X|
|25% back on inflight purchases||X||X||X|
|No foreign transaction fees||X||X|
|Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List status for every $10,000 spent||X||X|
It’s worth nothing that the Priority and the Premier cards can help earn Southwest status through spend. Earning 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List status for every $10,000 in spend can be help those near A-List or A-List Preferred status at the end of the year. That said, those earning status solely through spend is usually not a good deal with these cards. At this rate, cardholders would have to spend over $230,000 dollars in one year to achieve A-List. A-List Preferred requires twice as much!
ToP Analysis For The Southwest Personal Cards
Here are our thoughts on each card:
Southwest Priority Card
The Priority is definitely a keeper for regular Southwest flyers, as the card’s many perks more than make up for its $149 annual fee. The $75 annual Southwest credit reduces the annual fee to $74. The 7,500 points on every anniversary can be more than enough for a free flight, given Southwest’s regularly low prices. On top of all that, the 4 upgraded boarding passes alone are worth between $120 and $200 (upgraded boardings cost between $30 and $50 per flight).
Southwest Premier Card
The Premier‘s lower annual fee ($99) also means fewer benefits. The card’s two EarlyBird Check-Ins do have some value. Southwest charges up to $25 for an EarlyBird Check-In, giving this benefit a maximum $50 value per year. Meanwhile, the annual 6,000 points can still be enough for a free flight. If you use the EarlyBird Check-Ins for at their minimum $30 value, you are essentially buying the 6,000 anniversary points for $65 (1.15 cents each). This is a good deal for acquiring Southwest points, making this card a keeper for many as well, despite having fewer benefits.
Southwest Plus Card
Lastly, the Plus card offers similar perks as the Premier, like the two EarlyBird Check-Ins and 3,000 points every year. Like the Premier, the Plus card is worth the annual fee ($69) if you get decent use out of the EarlyBird Check-Ins. If you do, then you’ll also be scoring 3,000 Southwest points for approximately $39 (1.3 cents each). We do note that the card incurs foreign transaction fees, unlike the Priority and the Premier. But since this card is unlikely to see much spend, we don’t expect you would be bringing it abroad with you very often.
When you do the math, the Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, and Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card can each be considered a keeper for Southwest flyers. The Priority card’s many perks more than justify its annual fee. Meanwhile, the Premier and the Plus can also be worth keeping if you get enough value out of the EarlyBird Check-Ins.
Remember that if you are chasing the Companion Pass it is usually best to wait until the end of the year to grab these cards. Then earning the welcome offer in the following year. That maximizes the time you get to use your Companion Pass.
What do you think of the Southwest personal cards? How do these cards fit within your Companion Pass strategy? Come join the discussion in our Facebook group!