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The sign-up bonus for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card has changed since the article was published. See NerdWallet's review of the card for up-to-date information.
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is the premium business credit card from Southwest Airlines. Although it offers a generous welcome bonus, you get that only once. The real value from this credit card comes when you maximize its benefits year after year. By squeezing out all of its value, you'll get benefits worth far more than the $199 annual fee.
Earn the full welcome bonus
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card has a two-tiered welcome bonus. Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. According to NerdWallet’s valuations, Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth 1.4 cents each, making these 100,000 points worth $1,400 in flights.
Add employee cards for free
Business owners can add employee credit cards at no additional charge. This makes it easier to track their spending. Plus, you'll earn valuable Southwest Rapid Rewards points every time they make a purchase.
Maximize spending bonuses to earn additional points
With the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you'll earn additional points when spending in certain categories. You'll receive 3x points on every Southwest Airlines purchase, plus 2x points on online advertising and internet, cable, and phone services.
Earn up to 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List status
Your spending can get you closer to elite status with Southwest Airlines. For every $10,000 you spend on the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you'll receive 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points. You can earn up to 15,000 TQPs each year based on the combined spending of your credit card and those of your employees. You'll need 35,000 TQPs to reach the first level of A-List status.
» Learn more: Southwest Rapid Rewards Program: The complete guide
Sign up for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
Every four years you can be reimbursed up to $100 when you use the card to pay Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fees. These memberships save you time and hassle at the airport. This benefit does not have to be used for the cardholder: Use it for yourself or for an employee, family member or friend.
Get 9,000 points every year when you renew your card
Each year that you renew the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you'll receive 9,000 Rapid Rewards points. According to NerdWallet's valuation, these points are worth about $126 in flights, which offsets most of your annual fee.
Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass allows your designated companion to travel for nearly free whenever you fly (just pay the taxes and fees). Without a Southwest credit card, you would have to fly 100 one-way Southwest flights or accumulate 125,000 Companion Pass qualifying points to earn this benefit. But if you have the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you can earn the Companion Pass solely on your credit card spending or in combination with paid flights and other activities. In fact, with the current two-tiered welcome bonus you can earn the Companion Pass entirely from hitting the thresholds. The $30,000 of required spending to get the full 100,000 point bonus will net you a minimum of 130,000 points (possibly more if your $30,000 of spending is in bonus categories) putting you over the 125,000 point requirement for the Companion Pass.
Get on the plane early
Even if you're in the C Boarding Group, you have a chance to get on the plane early with the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. Each year, you can redeem four Upgraded Boardings when they are available. You'll skip the line and your ticket will be upgraded to A1 through A15 so you can be one of the first people to board the plane.
Enjoy free in-flight Wi-Fi
As a business owner, you need to stay connected to your work. The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card gives you 365 one-day pass credits to use for in-flight Wi-Fi every year. At $8 each, this benefit is worth up to $2,920. Simply charge the internet access to your credit card and these credits will wipe out the charge. You can also share these credits with your workers who have an employee credit card.
» Learn more: Southwest Airlines sweet spots
Charge big purchases to it
Your eligible purchases are protected in two ways: against damage or theft and with an extended warranty. Purchase protection covers new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days after purchase. The coverage is up to $10,000 per claim and a total of $50,000 per account. Eligible manufacturer warranties of three years or less are extended by an additional year.
Use it internationally
Whether you're traveling internationally or paying a supplier in a foreign currency, you won't be charged extra. The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card charges no foreign transaction fees, which can save you up to 3% on the cost of your transaction.
The bottom line
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card has numerous benefits that small-business owners can maximize to save money and time. Many cardholders don't realize how many benefits their credit cards offer and miss out on excellent perks. Getting familiar with these benefits will help you get the most from your credit card.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card