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Review

Review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

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By Evan Zimmer Jun 23, 2020 | Updated Nov 20, 2020
Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $149
Regular APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Our Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

We give the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card five out of five Stars because it can provide cardholders with valuable travel perks and more airline bonus points than a normal Southwest member would get.

Why We Like It

  • 2X points per dollar spent on Southwest flights, hotel and car rental partners
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 7,500 anniversary bonus points
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases
  • Redeem points for flights, hotel stays, or gift cards
  • No expiration date on reward points
  • No award travel blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why It Could Be Better

  • Somewhat high annual fee of $149
  • Limited travel benefits
  • No 0% APR promotional offers for purchases or balance transfers

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$149
Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

For budget-conscious travelers who are Southwest Airlines loyalists, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card could be a good choice, with valuable rewards and benefits.

This card offers 2X points per dollar spent on Southwest flights and bookings through hotel and car rental partners, in addition to the 1X point you’ll earn on all other purchases. If you value those miles at 1.5 cents each, which is about average, you’d be getting a cash back equivalent of 3% at Southwest.

There’s also a solid introductory offer, 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Cardholders will get benefits like a $75 annual travel credit for use on future trips, four upgraded boardings per year, when available, and 7,500 bonus points each year on your anniversary of opening the card.

The Rapid Rewards Priority Card has many extra benefits, including the ability to redeem bonus points for airfare, gift cards, car rentals, cruises, and hotel stays. It might be an expensive option for some due to its $149 annual fee, but the credits and bonus points you get will offset that quite a bit. Whether or not it’s the right card for you will depend on your spending and travel habits, as well as your relationship to Southwest Airlines.

There are several co-branded Southwest credit cards, including business cards.

Card Annual Fee Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (Review) $69
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 3,000 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (Review) $99
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 6,000 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card (This review) $149
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 7,500 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card $99
  • 2X points at Southwest and partners
  • 6,000 anniversary bonus points
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card $199
  • 3X points at Southwest and partners
  • 9,000 anniversary bonus points

Keep reading to learn more about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card and find out if it should be your new go-to travel rewards card.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Compare with other travel credit cards: This card offers benefits that make sense for Southwest travelers. If you prefer to use different airlines or only fly Southwest occasionally, another travel card might make more sense for you.
  • Book travel through Southwest: Book your flights, hotel stays, and car rentals through Southwest and Southwest’s partners to earn 2X points per dollar spent.
  • Take advantage of the introductory bonus: 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Enjoy your anniversary bonus: You’ll receive 7,500 bonus points every year on your cardmember anniversary.
  • Redeem your rewards: The best redemption values come from redeeming your rewards for flights, so save your points for air travel.
  • Take advantage of your flight credits: Each year, you’ll get a $75 airline credit to use for future Southwest flights.
  • Indulge in-flight: Treat yourself to drinks, snacks, or WiFi on Southwest flights and get 20% back.
  • Don’t pay extra when traveling: The Rapid Rewards Priority Card has no foreign transaction fees, a great perk when traveling internationally.
  • Offset the annual fee: You can completely offset the $149 annual fee by using the yearly $75 credit and 7,500 bonus points. Those can give you a total value of at least $150 — perhaps quite a bit more.

The Rewards

This card can earn the equivalent of about 1% to 4% cash back on purchases with the normal redemption methods, depending on how you earn and redeem the points. And you may find a better value than that if you get a great point redemption.

Earning

Spending Rewards
  • 2X points per dollar on:
    • Southwest flights
    • Partner hotel stays
    • Car rental bookings
  • 1X point per dollar for all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

If you redeem them through Southwest Airlines or Southwest’s partners, those points can be worth as much as 1.5 cents or more. That means you could earn the equivalent of 3% cash back in the 2X categories, and 1.5% cash back for other purchases.

If you get a value of 2 cents per point you’d be earning a 4% cash back equivalent at Southwest, with 2% back everywhere else. You can rack up points quickly by booking your travel primarily through Southwest and its partners.

