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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Priority Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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If you’re looking to add another credit card to your wallet so that you can make the most of your spending as a frequent Southwest Airlines customer, your gut reaction might be to consider a Southwest credit card like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.

But it might be a mistake to go for a Southwest credit card if you ever plan on flying on other airlines like Delta or United.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is another credit card you might have come across — and even though these 2 cards deliver contrasting features and benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a contender for frequent Southwest flyers.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Southwest Priority card from A to Z.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Southwest Priority Card — Overview

The Southwest Priority card is just one among Southwest’s seemingly endless list of credit cards.

Even though all of Southwest’s credit cards are issued in partnership with Chase, you’ll still want to make sure you’re comparing Chase’s proprietary Ultimate Rewards credit cards to the Southwest co-branded credit cards.

You’ll notice that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card generally offers better all-around rewards while the Southwest Priority card boasts Southwest-specific perks:

SCROLL FOR MORE
BenefitChase Sapphire Preferred® CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Welcome OfferEarn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
Earning Potential
  • 5x points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining; select streaming purchases; and online grocery purchases
  • 2x points on other travel
  • 1x points on other purchases
  • 3x points on Southwest purchases
  • 2x points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases; local transit and commuting; internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming purchases
  • 1x points on other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Transfers to travel partners, including Southwest
  • Chase travel portal bookings
  • Amazon.com purchases; Gift cards; Online shopping; Cash-back or statement credits
  • Southwest flights; Hotel stays; Rental cars
  • Rapid Rewards Access Events; Experiential rewards
  • Gift cards; Merchandise
Airline Program BenefitsNone
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings every year when available
  • The ability to earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) towards A-List status for every $10 spent
  • 25% back on inflight Southwest purchases
  • 7,500 points after each cardmember anniversary year
Statement Credits
  • Up to $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
  • Up to $15 Instacart+ credit per quarter (activate by July 2025)
  • Up to $75 Southwest travel credit every year
Travel Insurance and Protections
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance; Baggage delay insurance; Lost luggage reimbursement; Trip delay reimbursement; Travel accident insurance; Travel and emergency assistance services; Roadside dispatch
  • Secondary rental car insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance; Lost luggage reimbursement; Travel accident insurance; Travel and emergency assistance services; Roadside dispatch
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Purchase protection; Extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Purchase protection; Extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees
Annual Fees$95$149

The Southwest Priority card earns decent rewards denominated in Southwest Rapid Rewards points, but it simply can’t hold a candle to what the Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns in categories including dining and travel.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are more flexible than Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Southwest Rapid Rewards points can only be used for outsized value on Southwest flights, while Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for outsized value on business class flights, 5-star hotels, and Southwest flights.

For this reason, earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points is generally the best route to go.

The biggest reason why you’d choose the Southwest Priority card over the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is because of the Southwest-specific benefits.

As you’ll find out, pretty much everything else about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is superior to the Southwest Priority card.

Once you make a decision on which credit card to get, you can access your Benefits Guide at any time by logging into your Chase online account and browsing through your benefits dashboard.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

One of the strongest factors that should influence your credit card decision is the welcome bonus. If a credit card is offering a limited-time enhanced welcome bonus, it may be prudent to apply for that card in lieu of another card with a low welcome bonus.

A welcome bonus will offer a quick infusion of points that allows you to hit the ground running with lots of points, assuming you can meet the spending requirement on the credit card.

Here are the current welcome bonuses available on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Southwest Priority card:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

POPULAR FIRST CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros

  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel worldwide
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024), plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
  • Excellent travel and car rental insurance
  • 10% annual bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Southwest Priority Card

LIMITED-TIME OFFER
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card focuses on the Southwest traveler with anniversary points, travel credit, upgrades, and money back on inflight purchases.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

This card focuses on the Southwest traveler with anniversary points, travel credit, upgrades, and money back on inflight purchases.
Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn Companion Pass® plus 30,000 points
$390
$149
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the most premium personal Southwest card offering from Chase. When you peel back the curtain, it is easy to see why.

