If your business frequently uses Southwest airlines, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a good card to consider. All the Southwest-related perks make the card’s $99 annual fee well worth the investment. However, if you want a more general-purpose card that will serve your company well and not tie you down to one specific brand, we recommend looking at other options.
This card is good for...
- Businesses owners who want to earn the Southwest Companion Pass
- Qualifying for elite status with Southwest
This card is bad for...
- Those who would prefer a more flexible rewards program or cash back
Review: Is The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card A Good Option For Your Business?
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a fantastic credit card for companies that frequently fly the affiliated airline. This card can help you qualify for elite membership with Southwest, earn extra Rapid Rewards points through bonuses and everyday spending and even help you qualify for a Companion Pass. That last perk is the biggest selling point of this card. People who earn 125,000 qualifying points with Southwest within a single year are issued a Companion Pass. It allows the Southwest customer to pick one other person to fly with them for free. This could be an employee, business partner or even a friend. The pass lasts for the remainder of the year in which you get it, and the following year. This perk is potentially worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on how frequently you must travel with Southwest. The points you earn through the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card can help you reach that 125k goal.
If you don’t care about any of the above-mentioned perks, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card becomes a tougher sell. You can potentially end up getting more Southwest points for each dollar spent by using other credit cards, namely the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. If you want more freedom and flexibility for your business, we highly recommend going with another option.
Bottom Line: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a good card for people who want help qualifying for the Companion Pass or want to earn elite tier qualifying points. If you’re less interested in these types of perks for your business, consider other cards, like the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card or the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Benefits & Features
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card provides 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases., and 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. Currently, we value a single Southwest Rapid Rewards point at about $0.015 if you travel with the Wanna Get Away fare class. That puts this card’s rewards rate at anywhere between 1.5% and 3%, depending on how your company uses it. All the points you earn with this card are earned on top of the rewards you already get whenever making purchases with Southwest airlines. If you travel in business class, the points tend to have a lower value, typically around $0.009 each.
There are two ways to earn bonus points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. First, you can get 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. That translates to a value of about $900 in economy fares. Also, each cardmember anniversary, the card awards you 6,000 bonus points that are valued at about $90 – eating away most of this card’s $99 annual fee.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is one of the few credit cards to award reward points on balance transfers. You earn 1 point for each $1 of the first $15,000 of balance transfers made during the first 90 days from your original account open date. This is a bad deal for consumers. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card doesn’t offer any 0% promotional APR on balance transfers. Furthermore, each transfer will cost either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer -- whichever is greater. The fees you pay will outweigh any rewards you earn in the process. We don’t recommend anyone use the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card for balance transfers.
Tier Qualifying Points
You'll earn 1,500 TQP for each $10,000 in purchases up to $100,000 in purchases annually which equals 15,000 TQP. These points can help Southwest customers earn A-List or A-List Preferred status with the airline. These elite statuses qualify you for certain perks, including priority boarding, point-earning bonuses, same-day standby free of airline charges, priority check-in and free in-flight WiFi.
You need to earn 35,000 TQPs for A-List status and 70,000 for A-List Preferred.
Southwest Companion Pass
The points you earn with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card count towards the Southwest Companion Pass – one of the most sought-after frequent flyer perks. With the companion pass, you can choose one person to fly for free with you every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. This can be a big money-saver for companies that frequently fly out two or more employees with Southwest. Saving money on one ticket can translate to hundreds of dollars in savings per flight.
You need to earn 125,000 points within a calendar year to earn a Companion Pass for the following full year (plus the remainder of the year in which you earned the 125,000 points). There is no limitations on the number of flights this pass can be used on, so your savings is potentially unlimited.
Keep in mind that the companion will still be responsible for taxes and fees that come out to about $5.60 for a one-way flight.
How Does The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Compare To Other Business Credit Cards?
You should never make a decision about credit cards in a vacuum. It’s important to consider each offer against the backdrop of your other available options. We compared the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card to other leading business credit cards to help you figure out if this is really the best credit card for your business.
Note: If you’re after Southwest-specific perks, like the companion pass or TQPs, there is no comparison between the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and these other two cards. You can’t get these types of benefits unless you go with a credit card that is co-branded with Southwest. Despite that, it’s still worth considering these other options for the other benefits they can provide your company.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card vs Capital One Spark Cash for Business
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a simpler solution for businesses that don’t want to tie their credit card rewards to a single airline. The card awards a fixed 2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no matter the category. Therefore, the Capital One card is significantly better at rewarding most purchases. The only exception is Southwest ticket purchases – there the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is the superior option. By that metric, most businesses will do best by picking the Capital One Spark Cash for Business instead of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
Things get more complicated when you consider the annual fee. Technically, the fee on the Capital One Spark Cash for Business — $0 intro for first year; $95 after that — is lower than that on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. However, remember that the latter also comes with 6,000 anniversary points each year and that takes out a huge chunk out of the annual fee cost. Therefore, we don’t think the Capital One Spark Cash for Business is worth it unless your company spends at least $10,000 annually on their card. At that point, the Capital One Spark Cash for Business overcomes the annual fee difference, even when the bonus points are considered.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card vs Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a general travel rewards business credit card. It can be a good option for firms that want to keep their travel options open, and not be locked into using Southwest airlines. The card awards Ultimate Rewards Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn. These points can be transferred to any of the participating hotel and airline programs, including Southwest. Therefore, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has the potential to get you more Southwest points per dollar spent than the actual Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
The welcome bonus on the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is also significantly better than that of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. Users can get 80,000 bonus points after they spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That is worth $1,000 when used to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. If you transfer your points to Southwest, we estimate the bonus could be worth as much as $1,200.