If you’re a small- business owner who likes to fly Southwest, you can use the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card to earn plenty of Rapid Rewards points for your spending. This card also offers numerous perks and benefits, such as credit towards elite status, a fee credit for expedited airport security, upgraded boardings, and free inflight WiFi.
If you fly Southwest regularly, these benefits can easily be worth this card’s pricey annual fee. But if you’re only an occasional Southwest flyer, choose a less expensive card.
What Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card?
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card comes to small-business owners through Southwest’s banking partner, Chase.
It offers new applicants 80,000 points in Southwest’s Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening. These points count toward the 135,000 points that you need to earn to receive the Companion Pass, which allows you to add a designated companion to an unlimited number of flights, with no airfare (just government taxes).
You also earn 4x points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and 3x points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You earn 2x points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services, as well as on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services. And you earn one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. There’s no limit to how many points you can earn.
This card also features numerous benefits including four upgraded boardings per year when available, and up to 365 InFlight WiFi credits per year. This can allow you and your staff to be more productive by boarding and deplaning earlier, while staying connected during your flights.
This card also offers you a statement credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS when you use your card. These programs save you valuable time by allowing you to speed through security at the airport.
And if you’re shooting for elite status on Southwest, this card also offers you 1,500 tier qualifying points toward A-List status for every $10,000 spent, and there’s no limit on the amount of TQPs you can earn. This card also gives you 9,000 bonus points each year on your account anniversary, worth about $135 in airfare.
There’s a $199 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
What Sets the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card Apart?
This is a premium travel rewards card for small business travelers, and it’s heavy on the perks and benefits. Here are the ones that really stand out:
- Big sign-up bonus. This card’s offer to new applicants of 80,000 points, the most of any of the Southwest Rapid Rewards business or personal cards. It will get you over two-thirds of the way to earning the extremely valuable Companion Pass.
- Large bonuses for Southwest purchases. Many airline credit cards offer you just 2x or 3x miles for airline ticket purchase, but this card ups the ante to 4x. Considering Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth about 1.5 cents each, this is like getting a 6% rebate on your tickets.
- Nearly unlimited free WiFi. This card will credit you for inflight WiFi purchases charged to your card, up to 365 times per year. Unless you fly literally every day, you can share this benefit with friends, family, and staff.
- Generous anniversary gift. Who doesn’t like receiving a gift on their anniversary? With this card, you’ll automatically receive 9,000 bonus points each year on your account anniversary, worth about $135 in airfare.
Key Features of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
This card has a strong sign-up bonus, lots of bonus categories for spending, and plenty of benefits when flying Southwest.
Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
This is the biggest sign-up bonus of any of the Southwest Rapid Rewards business or personal cards. It gets you over two-thirds of the way to earning the extremely valuable Companion Pass.
Like many travel rewards cards, this card has a multi-tier earning structure. You earn:
- 4x points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
- 3x points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
- 2x points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services, plus 2x points per dollar spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services.
- 1x point per dollar spent on everyday purchases.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards is about the simplest frequent flier program around. Points are worth about 1.4 cents each towards any airfare offered. For example, a flight that costs $188 can also be purchased for 13.363 points.
Southwest also has no change or cancellation fees for award tickets, so when you redeem your points, you are receiving a fully refundable ticket.
This card has a $199 annual fee, but there’s no foreign transaction fee.
This card requires excellent credit.
This card offers several key advantages over its competitors. Notable perks include a very attractive sign-up bonus, an anniversary points bonus, and free inflight WiFi up to 365 times per year
- 80,000 point sign-up bonus. This is a very competitive new account bonus, and it’s bigger than the bonuses offered by other Southwest consumer and small business cards. But what makes this extremely valuable is that the points qualify towards the 135,000 needed to earn a Companion Pass.
- Free WiFi. You get 365 credits towards inflight WiFi purchases, which are normally $8 each.
- Upgraded boardings. You receive four upgraded boardings, which normally start at $30 each and can be more.
- Anniversary bonus. The cost of this card’s annual fee is largely offset by receiving about $135 in travel rewards.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit. Many cards offer this feature, but it’s still valuable as you can use it for yourself, friends, family or colleagues.
- Cardmember benefits. This card offers numerous travel insurance and purchase protection benefits. This includes baggage delay and lost luggage insurance and it comes at a time when several card issuers have eliminated most of these benefits that were once considered standard.
This card has few downsides, but do watch out for the high annual fee and limited perks relative to that fee.
- Expensive annual fee. $199 is a large annual fee, and it will only be worth paying if you can realize significant benefits from this card.
- No impressive perks. When a card has an annual fee this large, you tend to expect something that makes you say “Wow!” This could be airport lounge access, or a big credit towards a purchase with a partner. There’s nothing that exciting with this card. There are some DoorDash perks, but nothing to write home about.
How the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card Stacks Up
One of this card’s closest competitors is the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card from American Express. Let’s see how they match up on key terms:
|Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business
|Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business Card
|0% Intro APR
|Foreign Transaction Fee
If you’re a small-business owner, and you’re going all-in on Southwest, then the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is a great card to have. You’ll start off with a very large sign-up bonus, then have the chance to earn plenty of points from your spending. And if you can utilize the perks like upgraded boarding, free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and free WiFi, then you’re not going to have a problem justifying this card’s $199 annual fee.
If you just use Southwest a few times a year, and you don’t find these benefits to be valuable, then perhaps this isn’t the right card for you. However, the extremely attractive sign-up bonus — worth about $1,100 in free airfare — may convince you to at least try the card for a year and see how it suits you.