By John Chavez
We’ve been getting a lot of emails from readers letting us know that they are taking advantage of Chase’s offer to “upgrade” their Southwest Priority card. And by doing so, they’d get a card with more benefits and up to 7,500 points, as well.
However, this is generally NOT a good idea. Let’s talk about why.
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Why You Should NOT Upgrade to the Southwest Priority Card
While 5,000-7,500 Southwest points sounds like a nice perk to get a card with some nifty benefits like early boarding orders and a $75 credit, wouldn’t 75,000 points be better? 😉
When you upgrade to Southwest Priority, a personal Southwest credit card that offers the MOST benefits of any Southwest personal card, you only get their paltry 5,000 to 7,500-point offering.
But… if it’s been at least 24 months since you last earned the bonus on a personal Southwest card, you’ve got a MUCH better option!
What You Should Do Instead of Upgrading…
Instead of upgrading, simply close your card and apply for a NEW Southwest Priority card.
By doing this, you could earn the FULL 75,000-point offer now available on ALL Southwest personal cards through February 10, 2020.
This offer lets you earn the Southwest Companion Pass in just 2 steps!
So, it’s a choice of 7,500 points by upgrading vs. 75,000+ points for opening up a new Southwest Priority card and meeting the minimum spend.
That “upgrade” doesn’t look like such a good deal now, does it ;-)?
Sorry Southwest … Go to Travel Gal readers are smarter than that!
How to Make Sure You’re Eligible
Now, not EVERYONE will be in a position to do this.
But there’s really only ONE main reason why you would NOT want to take advantage and that is if you have earned a bonus on ANY Southwest card in the last 24 months.
If so, that means you would not be eligible to open Priority and earn the full bonus.
If that is the case, you COULD choose to “upgrade” but that counts as a “bonus,” so you’d have to wait 24 months from that point before you could close your personal Southwest card and open a new one.
So I really don’t recommend doing that either unless you’re just dying to have the benefits :).
Otherwise, you’d want to wait until it’s been 24 months from when you last earned the bonus on a personal Southwest card before you close your current one and apply for a new Southwest Priority card.
Also keep in mind that you can only hold ONE personal Southwest card, so you would be declined if you tried to open Priority while keeping your existing personal Southwest card.
The solution? Close your existing personal Southwest card first, then wait at least seven business days before applying for a new one to allow the credit bureaus time to note the closure so you’re not declined.
But, again, don’t do that unless you’re clear of the 24-month bonus rule.
Finally, be mindful of Chase’s “5/24” rule. Chase won’t approve you if you opened five or more cards (not counting Chase, Citi or AMEX business cards) within the last two years, or 24 months.
What’s So Great About Priority?
Why all the carrying on about the Southwest Priority card? Well, it’s a pretty great card and the one Lyn recommends if you fly Southwest at least two to three times per year.
Read Lyn’s full review on Southwest Priority, but as a quick overview, it comes with a host of benefits that include:
- 4 upgraded boarding orders (A1-15) every year
- $75 Southwest travel credit each year to purchase flights and/or Early Bird seating
- 7,500 anniversary points that DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets 1 person fly FREE with you for up to 2 years
- No foreign transaction fees and more!
Have we convinced you it’s better to apply for a new Southwest Priority card instead of upgrading?
What questions do you have?
- 10 Reasons to Add the Southwest Priority Card to Your Wallet
- How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass in 2 Steps Right Now!
- How the Southwest Priority Card Fits Into a Southwest Companion Pass Strategy
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