Not only does the card offer multiple bonus categories to help you earn more Southwest Rapid Rewards points, but it is also loaded with benefits that are sure to offer quite a bit of value to Southwest flyers.

Here is a full overview of the card to help you decide if it is a good fit for your wallet.

Pros

  • 3x points per $1 on Southwest purchases
  • 2x points per $1 on local transit and commuting, including rideshare purchases
  • 2x points per $1 on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming purchases
  • 1x point per $1 on all other purchases
  • 7,500 points each year on your cardmember anniversary
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • 1,500 tier qualifying points towards elite status for every $10,000 spent
  • Travel and purchase protection

Cons

  • $149 annual fee
  • Does not earn transferable points
  • Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Southwest Rapid Rewards Frequent Flyer Program

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are much more flexible than Southwest Rapid Rewards points. While Southwest Rapid Rewards points are airline points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible rewards points.

Southwest Rapid Rewards points can generally only be used for decent value on Southwest flights, which limits where you can travel to using those points.

Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to a variety of different airline partners, such as Air Canada, United, and British Airways, to book international or domestic travel, whether it’s in business class or economy.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can even be used to book high-end hotels like Alila Ventana Big Sur or Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort.

Here’s how you can earn points with each credit card:

Earning Potential

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Earning CategoryChase Sapphire Preferred CardSouthwest Priority Card
Lyft 5x points (through March 31, 2025)1x points
Travel Purchased Through Chase Ultimate Rewards5x pointsN/A
Southwest Purchases, Including Flight, Inflight, and Southwest Gift Cards2x points3x points
Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partners2x points2x points
Other Travel Purchases2x points1x points
Local Transit and Commuting1x points2x points
Dining3x points1x points
Online Grocery Purchases3x points1x points
Select Streaming Services3x points1x points
Internet, Cable, and Phone Services1x points2x points
Other Purchases1x points1x points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are valued at 2.0 cents apiece, while Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth around 1.3 cents each.

Point-for-point, Chase blows Southwest out of the water — additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns rewards on useful everyday categories including dining, select streaming services, online grocery purchases, and travel.

But wait, it gets better!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — 10% Anniversary Earning Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card includes a unique benefit known as the 10% anniversary earning bonus, which gets you a 10% bonus of Ultimate Rewards points after you renew your card every anniversary year.

For example, if you spend $150,000 in a given year, you’ll get a bonus of 15,000 points.

Redemption Options

As we’ve highlighted, Southwest Rapid Rewards points can only be used for solid value on Southwest flights. Even then, you should expect to get an average of 1.3 cents per point and a maximum of 1.5 cents per point, depending on which Southwest flight you book.

And if you look at ways to use Southwest Rapid Rewards points besides Southwest flights, you can book non-Southwest flights, hotels, car rentals, and experiences, get gift cards, or do some online shopping, though you’ll be disappointed by the subpar redemption value of your Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

In comparison, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth around 2.0 cents per point by our valuations, simply because you can get superior redemption value in a variety of different ways.

You can book 5-star hotels by transferring points to World of Hyatt, business class flights on airlines like British Airways or Singapore Airlines, and so much more, all of which can get you upwards of 10 cents per point in value.

Hot Tip: Another benefit of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is that you can transfer your ChaseUltimate Rewards points to Southwest Rapid Rewards almost instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you ever need Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

Also, here are 2 fantastic alternative ways you can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a value greater than 1 cent per point:

To wrap up, Chase Ultimate Rewards points can also be used for online shopping, gift cards, statement credits, cash-back, and Amazon.com purchases, but you won’t get better than 1 cent per point in redemption value.

Bottom Line: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are much more valuable than Southwest Rapid Rewards points thanks to their ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners (including Southwest). Savvy travelers can then book business and first class international flights on airlines like Emirates and British Airways, as well as solid hotels through hotel chains like World of Hyatt.

Southwest Airlines Benefits

Southwest plane interior
Image Credit: Southwest

The Southwest Priority card shines most in the benefits it offers to those who fly on Southwest Airlines often.

