Earn A-List Elite Status With The Southwest Premier Credit Card

Earn A-List Elite Status With The Southwest Premier Credit Card

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Our quick take: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is Southwest’s mid-tier credit card, and earns both Southwest points for award flights as well as points that can help you qualify for the airline’s A-List or A-List Preferred elite status.

Pros:

Earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on Southwest Airlines purchases, 2 points on local transit and commuting (including ride-shares), internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services, hotels and car rentals booked through the Rapid Rewards travel site and 1 point for all other purchases. 6,000 bonus points every year on your card holder anniversary starting with the second year you have the card. 25% back on in-flight purchases. Two EarlyBird Check-In credits per year. Earn tier-qualifying points toward A-List elite status. No foreign transaction fees. Cons:

Not as many travel protection benefits as other Chase credit cards. No introductory rate on purchases or balance transfers. $99 annual fee. Current sign-up bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus points — 50,000 after spending $2,000 within the first three months after opening the account, plus another 50,000 points after spending $12,000 total within the first 12 months.

Best for: Southwest flyers who want a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and the opportunity to earn tier-qualifying points toward Southwest’s A-List elite status.

See if you qualify for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card costs just $99 per year, making it the mid-tier option within the airline’s family of credit cards. With a sub-$100 annual fee, it’s easy to try out the card to see if it works for your family.

While the card costs $30 more a year than the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card (which has a $69 annual fee), it’s fairly easy to offset that extra cost. That’s because starting with the second year you have the Southwest Premier card and every year thereafter, you’ll earn 6,000 bonus points on your card holder anniversary. Those 6,000 points are worth $84 when redeemed for the airline’s “Wanna Get Away” fares, which effectively offsets almost the entire annual fee each year.

You’ll also earn more points on Southwest travel spend with the Southwest Premier card, along with the opportunity to earn qualifying points toward A-List elite status and no foreign transaction fees. Unfortunately, though, you’ll be missing out on many of the benefits that come along with the more expensive Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, such as travel statement credits, upgraded boarding and a discount on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi.

But the real benefit of the Southwest Premier card — and all Southwest credit cards — is that the points earned from the sign-up bonus, along with all your regular spending on the card, count toward the amazing Southwest Companion Pass. With this pass, a friend or family member can fly with you for free (plus taxes and fees) an unlimited number of times. Think of it as a buy-one-get-one deal, which could save you thousands of dollars during the length of the pass (which expires on Dec. 31 the year after the pass is earned).

That makes the Southwest Premier card a great choice if your sole purpose is to try to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. That’s because the card is currently offering new card holders up to 100,000 bonus points — 50,000 after spending $2,000 within the first three months after opening the account, plus another 50,000 points after spending $12,000 total within the first 12 months. That’s the highest sign-up bonus offer we’ve ever seen on this card.

You typically need 125,000 points in a calendar year to earn a Southwest Companion Pass, so after earning the sign-up bonus on the Southwest Premier, you can earn the remaining Companion Pass-qualifying points with the everyday purchases you make on the card, as well as Southwest flights and partner activity, such as purchases made through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal, car rentals and hotel stays.

Earn a Southwest Companion Pass with the help of the Southwest Premier credit card.

Points earned on the Southwest Premier card never expire, and you’ll never have to worry about blackout dates or seat restrictions when redeeming your points. That’s because the number of points required for a free flight on Southwest is directly tied to the cash cost of the ticket, so a low-priced ticket means a lower number of points required for the seat. Southwest also doesn’t charge any change or cancellation fees when altering a ticket booked with points, so if your plans change, it’s easy to get your points back for free.

SouthwestYou don’t have to pay any change or cancellation fees when booking Southwest flights with points.

Additionally, all purchases you make with the Southwest Premier card can help you earn A-List or A-List Preferred elite status on Southwest. With every $10,000 in purchases on the card, you’ll earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs). Thanks to a recent enhancement, there’s no longer any limit to the number of qualifying points you can earn this way, which means you can theoretically earn Southwest elite status solely by using your Southwest Premier credit card.

To earn A-List status, you need to earn 35,000 TQPs in a calendar year, while A-List Preferred requires 70,000 TQPs. While we don’t recommend putting that much spending on your credit card solely to earn status, this is a great way to combine points earned from flying with points earned with your credit card.

The Southwest Premier card also now comes with two EarlyBird Check-In credits per year. With EarlyBird Check-In, Southwest will automatically check you into your flight prior to the traditional 24-hour check-in window. Since Southwest doesn’t offer assigned seats but instead awards boarding positions based on the earliest check-in time, you’ll end up having a better boarding position and the opportunity to select your preferred seat with EarlyBird Check-In.

Normally, EarlyBird Check-In is an add-on option that typically costs between $15 and $25 each way, so if you take advantage of the two credits on the Southwest Pre

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