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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Which One Is Best for You?

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Updated April 4, 2024

If you are a Southwest Airlines flier looking to add to your Rapid Rewards Points balance, you might be looking at the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card and the card_name.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card features increased earnings of three points per dollar on Southwest purchases, a 6,000 point bonus every year on your cardmember anniversary, and a path to earning additional Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List status.

The card_name offers a robust set of travel and consumer insurance protections, plus increased earnings on travel purchases, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services. The card_name offers points that can be transferred to airline partners including Southwest, giving you some option value to use points with your preferred airline or keep them for higher-value redemptions

For most people, the card_name is the better choice.

In this overview, we’ll highlight both cards, show you the benefits and rewards offered by each and help you decide which card is right for you.

How the cards stack up

Here’s how the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and card_name cards stack up:

FeatureSouthwest PremierChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Welcome Bonus
bonus_miles_full
bonus_miles_full
Rewards
  • Rapid Rewards
  • 3x on Southwest Airlines
  • 2x on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • 2x on local transit, commuting and rideshare
  • 2x on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming
  • 1x on all other purchases
  • Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 3x on dining, including delivery, takeout and dining out
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 1x on all other purchases
Annual Fee
annual_fees
annual_fees
APR (or Regular APR)
reg_apr,reg_apr_type APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type APR
Foreign Transaction Fee
foreign_transaction_fee
foreign_transaction_fee
Other Benefits (or Additional Perks)
  • 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each year
  • 1,500 A-List tier qualifying points for every $10,000 spent
  • Two EarlyBird Check-Ins each year
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Welcome bonus winner

The card_name enable new cardholder to bonus_miles_full The welcome bonus on the Southwest Premier card is comparable, at 60,000 bonus points plus a 30% off promo code after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

While the lower spending threshold of $3,000 may make the Southwest Premier card’s welcome bonus more attractive to some, we think that the card_name’s welcome bonus offers a better value. You get slightly more points, but the points can be used for cash-back redemptions, travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1.25 cents each, or transferred to partners like Southwest Airlines. The option value of Ultimate Rewards points gives Chase the edge.

Winner: card_name

Rewards winner

The card_name is far-and-away the winner when it comes to rewards. Intuitively, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than Southwest Airlines points because they can be transferred to Southwest Airlines, in addition to being used for a variety of other redemptions. The option value of Ultimate Rewards points alone makes them a more compelling currency to earn your rewards.

But you also earn more points on most of the purchases you make. If you’re booking hotels, you’ll earn two Southwest points per dollar with the Southwest Premier when you book through their partners, but Chase will give you two Ultimate Rewards points for any hotel booking, or five when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

With the card_name, you’ll also earn more on dining, other travel categories, streaming and online grocery store purchases. You’ll only earn more with the Southwest Airlines card when you fly on Southwest, when you use the card for local commuting that Chase doesn’t include as travel, and when you pay your internet and phone bill.

If you’re like most cardmembers, you’ll earn more points overall with the card_name and the points you earn will be more flexible.

Winner: card_name

Annual fee winner

The card_name’s annual fee of annual_fees beats the annual fee charged by the Southwest Premier card ($99 annual fee) by $4.00. Technically, the card_name wins this category. Substantively, a $4 difference in annual fee won’t make much difference to most cardmembers.

Winner: card_name

APR winner

Both the card_name and the Southwest Premier cards carry a variable APR on purchases that ranges from reg_apr,reg_apr_type, based on creditworthiness. When cards share the same APR range on purchases, you can frequently find differences when you compare the other APRs like the balance transfer or cash advance APRs.

In this case, digging deeper reveals no differences between the cards. The cards also have the same My Chase Loan APR, the same balance transfer APR, the same cash advance APR and the same penalty APR. This category is an exact tie.

Winner: Tie

Foreign transaction fee winner

Chase offers both the card_name and the Southwest Premier with foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fee, meaning both of these cards can be a good option to carry when traveling abroad.

Winner: Tie

Additional perks

When it comes to additional perks, the card_name is once again the winner.

The card’s flagship perks include trip cancellation/interruption insurance, primary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance, baggage delay insurance, and trip delay reimbursement, all useful protections if you are looking for a card you can use to book travel.

But the card_name also makes sense as your go-to card for purchasing items with warranties, as it features both purchase protection and extended warranty protection.

