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Southwest Airlines is a popular airline for personal and business travel. There are two Southwest Airlines business credit cards you can choose from—the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. Each card has different travel perks and a great signup bonus to get more mileage from your Rapid Rewards. Which one of these is best for your business?

100,000 Point Bonus: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

60,000 Point Bonus: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

southwest credit cards bonus
Use the Southwest Airlines business credit cards to earn more for your business travels. Southwest Airlines BNA-TPA in Nov. 2017. Credit: Johnny Jet

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Southwest’s newest business option is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. This card is the better option if you fly Southwest often or use the inflight WiFi.

The annual fee is $199 and there is no foreign transaction fee. There isn’t a fee for additional employee cards either.

Up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards Signup Bonus

You have the opportunity to earn a signup bonus worth up to 100,000 bonus Rapid Rewards:

  • 70,000 points by spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • An additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 in the first 6 months

You can qualify for this bonus as long as you haven’t received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the most recent 24 months. It’s possible to qualify if you currently own a personal Southwest credit card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

Companion Pass

The minimum spend is high to earn the full bonus, but still, this is one of the best current credit card offers. It also gets you much closer to earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which basically allows your companion to fly for free (they do have to pay $5.60 in taxes and fees, though). Once you earn the pass, it is valid for one whole calendar year (January-December) after you meet the requirements, plus the remainder of the calendar year in which you earned it.

But, if 2020 threw off your flight schedule, there is some good news in regards to adjustments Southwest made.

According to Southwest Airlines, “For all Rapid Rewards Members, we recognize that your normal flying behavior has been interrupted, limiting progress you may have been making toward qualification for A-List, A-List Preferred, and Companion Pass. For that reason, we are giving all Rapid Rewards Members a “boost” of 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, and 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status.”

So if you’re already a Rapid Rewards member and you earn the full 100k signup bonus, you’ve essentially gotten yourself a Companion Pass. And even if you aren’t planning on flying anytime soon, having the Companion Pass for the future isn’t a bad thing, especially if you were already planning on meeting the minimum spend for the 100,000 points.

Purchase Rewards

Your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card purchases can earn up to 3 Rapid Rewards per $1:

  • 3x Rapid Rewards on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • 2x Rapid Rewards on social media and search engine advertising; internet, cable and phone services
  • 1x Rapid Rewards on all remaining purchases

Even if you don’t earn the full signup bonus, know that each purchase also gets you closer to earning the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. The other Southwest Airlines business credit card only earns up to 2x Rapid Rewards on purchases.

Card Benefits

  • Four Upgraded Bookings per year (when available)
  • Up to 365 inflight WiFi credits per year (up to $2,920 value)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • 9,000 bonus Rapid Rewards each card renewal

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card also includes some travel insurance benefits. You get up to $3,000 in lost luggage reimbursement and up to $100 per day for up three days for baggage delay insurance.

Extended warranty protection and purchase protection on eligible purchases are available too.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is the older of the two credit card choices. It’s a better fit for casual Southwest travelers and those who simply want a card that earns Rapid Rewards.

The annual fee is $99 but there is no foreign transaction fee.

Signup Bonus

The current signup bonus is 60,000 Rapid Rewards after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

You qualify for this bonus if you currently don’t own the Premier Business and haven’t received a signup bonus for this card in the last 24 months.

While this bonus is slightly smaller, it’s a little easier to achieve due to it’s lower spending requirement. Also, 60,000 Rapid Rewards can still let you book an ample number of award flights. It’s not uncommon to find award flights for under 10,000 Rapid Rewards when other carriers require at least 12,000 for a one-way award ticket.

And, it’s about halfway towards that coveted Southwest Companion Pass.

Purchase Rewards

Your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card purchases can earn up to 2 Rapid Rewards per $1:

  • 2x Rapid Rewards on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • 2x Rapid Rewards on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1x Rapid Rewards on all remaining purchases

This purchase rewards setup is similar to most airline credit cards.

Card Benefits

One drawback of paying the lower annual fee of $99 is that you don’t get as many add-on Southwest travel benefits. But, you can still enjoy a few recurring card benefits.

  • 6,000 bonus Rapid Rewards each card renewal
  • Lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Baggage delay insurance up to $100 per day for up to 3 days

Extended warranty protection and purchase protection can be helpful too. There are no blackout dates when redeeming points to worry about and no change fees.