However, other purchases — such as gas, groceries, or anything from retail stores — will only get you 1X point. Other rewards credit cards offer more cash back for that kind of spending, so if that’s a priority you might want to look for another card to supplement this one.

Membership points don’t expire and there are no blackout dates, so you don’t have to worry about your points disappearing.

Insider tip

The points you earn with this rewards program also count towards the famous Southwest Companion Pass, which lets you designate one person to fly free with you all year long.

Redeeming

There are several different ways to redeem your points.

  • Book flights, hotel stays, or car rentals
  • For merchandise like electronics, jewelry, or other items
  • For gift cards from over 70 different retailers

Points are generally worth 1 to 2 cents each. So if you were to redeem 40,000 bonus points you could take home a $400 gift card, at the low end.

However, how you redeem your points can affect their value and can make them worth even more. For example, a Wanna Get Away fare from Orlando to Philadelphia is 9,998 points, or $152 when paid for normally.

That means each point is worth about 1.5 cents when redeemed. For Anytime or Business Select fares – where the cost can easily be $500 or more – the cost worked out to about 1.5 cents a point, too.

That’s a good deal for budget travelers, though how much your points are worth is dependent on your travel dates, destination, and ticket fare class.

We recommend looking for flight redemptions to get the best value for your points. If you’re not going to get at least 1.5 cents per point, it probably makes sense to wait to use your points until you find a better deal.

The Benefits

Most of the value you get from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is from the benefits, rather than the travel rewards. Depending on which benefits you use, you can easily get several hundreds of dollars of value, offsetting the annual fee.

Some of the biggest highlights are the $75 credit and 7,500 bonus points, along with upgraded boarding positions and the ability to earn Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs). That’s on top of more typical travel benefits, like lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay insurance.

This card is available at either the Visa Platinum or Visa Signature level. If you’re approved for a credit limit of $5,000 or more, you’ll get the Visa Signature card. Otherwise, you’ll get the Visa Platinum card. Visa Signature cardholders get slightly better versions of some of these perks, along with access to one additional benefit — Travel and Emergency Assistance.

  • $75 annual southwest travel credit: Receive a $75 annual travel credit to use to book your flights, Rapid Rewards hotel stays, or car rentals each year.
  • 7,500 anniversary points: Every year you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points.
  • Tier Qualifying Points: Travelers with Southwest A-list status get priority boarding, priority check-in and security lane access, access to a dedicated customer support line, free same-day standby flights, and a 25% earning bonus on flights. To get on the A-list, you need to fly 25 qualifying one-way flights or earn 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) in a calendar year. You’ll earn 1,500 TQPs for every $10,000 you spend, up to $100,000 per year. That means you can earn as many as 15,000 TQPs by using the card.
  • Four upgraded boardings: Skip the scramble and get one of the coveted A1 through A15 seats. Each anniversary year, you will be reimbursed for up to four Upgraded Boardings for A1 through A15 seats. The price of an Upgraded Boarding varies depending on your flight, but usually costs between $30 and $50.
  • 20% back on in-flight purchases: You’ll receive 20% back on in-flight Southwest purchases like drinks, meals, entertainment, and WiFi.
  • No blackout dates or restrictions: There are no blackout dates or restrictions on award flights, so you don’t have to worry about coordinating your travel dates around the holidays.
  • Purchase Protection: When you make an eligible purchase using the card, you’ll receive protection for up to 120 days against theft and damage up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: Eligible manufacturers’ warranties can be extended by up to one year.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: If you rent an eligible vehicle and decline the rental company’s insurance, you can get coverage against theft and collisions.
  • Roadside Dispatch: If you’re stranded on the side of the road due to a flat tire or dead battery, you can get 24/7 help with roadside emergencies like these. Third-party fees will apply.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement: If you or an immediate family member have a checked or carry-on bag that is lost or damaged by the airline, you’re typically covered by up to $3,000.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: In most cases, if your checked bag is delayed by six hours or more, you’ll be reimbursed for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing, up to $100 a day for three days.
  • Travel Accident Insurance: You can get up to $250,000 in accidental death or dismemberment coverage when you use your card to book travel with a common carrier.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance: Visa Signature cardholders can get help with emergencies, such as legal or medical referrals.

