Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Review 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Southwest Airlines is known for its affordable fares, flexible change policy, and of course, the unparalleled Companion Pass.

For many travelers, it’s their preferred airline. If that’s you, a Southwest rewards credit card is an obvious choice.

Plus, if you’re both a Southwest fan and a business owner, you may be interested in the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, which offers a high rewards rate for Southwest purchases, along with benefits like upgraded boarding and TSA PreCheck. 

Quick Facts: Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 4x points on Southwest® purchases (including flights, inflight purchases, and Southwest gift cards); 3x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners; 2x points on local transit and commuting, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone service; 1x points for all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $199

. . .

Overview of the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is a solid rewards card for business owners who want travel perks. The benefits of the card are most valuable when you fly often on Southwest Airlines and book hotels and car rentals through Rapid Rewards travel partners. 

There is an annual fee with the Southwest Business credit card, but it is easily paid back in the form of welcome points, reimbursement for TSA PreCheck, and other perks. Just keep in mind that you need to fly quite a bit on Southwest to maximize the benefits. 

Pros

  • Earn unlimited rewards points on purchases
  • Receive 9,000 yearly anniversary bonus points 
  • Reimbursement for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS fee
  • Potential to earn a Companion Pass

Cons

  • Rewards aren’t very flexible and mainly only for Southwest travelers
  • Minimal travel insurance
  • Lack of airport lounge access
  • Annual fee is higher than other cards with similar rewards

Welcome Offer

Once your Southwest business credit card account is open, you’ll need to spend at least $5,000 in net purchases within the first three months to earn your welcome bonus of 80,000 Rapid Rewards points. 

Keep in mind, those welcome points put you over halfway to the 135,000 points required for a Companion Pass. Plus, they can be redeemed for flights on Southwest and other purchases. 

Earning Rewards

You’ll earn points on all purchases made with the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, though Southwest flights rack up at the quickest rate. You earn 4 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases. 

Here’s how the earning program stacks up:

  • 4x points: Southwest purchases
  • 3x points: Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental purchases
  • 2x points: Social media/search engine advertising; internet, cable, and phone
  • 2x points: Local transit and commuting (includes ridesharing)
  • 1x points: All other purchases

Every year on your cardholder anniversary, you’ll receive 9,000 points in your Rapid Rewards account as well.

You can also earn more points by referring friends and family — 20,000 points apiece, with a maximum of 100,000 referral bonus points per year. 

Redeeming Rewards 

You can redeem Rapid Rewards points for Southwest flights to get the greatest value from them. Southwest offers flights to over 100 destinations in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean.  

Taxes and fees of $5.60 per one-way trip aren’t redeemable with points, however. You also can’t purchase military or government fares with points. 

Other redemption options include hotels, car rentals, merchandise, gift cards, curated travel experiences, and exclusive events. There’s also the option of statement credits, although those aren’t nearly as exciting as redeeming points for travel. 

READ MORE: How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Earning the Southwest Companion Pass

One of the biggest draws of Southwest Rapid Rewards cards is that purchases can qualify you for the coveted Companion Pass. That’s a major perk for frequent Southwest flyers: secure a Companion Pass, and you can designate one person to fly with you basically for free (other than fees and taxes starting at $5.60 one-way).

Timing is key to maximizing the value of a Companion Pass. It’s valid for the remainder of the calendar year during which you earned it, plus the entire full calendar year after that. In other words, if you’ve accumulated 135,000 points by January, you’ll enjoy nearly two full years of free Companion flights. 

You also receive 10,000 points toward the Companion Pass on each card anniversary. 

READ MORE: The Southwest Companion Pass: Ultimate Guide

Benefits of the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Rewards points aside, the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card offers plenty of other benefits.

  • 4 upgraded boardings annually (when available: purchase positions A1-15 with the app up to 24 hours before departure)
  • Unlimited Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) and 1,500 TQPs per $5,000 spent
  • $500 fee credit annually for points transfers
  • Reimbursement for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS application fee up to $100 every four years
  • Up to 365 inflight wifi credits annually (worth $8 each)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free employee cards
  • Up to two free checked bags per flight
  • No change fees for flights (although fares may differ)
  • Unlimited reward seats and no blackout dates
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (up to actual cash value of vehicle)
  • Purchase protection for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim ($50,000 max per account)
  • Lost luggage protection up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Travel and emergency services assistance
  • Roadside dispatch (fees for services apply)
  • Extended warranty — add a year to eligible warranties of three years or less
  • Baggage delay insurance of up to $100 per day for three days
  • Travel accident insurance for death and dismemberment of up to $500,000

Learn more about the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

What We Like About the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Perhaps the greatest feature of the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is that your regular business purchases go towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which can save you serious cash if you regularly travel with a companion on your work trips.

We also like how much it can help you make the most of your Southwest flights, with free checked bags, upgraded boarding, credits, and no change fees. If you fly Southwest a lot, those perks can make your trips much more enjoyable and affordable.

Plus, we like that the card comes with some important protections, like baggage delay insurance, an auto rental collision waiver, and a one-year extended warranty on purchases. 

READ MORE: Baggage Delay Insurance: How It Works

What We Dislike About the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

The main downside of the Southwest business credit card is that it’s not as flexible as some other cards for transferring points to other loyalty programs. While this is fairly normal for an airline-branded card, it also means you need to be extremely loyal to that one airline to get the most out of your rewards.

If you prefer to shop around for flights, a general travel credit card may be a better option, so that you can pick routes and fare prices that best suit your travel plans.

It’s also disappointing that there is no trip delay, interruption, or cancellation insurance with the Southwest business card, which some other airline credit cards do offer.