Let’s first get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card out of the way — it doesn’t offer any specific benefits on Southwest Airlines or any other airline.

The Southwest Priority card offers these benefits on Southwest Airlines:

  • A bonus of 7,500 Rapid Rewards points after each cardmember anniversary year (worth $97.50 by our valuations)
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings every year when available
  • 25% statement credit on Southwest inflight purchases
  • The ability to earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) towards A-List status after every $10,000 spent

This credit card also gets 4 Upgraded Boardings every year when available, which gets you the best A1 to A15 boarding position available, including first access to seats and overhead bins.

And every time you make an inflight purchase, you’ll get 25% back — so if you spend $15 on snacks, you’ll get $3.75 back.

Lastly, you can get closer to A-List elite status. For every $10,000 you spend per calendar year, you’ll earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points. You need 35,000 TQPs to qualify for A-List status.

Some A-List benefits include priority boarding, same-day confirmed changes and standby, a 25% points bonus, a dedicated A-List phone line, and priority and express lane check-in.

Statement Credits

One important layer of the value in a credit card is statement credits, especially when it comes to determining the breakeven cost of a credit card.

In this case, the Southwest Priority card offers a $75 Southwest travel credit every cardmember year, which is super easy to use. If you book a Southwest flight on your credit card, this benefit is like saving $75 immediately off of your Southwest ticket!

Also, don’t forget that the Southwest Priority card gets you 7,500 Rapid Rewards points as an anniversary bonus every year (which is worth around $98), as well as a 25% statement credit on Southwest inflight purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has:

As long as you purchase your paid hotel reservation through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can get a $50 hotel credit every cardmember anniversary year.

Travel Insurance and Protections

Driving car
Image Credit: why kei via Unsplash

When you’re traveling, you’d be foolish to not have some form of travel insurance. As it turns out, your credit card can get you access to travel protections and insurance for free, as long as you pay for your travel using your credit card!

You can take advantage of these complimentary benefits while earning rewards — we’ll show you which benefits are offered on each card in this section.

Rental Car Insurance

One of the most disastrous things that could happen to you while traveling is your rental car gets stolen or damaged. You absolutely don’t want to find yourself on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars if a reckless driver damages your rental.

For this reason, there’s a lot of value in having a credit card with a robust policy for rental cars.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers primary rental car insurance, while the Southwest Priority card offers secondary rental car coverage.

Primary rental car coverage is superior to secondary rental car coverage because you don’t need to file a claim with your primary insurance provider before coverage kicks in for your rental car.

To get coverage, decline your rental car company’s loss damage waiver or collision damage waiver (LDW or CDW), then pay for your rental car reservation using your credit card and you’ll have coverage.

Trip Interruption and Cancellation Insurance

If you suddenly come down with a severe illness, get injured, or have a misfortune of death in your family that causes you to cancel or modify your trip, you may be able to use trip interruption and cancellation insurance to get reimbursed for nonrefundable expenses.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip in trip interruption and cancellation insurance, as long as you pay for your common carrier ticket with the card.

The Southwest Priority card does not have trip interruption and cancellation insurance.

Trip Delay Reimbursement

If your trip is delayed, you may need to book a hotel or make contingency plans that cost money. With trip delay reimbursement, you can get your money back for covered delays and related expenses.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gets you up to $500 in reimbursements with a maximum of 1 claim per trip for delays of 12 hours or more or when an overnight stay is required.

The Southwest Priority card offers no such benefit.

Baggage Delay Insurance

If you’re traveling on a common carrier (like a commercial airline) and your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours after you land, you can get up to $100 per day towards the purchase of essential items.

Luckily, both the Southwest Priority card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card come with this insurance policy.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement

There’s nothing more infuriating than getting your bags lost by the airline while you’re traveling.

To combat this, use your lost luggage reimbursement benefit, which entitles you to up to $3,000 in reimbursements per passenger for lost or damaged luggage. Just pay for your common carrier ticket with your credit card.

