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Today, Chase launched their new Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority credit card. This is their premium tier product with a $149 annual fee and sits above the now-mid-level Rapid Rewards Premier card ($99 annual fee) and the standard Rapid Rewards Plus credit card which has a $69 annual fee.
The signup bonus is two-tiered, something we are seeing more and more, meaning that you get a bonus twice, at two different thresholds.
– Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
– Plus, earn 25,000 points after you spend a total of $15,000 within your first year from account opening.
What do you get for the fee?
– 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest®and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
– 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
– 7,500 anniversary points each year.
– $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
– Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
– 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies.
No foreign transaction fees.
Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list Status.
Is the higher annual fee worth the perks?
I always say that you have to do your own math on a credit card’s annual fee (and this one isn’t even waived year one) and this is no exception. Read this post
to get the hang of what you need to evaluate and then use this worksheet
to do it.
On the surface, the $75 airline credit (good once per cardmember year) is worth $75. And the 7,500 annual bonus points are worth around $110-$120 depending on redemption – maybe a bit more.
Four upgraded bookings may be worth up to $120 or more to you (f you buy them) or you may value this perk at zero.
Compared to the $99 card, it sure does seem like a frequent Southwest flyer would do well with this card, with what appears to be close to $200 in additional benefits for the extra $50 in fee.
As I’ve written about before, you can use two Southwest credit card signup bonuses to get a companion pass
and it will be good for the remainder of the calendar year you earned it plus the whole of the following year. Since they changed the rules on this last year, you’ll now need to get one personal card (like this one) and then the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business
Right now, the business card has a 60,000 point signup bonus, so once you’ve met minimum spend on both cards, you’ll get the passes.
But you may not want to do that yet!
That’s because, like I just said, you get it for the remainder of the current year and all of the following year. Applying for both in November/December and meeting spend on both cards in January/February (being very careful to not hit either in December) gets you the most bang for your buck.
But keep in mind that there is always a CHANCE that Southwest one day eliminates the ability to earn the Companion Pass that way or Chase lowers the signup bonus to 40k like the other cards or perhaps 50k. I’m not suggesting either of those things will happen, but it conceivably could. So if you have heavy flying coming up on SW in the next 1.5 years and can meet minimum spend quickly, you *could* consider it. Otherwise, I’d wait for the end of the year.
It appears this card is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule
, meaning that you won’t be approved if you’ve opened 5 or more consumer credit cards in the last 24 months.
Also bear in mind that you cannot get the bonus on this card if you have either current personal Southwest card or have gotten a Southwest personal card bonus in the past 24 months.
If you have a current Southwest personal card for which you received a bonus more than 24 months ago and are not over 5/24, you should be able to close it, wait 30 days, and then apply for this card. I say “should” because there is always a risk that Chase doesn’t approve you for the new card. It’s a gamble that you’ll have to decide for yourself if it is worth it for the bonus points. I probably would not.
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