In 2019 Chase and Southwest Airlines introduced a new business credit card — the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card — which complements their other business card, as well as three personal cards (personally I think the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Card is their best personal credit card).
Well, a new limited time increased bonus has just been launched with this card, and if you complete the entire minimum spending you’ll earn Companion Pass with Southwest, which is awesome.
Here’s what you need to know about this card, and about the increased bonus.
Southwest Performance Business Card Basics
There are lots of things to love about the Southwest Performance Business Card — a massive sign-up bonus, excellent perks that can cover the cost of the annual fee over and over, and more. Let’s take a closer look at how all of these perks work.
Performance Business Card 100K Bonus
The Performance Business Card has a new limited time welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points:
- Earn 70,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
- Earn an additional 30,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $25,000 within six months
In other words, if you completed the entire spending requirement you’d earn a minimum of 125,000 Rapid Rewards points, which is enough to earn Companion Pass. That’s incredible.
Is The Incremental $20,000 In Spending Worth It?
Admittedly $25,0000 is a significant spending requirement, but is it worth it? Beyond the initial 70,000 points for spending $5,000 you’re earning 30,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points for an incremental $20,000 in spending (over the amount required to unlock the first 70,000 points).
I’d say that’s well worth it. You’d earn 50,000+ Rapid Rewards points for spending $20,000, which is a minimum of an average of 2.5 Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent. That’s excellent, and that doesn’t even factor in that completing all the spending will earn you Companion Pass.
Value Of 100,000 Southwest Points
Southwest has a revenue-based frequent flyer program, and as a general rule of thumb you can expect to get the following value:
- Southwest Airlines Wanna Get Away fares cost 76-78 points per dollar
- Southwest Airlines Anytime fares cost 78 points per dollar
- Business Select fares cost 78 points per dollar
Those are general guidelines, though you will notice some variations. In other words, if redeeming for Wanna Get Away fares (which I’d recommend, since they’re the best deal), you can generally expect to get about 1.3 cents of value per Rapid Rewards point.
That means 100,000 points can potentially get you over $1,300 worth of airfare on Southwest. If you have the Companion Pass (more on that below), you can potentially get twice as much value as that!
Earning Southwest Companion Pass
One of the best values in travel is the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, and completing the minimum spending on this card would earn you the points needed for Companion Pass.
For those of you not familiar with Southwest’s Companion Pass, it allows someone else to travel with you for the entire year. You still have to pay the taxes on their ticket, but the Companion Pass is valid on both award and revenue tickets. You can change your designated companion three times in a year, so you can potentially even use this for different people.
You can even use your Companion Pass to fly Southwest to Hawaii!
This is an outrageously good deal, and requires accruing 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year (only certain types of points accrual qualify, and points earned with Southwest credit cards are among those).
Southwest Performance Card Eligibility
You’re potentially eligible for this card if you don’t currently have this card, and if you haven’t received a new cardmember bonus on this card in the past 24 months.
You can have any of the Southwest personal cards, and/or the Southwest Premier Business Card, and they won’t impact eligibility for this card.
Southwest Performance Card Annual Fee
The Performance Business Card has a $199 annual fee, making it the highest annual fee Southwest Airlines credit card. However, it also comes with plenty of perks that justify it, in my opinion, including what’s possibly my favorite benefit offered by any Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card ever.
There is no cost to add authorized users on the card.
Southwest Performance Card Rewards Structure
The Southwest Performance Business Card offers some potentially useful bonus categories, as follows:
- Earn 3x points on Southwest Airlines purchases
- Earn 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services
- Earn 1x points on all other purchases
The card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a good card to use for purchases abroad.
In general, I would only use this card for everyday spending if trying to earn Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.
Southwest Performance Card Perks
While the Southwest Performance Business Card has one of the best bonuses we’ve ever seen on a Southwest Airlines credit card, there are a lot of perks that make this card worth keeping long-term.
For those who fly Southwest with any frequency, the perks should more than cover the annual fee. For those who are frequent Southwest flyers, this card is almost too good to be true.
9,000 Anniversary Bonus Points
Just for having the Performance Card you’ll receive 9,000 Rapid Rewards points on your account anniversary every year. As I said above, Southwest points get you up to ~1.3 cents of value per point, so that’s the equivalent of up to ~$120 in airfare.
Four Upgraded Boardings Per Year
Just for having the Performance Card you get four upgraded boardings per anniversary year, when available.
You’ll be reimbursed for the purchase of up to four upgraded boardings in positions A1-15. This can be purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the day of travel. You can use this on four different occasions, or if you prefer you can use them on a single flight (if you’re traveling with three others).
It can take up to eight weeks for these to be reimbursed, though typically you’ll find it posts faster than that.
The price of upgraded boardings varies by flight, so it’s hard to put a dollar value on this benefit.
Inflight Wifi Perks
This card has a pretty incredible Wi-Fi benefit. Southwest Airlines charges $8 per device for Wi-Fi access, and for having the Performance Card you get an $8 credit daily. This means that if you fly Southwest every single day you could get this credit up to 365 days per year.
Just charge the fee to your card, and a statement credit will automatically post. This is a huge value.
Global Entry Or TSA Pre-Check Credits
For having the Performance Card you receive a credit of up to $100 towards TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry. You can take advantage of this benefit once every four years.
Why You Should Register For Global Entry Over TSA Pre-Check
If you are going to take advantage of this perk, I’d highly recommend registering for Global Entry over TSA Pre-Check. For those of you not familiar, TSA Pre-Check gets you expedited US security screening, while Global Entry gets you expedited US immigration clearance.
So why should you register for Global Entry and not Pre-Check? Because Global Entry also comes with TSA Pre-Check, while the inverse isn’t true (signing up for TSA Pre-Check doesn’t get you Global Entry).
Temporary Coronavirus Benefits
Earn 5X points/$1 on Southwest purchases, up to $2,000 spent per month for travel booked between August 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. You must register for the promotion beforehand.
Is The Southwest Performance Card Right For You?
If you have a small business and fly Southwest with any frequency then the Performance Card is a no brainer. To start, the card has an incredible welcome bonus that could get you over $900 worth of travel on Southwest (and if you have the Companion Pass, potentially twice as much).
On an ongoing basis the card is worth it as well. It has a $199 annual fee, but offers 9,000 points per year (which I value at ~$120), plus four upgraded boardings per year, an incredible Wi-Fi benefit, and more. This card should pay for itself for anyone who flies Southwest with any frequency.
Quick Comparison: Southwest Performance Card Vs. Premier Card
In addition to the Southwest Performance Business Card, Southwest also has the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. How does that card compare?
- Has a welcome bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months
- Has an annual fee of $99
- Offers 6,000 points on your anniversary every year
On the most basic level, the Performance Card has an annual fee that’s $100 higher, but it offers:
- A welcome bonus that’s up to 40,000 points better (which I value at ~$520)
- An additional 3,000 points on your anniversary every year (which I value at ~$40)
- Four upgraded boardings per year
- A daily $8 Wi-Fi credit, which could be hugely valuable if you fly Southwest often
And that’s only the beginning. Personally I absolutely think the Performance Card is worth the premium.
Southwest Performance Business Card Summary
The Southwest Performance Business Card is exceptional. I would say it’s the single best Southwest Airlines credit card.
At the moment the card even has its best ever bonus of 100,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. While the spending requirement is big, completing the required spending would earn you Companion Pass, as you’d have accrued 125,000+ eligible Rapid Rewards points.
Then the card is well worth keeping long term for the annual points bonus and the Wi-Fi credit, among other benefits.