Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
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If you live in a city served by Southwest Airlines, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card can help you rapidly earn rewards towards flights. This card is the big brother card to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Business Credit Card with the same sign-up bonus and rewards structure but with some extras at a slightly higher ownership cost.
If you want a Southwest Rapid Rewards business credit card, but you’re not sure whether to get the Premier or the Plus, Bankrate thinks you should go for Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. With a $99 fee per year, the Premier Business card costs $30 more than the Plus Business version, but makes up for it by giving you 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 you spend per year, up to a 15,000-point maximum.
You still get the same sign-up bonus of 60,000 points that Plus card holders get if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account, and you’ll even earn an additional 6,000 bonus points each year (compared to just 3,000 bonus points with the Plus). This could quickly add up to the 110,000 points required to earn Southwest Airlines’ much-heralded Companion Pass offer, one of the most generous airline perks we’ve ever seen.
You need at least 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points or 25 one-way flights per calendar year to qualify for Southwest’s A-List status, which comes with perks like priority boarding, a 25% points bonus on each flight, and no charge for same-day standby flights. The Plus version doesn’t offer an opportunity to earn Tier Qualifying Points through spending.
With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, you also can get employee cards for free, and any points earned from spending on those cards will accrue to your account. The Plus Business Card does not offer free employee cards.
The Premier doesn’t have foreign transaction fees, an important perk if you fly to any of the international destinations served by Southwest. However, if you only fly Southwest Airlines occasionally, you’re probably better off with a business credit card that pays flexible rewards in the categories you typically spend.
Who should get this card
Business owners who frequently fly Southwest and are aiming for A-List status or the Companion Pass with the airline.
- Fees and APR
This card has a $99 annual fee.
There’s a variable APR on purchases and balance transfers of 16.99% to 23.99% based on creditworthiness.
Late payments won’t affect your APR but you will be subject to a penalty fee of up to $37 for each late payment.
Balance transfers will be subject to a 5% fee of the amount being transferred.
Extras, perks and using points
This card comes with Visa Signature benefits which include auto and travel protections and insurance and hotel discounts and benefits at participating properties. It also provides extended warranty protections on qualifying purchases.
To redeem your points, go to Southwest.com and log into your Rapid Rewards account. When searching for your itinerary choose the “Points” option instead of Dollars. Select the fare you want and then check out using points to pay. You have to have enough Rapid Rewards points to cover the amount required for the flight. You cannot pay with a combination of points and cash. All applicable taxes and fees must be paid for with either a credit card, debit card, or a Southwest gift card.
Rapid Rewards Credit Card members can also redeem their Rapid Rewards points for hotel stays, rental cars, gift cards, event tickets, merchandise, and other unique experiences.
How this card compares
The only advantage the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Business Card has over the Premier version is that it’s $30 cheaper a year to own. But that $30 savings also means you give up free employee cards, the ability to earn Tier Qualifying Points, and an extra 3,000 bonus points each year. The Plus version also charges foreign transaction fees. Our verdict? Cough up the extra dough for the Premier version.
Business owners who spend big on their cell phone service, gas, and office supplies can save big with unlimited 3% cash-back rewards on the U.S. Bank Business Edge Cash Rewards World Elite MasterCard. This is the only card we know of that offers high category rewards without a spending cap.
Business owners who want a hassle-free card with a generous and unlimited rewards structure just for travel may find that the Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business card fits the bill. The miles can only be redeemed for travel, so this is not a good choice if you’re looking for flexible redemption options.
If you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what your spending patterns will be, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card is like a small rectangular mentor. The no-fee card will reward you for spending in the areas you’ll most likely need to get your business off the ground and gives you a full-year break on interest for purchases and balance transfers. Who couldn’t use a little breathing room when launching a new venture?
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.