Southwest has introduced a brand new travel credit card called the Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.

It lets you earn up to 65,000 Southwest points for an annual fee of $149. This is MORE THAN any of their three existing cards:

  • Rapid Rewards Plus
  • Rapid Rewards Premier
  • Rapid Rewards Business Premier

But there’s good news and bad news about that and about WHO can get the offer, which ends on August 22, 2018. Read on…

To apply for this credit card, please consider starting at TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS in the GotoTravelGal.com main menu or using the Compare Cards link below. This allows me to earn a commission — at NO COST TO YOU — that helps support the blog so I can continue to bring you great information FREE! You don’t have to use these links, but I am super grateful if you do 🙂

To find the new Southwest Credit Card, click on Airline Credit Cards and then “See More Cards” until you see it.

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All About the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

This new credit card from Southwest has a higher annual fee at $149, but comes with a few added perks, which I’ll explain below.

Overall, I DO recommend this card if you are eligible and if you fly Southwest frequently. See my post below:

10 Reasons to Add the Southwest Priority Card to Your Wallet

But first let’s have a look at who can be approved for this card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Who Can Hold This Card

Before you get too excited, I first want to explain who can get this card. Like Southwest’s two other personal Southwest cards you can only get the bonus introductory offer on ONE of the personal cards every 24 months.

Here is the wording from Chase:

“The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapids Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.”

That means you can hold the card, but you can’t get the bonus offer if you’ve gotten a personal bonus offer from Southwest in the last 24 months OR if you currently hold one of the other cards.

How to Upgrade to This Card

If you want this card and you already hold a personal Southwest card, a Chase spokesperson told me you can call the number on the back of your current card to see if you are eligible to upgrade.

You can also check out this link, fill out your information and see what it says about your eligibility.

When you upgrade, that keeps you from having to cancel the current card and then re-apply for this one.

According to Chase, you must have held your current Southwest personal card for at least 12 months before you will be eligible to upgrade.

I think it’s worth it to hold the PRIORITY card even without the bonus offer if you are eligible. Keep reading to see why.

The Bonus Offer

The bad news is to earn the 65,000 points, you’re going to have to spend $15,000!

It shakes out like this:

  • Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 points after spending a total of $15,000 within the first year

I’m not loving that…

The offer ends August 22, 2018. 

How in the world are you going to spend $15,000?

Well, it would be so helpful if you could pay your mortgage with the card; however, Plastiq (this is an affiliate think through which I may earn a discount), a service that lets you pay bills you can’t ordinarily pay with a credit card for a fee, no longer allows you to pay mortgages with a Visa or AMEX. If you pay rent, though, you’re still good!

Other options include:

  • College tuition
  • New cars
  • Car payments through Plastiq
  • Health insurance through Plastiq

But unless this is easily accomplished for you, ie you are going to spend that amount of money anyway on something, I don’t recommend going for the points above the 40,000 available for the $1,000 minimum spend. And even if you can, I’m still not sure it’s a smart idea… Keep reading 🙂

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Is This a Good Deal?

I think you’d be better off to use Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 2X or 3X points on travel and dining expenses, which can then be transferred TO Southwest instantly for free flights, rather than try to get to the 65,000 level.

The only benefit of getting all 65,000 points would be to spend on categories that don’t earn you a better rate with a Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card (ie Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, Chase Ink, Chase Freedom) AND because these points qualify for the Companion Pass.

BUT you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass another way (see how I did it in 2017 without ANY card bonuses).

Learn more about the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets one person fly free with you for up to two years, after accumulating 110,000 qualifying points here and by downloading my free ebook below.

Download Your FREE Guide & Start Flying FREE on Southwest!

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Can It Help With the Companion Pass?

Yes, definitely! The 40,000 or 65,000 points you earn WOULD qualify for the 110,000 points you need to earn the Companion Pass, along with any points you earn through spending the card.

Paired with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier bonus (which is also available in my TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS affiliate link in the main menu), which is currently offering 60,000 points upon meeting the minimum spend, you’d be within 10,000 points of earning your Companion Pass, which is good from the time you earn it until the end of the following year.

Other Benefits

Southwest check-in

There are some other GREAT benefits of holding this card that make it worth getting, even if you don’t go for all 65,000 points.

  • 4 upgraded boardings (positions A1-15) per year (LOVE this!! Great feature because you can’t get these unless you’re willing to spend money!). You will pay for these at the gate (if available) with your card and get a statement credit.
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit, applied as soon as you use it for any purchases excluding upgraded boarding and inflight purchases (bummer), which I suppose just leaves flight purchases and Early Bird seating — yea! — which I confirmed with Chase.
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year (compared with 6,000 for Premier and 3,000 for Plus) – These DO qualify for the Companion Pass
  • 20% back on inflight purchases made with the card
  • Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for each $10,000 in purchases up to $100,000 each year, which equal 15,000 TQP. TQPs can be used to count toward qualification for Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status.
  • 2 points per $1 earned on Southwest Airlines and partner hotel and car rental purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • No foreign transaction fees

Other Info You Should Know

  • APR is 17.74% to 24.74%
  • Annual fee: $149

So, what do you think about this?

Will you try and get this card?

In Summary

I recommend getting this card if you fly Southwest regularly.

  • If you already have a Southwest personal card, see if you can upgrade.
  • If you don’t yet hold a Southwest personal card, I’d definitely go for this one, but aim just for the 40,000-point bonus instead of all 65,000 points.

Thanks again for using the TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS link above or the Compare Cards link below (click on Airline Credit Cards) to review and apply for any cards in this post.

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