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable 15.99% - 22.99% Variable 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
$149  $0 Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater. Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
None Up to $39 Up to $39

The fees on the the Rapid Rewards Priority Card are straightforward. There is no intro APR offer, so any purchases you make will start accruing interest at the rate above unless you pay off the statement balance in full each month. There is no benefit to doing a balance transfer since there isn’t a promotional low-interest offer.

There are no foreign transaction fees, making it a good option for those who travel internationally. (Looking for other cards to bring outside the country? See the best cards with no foreign transaction fees.)

The Bottom Line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card might be a smart choice for Southwest Airlines devotees. If you do most of your travel with this no-frills carrier, you’re likely to get a lot of value out of the card.

With a valuable introductory bonus, you might be able to book a full round-trip using just your bonus points, offsetting the cost of the $149 annual fee. Plus, the annual anniversary bonus of 7,500 points and the ability to upgrade your boarding position bring that cost down even further.

Between the $75 travel credit and 7,500 bonus points, the annual fee can be completely offset, making the card basically free to use. That’s an excellent deal that Southwest fliers should be aware of.

However, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is not for everyone. For business travelers or for those used to travel benefits with other cards, the Southwest Priority Card’s benefits might feel anemic. You don’t get any luxury perks, like airport lounge access, which might make other cards a better alternative for you.

How Do I Apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card?

You can apply now for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card securely on the Chase website.

Once you submit, you’ll usually receive a decision from Chase within minutes. In some cases it could take longer, if they need additional information or verification of income.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is designed for people with good credit.

If you’re within 670–739 for FICO or 700–749 for VantageScore, you’re thought to have good credit.

But that doesn’t mean approval is a sure-fire thing. When credit card issuers weigh your application, they take more into consideration than credit scores. So even if you’re in the recommended range, you might not be accepted. That goes for the opposite as well: If you’re in a lower range, you might still get it.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply (19 in Alabama/Nebraska, and 21 in Puerto Rico)
  • Personal identifying information: Birth date, Social Security number, email address, and phone number
  • Address and contact information: Email, phone number, address
  • Financial information: Total annual income, source of income, monthly mortgage/rent payment

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$149
Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card give you Upgraded Boarding?

Yes, cardholders will get four Upgraded Boardings per year, typically valued from $30 to $50 each. Upgraded Boarding gets you into a nice seat from A1 through A5.

A few of the most valuable other benefits include: a $75 annual Southwest travel credit, an annual 7,500 bonus points, and 20% back for in-flight purchases.

Take a look at the complete list of the benefits you can expect to receive.

How much are my Southwest points worth?

Typically points will be worth around 1.5¢ each, but you may be able to find greater value by certain redemptions through Southwest Airlines or Southwest’s partners.

Look for bookings that will provide 2¢ per point, or more, to really get the most from your card. But these could be hard to find, and you may have to save up points for a while.

Check out an in-depth look at how this card earns points, and how to redeem your points for higher values.

Will my Southwest points expire?

No, your Southwest reward points won’t expire.

What’s the annual fee of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card?

The annual fee for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is $149.

There are several Southwest credit cards, with different fees and benefits. You can compare the different Southwest Airlines card offers here.

Curious about the other terms? We’ve outlined all of them so you can know exactly what’s happening behind the scenes.

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Alternatives to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $550
Regular APR 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (Review) features luxury travel benefits for a high annual fee.

The true value of the Delta Skymiles Reserve is found in its benefits. You’ll get Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access, and an annual companion ticket for your flights, all of which hold considerable value.

