Use Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card to Purchase SWA Upgraded Boarding (4 Free Annually)

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend.  I flew Southwest Airlines down to Orange County to visit my family for the weekend.  I also had the chance to use my Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card to purchase an upgraded boarding position (A1-A15) for my flight.  I normally do not purchase upgraded boarding (I can usually get an A or early B boarding position when I check in), but the Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card provides 4 free upgraded boarding credits every year and my annual fee was coming up soon.  On my May statement, I saw this message about the $149 annual fee that is scheduled to post on June 1.

If I pay an annual fee on a credit card, I like to maximize all the benefits/features and get my money’s worth.  Here are all the benefits/features of the Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card, including the 4 free upgraded boardings every year.

Here are the details of the 4 free upgraded boardings (found here):

Southwest Upgraded Boardings: Each anniversary year you will be reimbursed for the purchase of up to 4 Upgraded Boardings which are positions A1-A15. Upgraded Boardings may be purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the day of travel only, when available. Price of Upgraded Boardings is based on your itinerary. Anniversary year means the year beginning with your account open date through the first statement date after your account open date anniversary, and the 12 monthly billing cycles after that each year. Eligibility for Upgraded Boardings for accounts that switch to this product: Account open date is the date the switch is official in the Chase system. After you make your purchase with your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Card, you will receive a statement credit for the price of the Upgraded Boardings. Statement credit and purchase of Upgraded Boardings may not post on the same statement; please allow up to 8 weeks for the statement credit(s) to post to your account. You may purchase all 4 Upgraded Boardings at one time or on separate flights; you will only be reimbursed via statement credit for the first four Upgraded Boardings you purchase during your anniversary year. Account must be open and not in default at the time the statement credit is posted to your account.

After going through TSA security, I went to the boarding gate and asked if I could purchase an upgraded boarding position.  The agent said I could purchase boarding position A3 for $30.  I gave the agent my Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card and she handed me a receipt and a new boarding pass with the A3 boarding position.  On my return trip, I went to the check-in kiosks out by the check-in counter to see if it was possible to purchase an upgraded boarding position at the kiosk.  Nope, that was not an option.  I then went to the bag drop / check-in counter and asked about upgraded boarding.  The agent informed me that I could only purchase upgraded boarding 1 hour before my flight.  That didn’t sound right because I purchased my upgraded boarding at least 2 hours early for my outbound flight.

A few days after my outbound flight, I checked my Chase online account and noticed a $0 balance on my Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card.  After I looked closer at the account, I saw a $30 charge for the upgraded boarding and a corresponding $30 credit for the upgraded boarding.  I’m glad I did not have to wait long for the statement credit to post.

I looked at both transactions in more detail and saw that I earned 60 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Points for my $30 upgraded boarding.  I wasn’t expecting to earn points on the purchase.

If you have any questions about purchasing upgraded boarding with your Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

5 thoughts on “Use Chase Southwest Airlines Priority Credit Card to Purchase SWA Upgraded Boarding (4 Free Annually)

  1. dan

    thx for the post, Grant; wife has the card & will attempt an upgrade at the check in counter more than 1 hr of flight time to see if possible

    also, have u tested the $75 stmt credit or had DPs that taxes & fees will also be reimbursed? or only the base fare?

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Danny, unfortunately the upgrade is only for 1 flight segment. If you have connections, you will need to use multiple upgraded boarding credits.


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