Cardholders can request employee cards at no additional cost and will earn points on employee spending.

Other Southwest Airlines Benefits

In addition to having one of these cards for your business spending, you can enjoy these everyday Southwest Airlines benefits:

  • The first two checked bags fly for free
  • No change fees
  • Rapid Rewards do not expire
  • No seat restrictions on Southwest flights

If you also own the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards to your Rapid Rewards account at a 1:1 ratio.

While point transfers don’t count toward the Companion Pass point requirement, you can transfer them to book award flights and save on business travel costs.

Qualifying for the Southwest Airlines Business Credit Cards

First and foremost, all consumer and business Southwest Airlines credit cards fall under the “5/24 rule.” In essence, if you have opened 5 new credit cards in the last 24 months, Chase will most likely decline your application for either business credit card.

Also, you must own a business to apply for one of these cards. You can apply if you’re a sole proprietor or have an incorporated business such as an LLC. Your approval odds are higher if you have been in business for several years.

Related: Best Chase Business Checking Accounts

Which Southwest Card is Better?

Either card can be a good option if you like to fly Southwest Airlines. But one card is likely a better fit for your typical business expenses and travel habits.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance is better when…

The “premium” Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is worth it in these instances:

  • Want to earn 2x Rapid Rewards from your online advertising and business telecom purchases
  • Prefer to earn triple Rapid Rewards on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • Regularly use the annual Upgraded Bookings and in-flight wifi credits
  • Want a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee waiver
  • Can earn the full 100,000-point signup bonus by spending $25,000 in the first 6 months (getting you closer to the Companion Pass)

While the annual fee of is $199 is relatively high, the add-on perks and multiple ways to earn bonus Rapid Rewards can easily create more value.

The annual 9,000-point anniversary bonus can also be enough to book a low-cost award flight instead of paying cash as well.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier is better when…

The entry-level Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is the better option for no-frill flyers.

  • Want a card that makes it easy to earn Rapid Rewards on all purchases
  • Won’t fly enough to use the Upgraded Booking or inflight WiFi credits
  • Can achieve the $3,000 signup bonus spending requirement

This card is sufficient for casual travelers that may only fly several times per year.

Summary

Either Southwest Airlines business credit card is a good option. You should pick the card with the best ongoing benefits that maximize your spending power and travel experience.

100,000 Point Bonus: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

60,000 Point Bonus: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

FAQs

Does Southwest have a business credit card?

Southwest Airlines currently offers two business credit cards.

Here are the two options and key features of each:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
    • Signup bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
    • Earn up to 2x Rapid Rewards on purchases
    • 6,000 Rapid Rewards card anniversary bonus
    • $99 annual fee
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
    • Signup bonus of up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards after spending $25,000 in the first 6 months
    • Earn up to 3x Rapid Rewards on purchases
    • 9,000 Rapid Rewards anniversary bonus
    • 4 Upgraded Bookings per year (when available)
    • 365 inflight WiFi credit per year
    • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
    • $199 annual fee

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is the better option if you can maximize on the Upgraded Bookings and inflight WiFi credits. Being able to earn 2x Rapid Rewards for social media and internet advertising is another reason to consider this card.

Can I have two Southwest Business Credit Cards?

Unlike the personal Southwest Airlines credit cards where you can only hold one card at a time, it’s possible to have both Southwest Airlines business credit cards. However, there isn’t a guarantee that your request for the other card will get approved.

Your approval odds can be higher if you’re an existing Southwest business credit card user for several years. If you own neither card, you will need to space your card applications. For example, you must wait at least 30 days between Chase credit card applications. But you may decide to wait several months to apply again.

Another application guideline to consider is the Chase 5/24 rule. All Southwest Airlines cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. You should consider applying if you have opened 5 or fewer new credit cards within the most recent 24 months.

Will Southwest waive the annual fee?

No, neither Southwest Airlines nor Chase Bank waives the annual fee for the business or personal Southwest Airlines credit cards.

The best Southwest Airlines credit card for you can be the one that offers the most benefits that you use regularly. You may have to pay a higher annual fee upfront but save money long-term as you redeem the benefits that you currently pay cash for.

What bank has the Southwest Airlines credit card?

Chase Bank issues the consumer and business versions of the Southwest Airlines credit cards. These are also some of the best Chase business credit cards.

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Josh Patoka
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