Southwest Airlines Performance Business Card Review (2021)

Southwest Airlines Performance Business Card Review (2021)

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Earn 80,000 points | $199
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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Earn 80,000 points | $199
Earn 3x points on Southwest Airlines purchases
Anniversary Bonus Points
Upgraded Boarding
5
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Chase and Southwest have a portfolio of co-brand cards. I’d argue that the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is one of Southwest’s most compelling credit cards, and in this post I wanted to explain why, between the huge bonus and valuable ongoing perks.

Southwest Performance Business Card Basics 

There are lots of things to love about the Southwest Performance Business Card — a great welcome bonus, excellent perks that can cover the cost of the annual fee over and over, and more. Let’s go over all the details of the card to be aware of.

Southwest Performance Business Card Bonus: 80K Points

The Southwest Performance Business Card has a bonus of 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months.

Southwest has a revenue-based frequent flyer program, and as a general rule of thumb you can expect that you’ll need to redeem 83 Rapid Rewards points for each dollar of airfare. In other words, each Rapid Rewards point gets you roughly 1.2 cents towards the cost of a Southwest Airlines ticket.

This means that 80,000 Rapid Rewards points will get you roughly $960 worth of airfare on Southwest Airlines, which is huge. As I’ll explain below, there are potentially ways to get even more value than that.

Earn lots of Rapid Rewards points with the Performance Business Card

Earning Southwest Companion Pass

One of the best values in travel is the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, and the welcome bonus on the card gives you a fantastic head start towards that.

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 ordinarily requires accruing 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. However, for 2021 Southwest is giving everyone 25,000 qualifying points, meaning you “only” need 100,000 points to earn a Companion Pass.

Also note that only certain types of points accrual qualify towards Companion Pass, and points earned with Southwest credit cards are among those.

Use the Southwest Companion Pass to travel to Hawaii

Southwest Performance Card Eligibility

You’re potentially eligible for the Southwest Performance Business 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.

This card is also subjected to the 5/24 rule. Also, be aware of the general restrictions on applying for Chase cards.

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 Performance Business 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.

Use the Southwest Performance with no foreign transaction fees

Southwest Performance Card Perks

While the Southwest Performance Business Card has a great bonus, the main reason you want to get this card is because of the perks that it offers. 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 can be redeemed for ~1.2 cents each towards airfare, so that’s the equivalent of ~$108 towards airfare annually.

Redeem anniversary bonus points for even more travel

Four Upgraded Boardings Per Year

Just for having the Southwest 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 Wi-Fi Perks

The Southwest Performance Card has a pretty incredible Wi-Fi benefit. Southwest Airlines charges $8 per device for Wi-Fi access, and for having the Performance Business Card you get an $8 Wi-Fi 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 opportunity for frequent Southwest flyers.

Global Entry Or TSA Pre-Check Credits

For having the Southwest 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.

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.

Why 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).

Get a Global Entry credit with the Southwest Performance Card

Is The Southwest Performance Card Right For You?

If you have a small business and fly Southwest with any frequency, then the Southwest Performance Business Card is a no brainer. To start, the card has an incredible welcome bonus that could get you nearly $1,000 worth of travel on Southwest, plus it could get you close to earning the Companion Pass.

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 ~$108), 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.

The Performance Card can make your travel on Southwest better

Comparison: Southwest Performance Card Vs. Southwest Premier Card

In addition to the Southwest Performance Business Card, Southwest also has the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card (review). How does that card compare? The Southwest Premier Card:

  • 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 20,000 points better (which I value at ~$240)
  • An additional 3,000 points on your anniversary every year (which I value at ~$36)
  • 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.

Bottom Line

The Southwest Performance Business Card is exceptional, and I’d argue it’s the single best Southwest Airlines credit card. In addition to the huge bonus of 80K points, the card also offers 9,000 anniversary bonus points, a daily Wi-Fi credit, four upgraded boardings per year, and more. The value of that should add up quickly if you fly Southwest frequently.

If you want to learn more about the Southwest Performance Business Card or apply, follow this link.

Apply Now

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  1. Jill

    I heard southwest is known as the flying
    School bus?
    Is that true?
    Otherwise this an amazing airline credit card

    1. Jim Baround

      yes, its the greyhound of the skies. however, other airlines (Spirit, Frontier) have made an aggressive attempt in recent years to still the title away.

    2. Rob

      It is essentially the same as any of the other legacy carriers in economy. You get the same or better leg room as you do in many of those carriers' extra legroom seating, which comes at an upcharge on those airlines. You do not have to pay fees for things like checked luggage or to change your flight (just the fare difference) for which other airlines regularly charge. The "school bus" reputation likely comes from...

      It is essentially the same as any of the other legacy carriers in economy. You get the same or better leg room as you do in many of those carriers' extra legroom seating, which comes at an upcharge on those airlines. You do not have to pay fees for things like checked luggage or to change your flight (just the fare difference) for which other airlines regularly charge. The "school bus" reputation likely comes from its open seating policy: you board in numerical order (first are full-fare "Business Select" passengers, then elites, then those who have paid for early boarding, and then everyone else is ordered by the time they checked in for the flight) and pick any available open seat. Frankly, I find this boarding process to be far more orderly and efficient than the cattle call on other airlines.

      TL;DR - if you're not flying first, there isn't really an appreciable difference in your on board experience from what you'd get on Delta, AA, etc.

  2. Jim Baround

    It's not a daily $8 credit, its 365 $8 credits annually. I purchase wifi on both my laptop and cellphone on most flights and get both reimbursed.

    1. Eskimo

      Shhhhh, don't let that cat loose.

Featured Comments Load all 5 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Rob

It is essentially the same as any of the other legacy carriers in economy. You get the same or better leg room as you do in many of those carriers' extra legroom seating, which comes at an upcharge on those airlines. You do not have to pay fees for things like checked luggage or to change your flight (just the fare difference) for which other airlines regularly charge. The "school bus" reputation likely comes from its open seating policy: you board in numerical order (first are full-fare "Business Select" passengers, then elites, then those who have paid for early boarding, and then everyone else is ordered by the time they checked in for the flight) and pick any available open seat. Frankly, I find this boarding process to be far more orderly and efficient than the cattle call on other airlines. TL;DR - if you're not flying first, there isn't really an appreciable difference in your on board experience from what you'd get on Delta, AA, etc.

Eskimo

Shhhhh, don't let that cat loose.

Jim Baround

yes, its the greyhound of the skies. however, other airlines (Spirit, Frontier) have made an aggressive attempt in recent years to still the title away.

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