There’s a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit included too, but no other credits to help lessen the blow of the high annual fee.

If you could live with either Delta or Southwest, you’ll have to ask yourself: Will you trade an annual travel credit and lower annual fee for more rewards, airport lounge access, and an extra ticket?

Spending Rewards
  • 3X SkyMiles per dollar on Delta purchases
  • 1X SkyMile per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access: Enjoy complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs, with up to two guests at $39 each. Plus, access Centurion Lounges for free, with up to two guests at $50 each. Two free Delta Sky Club one-time guest passes per year are included.
  • Annual Companion Certificate: Get a certificate for a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin round-trip flight. Certificate use requires the payment of applicable fees, not to exceed $75.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: When you pay with the SkyMiles Reserve, a statement credit covers the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four-and-a-half years).
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights: Book with your Delta SkyMiles number, and baggage fees for your party’s first checked bags will be waived (covers the cardholder and up to eight additional passengers on the same itinerary).
  • Main Cabin 1 priority boarding: Board earlier (with up to eight additional passengers on the same itinerary) when you book airfare with your Delta SkyMiles number.
  • Complimentary upgrades: Reserve cardholders are added to the complimentary upgrade waitlist after Medallion members, even without Medallion status.
  • 20% in-flight discount on Delta flights: Get 20% off (in the form of a statement credit) a host of in-flight purchases, including food, drinks, and headsets, but not including WiFi.
  • Concierge service: Request 24/7 non-emergency assistance with things like travel arrangements, dinner reservations, and entertainment plans.
  • Travel protections: Car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, trip delay/cancellation coverage, and the Global Assist Hotline
  • Shopping protections: Return protection, dispute resolution, extended warranty protection, and more
  • Purchase APR: 15.74% - 24.74% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • With Status Boost™, earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Complimentary access into the Delta SkyClubs® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit level Excellent
Details
Annual Fee $450
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (Review) has a strong intro bonus and some valuable benefits for travelers.

In addition to being just as rewarding as the Southwest Priority card, the Citi / AAdvantage card offers some helpful perks like a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, as well as the more valuable Admirals Club membership. The latter will get you and up to ten authorized users airport lounge access (with two guests for free).

The annual fee is pretty high however, with few credits to bring it down. But, it’s a hefty metal card that still provides pretty good rewards and useful benefits for frequent travelers.

So, if you could fly with either airline, you’ll have to decide which card you’d get more value from: the Southwest card with a lower annual fee and $75 travel credit, or the Citi AAdvantage with a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit and airport lounge access, along with other perks, but at a higher annual cost.

Spending Rewards
  • 2X AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 1X AAdvantage mile per dollar spent everywhere else
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club membership: You and up to ten authorized users have access to the Admirals Club airport lounge.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit: Get a credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) once every five years.
  • Elite Qualifying Miles: Earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles after spending $40,000 on purchases in a given year.
  • Reduced Mileage Awards: Get discounted travel for round trip (7,500 miles off) and one-way flights (3,750 miles off).
  • Enhanced Airport Experience: Including priority check-in, screening, and boarding privileges
  • 25% discount on in-flight purchases on AA flights: The 25% discount will be applied to in-flight purchases of food and beverages only.
  • First checked bag free on AA flights: For you and up to eight traveling companions
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $450
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
Annual Fee $95
Regular APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) is good for people who don’t stick to one airline in particular.

Where this card shines is the rewards and flexible redemption options. There’s a bonus if you redeem your points for travel expenses through Chase Ultimate Rewards, upping the value to 1.25 cents per point.

You can also transfer your points to Chase’s hotel or airline partners. From there, you may even be able to find a value of 2¢ or more, increasing your cash back equivalent to upwards of 4%.

