Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Premier: Winner?

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The card_name and card_name are popular mid-tier options in the points and miles community.

The Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular travel rewards cards because it offers nice welcome bonus and extra points on travel and dining, which can be transferred to airline and hotel partners or redeemed directly for travel at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Sapphire Preferred also offers great travel and purchase protections for a card with a $95 annual fee.

The Southwest Premier is a mid-tier card offering 2 EarlyBird Check-In® per year, 6,000 anniversary bonus points, a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass® qualifying points every year, and 25% back as statement credit for in-flight purchases.

This article will compare each card based on several factors to help you make an informed decision on which card is the best to add to your wallet.

Overview: Sapphire Preferred vs Southwest Premier

card_name

  • bonus_miles_full
  • 5x Points on Travel Booked Via Chase
  • 3x Points on Dining and Eligible Delivery Services
  • 2x Points on All Other Travel Purchases
  • 10% Anniversary Points Boost
  • Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Primary Rental Car Insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 6,000 Points Each Cardmember Anniversary
  • 2X Points on Transit, Ridesharing, Internet, Cable, Phone, and Eligible Streaming Services
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In Per Year
  • 25% Savings on In-Flight Purchases
  • Lost Luggage and Baggage Delay Insurance
  • $99 Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

Welcome Bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently offers the following welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Bonus History.

You may not be eligible for a welcome bonus if either of these apply:

  • You currently have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve®; OR
  • You received a welcome bonus on either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve in the last 48 months.

For example, if you received a welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve in January 2024, you would need to wait until February 2028 to be eligible for a new bonus and also cancel your existing Sapphire card before you apply.

Related: Can you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus twice?

Chase has two application rules that you should be aware of when you apply for a card:

5/24 Rule: Chase will automatically deny you for most Chase cards under their 5/24 Rule if you have opened five or more personal cards in the last 24 months.

Application Timing: Chase will typically approve you for a maximum of two personal cards every 30 days, and one business card every 30 days.

Southwest Premier:

The Southwest Premier Card currently offers the following welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

One thing to remember is that you are not eligible for a Southwest welcome bonus if (1) you currently have a Southwest personal credit card OR (2) you received a bonus on any Southwest personal card in the last 24 months (business cards don’t count toward this limit). 

If you’ve recently canceled your Southwest card and it’s been at least 24 months since your last welcome bonus, you are able to eligible for a new bonus. 

Chase has two application rules that you should be aware of when you apply for a card:

5/24 Rule: Chase will automatically deny you for most Chase cards under their 5/24 Rule if you have opened five or more personal cards in the last 24 months.

Application Timing: Chase will typically approve you for a maximum of two personal cards every 30 days, and one business card every 30 days.

Earning Points

Chase Sapphire Preferred:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points and offers bonus points on spending in several categories:

  • 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal;
  • 5 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025);
  • 5 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $250 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points);
  • 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out;
  • 3 points per dollar on online grocery store purchases (excludes Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs);
  • 3 points per dollar on select streaming services;
  • 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and
  • 1 point per dollar on all other eligible spending.

Southwest Premier:

The Southwest Premier Card allows you to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points at the following rates:

We value Southwest points at 1.37 cents per point, so you can expect a return of approximately 4.1% for 3x categories, 2.7% for 2x categories, and 1.4% for 1x categories.

Spending on a Southwest credit card helps you earn A-List elite status. For every $5,000 spent in purchases annually, you earn 1,500 TQPs toward A-List status.

Winner:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred boasts higher earning rates across multiple spending categories.

Card Benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred:

The  Chase Sapphire Preferred offers nice benefits, including:

10% Points Bonus: You will earn bonus points equivalent to 10% of your total spending in points earned with your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card during the past account anniversary year. For example, if you spent $10,000 during your cardmember year, you would receive an additional 1,000 points ($10,000 * 10% = 1,000 points).

$50 Hotel Credit: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers up to $50 in statement credits every account anniversary year if you book your hotel stays through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. 

DashPass Membership: This card offers a one-year DashPass membership for free, which includes DoorDash and Caviar, offering unlimited deliveries with free delivery fees and reduced service fees for eligible purchases. The offer must be activated by December 31, 2024. Once the free membership is over, you will be automatically enrolled in DashPass at the prevailing monthly rate.

Instacart Membership: Have your groceries delivered to your doorstep with a complimentary 6-month Instacart+ membership plus a $15 credit once every quarter. Enrollment is required by July 31, 2024.

No Foreign Transaction Fees: You can make international purchases with your card without paying an extra fee of around 3%.

Primary Rental Car Insurance steps in as the primary coverage for any damage or theft of a rental vehicle paid for with this card without needing to use your own auto insurance.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance reimburses you for non-refundable expenses if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason when you pay for your travel expenses with this card.

Trip Delay Insurance will reimburse any eligible expenses you incur as a result of your trip being delayed.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage, and the personal belongings contained within if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.

Baggage Delay Insurance can reimburse you for the cost of necessary personal and business items while waiting for your checked bag when it’s delayed by a common carrier.

