Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Review

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If you’re a frequent Southwest Airlines flyer, you should consider adding the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card to your credit card collection. Out of the three personal Southwest-branded credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card offers the top rewards, most travel points and most perks. Plus, unlike the other two personal Southwest branded credit cards, there are no foreign transaction fees.

If Southwest is your main airline of choice and you want a single credit card to reward your travel, this may be the card for you. You can also pair the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card with credit cards from other airlines to maximize your travel rewards.

What we like about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

  • While the annual fee of $149 may seem high, you get an annual $75 Southwest travel credit with this card each year, which can offset part of the annual fee.
  • The card comes with Southwest perks like four upgraded flights a year and 20% back on in-flight purchases.
  • The card has no foreign transaction fees.
  • The card also provides travel and purchase protection benefits like an auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance services and travel accident insurance.

Things to consider

  • If you don’t fly Southwest Airlines that often, you could get better travel perks with a different airline-specific or general travel rewards card.
  • If you don’t fly much in general, you could get much better rewards with another rewards card.
  • The best way to maximize your points is going through offerings from Southwest and its partners.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card travel rewards details

Cardholders get 2x points for every $1 they spend on Southwest Airlines flights and with Southwest car rental and hotel partners, including Marriott Bonvoy, Best Western and Radisson Rewards. All other purchases made with the card earn cardholders 1x point per $1 spent. Plus, you get 7,500 anniversary points after your cardmember anniversary.

Get more mileage out of points by redeeming them for Southwest Airlines flights to more than 90 destinations. By doing so, you’ll also be getting closer to A-List status as you book flights.

You can also redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card points for gift cards from over 70 merchants, hotel stays and car rentals from thousands of businesses around the country, merchandise (like travel accessories, electronics, luggage, golf equipment and more) and international flights on more than 50 global carriers.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card fees

Besides the annual fee of $149, the other fees are fairly standard. There’s a late payment fee of up to $39 and a return payment fee of up to $39. There are no over-limit fees or return check fees.

Like most travel credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has no foreign transaction fee. Compared to the other two Southwest branded personal credit cards, this is the only one with that feature, making it the top Southwest travel credit card choice for international travelers.

How does it compare to other travel rewards cards?

If you’re looking for a Southwest credit card, this is the best choice for rewards and points. If you want to add to your airline-branded credit card collection but don’t fly Southwest often, you may be more interested in a Southwest credit card with a lower annual fee, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. If you’re after a general travel rewards credit card and want more freedom in how your points reward your travel, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice.

Card Ongoing Purchase APR Annual Fee Intro Bonus Credit Needed Key features
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card 17.49% - 24.49% Variable APR $149 Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Good to Excellent
  • Get 2x points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airline purchases and 1x point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 7,500 points every year on the cardholder anniversary.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card 17.49% - 24.49% Variable APR $69 Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Good to Excellent
  • Get 2x points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airline purchases and 1x point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • There are 3% foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 3,000 points every year on your cardholder anniversary.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 17.24% - 24.49% (Variable) APR $0 intro for first year; $95 after that Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of the account opening. Good to Excellent
  • Get unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.

The bottom line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is a top airline reward credit card for frequent Southwest Airlines flyers. The annual fee becomes less of a burden because you get a $75 Southwest credit every year. Plus, you get more Southwest perks like upgraded flights and in-flight discounts, as well as extra anniversary points and tier qualifying points for Southwest A-List status. If you fly Southwest frequently, this card can help you save on travel.

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