Update: This article contains mentions of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Card whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
Chase and Southwest Airlines have two business credit cards — the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. I’ve reviewed the Performance Card, and in this post wanted to take a closer look at the Premier Card.
Note that these two cards are in addition to the three Southwest Airlines personal credit cards, the best of which I consider to be the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Card.
Southwest Premier Business Card Review
The Southwest Premier Business Card is Southwest’s most established business card, as the Performance Card was just introduced this year. So let’s take a look at the welcome bonus, return on spending, and other perks of this card.
Southwest Premier Business Card 60K Sign-Up Bonus
The Southwest Premier Business Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months. That’s an excellent offer, given the reasonable spending requirement.
Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based frequent flyer program, and for Southwest’s “Wanna Get Away” fares, you need to redeem 76-78 points per dollar of airfare. In other words, the sign-up bonus gets you nearly $800 worth of airfare on Southwest, which is excellent.
The sign-up bonus isn’t available to those who currently have this card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on this card in the past 24 months. This is in addition to Chase’s general application rules.
Southwest Premier Business Card $99 Annual Fee
The Premier Business Card has a $99 annual fee. There’s no cost to add additional users to the card.
Up To 2x Points With Southwest Premier Business Card
The Southwest Premier Card offers 2x Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases, and 1x points on all other purchases. The card has no foreign transaction fees.
Southwest Premier Business Card 6,000 Anniversary Bonus Points
The one major ongoing perk of this card is that you earn 6,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points on your account anniversary every year. As mentioned above, I value Rapid Rewards points at around 1.3 cents each, so to me, that’s like $78 worth of value annually.
To look at it differently, if you have a similar valuation then having this card is costing you just over $20 per year — that’s a very reasonable annual fee.
Is The Southwest Premier Business Card Worth It?
The Southwest Premier Business Card offers an excellent 60,000 point bonus, and the $99 annual fee is largely offset by the 6,000 point anniversary bonus.
The sign-up bonus can help you earn Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, which is one of the best values in travel. Companion Pass allows someone to travel with you the entire year (whether paying cash or redeeming points), and all you have to do is pay their taxes and fees.
This requires accruing 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year, though only certain types of points activities (including points earned with the Southwest credit card) qualify.
There are two other considerations, though.
Why It’s Worth Paying $100 Extra For The Southwest Performance Business Card
Chase and Southwest recently introduced the Southwest Performance Business Card, which has a $199 annual fee. The annual fee is $100 per year higher, though you’re getting the following incremental perks that in my opinion more than justify the difference:
- A sign-up bonus that’s up to 40,000 points larger (Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.)
- 9,000 points on your account anniversary, rather than 6,000 points (I value the incremental 3,000 points at ~$39)
- Four upgraded boardings per year
- A daily $8 wifi credit on Southwest, which could quickly add up if you fly Southwest with any frequency
- A Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years
The Better Way To Earn Rapid Rewards Points
If your goal is to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points, but you don’t actually plan on earning Companion Pass, there’s a much faster way to earn those points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a transfer partner with Southwest Rapid Rewards, and points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. You can earn points at a much faster rate with the following business cards:
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases annually on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; the card has a $95 annual fee
- The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (review) offers 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each anniversary year on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services, plus 2x points on the first $25,000 spend in combined purchases each anniversary year on gas stations and restaurants; the card has no annual fee
- The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card (review) offers 1.5x points on everyday spending; the card has no annual fee
Southwest Premier Business Card Summary
The Southwest Premier Business Card is a good entry-level Southwest business credit card with an especially good sign-up bonus. However, to me, it’s hard to justify this over the Southwest Performance Business Card, which has a significantly better sign-up bonus, annual bonus, and ongoing perks, which in my opinion more than justify the incremental $100 annual fee.
Which of the two Southwest Airlines business cards do you prefer?