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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 your account is open. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Rewards rate 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 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 your account is open.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 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 your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events, and more.

See additional details for Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

More Info

Pros

Anniversary bonus. In addition to a generous sign-up 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. The sign-up bonus without the anniversary points is valued around $600.

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.

Note, the amount of qualifying points required to earn the companion pass increased from 110,000 to 125,000 on Jan. 1, 2020.

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 popular spending categories, such as dining, gas and groceries. Instead, cardholders earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. That can make racking up points quickly more challenging once you deplete the sign-up bonus, although the anniversary bonus helps to offset the lower earning potential on everyday purchases.

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card pros and cons

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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.

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

Pros

Lucrative sign-up bonus. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through chase ultimate rewards® Because points are valued at 1 cent each, the sign-up bonus is worth $600. 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 $750 toward travel.

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 travel and dining at restaurants & 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 travel and dining at restaurants & 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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