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Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

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This article was last updated Jan 06, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you fly on a regular basis, two travel rewards credit cards that deserve a close look are the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. In addition to valuable sign-up bonuses and rewards on select travel purchases, both cards offer a variety of travel benefits, such as baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation insurance. When deciding which card is best for you, it basically comes down to the following:

See how the cards compare side by side in the table below.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Sign-up bonus Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining purchases for the first year. Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Rewards rate Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Intro APR on purchases N/A N/A
Regular purchase APR 15.99% - 22.99% Variable 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual fee $99 $95
Foreign transaction fees $0 $0

Read on to see the pros and cons of each card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card pros and cons

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining purchases for the first year.

  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

Highlights
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary each year.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Your points never expire, a benefit of the Rapid Rewards® program.

See additional details for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

More Info

Pros

Opportunity to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. The companion pass presents one of the best values currently available for domestic travel and travel to parts of the Caribbean and Mexico. You are able to designate one person to fly with you on paid and award flights for only the cost of taxes and fees (from $5.60 one way).

To earn the companion pass, you must fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. The pass will be valid for the remainder of the year in which you earned it, as well as the following full calendar year.

Anniversary bonus. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers 6,000 bonus points each account anniversary year, meaning the year beginning with your account open date through the anniversary of our account open date, and every 12 months after that.

Ability to earn points for A-List status. The card lets you earn points that count toward earning A-List status, which gets you early boarding, priority check-in and security lane access, free same-day standby and other perks. To receive A-List status, you must fly 25 qualifying one-way flights or earn 35,000 tier qualifying points in a calendar year.

Additional benefits. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card also comes with a variety of purchase and travel perks, including purchase protection, extended warranty protection, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch and more.

Cons

Modest rewards rate. Unlike some travel rewards cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card does not offer an elevated rewards rate in some popular spending categories, such as gas and groceries. Instead, cardholders receive the following rewards rate: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

That said, new cardholders can earn an accelerated rate on dining purchases during the first year of card membership: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining purchases for the first year.

Annual fee. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card charges an annual fee of $99.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card pros and cons

  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.

Highlights
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 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, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

Pros

Lucrative sign-up bonus. Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Because points are valued at 1 cent each, the sign-up bonus is worth $800. But when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals or cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, the value of each point increases to 1.25 cents — making the sign-up bonus worth $1,000 toward travel.

Plus, from May 31, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021, cardholders can also get 25% more value from their points when redeemed for statement credits to cover purchases in the following categories: grocery stores, dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services) and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Rewards on travel and dining purchases. While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card both offer the ability to earn rewards every time you use the card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a higher rewards rate on a broader range of categories. Cardholders earn 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

The travel category includes airlines, discounted travel sites, hotels, car rental agencies, timeshares, cruise lines, taxis, ferries, trains, buses, limousines, toll bridges, parking lots and more. The restaurant category includes sit-down or eat-in dining locations, such as fast-food restaurants and fine dining establishments.

Travel transfer partners. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer points at a rate of 1:1 to the following airline and hotel partners: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt.

Additional benefits. Like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Additional benefits include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, extended warranty protection and more.

Cons

No annual bonus. Unlike the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card does not offer bonus points each year on your account anniversary. However, if you spend a lot on travel and dining, you could potentially out-earn the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card’s anniversary bonus with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s higher rewards earning potential in those categories.

Annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card charges an annual fee of $95. That said, the value you can squeeze from the card’s sign-up bonus more than covers the annual fee.

Which card is right for you?

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card are great travel cards to consider. If you have to pick one, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card probably makes sense for most people because of the flexibility to transfer your points not just to Southwest Airlines, but also to other programs, like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. Plus, the card earns 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

However, if you frequently fly to cities serviced by Southwest Airlines, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card may be a better fit. In addition to offering an elevated rewards rate on Southwest purchases, the card comes with a generous sign-up bonus and anniversary bonus — which can help you reach A-List status and earn the Southwest Companion Pass. The companion pass alone can save you hundreds of dollars if you frequently travel with a partner or spouse.


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