Friday, 3 July 2020

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Woos Premium Customers

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card Woos Premium Customers
02 Jan
11:08

Southwest Airlines has unveiled a new card it hopes will appeal to loyal flyers who want more oomph to the carrier’s current offerings. But overall, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to the new Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>.

The new card starts by offering new cardmembers a tempting new sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> But it has the highest annual fee — $149<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> — of Southwest’s two other personal cards. Fortunately, the potential to earn a $75 statement credit will take the edge off that fee.

If you were hoping this card would come with an upgrade on points per $1 spent than existing ones, you’re going to be disappointed. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> has the same 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> It’s surprising that there was no change, especially since competitors like American Airlines and United Airlines have upped points per $1 spent and expanded the categories that offer it.

Not only will we take a look at what the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> is offering, but we’ll also compare it to two other Southwest-branded credit cards and see how it stacks up.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> Benefits

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% – 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$149
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Credit required <a href="javascript:void(0);" class="fn crtooltip" data-placement="bottom" data-content="

There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions.

” data-original-title title>

excellent-credit

Redeeming rewards

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> allows you to earn Rapid Rewards® at the rate of 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>

There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions, you earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as your card account is open and there are no limits on how many points you can earn. You can redeem your rewards for flights, gift cards, merchandise, hotel stays, rental cars and exclusive experiences.

What we like

The annual fee isn’t insurmountable. Cardmembers are eligible for an annual $75 statement credit, plus you get two free checked bags, making it the only major U.S. carrier to offer this benefit. The card’s $149<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> annual fee is nearly covered after only one roundtrip flight, based on the baggage price of $25 for the first one and $35 for the second.

Perks upgrade*. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> now gives you an automatic $75 statement credit when you spend on the card every anniversary year. That credit can help you offset the card’s $149<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> annual fee. And you now get a 20% statement credit when you use the card for in-flight drinks, messaging, movies and Wi-Fi.

More bonus points*. Cardmembers can Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> The additional points is something Southwest’s other two cards don’t offer. Southwest also boosted the number of bonus anniversary points you can earn up to 7,500.

Points for elite status*. The chance to earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for every $10,000 you spend on the card is the same as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–>. These are important, because they help you reach and maintain your Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status on Southwest Airlines.

A-List status comes after you fly 25 one-way trips or 35,000 TQPs or A-List Preferred after 50 one-way trips or 70,000 TQPs in a calendar year. You want A-List for perks like priority check-in and dedicated security lanes (where available), along with priority boarding, a 25% points bonus, a dedicated customer service line and free same-day standby on flights. A-List Preferred status is even better, with all the perks of A-List plus a 100% points bonus and free in-flight Wi-Fi.

Good route network*. Your points are good on 100 Southwest Airlines destinations in the U.S., Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. But if you want to go beyond that network, Southwest Airlines’ More Rewards website lets you use your points to fly to destinations around the world.

All a-boarding*. Because Southwest Airlines has open seating on its flights, regular travelers value any chance to get higher boarding numbers to avoid the dreaded middle seat or risk being forced to check a carry-on bag. This card helps by reimbursing you when you buy up to four coveted A1-A15 boarding passes a year at the departure gate or ticket counter. That credit is worth between $30 and $50 for each flight depending on your itinerary, making this a perk worth between $120 and $200 a year.

Companion pass*. The chance to earn this popular perk — which requires you to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year — remains. Once you hit the numbers, you can bring a companion along for free, minus fees and government taxes, on flights you buy or redeem with Rapid Rewards during a calendar year.

Travel and purchase protection*. This card comes with benefits like delayed/lost luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, purchase protection and extended warranty, all under the Visa Signature banner.

*Terms and conditions apply.

What we don’t like

Lower points per $1 spent. Southwest Airlines had a chance to boost this in popular categories like dining, gas, groceries and a broader definition of travel — like its airline competitors have done — but it punted. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>’s rate still remains at 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>

Higher cost for international flights. While you can book international flights on Southwest’s More Rewards website, you’re only going to get a redemption rate around 1 cent per point. Booking travel on Southwest’s route network is a better value. Let’s say you wanted to fly from New York to London. It will cost you 83,275 miles on British Airways or up to 302,541 miles on United Airlines — in coach class.

Spending for points. There’s a heavy spend — $15,000 a year — to get extra bonus points. This goes along with the minimum $10,000 a year spend to get the TQPs.

Premium boarding. You can only use the four A1-A15 boarding passes on the day of travel, and there’s no guarantee that space will be available.

Check that score. You’ll need to have excellent credit to apply for this card.

Card alternatives

  Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–>
Annual fee $149<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> $99<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> $69<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–>
Sign-up bonus Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–>
Rewards 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–>
Foreign transaction fee $0<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> $0<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–>

Both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–> have benefits similar to what’s offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>. They include the same points per $1 spent, companion pass, access to A-List and A-List Plus elite status, Transfarency and flexible domestic and international reward travel. But there are differences.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% – 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$99
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Credit required <a href="javascript:void(0);" class="fn crtooltip" data-placement="bottom" data-content="

There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions.

” data-original-title title>

excellent-credit

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> starts with a similar sign-up bonus — Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> But it doesn’t come with the chance to earn 25,000 bonus miles by spending $15,000 in a calendar year like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>. You’ll pay $99<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> annual fee, but it’s higher once you factor in the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>’s $75 statement credit, which isn’t offered with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–>.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> comes with 6,000 bonus points on an anniversary year, 1,500 fewer than what’s offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% – 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$69
Rewards Rate
2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Credit required <a href="javascript:void(0);" class="fn crtooltip" data-placement="bottom" data-content="

There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions.

” data-original-title title>

excellent-credit
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–> also has the same sign-up bonus as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–>, also with no chance to earn the latter’s 25,000 bonus miles. The card comes with only 3,000 bonus points on an anniversary year. This card only comes with lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, extended U.S. manufacturer’s warranty and purchase protection.

The bottom line

While the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> does come with a better sign-up bonus than Southwest’s two other cards, you also have to spend more to snag it. But thanks to the new card’s yearly $75 statement credit, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> is cheaper to have in your wallet than the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–>.

If you combine the lower annual fee with enhanced perks on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card–> — the $75 statement credit, the four high boarding passes and the 20% inflight discount — it may be a good alternative to the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card–> and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card<!–Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card–>.

But make sure you are a die-hard Southwest flyer, because you can only use them on the carrier’s Rapid Rewards website. That means you don’t get the flexibility to use your points that come with non-airline, travel-related credit cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Benét J. Wilson

Recommended by

Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/credit-cards-2/southwest-rapid-rewards-priority-credit-card-review/

« »

Szemere

Related Articles