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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and
United Gateway℠ Card

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
APR on purchases
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Free Access to Credit Score
Annual Statement Credits
Free Checked Bags
Roadside Assistance
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Fees for Authorized Users
0% Intro APR on Purchases
Concierge Services
Annual Fee
$149
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
APR on purchases
-
Ongoing APR
21.49%-28.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
3x Airfare

Applies only to tickets purchased directly from Southwest. Other airfare earns 1X.

2x Transit
2x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
2x Cellular Phone Service
2x Streaming Services
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.014
Bonus Offer

Limited-time offer: Earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Offer ends 3/11/24.

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.98) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

Although the Southwest Priority Card charges the highest annual fee of any of the personal Southwest credit cards, we argue that it should be the go-to card for frequent Southwest flyers. That’s because the perks of this Southwest credit card easily justify the $149 annual fee.

Cardholders get four Upgraded Boardings each year, a $75 Southwest annual travel credit, 7,500 bonus points every cardmember anniversary (worth $105), and 25% back on inflight purchases. If you fly Southwest just a couple of times per year, these perks should easily save more than the $149 annual fee.

Get four Southwest Upgraded Boardings each cardmember anniversary.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, cardholders earn 3x points on Southwest purchases and 2x points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, local transit, commuting, and rideshare. In addition to those travel purchases, cardholders also earn 2x points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services. All other purchases earn 1x points.

All points earned count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass. Plus, cardholders will earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List and A-List Preferred Status for every $10,000 spent per year. And you don’t need to worry about foreign transaction fees with the Southwest Priority Card.

The only downside to Southwest Airlines credit cards is that Rapid Rewards points are only valuable for flying Southwest. If you want to earn flexible points, consider a credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, so you’ll still be able to top off your Rapid Rewards account when you need points for your next redemption, but you can also transfer them to any of Chase’s other airline or hotel transfer partners.

Lastly, this card is great for getting a good chunk of the way to a Southwest Companion Pass with the bonus offer. Read our guide on earning a Southwest Companion Pass for up to two years via new account bonuses.

Redeem your Southwest Rapid Rewards points earned through your Southwest card for nearly-free Southwest flights

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Annual Statement Credits
yes
Free Checked Bags
yes
Roadside Assistance
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
0% Intro APR on Purchases
no
Concierge Services
no
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
APR on purchases
0% Intro APR (on purchases for 12 months, 21.99%-28.99% thereafter)
Ongoing APR
21.99%-28.99% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
2x Airfare

Applies only to United purchases. Otherwise, earn 1X

2x Transit
2x Gas Stations
1x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.012
Bonus Offer

Earn 30,000 United MileagePlus Miles after spending $1,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months of opening an account. Offer ends January 24, 2024. 

Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.75) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The United Gateway card does a solid job of providing enough benefits to make you wonder if it will be sufficient, vs investing $95 or more on one of the other Chase United credit cards since this is the only one with no annual fee.

The answer will depend on you.

If you fly several times a year and check a bag each time, then you’ll come out ahead paying the $95 annual fee on the United℠ Explorer Card since you’ll get free checked bags (one for you and a companion on the same itinerary) every time you pay with your card on a domestic flight. You also won’t get priority boarding with the Gateway card.

However, if you are on “Team Carry-On Only,” then this card provides many of the same benefits, including the benefit that gives you access to expanded Saver economy coach availability just like a United Silver Premier member. However, unlike all of the other United cards, you won’t be entitled to upgrades on award tickets.

Additionally, you won’t have any opportunities to earn PQPs from spending on this card whereas all the other United cards do offer that benefit.

Lastly, you might do better with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you aren’t using the checked bag benefit or the expanded award availability benefit. That’s because you’ll have more opportunities to earn points from spend on the Sapphire Preferred, and while you can transfer those points right over to United, you can also take advantage of all of the other Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners.

united-gateway-card

In the end, it depends on you if this is a good card for you, or if another similar card might be better.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Annual Statement Credits
no
Free Checked Bags
no
Roadside Assistance
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
0% Intro APR on Purchases
yes
Concierge Services
yes

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