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Interested in earning nearly $1,000 worth of Southwest Airlines airfare? Based on NerdWallet’s estimate, that’s the value of the current Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card welcome bonus.
Here’s the card’s current offer: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Plus, unlike certain airline miles that can be difficult to redeem, Southwest Rapid Rewards points are easy to use because you don’t have to deal with blackout dates. As long as a seat is available for sale, you can book it using points. In addition, Southwest doesn’t have a complicated award chart — award prices are tied to cash prices.
If you’re considering the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, here a few questions to ask yourself when deciding if the card is right for you.
Do you qualify for a business credit card?
You don’t need to own a multimillion-dollar enterprise or have dozens of employees to qualify for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. Generating income from a side venture, like driving for Uber or hosting on Airbnb, could make you eligible for the card.
That’s not to say you’ll be automatically approved just because you have side income. Generally speaking, banks will consider multiple factors when assessing your small-business card application.
» Learn more: Who can apply for a small-business credit card?
What’s the welcome bonus worth?
When you apply for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, you’ll earn the following bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
NerdWallet values Rapid Rewards points at 1.4 cents each, which makes the current welcome bonus worth about $840. You can redeem points for Southwest’s cheapest Wanna Get Away fares for a good value. Depending on your destination and travel dates, you can definitely stretch the value of this card’s welcome bonus.
In addition, you can use Rapid Rewards points in your loyalty account to book award flights for yourself and others. This means you can use the welcome bonus to book travel with friends and family to fun Southwest destinations, like Cabo San Lucas or Hawaii.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award flights on Southwest
Perks beyond the welcome bonus
In addition to the welcome bonus, cardholders enjoy these benefits:
6,000 bonus points every cardmember anniversary.
3 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases.
2 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
2 points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Earn unlimited tier qualifying points towards A-List status.
No foreign transaction fees.
This card also comes with travel and purchase protections, including lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance and extended warranty coverage.
» Learn more: Benefits of Southwest Airlines credit cards
Is the annual fee worth it?
You’ll receive 6,000 bonus points every cardmember anniversary, which nearly offsets the $99 annual fee of this card. Based on NerdWallet’s valuation, these anniversary bonus points are worth $84. This could be enough to get you a nearly-free flight on short-haul routes, such as Los Angeles to San Francisco or Atlanta to Orlando.
Keep in mind that you might have to be flexible with your travel dates and times to get the cheapest fares. Search Southwest's Low Fare Calendar to see what you can find.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
Should you consider the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card instead?
Business owners looking for additional card benefits who don’t mind paying a higher annual fee might prefer the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. This card currently offers a larger welcome bonus, but you’ll also have to spend more to earn it.
With the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you earn 4 points per $1 on all Southwest purchases; 3 points on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners; 2 points per $1 on rideshares, social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable and phone services; and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
Cardholders also get four upgraded boardings per year (when available), in-flight Wi-Fi credits and a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check application fee statement credit every four years.
The bottom line
Qualifying for a small business credit card might be easier than you think. Business owners looking to earn Southwest points might consider the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. The current welcome bonus can get you lots of points towards almost-free Southwest flights, but depending on your spending habits, there are other Southwest cards you may want 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 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