You’ll get a plethora of travel protections, but there aren’t any annual travel credits to help offset the annual fee, so the Southwest card can end up costing you less per year despite its higher annual fee.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on
    • Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Travel
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

Chase features one of the most rewarding rewards programs of any card issuer. While you’ll get slightly increased value from redeeming your points for travel expenses, you can find a far greater value by transferring your points to Chase’s travel partners.

By doing so, you could find a point value of 2–4 cents, or even more, increasing your cash back equivalent. One of the travel partners is Southwest, so even if you choose this card over the Southwest Rapid Rewards card, you can still redeem your points for Southwest airfare.

  • Credit Journey: Monitor your VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on your TransUnion credit report, and get advice to improve your credit scores.
  • 1:1 point transfer: 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points. The travel and hotel partners include Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, United, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG Rewards Club.
  • DoorDash membership: You’ll get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year, known as a DashPass. That’ll get you free delivery and reduced service fees for orders over $12.
  • Referral bonus points: You can invite friends to apply for the Sapphire Preferred, and for every friend who’s approved you’ll get 15,000 bonus points. You can earn up to 75,000 bonus points per year in this way.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is provided by Chase, and includes benefits at over 1,000 locations around the world.
  • Shop through Chase: Cardholders can get more points at select retailers with the Shop through Chase marketplace.
  • Chase Offers: Receive exclusive offers from a variety of different merchants through Chase.
  • Visa Signature Concierge: You can call 1-800-953-7392 to speak with your Visa Signature Concierge, 24/7.
  • Travel protections: Trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and roadside dispatch
  • Shopping protections: Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R).
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit level Good
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee $550
Regular APR See Pay Over Time APR
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) began the high-end travel card trend.

While the annual fee is much higher than that of the Southwest Rapid Rewards card, it comes with several credits that effectively bring it down to a more manageable level.

These include an annual $200 airline credit through 2021, $200 Uber credit, and $100 Saks credit, plus a $100 hotel credit that can be used over and over again. These annual credits drop the annual fee to about $50, which is lower than what the Southwest card asks. And the benefits are slightly better, making your travel experience that much more comfortable.

It’ll be a far more flexible and rewarding option than the Southwest card, earning more than double on flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar (starting 1/1/21, on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year) on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through American Express Travel
    • Prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through American Express Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, in the first 6 months

Depending on the spending category and how you redeem, you can earn a cash back equivalent of 10% or even more. That assumes you’re spending in the 5X category and redeeming for 2 cents per point, using point transfers to Amex’s travel partners.

When you transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to hotel or travel partners, you can usually find more value than what you’d get through normal redemption methods. The greater the value you find, the larger cash back equivalent you’ll receive. To maximize the value of your points, try waiting until you’ll get a rate better than 1.5 cents each.

  • Global Lounge Collection: Cardholders get the best airport lounge access available on a credit card with the Global Lounge Collection, which includes Priority Pass lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Centurion Lounges, and more.
  • $200 annual airline fee credit: Every year you can select an airline, and you’ll get a statement credit for up to $200 in incidental fees (like checked bag fees or in-flight meals) charged by that airline (through 2021).
  • $200 annual Uber credit: You’ll get a statement credit for up to $15 in Uber rides each month, except for December, which has a $35 credit.
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get a statement credit for the application fee for either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 every four-and-a-half years).
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts Collection: Book at least two nights from a list of specific hotels and get a room upgrade when available, daily breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, up to $100 credit for eligible charges when you check out, and more.
  • Point transfer: To airline and hotel loyalty programs, like Delta, British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, and Hyatt
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$149
Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Do you use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card for travel? Let us know how you like it by leaving a comment below!

Looking to get more out of every trip? See some other great card options in the Best Airline Credit Cards.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please click here.

At a glance

If you love flying with Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card could upgrade your flights and help you relax. For an annual fee of $149, you’ll earn 2X points per dollar on all Southwest Airlines purchases and receive helpful travel perks like an annual travel credit and 7,500 annual bonus points.

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