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The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is the newest way for business owners to earn valuable points with America’s favorite value airline, Southwest.
Not to be confused with their Premier Business Card, the Southwest Performance Business Card boasts a huge signup bonus and an attractive rewards rate for travel on Southwest and everyday business expenses.
But, that’s not all.
New cardholders can earn a huge boost toward snagging the Southwest Companion Pass and reaching A-List Status. A suite of travel perks rounds out the card’s benefits package, making it a worthy contender for any business owner who loves flying Southwest.
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Highlights
The best travel rewards credit cards come with sweet benefits – including signup bonuses, travel insurance, and more. Let’s take a closer look at what this card offers.
Giant Signup Bonus
Are you looking for a valuable signup bonus that can get you free flight? The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card delivers.
With this card, you can earn 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months your card is open.
So, how much are 80,000 Rapid Rewards points worth? It depends how you redeem them – you have options.
The best value comes from using your points to book Wanna Get Away fares for Southwest flights using their online portal. The exact value of those points varies based on time of year, routing, etc., but it’s safe to say 80,000 Rapid Rewards points can be worth up to $1,200 in flights. That’s based on getting an average of 1.5 cents per point.
Yes, you read that right. The signup bonus could be worth up to $1,200 in travel.
Bonus Anniversary Points
If the 80,000-point signup bonus wasn’t enough to hook you, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card also awards 9,000 bonus points on the anniversary of opening your card. That’s up to $135 in travel every year!
>> Learn How to Apply Here <<
Earn 4 Points Per $1 on Southwest Airlines Purchases
Earn a solid return on any Southwest flight. Frequent business travelers can rack up a ton of points this way.
Earn 3 Points Per $1 with Southwest Hotel & Car Partners
Spending with Rapid Rewards partner hotels/rental cars nets you a nifty 3 points per $1 spent. That is a nice chunk of points for booking through their online portal.
Earn 2 Points Per $1 on Online Advertising, Internet, Cable, Phone, and Rideshare
Today’s business owners rely more and more on social media and search engine advertising, so it’s fitting that the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card earns 2 points for every $1 spent on those services along with internet, cable, and phone. You’ll also get 2 points per $1 on rideshare costs!
For your everyday purchases, you’ll earn 1 point per $1. Not bad.
Earn Qualifying Points Toward Southwest Companion Pass and A-List Status
Your 80,000 bonus points get you most of the way to the 110,000 points you need to earn the highly desirable Companion Pass. You’ll also earn 1,500 tier-qualifying points for every 10,000 you spend with your card (up to a max of 15,000). This gets you closer to A-List Status and all its benefits.
4 Upgraded Boardings Per Year
When available, you can pay to upgrade your boarding and be among the first on the plane. Once a year, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card will reimburse you for four upgrades paid for in the previous year.
Let’s be honest: WiFi makes the flying experience much more enjoyable, but no one wants to pay for it. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card gets you up to 365 $8 statement credits each year.
Global Entry or TSA Precheck Fee Credit
One of our favorite perks, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card covers one $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck application fee every four years.
Free Employee Cards
Business owners can order authorized user cards for their employees at no additional cost. That means earning points on employee spending.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you are in the market for a travel rewards credit card, you should pick one that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. I mean, what’s the point in a travel rewards credit card if you end up racking up 3% in fees? Luckily, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
While the annual fee for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card isn’t $0 (nor is it waived the first year), it’s still a fairly reasonable $199. Considering all of the benefits you get with this card, you should easily recoup more than the fee each year – especially if you use the card for everyday business purchases.
>> Learn How to Apply Here <<
Where it Shines
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card is a solid choice for business owners who fly Southwest on the regular. Here a couple of reasons it shines so bright!
1) Major Value in the First Year
The biggest draw is the 80,000-point signup bonus when you meet minimum spending requirements. That is MASSIVE.
Think about it: The signup bonus is worth up to $1,200 and the annual fee is only $199. That’s pretty impressive. When you factor in the WiFi credits, upgraded boarding, and Global Entry/TSA Precheck credits, you’re looking at one heck of a package.
In addition, three points per dollar on Southwest travel adds up quickly. For those who don’t fly all that often, the card is still worth trying for a year.
Don’t forget, you’ll also earn 9,000 every year just for holding the card! So, while the benefits are greatest in the first year, they don’t end there.
2) Companion Pass is Within Reach
A less-understood but super-valuable feature of this card is that it makes earning a Southwest Companion Pass fairly easy.
The Companion Pass lets you choose a person to fly for free with you every time you book a flight (taxes and fees still apply). It’s valid for the rest of the calendar year in which you qualify and the whole next calendar year. That’s an incredible value.
