Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Review

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Chase has unleashed its highest earning Southwest co-brand card overnight, unveiling the New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. (Exclamation points courtesy of Chase). This card follows the runaway success of the consumer Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, released mid-2018, and gives Rapid Rewards members a second business card option alongside the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

The new Southwest Performance Business Card launches with a massive signup offer of 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after you meet the minimum spending requirement. In addition to getting you a big step closer to earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, we think this card is a long-term keeper for many business owners, thanks to some great ongoing benefits.

Highlights include:

  • 9,000-anniversary points each year
  • 3X points on Southwest purchases,
  • 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • Four upgraded boardings per year
  • Global Entry / TSA fee credit
  • Complimentary Inflight Wi-Fi credits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary employee cards

Here’s the link to apply for the Southwest Performance Business Card, or read on for our full review.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Review

This card is the first Southwest co-brand product to earn 3X points on Southwest purchases and 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services. Plus, cardholders can earn tier-qualifying points towards A-list status. The new card sports an annual fee of $199.

In a departure from the release of the Southwest Priority Card, Chase hasn't added any complex application restrictions to the new Southwest Performance Business Card. While Chase’s 5/24 policy is almost guaranteed to apply, the only other restriction is that you can’t already be a cardholder of ‘this' Southwest business credit card (nor can you have received a welcome bonus on ‘this'  card in the past 24 months). There is nothing to say you can't apply for this card if you hold other business or personal Southwest cards, including the Southwest Premier Business Card.

Southwest Performance Business Card Welcome Bonus

Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. As a revenue-based rewards program, the value of Rapid Rewards points is tied directly to the price of airfare, which typically works out to between 1.35 and 1.5¢ per point. That gives the signup bonus a value of up to $1,200 towards flights.

Points Earning Potential & Bonus Categories

The Southwest Performance Business Card is the first Southwest card to earn more than 2X points on Southwest purchases:

  • 3X points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
  • 2X points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

This earning structure doesn’t change the fact that the best way to earn Rapid Rewards points is with Ultimate Rewards earning cards (with one important exception noted below). Since Southwest is a 1:1 Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, you can earn the equivalent of:

But here is the big exception: If you transfer Ultimate Rewards to Southwest, they won’t count towards the Companion Pass. However, points earned with spending on the Southwest Performance Business Card will count towards the Companion Pass requirement of 110,000 points earned in a calendar year. If buy-one-get-one-free Southwest flights are your goal, this card's higher earning rates could be a game changer.

If you already have the Companion Pass (or don’t often fly with a companion) you’re better off with the Ink Preferred or Ink Business Unlimited. If you need Southwest points, Rapid Rewards is an instant transfer partner. And you still have the flexibility to move your points to 8 other frequent flyer programs.

Southwest Performance Business Card Feature Benefits

Alongside the higher rewards earning structure, the Southwest Performance Business Card is packed with perks that should make it worth holding onto for the long term if you or your employees regularly fly Southwest. The annual fee on the new business card is about double that of the Southwest Premier Business Card, so it’s essential to run the numbers before you put in an application to ensure you get the card that provides the most value.

9,000 Anniversary Rapid Rewards Points Each Year

You’ll receive 9,000 Rapid Rewards points each year on your account anniversary with the new Southwest Performance Business Card. For comparison, you get 7,500 with the Southwest Priority Card ($149 annual fee) and 6,000 with the Southwest Premier Business Card ($99 annual fee).

Rapid Rewards points are generally worth between 1.35 and 1.5 cents each towards Southwest flights. That means the annual points dividend will get you between $120 and $135 worth of flights, leaving roughly $80 in annual fees that need to be recovered using the other card benefits.

Four Complimentary Upgraded Boardings Per Year

A benefit first offered on the Southwest Priority Card and now carried over to the Southwest Performance Business Card, cardholders will be reimbursed for up to four Upgraded Boardings each year, valid for positions A1 through A15. Upgraded Boardings must be purchased at the ticket counter or departure gate on the day of departure and are subject to availability. The cost of each Upgraded Boarding is between $30 and $50, dependent on your itinerary.

