Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Review

GOBankingRates Score

4.7
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a higher-end airline rewards card for frequent Southwest flyers. It provides 3x points on Southwest purchases, a generous bonus-point offer for new members and many other valuable perks that make the $149 annual fee well worth paying for the right traveler.
  • Airline, Travel
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Five categories of rewards give you lots of opportunities to earn points.
  • The 50,000 new-member bonus points are easy to earn.
  • Cardmembers receive $150 per year in annual travel credits and anniversary points.
  • The card offers a wealth of travel perks.

Cons

  • The tier qualifying points system is complicated and confusing.
  • Southwest has fewer destinations than other airlines, so you might not be able to earn maximum points every time you fly.

Chase Credit Card Overview

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card from Chase rewards travelers with 3x points on Southwest purchases and 2x or 1x points on all other purchases. Cardholders also have the opportunity to earn tier qualifying points toward A-List status, which unlocks exclusive benefits. The points are redeemable for future Southwest purchases.

To get you started, the card offers a 50,000-point bonus for new members who spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of card ownership. Plus, it offers an annual $75 travel credit and 7,500 anniversary points each year to offset the $149 annual fee.

Key Features

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card earned 4.7 out of 5 stars for features and benefits across a number of different categories. Here are some features that contributed to the excellent score.

APR

Rising interest rates have affected all credit card annual percentage rates — and the better the rewards, the higher your APR is likely to be. The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is a case in point, with rates ranging from APR, depending on your creditworthiness. However, the lowest rate is nearly 0.75 percentage points lower than the lowest rate of many cards in this category. The highest rate is actually quite competitive compared to similar cards, some of which are charging rates that are 1.75-2.75 percentage points higher.

While GOBankingrates gave the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority high scores for its regular APR, the card would have scored higher had it offered a 0% introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers. As of this writing, it does not.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Foreign transaction fees typically add 3% to the cost of whatever you’re purchasing, so they really add up if you’re constantly swiping your card at hotels, restaurants, sightseeing venues and shops while traveling outside the U.S. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. You’ll be billed the purchase price and not a cent more.

Number of Rewards

One area where the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card really shines is with the number of rewards categories it offers. It offers five rewards categories, which is about the upper limit even for cards with much higher annual fees. Here’s how Chase processes rewards for the Priority card:

  • 3x points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases
  • 2x points per dollar spent on:
    • Rapid Rewards car rental and hotel partners
    • Local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing services
    • Internet, phone service, cable and select streaming services
  • 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases

Sign-Up Bonus

Sign-up bonuses can be tough to compare across different cards because they vary not only by the number of points or miles awarded and their value, but also by how much you need to spend — and how quickly you have to spend it.

One way to compare is to figure out how much you’d have to spend per day to meet the spending requirement. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card offers a 50,000-point bonus, worth $500, when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening an account. That works out to an average spend of $11.11 per day for 90 days. Although a few cards require a little less, with others you’d have to spend over $50 a day to earn the bonus.

How the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Stands Out

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is a standout for the value it brings to loyal Southwest customers. Besides earning 3x points for each dollar spent on Southwest purchases and a 7,500-point anniversary bonus each year, cardholders receive a $75 annual credit for Southwest purchases and 25% back on in-flight purchases. In addition, cardholders get up to four reimbursements per year for upgraded boardings purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the day of travel.

Flying Southwest has other perks as well:

  • No charge for first or second checked bags
  • No change fees
  • Unlimited reward seats with no blackout dates when you book your flight with points

Flights booked through Southwest Airlines and purchases charged to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 in purchases per year.

Comparable Airline Credit Card Options

It’s always a good idea to compare a few different cards before you apply for one. The following cards are comparable to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card but differ in ways that could make them a better fit for some travelers.

Barclays JetBlue Card

While the JetBlue Card’s new-member bonus is just 10,000 points, and the only other rewards category is groceries and dining, there’s no annual fee. If you don’t fly often enough to take advantage of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card’s annual credit and bonus points, the JetBlue Card could be a better choice.

Sun Country Airlines Visa Signature Card

Sun Country has a significantly smaller fleet of planes compared to Southwest, so your choice of flights is limited. But the Sun Country Airlines Visa Signature Card offers 40,000 points, worth $400, for new cardmembers who spend $1,500 during the first three months of card membership. The card also offers 3x points on Sun Country purchases, 2x points on gas and groceries and 1x points on all other purchases.

In addition to points rewards, cardholders receive a free premium drink on each flight, as well as 50% off seat selections and the first bag for themselves and their companions, among other benefits. The Sun Country Airlines Visa Signature Card also provides a 10,000-point anniversary bonus each year.

How To Apply

You can apply for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card from the card’s main page on the Chase website. Current members can log in to their Chase account from this page to expedite filling out the application. Otherwise, click “Apply as a guest” to get started. The application asks for the following information:

  • Name and birthdate
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Social Security number or individual tax ID number
  • Address
  • Phone number and email address
  • Homeownership status
  • Employment status
  • Annual gross income

Once you’ve filled in the information lines and read and agreed to the terms and conditions, click the “Submit” button to finalize your application.

Who the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card Is Best For

Frequent flyers loyal to Southwest Airlines will get the most value from the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card. The $75 annual travel credit and 7,500 yearly anniversary points, both good only for purchases made with Southwest, make up for the $149 annual fee. But you’ll have to fly often to earn the 35,000 or 70,000 tier qualifying points needed to achieve A-List or A-List Preferred status, respectively, which entitles cardholders to a selection of additional benefits.

Final Take

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card offers decent points rewards for Southwest purchases, plus enough travel benefits to more than offset the annual fee — by a wide margin for cardholders who make A-List or A-List Preferred status. Add to that a generous new-member bonus, a competitive APR and some additional perks provided by Southwest, and you’ve got an all-around airline rewards card that can save you a significant amount of money on travel.

FAQ

Learn more about the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card from these frequently asked questions.
  • How much does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card cost?
    • The card charges a $149 annual fee.
  • Are the Chase Southwest cards hard to get?
    • Chase doesn't disclose minimum credit or income requirements for its Southwest cards, but rewards cards typically require at least a good credit score, which Chase describes as 670 or higher.
  • Does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card reimburse for Global Entry?
    • It does not. However, it does provide a $75 annual travel credit toward Southwest purchases.
  • Do you get free upgrades with this Southwest credit card?
    • The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card does not offer free upgrades, but A-List customers get free same-day confirmed changes.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Oct. 10, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

The information related to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

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About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.
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