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Card Intervention: Southwest Airlines Premier Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Luke Sims – 10xTravel Contributor

Intervention

Here at 10xT we have noticed a trend that’s hurting our readers and its time we say something about it. So we have decided that its time for an intervention.

You might want to sit down for this next part.

Many of you have fallen deeply in love with Southwest’s co-branded credit cards and your love affair is keeping you from your full travel potential.

Yes, we know that you think the Southwest card has been treating you well. After all, those easy redemptions, no blackout dates, and free changes/cancellations are great.

But, we think think that you should dump your Southwest credit card for someone better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Here’s why.

Southwest Cards, Good But Not Great

Let me start off by saying that I am not bashing any of the Southwest credit cards. In the grand scheme of things, you could do a lot worse credit card wise.

I personally have had both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card in the last year alone (mainly to earn the coveted SW Companion Pass).  

Thanks to my shiny new Companion Pass, my wife will fly for free with me whenever I fly Southwest for the next 16+ months. We actually just used this perk to spend last weekend in Cancun.

Luke10xTravel

But, where the Southwest credit cards really fall short is their benefits after you earn the signup bonuses. They each only offer 1 Southwest point per $1 spent (2 points per $1 on Southwest purchases) and don’t have any ancillary perks such as priority boarding, airline status, free checked bags, etc.

And while Southwest points are great for travel on Southwest, they provide little to no value when it comes to booking other forms of travel such as hotels, rental cars, or flights to destinations not serviced by everyone’s favorite low-cost domestic airline.

The Southwest cards also have annual fees of either $69 (Southwest Plus) or $99 (Premier) – pretty steep for the small benefits you get in return.

Why You Should Be Using Chase Sapphire Preferred Instead

Okay, hopefully at this point you have placed a safe amount of distance between you and your Southwest card and she (the card) is not throwing your TV out of the window. Messy breakups are never fun.

It’s time to set you up with someone new. Someone who has everything the Southwest cards have, and a whole lot more.

Let me introduce you to my good friend, Chase Sapphire Preferred.

ChaseSapphirePreferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are one of the most valuable loyalty currencies in the game. They can be transferred 1:1 to more than 10 different travel partners, including United, Southwest, Hyatt, and Marriott or used to book any travel directly through Chase at a value of 1.2 cents per point.

So, at the very least, every point earned with Chase Sapphire Preferred could be converted into a Southwest Rapid Rewards point. Making Sapphire, at worst, just as valuable as either of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Sapphire earns 2x points per dollar on all travel and dining expenses and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Compare that to Southwest’s 1 point per $1 on virtually everything (save Southwest expenses) and the two aren’t even close.

I don’t know about you, but a relatively large percentage of my monthly credit card spending goes toward dining and travel. Being in your 20s and living in New York City will do that to you.

Now to my favorite part, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a signup bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Those 50,000 points are worth $600+ when redeemed to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and potentially more when used with Chase’s travel partners.

You’ll also get an additional 5,000 bonus points (worth $60 of travel) after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months.

To top it off, check out these extra perks that take Chase Sapphire Preferred way past Southwest’s cards:

  • $95 annual fee (waived first year)
  • Premium Travel Protection Benefits, including auto rental collision damage coverage, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement and more
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Sleek metal card design and chip-enabled for enhanced security

Bottom Line

It’s never fun to realize that the person (or card) you’re with is not treating you well. But, with the support of your friends here at 10xT you have a new and improved lover, a card you can be proud to have in your wallet.

With Chase Sapphire Preferred at your side, it’s time to start racking up the points for your next trip!

Wheels Up,

Luke

P.S. If you would like to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred (and support 10xT at the same time) please do so via our credit cards page.  

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