This benefit has two distinct advantages over EarlyBird Check-In, which will get you access to to a higher boarding position by checking you in just before the window of opportunity opens up for other passengers:

  • Upgraded Boardings are valid for positions A1 to A15, which puts you ahead of the EarlyBird Check-In folks.
  • Unlike EarlyBird Check-In, you don’t need to remember to take action more than 24 hours before your fight.

Complimentary Wifi On Every Flight

Southwest charges $8 per device for wifi access. With the Southwest Performance Business Card, you get an $8 credit daily—up to a total of 365 days per year. Although most folks aren't flying every day, the fact that you can add authorized users to your account without paying an additional fee means that you can extend this benefit to employees and get even more value. Keep in mind that there is a limit of $8 per day, so you'll only receive one credit if multiple employees purchase wifi on the same day. To use this benefit, simply use your card to pay for wifi onboard.

Global Entry or TSA Pre✓Fee Credit

Almost a standard perk on premium airline cards now, cardholders can get a Global Entry or TSA Pre fee credit up to the value of $100 ($85 for TSA Pre) every four years. The value of this perk is often dictated by whether you have other cards that offer the same benefit. Something to keep in mind is that even if you already have Global Entry or TSA Pre, you can use your credit to gift it to a friend or family member.

Other Perks

In addition to the benefits listed above, the card doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, a bonus if you’re using it overseas. Cardholders also receive 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQP) for every $10,000 spent on the card, up to $100,000 per year or 15,000 TQPs which count toward qualification for A-List and A-List Preferred status with Rapid Rewards. TQPs are calculated annually rather than by account year, so if you acquire the card mid-year, your TQP will be calculated up until your December statement before the count resets for the new year.

Points Count Towards the Southwest Companion Pass

It’s worth reiterating that both the welcome bonus and points earned from everyday spending count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. This unusually high offer of 80,000 bonus points puts one of the most coveted benefits in domestic travel within reach for many—without requiring a huge amount of additional spending or travel with Southwest.

Although you can't hold more than one personal card, you can earn a welcome bonus on both a business and personal card to earn the Companion Pass.  The offers for the family of Southwest personal cards generally fluctuate between 40,000 and 60,000 points. The gem of the group is the Southwest Priority Card, which should easily pay for itself if you fly a few times a year with Southwest.

You can learn more by checking out our guide to earning the Companion Pass.

Final Thoughts

Southwest and Chase continue to evolve the co-brand card partnership for the Rapid Rewards program, adding new products and strengthening members’ ability to earn points without flying bum-in-seat miles. The perks offered on this card are an evolution of benefits offered on the Southwest Priority Card adding tangible value for Rapid Rewards members, and the 80,000 point signup bonus is a fantastic way to increase the balance of your Southwest account.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Review
5 (100%) 6 votes
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Comments

  • Wow….80,000 is appealing for sure. Might be time to make a run at the companion pass again. Besides the pass, I find SW points very easy to redeem for good value for shorter flights.

  • Global Entry fee recovery is a real plus.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I like the Global entry / TSA credit. I took the time to get Global Entry certified.

  • So I got the sw priority card individual a business card in January. Does that preclude me from adding this card and getting 85k more points to used my companion pass on?

  • This looks like a very attractive card. I wonder if the 80K bonus offer will be a permanent one or just a launch promo. If you strategize it right, you can get this card some time in Nov/Dec and then hit the 5K spend in Jan to get the 80 K counted in the next year. Then combine that with one of thee personal cards and you get a companion pass for almost two years.

  • Might just be time to get a southwest card

  • RoseMarie says:

    This is definitely a card worth investigating if you want a companion pass. It gets you most of the way there and comes along with some valuable perks. If you are flying domestically it is a good deal.

  • Sounds like a great card! Unfortunately, Southwest doesn’t have a large enough presence where I am to justify investing in Southwest.

  • Looks appealing and worth considering

  • That’s honestly a card worth looking at. No question about this one.

  • Southwest is looking juicer and juicer, especially with 80,000!

  • If I wanted to get the companion pass, this card would definitely be the first step. But I agree with the poster who says it would be nice if this bonus was available in December (and qualify in January)to maximize the pass.

    • Just keep in mind that you can do your best to make the 80k hit on January 1st but you still have to account for 30k more points. If you combine this with a personal card this is a super easy dilemma but if you’re only using this card and organic flights, you might be best off signing up for the card in December and then spending away on planned purchases starting January 1st.