Purchase Protection covers eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days for purchases this card.

Extended Warranty coverage adds up to an additional year of coverage for eligible purchases on manufacturer’s warranties up to 3 years.

Southwest Premier:

The Southwest Premier card offers the following benefits to its cardholders:

6,000 Anniversary Points: You will receive 6,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points each year on your cardmember anniversary. This is worth about $80 to $90 towards Southwest flights, which helps offset the annual fee.

Two EarlyBird Check-Ins: The Southwest Premier offers two EarlyBird check-ins per anniversary year, which provides the ticket holder with automatic check-in starting at 36 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure time. This normally costs $15-25 per year, but you get two free each year with this card.

Companion Pass Boost: Every year, you can reach the valuable Southwest Companion Pass faster with a 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying point boost.

25% In-Flight Savings: When you use your card for inflight drinks or Wi-Fi, you’ll receive 25% back as a statement credit.

Secondary Rental Car Insurance covers any damage to or theft of a rental car not covered by your primary insurance when you pay for the rental using this card.

Baggage Delay Insurance can reimburse you for the cost of necessary personal and business items while waiting for your checked bag when it’s delayed by a common carrier.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement covers the cost to repair or replace your luggage, and the personal belongings contained within if your bag is lost or damaged during a covered trip.

Purchase Protection covers eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days for purchases this card.

No Foreign Transaction Fees: You can make international purchases with your card without paying an extra fee of around 3%.

Winner:

Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Preferred offers extra travel protections like trip delay insurance and primary rental car insurance, which can save hundreds of dollars each year.

Annual Fee

Chase Sapphire Preferred:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with an annual fee of $95.

While some users might be initially deterred by this cost, it’s important to consider the value and benefits that come with the card.

The rewards points, travel benefits, and purchase protections can help offset the cost of the annual fee for frequent travelers.

Southwest Premier:

The Southwest Premier Card has a $99 annual fee, which is offset by 6,000-anniversary bonus points, two EarlyBird check-ins, and a 25% in-flight savings.

You can also add authorized users to it for no additional fee.

Winner:

Tie. Both cards have very similar annual fees. The Southwest Premier’s 6,000-point anniversary bonus helps partially offset the annual fee without any effort. 

Whereas the Chase Sapphire Preferred has more potential to offset the annual fee if you can utilize the $50 hotel credit, travel protections, and other credits.

Redeeming Points

Chase Sapphire Preferred:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most flexible points currencies.

You can use your points to book flights, hotel stays, and even rent a car through Chase Travel — all at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. For example, 100,000 points are equivalent to $1,250 towards travel.

You can unlock even more value than 1.25 cents per point by transferring rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners [1 to 1]
Aer Lingus Aer Lingus Air Canada Air Canada Aeroplan
British Airways British Airways Emirates logo Emirates
Air France Air France/KLM World of Hyatt Hyatt Hotels
Iberia logo Iberia IHG Hotels IHG Hotels
JetBlue JetBlue Marriott Hotels Marriott
Singapore Airlines Singapore Southwest Airlines Southwest
United Airlines logo United Virgin Atlantic logo Virgin Atlantic

Southwest Premier:

One of the best things about redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards points is the simplicity of the process. The cost of your award ticket is directly tied to the cash price of the flight. The higher the cash price, the more points are required.

Southwest has no blackout dates on any redemptions, so you can use your Rapid Rewards points to book any Southwest Airlines ticket for sale. Plus, if the flight price goes down, you can just rebook your Southwest flight, and the difference in points will go back to your account.

Southwest Points Value Calculator

It is always important to know how much points are worth. Based on our data study, the value of Southwest Rapid Rewards points is 1.37 cent per point towards flights, and here is a calculator to find out how much your Southwest points are worth.

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Winner:

Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Preferred card offers better redemption value and more flexibility. With access to multiple transfer partners, you have the option to transfer your points to several airline and hotel loyalty programs, potentially increasing their value.

The Verdict

Both the Sapphire Preferred and Southwest Premier cards are excellent travel cards.

But, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is likely the best option for most people because it offers more benefits and ways to earn points. Plus, you can transfer points to Southwest Rapid Rewards and other airline and hotel partners.

The Southwest Premier Card could be a good option for frequent Southwest travelers to take advantage of the two EarlyBird check-ins, the 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, and the ability to earn points towards the Companion Pass.

Which card are you going to choose?

card_name

  • bonus_miles_full
  • 5x Points on Travel Booked Via Chase
  • 3x Points on Dining and Eligible Delivery Services
  • 2x Points on All Other Travel Purchases
  • 10% Anniversary Points Boost
  • Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Primary Rental Car Insurance
  • $95 Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • bonus_miles_full
  • 6,000 Points Each Cardmember Anniversary
  • 2X Points on Transit, Ridesharing, Internet, Cable, Phone, and Eligible Streaming Services
  • 2 EarlyBird Check-In Per Year
  • 25% Savings on In-Flight Purchases
  • Lost Luggage and Baggage Delay Insurance
  • $99 Annual Fee

Click Here to Learn How to Apply

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