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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.
- 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.
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:
- 3x Rapid Rewards points on airfare (Southwest and others) with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (up to $150K per year in combined purchases with other categories)
- 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year using the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- 1.5X on non-bonus expenses using the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.
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.
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.
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.
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