Who Should Get the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card?

The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card offers plenty of benefits, but is best for business owners who fly exclusively or primarily on Southwest. The ability to spend $5,000 within three months of enrollment is key to earning 80,000 bonus points, too. 

Someone located near airports that fly Southwest is best. In addition, the ideal customer is someone who wants to earn a Southwest Companion Pass to get double the passengers traveling without paying double the fares. 

Learn more about the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card.

Who Shouldn’t Get the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card?

Anyone who doesn’t intend to make the most of the benefits of flying Southwest should not get the Southwest business credit card. It doesn’t make sense if you’re planning to fly on multiple different airlines each year; in that case, a more general travel rewards card may be best. 

Be aware of where Southwest flies to and from, as well. If you’re not near a Southwest hub or you need to do a lot of international travel, a Southwest rewards card doesn’t have as much to offer. 

Alternatives to the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

If you decide the Southwest business credit card isn’t quite right for you, there are several alternatives to consider that also offer travel rewards.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card vs. United℠ Business Card

  • Rewards rate: 2x miles per dollar on United purchases, dining, gas, office supply stores, transit/commuting; 1x miles on everything else
  • Welcome offer: 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0 for one year, then $99 annually

. . .

The United℠ Business Card offers many of the same benefits as the Southwest business credit card, but for a lower annual fee. The welcome offer is comparable, with 75,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening your account. 

Other benefits include a 5,000-mile anniversary bonus (if you also have a Chase United® personal card), a $100 United travel credit after purchasing seven United flights, 25% off in-flight purchases, priority boarding, a free checked bag, and two United Club one-time passes each year. 

Like with the Southwest business credit card, United Business Card members also receive points for referrals: 20,000 each up to 100,000 per year. 

However, travel protection is more robust with the United Business Card: insurance for trip cancellation, interruptions, and delays is included, while Southwest’s business credit card doesn’t include this. 

Learn more about the United℠ Business Card.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card vs. Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 3x points on every dollar spent on shipping, advertising with social media and search engines, internet, cable, phone, and travel — up to the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in these categories; 1x per dollar spent everywhere else
  • Welcome offer: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $95
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

. . .

Another fantastic business card for those who are loyal to Southwest Airlines is the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. With a lower annual fee, significant rewards on travel and business spending categories, and the option to transfer points to travel partners including Southwest Rapid Rewards, you’ll get most of the same benefits but with greater flexibility. 

You’ll need to spend $8,000 in net purchases within three months of account opening to receive the welcome offer of 100,000 in bonus points, which is higher than the Southwest business card’s $5,000 threshold (100,000 points are worth $1,000 in cash or about $1,250 if redeemed through Chase TravelSM). 

As with the Southwest business credit card, the Ink Business Preferred rewards you for all purchases, but with higher rates on select business expenses and travel. 

Here’s the rate of points:

  • 3x points on the first $150,000 combined in shipping, search engine and social media advertising, internet, cable, and phone, as well as travel
  • Unlimited 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Points never expire, and they’re worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase TravelSM

Where the Ink Business Preferred stands out is that your points transfer equally to Southwest Rapid Rewards, as well as to 10 other airline partners. You can also transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to hotel partners IHG® One Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy®, and World of Hyatt. So your rewards are much more flexible with the Ink Business Preferred.

Chase’s travel insurance coverage is also more comprehensive, covering things like cellphone damage and trip cancellation. 

One reason you might still prefer using the Southwest business credit card is if you’re going after the Companion Pass. If your business earns that, you’ll get nearly two years of free companion flights, which can increase your card benefits exponentially. 

Learn more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

  • Rewards rate: 5x miles for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; unlimited 2x miles on everything else
  • Welcome offer: 50,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $4,500 in the first three months
  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year; $95 after that

. . .

Another option for luxury travel rewards for business spending is the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. It offers unlimited double miles on all purchases, and hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel earn you 5x miles per dollar. 

The sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles is enticing, and you even pay no annual fee for the first year. Like the Ink Business Preferred, Capital One Spark Miles also offers greater rewards flexibility, and you get up to $100 back for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. 

Over 15 travel loyalty programs have a 1:1 transfer policy with Capital One, so your miles go just as far. However, Southwest isn’t one of the travel partners, so you’re out of luck if you’re set on Southwest flights. Partners include Choice Hotels and several international airlines such as Air Canada and British Airways. 

Learn more about the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business.

FAQs

How many business cards does Southwest have?

There are currently only two Southwest business credit cards, the Rapid Rewards® Performance and the Rapid Rewards® Premier. Both cards are offered by Chase, which also has co-branded business credit cards for United, World of Hyatt, and IHG One Rewards.

Is a Southwest Rapid Rewards card worth it?

If you fly with Southwest Airlines frequently, a Rapid Rewards credit card can absolutely be worth it. You can use the card to earn rewards on Southwest purchases, plus get perks like upgraded boarding, flight credits, and free checked bags.

But the biggest benefit of a Rapid Rewards card is that you can use your regular spending to earn the Companion Pass, which enables you to invite a travel companion for free for up to two years. If you frequently fly Southwest with friends or family, that’s a huge savings.

All that said, if you aren’t loyal to Southwest, then the card may not be worth it for you.

The Bottom Line

If you frequently fly Southwest for business, the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is worth considering. In addition to perks like free checked bags and flight credits, you can also earn the Southwest Companion Pass, which can come in very handy if there’s someone who regularly travels with you.

But before signing up for the card, make sure you will use the benefits enough (and that you live close enough to a Southwest hub!) to justify the annual fee once it kicks in after the first year.


Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.