  • I hope this offer is around in November. I LOVE the companion pass (had it for 6 years now) but it is time to re-up. 80K will certainly make it easier to do than getting two cards, which was my previous strategy.

    We are flying on the companion pass to New Orleans for the weekend, to attend the Zydeco festival and eat char-grilled oysters.

  • Travelfreek says:

    I like what I’m reading here. I do need the CP again at the beginning of 2020.

  • It looks like a great product. Are there any restrictions if you’ve had a Southwest Business card in the past?

    • Surprisingly, the only restriction for this card seems to be if you already have this card. So you should be good with a different SW biz card in the past.

  • If Southwest airlines flew out of ORD I would get this credit card!

  • 80,000 points makes you close to the companion pass so might be worth it.

  • Need more sw points to take advantage of my companion pass for 1.5 more years. 100% worth getting if there isn’t 24 month bonus language for 2 business cards.

    • All the blogs I’ve read essentially stated that this is a new card and doesn’t matter if you’ve held the other card at any point in time.

  • This card has a lot of attractive perks – complimentary WiFi, complimentary upgraded boardings. No transaction fees on foreign purchases, companion pass. Seems like a no brainer to me.

  • if you go for SW CP just make sure to time it right. You want the points to post in Jan/Feb 2020 to make sure you get the CP for the full 2 years

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I did the math, and the signup bonus a value of up to $1,200 towards flights rreally makes sense.

  • Can you get this card without a full time business? Perhaps as a sole proprietor since it is a business and not a personal card.

    • Yes, Chase is generally good about approving applications for sole proprietors. Just make sure the business name matches the tax ID. In other words, unless you have a business EIN, you need to use your name (as it appears on your SS card) as the business name to apply as a sole proprietor.

  • looks like a good value, how do you go about getting it if you dont own a business though?

  • 3x Southwest still isnt great. Would have expected 4x for this card

  • Looks nice, but $199 annual fee is a bit hefty. I dunno if it’s worth it…

    • It’s totally worth it if it gets you closer to that Companion Pass. Unless you travel frequently for work, it’s almost impossible to get the CP through regular purchases without going broke

    • If you fly Southwest at least 3 to 4 times per year, it’s probably worth it. I’m with you though. For me it’s not worth it.

  • Stacy Y Liu says:

    Great incentive for this card! Plus 9000 bonus points every year, upgraded boarding, points don’t expire, nor are there black out dates, which is great. Greatly considering since we’ve used Southwest quite a bit.

  • This looks like a great card. I especially like the Global Entry fee recovery.

  • The combination of Chase (banking Scandal), Southwest (cattle style boarding), and high fee stops this for us.

    • If you dig hard enough, you can find anything about anyone that will make you want to turn your back like this…

  • WIll use for I especially like the TSA pre reimbursement. Thanks for the post

  • Esty Blatt says:

    This card makes earning the companion pass much easier. I wonder how long this promotion will last. I would love to wait until december, to earn companion pass for the next 2 years.

  • This rewards for this Southwest card are good but be careful as the points expire if you don’t have any new activity in a specified period of time. You have to actually earn miles to extend the expiration date, using points won’t do it.

  • I just moved to Toronto. Unfortunately, WN doesn’t fly to Canada. I still have a bunch of points I’ll need to use, which probably means driving to Buffalo to redeem them on WN there.

  • I love Southwest!

  • Great deal if you missed out on the free companion pass card.

    • That was a nice signup bonus but in reality wasn’t that great. It was for the rest of the year you received it but not the following year like normal.

  • Thank you for the update regarding the companion pass miles. Very much appreciated.

  • How are the flights for SW out of LAX for exploring the west coast??? Anyone have experience there? Maybe I’ll invest in the venture to see some of the PNW.

  • If you have both a personal card and this business card, can you earn twice the tier qualifying points (15,000 max per card)? Or is the 15k max per Rapid Rewards member?

    • Great question. I couldn’t find any official info. SW says up to 15,000 TQPs per year, but doesn’t explicitly say one way or another whether you can double dip with multiple cards. Anyone have 1st hand experience?

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