Southwest recently launched a brand new credit card called the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. While it is a more of a “premier” credit card due to the slightly higher then normal annual fee, it is one of those cards where the benefits absolutely make up for it allowing you to save money year after year.
The Benefits Pay For Itself!
$75 in Southwest Travel Credits
With this card, you’ll receive $75 in Southwest travel credits every single year, which can be used directly for Southwest flight purchases. If you are thinking about applying for the card, I am assuming you are a loyal Southwest flyer and will definitely have at least $75 of paid travel per year. However, if you have a year where you happen to not have any paid travel, due to using points or just not flying Southwest that year for whatever reason, you can most likely just use your credit card to pay for a friend or family members flight and have it trigger the statement credit. Your friend or family member can then pay you back the cost of the flight!
Right off the bat, taking this $75 credit into consideration, this brings the annual fee down to $70. Compared to other points and miles credit cards, that is a low “net” annual fee you are paying and less then the other Southwest credit cards as well!
7,500 Bonus Points
After every cardmember anniversary, you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points to your account. This is worth approximately $113 in travel on a Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare. You can then use those bonus points towards a future Southwest flight.
Now after taking that savings into account, you can then think of the annual fee as a wash and you’ll actually be “profiting” $37 on a yearly basis.
Upgraded Boarding Positions
Southwest has a unique seat assignment policy where you actually do NOT pick a seat before boarding the plane. Unlike some of the other carriers, you can’t even pay more to pick a seat. Instead it is a “first come, first serve” type of seat picking process, so the earlier you board the plane, the better chance you have of picking a better seat. Upon checking into your flight, Southwest will give you a boarding number and you’ll board the plane based on that number. Now, to be able to board the plane first, you can purchase an upgraded boarding position when you arrive to the gate. Assuming available, it will give you boarding position A1-A15, which is the best boarding position you can have.
With this credit card, you’ll receive four complimentary upgraded boarding positions a year. Typically it costs either $30, $40, or $50 to purchase one of these upgraded boarding positions so this benefit is worth between $120-$200! Now, if you end up with boarding position A20, for example, it is not necessary to purchase an upgraded boarding position, but if you end up with C20, for example, securing position A1-A15 is huge!
So while I do not want to say you are coming out ahead another $120-$200 because this might not have been something that you’d necessarily would have paid for, it is a nice perk to have especially since the other perks pay for the annual fee (and more)!
20% back on in-flight drinks, Wifi, messaging, and movies
When flying Southwest, use this credit card to pay for in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies and you’ll receive 20% back on your credit card statement. I typically pay for Wifi while flying Southwest (although I wouldn’t say it’s the best service you’ll receive!), getting an additional 20% off on something I am paying for anyways is always welcome.
Again, I wouldn’t tie a specific savings amount to this benefit as it really differs per individual, but if you are going to purchase these services/drinks anyways, then savings a few extra bucks here and there is always a positive!
As I mentioned above, the perks from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card will give you a minimum of $37 net positive on a yearly basis and possibly even more depending on which other benefits you take advantage of. Credit card annual fees can definitely add up, but I am always happy paying an annual fee when I know I’ll a receive a higher return in the benefits. And this is on top of the sign up offer!