There’s a limit of $500 for jewelry and watches and another limit of $500 for cameras and other electronics per person per trip.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Southwest Priority card both have lost luggage reimbursement.

Travel Accident Insurance

Although you should hope that you’ll never need to worry about this, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Southwest Priority card have up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance coverage.

Roadside Dispatch

Roadside dispatch is a benefit offered to those who need assistance while driving, whether it’s in a foreign country or near your home.

For a pre-negotiated $69.95 rate per service call, you can get access to these services:

  • Fuel delivery (up to 5 gallons, plus cost of fuel)
  • Jump starting
  • Lockout service (key replacement not included)
  • Standard towing (up to 5 miles)
  • Standard winching
  • Tire changing (must have a good, inflated spare)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Southwest Priority card share this roadside dispatch benefit.

Travel and Emergency Assistance Services

If something major happens while you’re traveling, like you lose your passport or you need a referral to a doctor, you will probably need to use the travel and emergency assistance services offered by both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Southwest Priority card.

Here are the benefits available 24/7, 365 days per year to yourself, your spouse, and any dependent children under 22 years old traveling with you:

  • Emergency message service
  • Emergency ticket replacement
  • Emergency translation service
  • Emergency transportation assistance
  • Legal referral assistance
  • Lost luggage locator service
  • Medical referral assistance
  • Pre-trip assistance
  • Prescription assistance and valuable document delivery

Although the services will point you in the right direction, you’ll still need to pay for any costs incurred by the provider.

Hot Tip: For more details, check out the full list of travel insurance benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Shopping
Image Credit: Artem Beliaikin via Unsplash

Beyond booking travel with a credit card, you’ll need to make sure that whatever card you have in your wallet offers benefits and protections while you’re making non-travel purchases, like at department stores or electronics stores.

This section highlights the key shopping benefits and protections offered by the 2 cards.

Purchase Protection

With purchase protection, you can cover your credit card purchases if your items are damaged or stolen.

The purchase protection policy on both the Southwest Priority card and Chase Sapphire Preferred card covers eligible purchases for 120 days past the date of purchase. You’ll get coverage of up to $500 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.

Extended Warranty

If you’re buying electronics or technology gadgets with any amount of frequency, having extended warranty coverage can save you a lot of heartache if your items have defects.

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Southwest Priority card enjoy 1 additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less. This extended warranty can reimburse you up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.

As an example, an item that has an eligible warranty of 3 years will get 1 extra year for a total of 4 years, while an item with a warranty of 5 years will not get any extended warranty coverage.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Southwest Priority card come with no foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

Annual Fees

The Southwest Priority card has a $149 annual fee, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.

Adding Authorized Users

There are no additional annual fees for adding authorized users to either card account.

Final Thoughts

The Southwest Priority card is a mid-market credit card with a 3-figure annual fee that’ll offer the best value to those who fly frequently on Southwest and need the airline-specific benefits.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card maxes out your return on spending with its 5x points maximums, 10% anniversary bonus, and generous bonus categories.

That said, the Southwest Priority card does offer a $75 Southwest travel credit annually, an anniversary bonus of 7,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, and other unique benefits that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card doesn’t.

Lastly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has better travel coverage and insurance, while the shopping-related benefits are more or less the same when compared to the Southwest Priority card.

If you’re looking to optimize rewards, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. But for better benefits while flying on Southwest, you should get the Southwest Priority card.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the annual fee for the Southwest Priority card?

The Southwest Priority card has a $149 annual fee.

Do Southwest Priority card points expire?

No, your Southwest Priority card’s points do not expire because Southwest Rapid Rewards points do not expire.

Does the Southwest Priority card cover TSA PreCheck?

No, the Southwest Priority card does not offer a TSA PreCheck credit.

Do Southwest Priority card holders get priority boarding?

Every year, those who hold the Southwest Priority card will get up to 4 Upgraded Boardings for free (when available).

Is Priority Pass free with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

Priority Pass is not offered as a benefit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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