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Business travelers have a brand new Southwest Airlines business credit card to fly with — the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card. This is the second Southwest business credit card offering (the other card is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card). It offers an 80,000 Rapid Rewards signup bonus and other premium air travel benefits including Upgraded Boardings and in-flight WiFi credits.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

southwest airlines business credit card
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The annual fee is $199 although additional employee cards are free. Plus, there aren’t any foreign transaction fees. If you regularly use Upgraded Bookings and in-flight WiFi, you can quickly recoup the annual fee.

You also have the ability to earn up to 3 points per $1 spent on every purchase. Additionally, you can earn 2x points on select business spending such as online advertising.

Travelers waiting for a business version of the personal Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card that debuted in 2018 have now found what they are looking for.

80,000 Bonus Rapid Rewards

New cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points by spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. In many cases, you can squeeze 1.5 cents value for each point making this bonus worth at least $1,200 in award flights. 

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

This is one of the highest Southwest credit card bonus offers you will come across. It’s possible to qualify for this bonus even if you earned a new cardmember bonus on another Southwest credit card in the last 24 months.

Now can be the best time to apply for this new credit card. Why? You can still enjoy the Southwest Companion Pass for roughly the next year and a half. As a pass holder, your travel companion flies for the price of fees and tax (usually $5.60 each way) when you book your seat with cash or points. As the 80,000 point signup bonus can be that boost you’re looking to reach the annual 110,000-point requirement.

This is one of the largest bonus offers you will see for any Southwest Airlines credit card. If you can meet the minimum spend requirement, you shouldn’t ignore this offer.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Booking Southwest Award Flights

Thanks to Southwest’s generous award flight prices, you can get more mileage from each point than a legacy carrier’s frequent flyer mile.

Like any carrier, you may pay the fewest points for short-haul flights. For instance, you can fly one-way from Phoenix to Las Vegas for 5,056 points plus $5.60. Because the cash price for these shorter flights is low, you may decide to save your points for longer routes.

Southwest Award Flights

A more glamorous example can be flying to Hawaii. One of the most affordable routes is San Jose, CA to Maui from 15,204 points one-way plus $5.60 for their Wanna Get Away fare class. Because Southwest uses a floating award chart, the exact award price varies by day and flight time. A Business Select seat for the same flight costs 47,016 points.

Southwest Award Flights

Another impressive option is from Dallas to New York for 7,959 points plus $5.60. This route is too long to qualify for United or American’s short-haul discount so you would pay 12,500 miles each way if you didn’t use Southwest.

Southwest Award Flights

Southwest also serves a few Caribbean destinations including Aruba, Turks and Caicos, and Grand Cayman Island. Another locale you may try is Belize. Award flights from Dallas to Belize can cost 11,154 points plus $5.60 one way.

Since this new card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, bringing it along for foreign travel is not a bad idea. Using this card along with one of the best credit cards for international travel can help you earn even more point during your travels and help you keep track of business and personal expenses.

Don’t forget that Southwest is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. You can transfer points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, or your Ink Business Preferred cards on a 1:1 basis to fill any point gap.

Air Travel Benefits of the New Southwest Airlines Business Credit Card

Being a premium business credit card, you can enjoy several extra perks that you might already pay for.

  • 4 Upgraded Bookings per year (when available)
  • In-flight WiFi credits (up to 365 $8 credits per year)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in card purchases (up to $100,000 in annual spend)
  • 9,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points every card anniversary

Each WiFi credit is valid for an all-day pass. It’s possible to never pay for in-flight WiFi even if you have additional employee cards. Using the Upgraded Boardings and WiFi credits are the best way to offset the annual fee.

Making up to $100,000 in annual card purchases gives you a 15,000-point jumpstart on earning A-List status. These benefits include priority boarding, free same-day standby, and a 25% earning bonus.

Every card anniversary you receive 9,000 bonus points. That’s enough points to book a one-way flight to many destinations. It also happens to be the largest anniversary bonus for any of the personal or business co-brand Southwest credit cards.

As always, your first two checked bags fly for free. You also won’t pay change fees and you can book unlimited award seats without blackout dates or seat restrictions.

Purchase Rewards

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card also offers more robust purchase rewards than the $99 annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

You can earn up to 3x points on every $1 spent:

  • 3x points on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, phone and cable services
  • 1x points on all remaining purchases

All bonus categories earn unlimited points. Your points balance never expires as long as your card account remains open.

Not many airline credit cards award bonus points for non-airline spending. These 2x bonus categories are an easy way to maximize some of your most common business purchases.

Credit Score Needed for Southwest Airlines Business Credit Card

It appears you will need a personal credit score above 700 to have the best approval odds. Although it’s not a bad idea try and surpass a 740 credit score that way you can apply with “excellent credit.”

Like the other personal and business Southwest Airlines credit cards, the Performance Business Credit Card is most likely subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. Chase will most likely deny your application if you have opened or been listed as an authorized user on at least 5 new credit cards within the last 24 months.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Who Should Apply

This card can be a good option for these reasons:

  • 80,000-point signup bonus by spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Four Upgraded Bookings per year
  • Free in-flight WiFi credits
  • Earn up to 3x points on every purchase
  • 9,000-point cardmember anniversary bonus

Southwest Airlines is a perennial favorite for air travel. This new credit card helps reward the most loyal business passengers.

Summary of the New Southwest Airlines Business Credit Card

This newest Southwest Airlines business credit card can be well worth it if you pay or can benefit from Southwest’s premium perks like Upgraded Bookings and in-flight WiFi. The 80,000-point signup bonus and 3-2-1 purchase rewards are enticing as well. You can quickly earn the Companion Pass in 2019 and have plenty of points to book award flights to your favorite destinations.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

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Josh Patoka

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New Southwest Airlines Business Credit Card Delivers 80,000 Bonus Points
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