Chase and Southwest Airlines have two business credit cards – the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance (Revision) Business Credit Card. In this article, I wanted to take a closer look at the Premier card, especially in light of the recent improvements we’ve seen. This is the more basic of the two business cards.
Note that these two business cards are in addition to Southwest Airlines’ three personal credit cards, which include the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Card (Review), the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (Review), and the Southwest Credit Card Rapid Rewards® Plus. (review).
Southwest Premier Business Card Review
The Southwest Premier Business Card is Southwest’s entry-level business credit card. Let’s take a look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, return on spend and benefits of this card.
Welcome Bonus of 60,000 Southwest Premier Business Cards
The Southwest Premier business card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $3,000 in three months. That’s a solid bonus, especially given the reasonable spending requirement.
Rapid Rewards is a revenue-based loyalty program, and you can generally expect to redeem 83 Rapid Rewards points per dollar of airfare, making each Rapid Rewards point worth about 1.2 cents. In other words, the 60,000 Rapid Rewards points are worth about $720 in travel on Southwest. On top of that, note that points earned through the welcome bonus count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
The sign-up bonus is not available to those who currently have this card, or those who have received a new cardholder bonus on this card within the last 24 months. However, you are eligible for this card (including the bonus) if you have the Southwest Performance Business Card or any Southwest personal credit card.
Also remember Chase’s general rules of application, including the 5/24 rule.
Southwest Premier Business Card $99 annual fee
The Southwest Premier business card has an annual fee of $99. Adding additional users to the map is free.
The Southwest Premier Business Card offers up to 3x the points
As for the rewards structure, the Southwest Premier Business Card offers:
- 3x Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases
- 2x Rapid Rewards points on purchases from Rapid Rewards hotels and car rental partners
- 2x Rapid Rewards points on local public transport and commuting, including carpooling
- 1x Rapid Rewards points on all other purchases
The Southwest Premier Business Card has no foreign transaction fees. While these are good bonus categories, I wouldn’t consider this to be an industry leading rewards structure – there are better cards for airfare spend and better cards for everyday expenses.
Southwest Premier Business Card Gets You A-List Status
Spending on the Southwest Premier Business Card can count toward elite A-List status. Specifically, you can earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQP) towards A-List for every $10,000 you spend on the card. A-List status typically requires 35,000 TQP per year and offers benefits such as priority boarding, 25% bonus points, same-day watch, priority check-in and security lane access, as well as only a dedicated phone number.
Personally, I probably wouldn’t spend that much money on a credit card to earn A-List status, but for some people it might come in handy, especially if you’re on your way to A-List status. List otherwise.
Southwest Premier Business Card 6,000 Anniversary Bonus Points
The only major benefit of the Southwest Premier business card is that you earn 6,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points on your account anniversary each year. As mentioned above, I value Rapid Rewards points at around 1.2 cents each, so for me that’s like $72 worth per year.
To look at it differently, if you have a similar valuation, having this card costs you $27 per year – that’s a reasonable annual cost, especially with the other benefits.
Southwest Premier Business Card Points Transfer Credit
The Southwest Premier Corporate Card offers up to $500 in point transfer fee credits each year. Southwest lets members transfer points between Rapid Rewards accounts for a penny each, which isn’t usually a very good deal, since points are “only” worth about 1.2 cents each.
With this benefit, your first $500 in point transfer fees are covered. This is a great way to be able to consolidate points between accounts, as it should allow you to transfer 50,000 Rapid Rewards points between accounts each year at no cost. Statement credits will post to your account within 1-2 billing cycles.
Southwest Premier Business Card
The Southwest Premier Business Card offers two EarlyBird registrations per anniversary year. This can get you a better boarding position and would normally cost $15-25 each, potentially worth $30-50. With Southwest having open seating, this is potentially a very valuable perk.
Southwest Premier 25% Inflight Savings Business Card
The Southwest Premier Business Card offers 25% off in-flight Wi-Fi and beverage purchases on Southwest. Simply load your card and you’ll automatically receive a statement credit for 25% of the purchase total within two billing cycles.
Is the Southwest Premier Business Card Worth It?
The Southwest Premier Business Card offers a solid welcome bonus of 60,000 points, and the $99 annual fee is more than offset by the 6,000 anniversary bonus points, two EarlyBird check-ins, in-flight savings, point transfer credit , etc
The sign-up bonus can help you earn the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, which is one of the best values when it comes to travel. The Companion Pass allows someone to travel with you year-round (whether paying cash or redeeming points), and all you have to do is pay their taxes and fees. The Companion Pass requires earning 125,000 points per year (through certain activities, including earning points on Southwest co-branded cards).
To decide if the Southwest Premier business card is worth it, there are two other things to consider.
Chase and Southwest also have a more premium business card, which is the Southwest Performance business card. The card has an annual fee of $199, so that’s $100 more than the annual fee for this card. However, the Performance Business Card offers a variety of additional benefits that will more than justify the annual fee difference, in my opinion. This includes the following:
- A welcome bonus of 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months (so the bonus is 20,000 Rapid Rewards points higher, which I value at around $240)
- 9,000 Rapid Rewards points on your account anniversary, instead of 6,000 points (I estimate the extra 3,000 points at around $36)
- Four enhanced boardings per year (which compares favorably to the two EarlyBird records)
- Up to 365 Wi-Fi credits of $8 each per year, which will give you plenty of internet access on Southwest Airlines flights
- A Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit once every four years
Read a full review of the Southwest Performance Business Card.
The best way to earn rewards points fast
If your goal is to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points, but you don’t plan to earn Companion Pass or A-List status, there’s a much faster way to earn those points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is a transfer partner with Southwest Rapid Rewards, and points are transferred at a 1:1 ratio. You can earn points at a much faster rate with the following business cards:
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review) offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines; the card has an annual fee of $95
- The Ink Business Cash® (review) credit card offers 5x points on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases each anniversary year on cell phone, landline, Internet and cable TV services, plus 2x points on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases each anniversary year on gas stations and restaurants; the card has no annual fee
- The Ink Business Unlimited® (exam) credit card offers 1.5x points on daily spend; the card has no annual fee
The Southwest Premier Business Card is a good entry-level business credit card from Southwest Airlines with a solid sign-up bonus. The card even has fantastic new benefits that make it even more attractive than in the past, since nothing has been taken away and the annual fee remains the same.
The only other consideration is that I think it’s worth paying the premium for the Southwest Performance business card, which offers a bigger welcome bonus and better ongoing benefits.
Which of the two Southwest Airlines business cards do you prefer?