The new Southwest Priority Card becomes the THIRD — and most beneficial — option in their portfolio of personal cards. It comes with a higher annual fee ($149), but a ton of benefits to offset the increased cost.
Read my full review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card.
I think this card is worth holding for a variety of reasons, which I’ll share with you below!
To review or apply for any of the cards in this post, please consider starting at the TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS links in my main menu above. You’ll find it under Airline Cards and then click “See More Cards.” This allows me to earn a commission — at NO COST TO YOU — to help support the blog so I can continue to bring you more great information FREE! You don’t have to use these links, but I’m super grateful if you do :). Alternately, you can use the Compare Cards links below.
10 Reasons to Get the Southwest Priority Card
Here are my top 10 reasons to consider upgrading to or applying for the new Southwest Priority Card:
1. You Fly Southwest Frequently
If you fly Southwest a lot, I think this card MUST be in your portfolio. The many benefits it offer Southwest flyers make it indispensible in my eyes. I will go through these more in detail below.
2. $75 Travel Credit to Use for Purchasing Flights
I don’t often purchase flights, but every now and then it would be nice to know I could pay for a flight rather than spending some of my precious points.
3. $75 Travel Credit to Pay for Early Bird
While you only get 1 $75 Southwest credit, you can choose to use it toward paid flight OR you can use it (confirmed with a Chase spokesperson) to pay for Early Bird seating.
Early Bird seating allows you to check in ahead of everyone else (aside from those who purchased Business Select tickets or who hold Southwest elite status) so you can get a better boarding position. Check out my FAQs on Early Bird seating.
We always pay for Early Bird for my husband who is tall and likes to be able to choose a seat that gives him the best opportunity to stretch out. This also usually allows him to “hold” a seat for my oldest son, though he’s never had to actually “hold” a seat. The middle seat is always available by the time my son boards (we usually end up in the B boarding position somewhere).
4. FOUR A1-15 Boarding Positions
I don’t know about you, but this is worth its weight in gold to me! I too often forget to check in, no matter all the strategies I have put in place to avoid this, especially when RETURNING from our destination. So to know I could upgrade to A1-15 FOUR times in ONE year would be AWESOME.
You can always upgrade to A1-15 at the gate if no one has these positions (these are usually allotted to those who buy Business Select tickets, so they may not have sold them all), but this will cost you between $40 to $60 per person. Here’s how to upgrade your boarding position at the gate.
5. At Least 40,000 Southwest Points
The current offer allows you to earn 40,000 points with a minimum $1,000 spend within 3 months. That’s a super easy minimum spend to meet and your 40,000 points can be used not just for free flights on Southwest, but qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets one person fly free with you for up to two years! Read more below in No. 9.
With many flights 5,000 points or LESS one-way, that could easily get a family of four (especially if one person flies FREE on a Companion Pass) on one trip for between 30,000 and 40,000 points. Maybe Mom and Dad could use the other 10,000-20,000 points for a trip for two :).
6. Inflight Purchases Discount
The card offers a 20% discount on inflight purchases. I almost always purchase the WiFi for $8, so I’ll happily pay $6.40 instead. I also sometimes buy my younger son a $5 movie, so we’ll take the discount on that as well.
While this alone is not a reason to get the card, they are a nice added perk.
7. Benefits More Than Offset the Annual Fee
When paying an annual fee for the card, I’m always looking to see if the benefits seem to outweigh the annual fee, and I think they do here.
With the $75 credit + four upgraded boarding positions (worth between $160 to $240), I think you can see that definitely offsets $149 per year. And that’s not even including the 40,000 Southwest points you get, too.
8. 7,500 Anniversary Points Each Year
I hugely value these anniversary points, as they help me get to my 110,000 points for my Companion Pass every year. Take a look at how I earned the Southwest Companion Pass in 2017 WITHOUT any card sign-ups!
I currently hold the Business Premier and Personal Premier cards, which gives me 12,000 Companion Pass-qualifying points each year, which is a HUGE chunk.
Plus, of course, you can use these points to book flights! What’s not to like?! 🙂
9. Points Earned From Card Purchases Qualify for the Companion Pass
This is the case on all of Southwest’s cards, but it’s an important benefit, because it’s a KEY way to earn points you need to get that Companion Pass every year (like me) or every two years (if you get it early in the year so it’s good through the END of the following year).
All points earned on Southwest credit cards count toward the 110,000 qualifying points (must be earned in ONE calendar year) you will need to earn your Companion Pass.
I recommend using Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve for dining and travel expenses, because they allow you to earn double or triple points on these expenditures, where the Southwest card does not. And their points can be instantly transferred to Southwest to book free flights. BUT these points DO NOT qualify for the Companion Pass.
So… for anything that’s not dining or travel, you can use the Southwest cards to pay for and earn Companion Pass-qualifying points.
Read more about how this card fits into a Southwest Companion Pass strategy:
10. No Foreign Transaction Fees
I appreciate cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees, because as my family advances in the hobby of collecting miles and points for free travel, we have begun to travel internationally. So far, we’ve been to Grand Cayman, Dublin, Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Bologna and Paris, and it’s handy to know you have a card that’s not going to “fee you to death.”
Again, I would not pay for dining or travel expenses with this card internationally, but it could be used for other purchases, such as souvenirs.
What do you think? Will you be upgrading to the Priority card (check out this offer some people are getting by email) or applying for it?
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