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If you’re flying Southwest Airlines regularly, you should consider getting one of its cards. You'll earn additional Rapid Rewards points on every ticket you buy and gain some extra perks.
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card has great benefits, like four upgraded boardings every year and in-flight Wi-Fi credits. The card does have a higher annual fee than the other Southwest credit cards, so we'll help you determine if this card is right for you.
The welcome bonus
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card comes with the following welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The card has an annual fee of $199, and employee cards can be added at no extra charge.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
The Southwest Companion Pass
Southwest's Companion Pass is one of the best benefits offered by any airline. This perk is yours once you've flown 100 one-way qualifying flights or earned 135,000 points. For the remainder of the current year and all of the following year, your designated companion can fly with you for just the cost of taxes and fees. Points earned from the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, including the welcome bonus, count towards the Companion Pass.
Note that, starting Jan. 1, 2023, the number of points required to earn Companion Pass benefits will increase to 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. Read more on that and other upcoming changes here.
If you think you'll earn and use the Companion Pass, this card can certainly be worth its fee.
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card comes with great benefits that frequent business travelers will appreciate. Each year, cardholders receive 9,000 points upon renewal of the card. That's worth about $126 in flights. Cardholders also receive four upgraded boardings each year and Global Entry or TSA Precheck reimbursement every four years.
The card also earns 4 points per $1 spent with Southwest, 3 points per $1 spent with the airline's hotel and rental car partners. You'll earn 2 points per $1 on rideshare, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable and phone services. All other purchases receive one 1 per $1 spent.
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card vs. Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
This chart compares the features and fees of the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card against the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, so you can see for yourself how they stack up.
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Earn A-List points
Foreign transaction fees
In-flight WiFi credits
Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit
4 per year.
When deciding between these two Southwest business cards, you'll want to compare the benefits you receive against the annual fees of the card. Keep in mind that benefits you won't use don't have any real value, since they will go to waste.
» Learn more: Southwest Rapid Rewards program: The complete guide
Who is the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card for?
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is for business travelers who want to maximize the number of points they earn while reducing the cost of perks.
Although the card has a higher annual fee, your priority boarding passes alone can be valued at up to $200. If you use all these credits, that would easily justify the higher annual fee of $199 versus $99, especially when you account for the 9,000-point anniversary bonus, which itself nearly covers the annual fee.
Alternative to the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
If you want to earn points on your flights but aren't sold on Southwest Airlines, an alternative travel credit card to consider is the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, which earns Ultimate Rewards® that can be transferred to Southwest.
This card earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services and online advertising (on up to $150,000 spent each year). The current welcome bonus is as follows: Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®..
In addition to transferring points to Southwest, you have the flexibility to use the points on different airlines, pay for other travel reservations or redeem for cash back via Ultimate Rewards®.
The card has no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee is just $95. Employee cards are available at no additional charge.
The bottom line
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is designed for the frequent business traveler. It offers enhanced earning capabilities and travel perks that make the card worthwhile if you travel on Southwest on a regular basis. But if you don't fly with Southwest, there are some great business card alternatives to consider.
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 2023, 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
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Which Southwest Airlines credit card should I get? How to maximize your Southwest card welcome bonus Find the best travel credit card for you