Unfortunately, it has become very difficult to get with the Southwest Visa consumer cards.
So, how does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card help you get it? You need 110,000 qualifying points (or 100 one-way flights) in a calendar year to earn the Companion Pass, and the 80,000 bonus points count.
To get the bonus points, you must meet the minimum spending requirement of $5,000. So even if it’s all at the base rate of 1 point per $1, if you earn the additional bonus you’ll earn 5,000 ponts from spending alone. That means you’ll have 85,000 points, which gets you tantalizingly close to the Companion Pass in your first year.
Tips for Getting the Most From Your Card
Your number one priority when you get the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card should be meeting the $5,000 minimum spend during the first 3 months. The 80,000 bonus points are the main draw of the card, so if you drop the ball here, it’s all for naught.
Although $5,000 might sound high, if you use it for all your regular purchases and bills, it shouldn’t be difficult. And remember, business owners can get free cards for employees. Their spending counts, too.
With that out of the way, make sure you use the card for travel-related purchases through the Southwest portal. You’ll earn 4 points per $1 on Southwest purchases and 3 points per $1 with partner hotels and car rentals.
Also, don’t forget about the other travel perks. In-flight WiFi, upgraded boarding, and Global Entry/TSA Precheck statement credits deliver even more value. Too many people fail to take advantage of premium card features. Don’t be one of them!
The 2 points per $1 for online advertising, internet, phone, and cable is a decent return, so set your Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card as your payment method for those services. You’ll get the same rate for rideshare purchases, so you should consider using the card there too.
If you’re going for the Companion Pass (and why wouldn’t you?!), it’s best to get the card early in the year and use it for absolutely everything until you have your 110,000 qualifying points. Remember, you’ll get at least 85,000 just for meeting the minimum spend and you’ll actually have more than enough points if you earn the additional bonus.
What You May Not Like
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card isn’t for everyone. For one thing, you need to be a business owner to apply. Here are a couple of additional drawbacks that might give you pause:
- You’re Limited to Southwest – Southwest doesn’t have airline partners and isn’t part of an alliance, so you can’t redeem your points for domestic flights on other carriers. You can book international flights on other airlines, but you don’t get the same rate of return on your points. Redeeming for hotels, rental cars, gift cards, and merchandise is also an option, but again, the value won’t be as high.
- Annual Fee – The $199 annual fee isn’t the lowest we’ve seen, but the signup bonus makes it negligible during the first year. You also get the anniversary points every year, and they’re worth up to $135. So, beyond the first year, you need to decide if you use the card enough to justify the fee.
- High Minimum Spend – To get the signup bonus, you need to charge $5,000 during the first three months you have the card. That’s on the high side but should be doable if you use it for all your business expenses.
Alternatives to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is the Performance Card’s little sister and offers some perks for a $99 annual fee. Business owners looking for a lower minimum spend and lower annual fee should consider it.
This Southwest Visa card offers 60,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. It also offers an annual bonus, 3x points on Southwest purchases, 2x points with select hotel/car rental partners, and 1x on everything else. It’s a good alternative to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card for someone who may not spend as much for their business.
The Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is also a worthy alternative. It offers 100,000 bonus points on a $15,000 minimum spend during the first 3 months. It awards 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on the first $150,000 you spend annually on travel and business expenses. And it does it for a $95 annual fee.
You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest Rapid Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, so it’s worth considering for business owners who spend big on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and online advertising. It also offers travel insurance. On the downside, it doesn’t include travel perks like upgraded boarding or Global Entry/TSA Precheck application.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card is a solid option for business owners who spend a lot on travel and everyday expenses. It’s best suited to loyal Southwest flyers and includes some additional perks that they’re sure to like.
The impressive signup bonus is the card’s most attractive feature, and those points will get you three-quarters of the way towards earning Southwest’s Companion Pass. For these two features alone, it’s worth giving it a try.
>> Learn How to Apply Here <<
*Additional reporting by Sandra Parsons.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card Review
Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card Review
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card is a solid option for business owners who spend a lot on travel and everyday expenses, but it’s best suited to loyal Southwest flyers. It includes some additional perks for Southwest flyers like in-flight WiFi, upgraded boarding, and Global Entry/TSA Precheck statement credits.
With this card’s bonus, getting the Companion Pass is now reachaable, but you’re limited to Southwest Airlines. While redeeming points to hotels, rental cars, and more is possible, the point value drops. The impressive signup bonus is the card’s most attractive feature, but the annual fee isn’t the best we’ve seen.