The Southwest Premier card offers none of these protections, but you do get 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and two EarlyBird Check-Ins each year. Plus, if you’re going after A-List status, you earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 you spend.

On balance, the Southwest Airlines card will get you closer to A-List status and a companion pass, but the card_name offers insurance protections that can benefit you on every trip you take, regardless of airline.

Winner: card_name

Which card earns the most?

If you’re like most travelers, you are likely to earn more with the card_name. When you travel exclusively with Southwest Airlines and book all of your hotels and car rentals through Southwest’s partners, you might eke out slightly more points. But this isn’t realistic for most travelers.

Looking at travel, purchases made with Southwest Airlines will earn one more point per dollar with the Southwest card than they will with the card_name. But almost all of your other travel will earn more with the card_name, especially if you are able to book through Chase Ultimate Rewards and take advantage of the five points per dollar that the card offers for these bookings. In general, the more you travel, the more you’ll earn with the card_name.

With the card_name, you’ll earn three points per dollar on dining and online grocery store purchases. These categories will only earn one point per dollar as general purchases on the Southwest Premier card.

The Southwest Airlines Premier card does offer slightly more points for some local transit and commuting expenses. (The card_name counts rideshare services like Uber and Lyft as travel purchases.) And you’ll earn one more point per dollar on your internet, cable, and phone spending. But a $100 monthly phone bill and a $200 spent on public transportation monthly amounts to only an extra 3,600 points a year with the Southwest card. This number is likely to be quickly eclipsed by additional earnings elsewhere.

Here is what each card earns in its spending categories:

card_name Earns Rapid Rewards Pointscard_name Earns Ultimate Rewards
  • Southwest Airlines Purchases: 3x
  • Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners: 2x
  • Local transit, commuting, and rideshare: 2x
  • Internet, cable, and phone services: 2x
  • Select streaming: 2x All other purchases: 1x
  • Travel purchased through Chase: 5x
  • All other travel: 2x
  • Dining, including delivery, takeout and dining out: 3x
  • Online grocery purchases: 3x
  • Select streaming services: 3x
  • All other purchases: 1x

Our Take

Why We Recommend the card_name

For most travelers, the card_name will earn you more points that are more flexible while offering useful travel insurance protections. With the limited exceptions of Southwest Airlines flights and a handful of categories where you’re likely to spend only a limited amount of money each month, you’ll earn more points on almost all of your spending with the card_name.

Because the card_name earns Ultimate Rewards rather than Southwest points, you have additional option value making your points both more flexible and more valuable. You can transfer them to Southwest, convert them to cash at one cent per point, use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1.25 cents per point, or transfer your points to travel partners for international flights on global airlines or hotel stays.

Finally, the card_name offers strong credit card travel insurance protections and an extended warranty benefit.

Overall, the card_name offers a package that includes more earning, a more flexible rewards currency, and better benefits.

Why you would still opt for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Likely the only reason you would opt for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card over the card_name is if you are chasing the Southwest Companion Pass or A-List status with the airline. Points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards do not count for either the Southwest Companion Pass or A-List status qualification. If you’re going for either one of these benefits with Southwest, consider sticking with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card.

Bottom Line: More Values for Travelers

For most competing mid-tier premium travel cards, offering more value to travelers than the card_name offers is a heavy lift. Between earning more points on most purchases, accumulating rewards in a flexible, transferable point currency, and offering a robust suite of travel insurances, the card_name delivers a value package that is not matched by the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier. Most travelers shopping for a travel credit card should choose the card_name.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do Chase Ultimate Rewards count towards the Companion Pass if I transfer to Southwest?

Chase Ultimate Rewards transferred to Southwest do not count toward either the Companion Pass or A-List status.

Can I have a card_name and a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card at the same time?

Chase allows you to have multiple Southwest Airlines credit cards, or a card_name and one or more Southwest Airlines credit cards. You can not hold more than one Chase Sapphire card.

Does Chase Sapphire work with Southwest?

The card_name and card_name cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to Southwest when you hold either card. Holding either card also allows you to convert Ultimate Rewards points you earn on other cards, such as the Chase Freedom Flex and card_name, to Southwest Rapid Rewards

Is card_name Good for flights?

The card_name is an excellent card to use to book your flights. The card earns two points per dollar on all travel, or five points per dollar if you book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus, the card offers trip delay insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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