Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card review

Bankrate Staff  in  Business How we rate our cards  | 

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Annual Fee:
$99
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply

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Best for frequent business travelers who fly Southwest Airlines

  • Rewards rate: 2X points for every dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases and 1X on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 within your first three months
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Purchase intro APR: None
  • Balance transfer intro APR: None
  • Regular APR: 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card offers loyal business travelers who fly with Southwest Airlines a way to enjoy additional travel benefits. You can earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on purchases with the airline, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. You can redeem your points for Southwest Airlines flights, which have no restrictions, change fees or blackout dates.

Current sign-up bonus

When you open your account, you’re eligible to receive a 60,000-point bonus if you spend $3,000 during your first three months. This offer is not available to current cardmembers or former cardholders who received a welcome bonus within the last 24 months.

Rewards

Southwest rewards can be earned and redeemed in a variety of ways. You earn 2 points for every $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 1 point for every $1 spent on other purchases.

Earning rewards

The fastest way to earn points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is to book flights through Southwest Airlines, which will net you 2 points per dollar spent. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

Best of all, cardholders will receive 6,000 points every year, on the anniversary of the account opening.

You can also earn points by making purchases through Southwest Rapid Reward’s partners, including car rental agencies and hotels; by using the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal guide when making online purchases; and by eating at restaurants that participate in the airline’s Dining Rewards program.

Redeeming rewards

Redeeming your Rapid Rewards points for Southwest flights is easy, and the best way to take advantage of your new stash of points.

There are no restrictions or blackout dates when you redeem points for a seat, but the number of points you’ll need will depend on the airfare.

You may also redeem your points for international flights booked through a designated flight portal, hotel stays, rental cars and more.

How much are points worth?

Rapid Rewards points are currently valued at around 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for flights, according to ThePointsGuy.com, making the 60,000-point sign-up bonus worth approximately $900, depending on how you redeem those points.

Benefits

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card includes many appealing perks and benefits that will appeal to business travelers who frequently fly Southwest.

Cardmember anniversary bonus

Perhaps the most compelling feature of this card is the 6,000 bonus points you’ll receive every cardmember anniversary with no spending requirement. Those points could translate to approximately $90 in value toward future flights.

These points are in addition to the one-time, 60,000-point bonus for spending a total of $3,000 on your card in the first three months of card membership.

Travel and purchase protections

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card includes valuable travel and purchase protections to give you peace of mind on all your trips.

You’ll get extended warranty protection and purchase protection that may cover you in the event of theft or damage of new items — an increasingly rare credit card perk.

If your bags are damaged or lost by the airline, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger. If your bags are delayed by six hours or more, you can receive up to $100 a day for three days to cover essential items such as toiletries and clothing.

Rates and fees

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card charges an annual fee of $99. Unlike many other airline credit cards, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card will not waive this fee for your first year.

You won’t pay any foreign transaction fees, however, and you can also add employee cards at no additional cost.

The variable APR with this card is 15.99 percent to 22.99 percent.

How the Southwest Premier Business Credit Card compares to other airline credit cards

For business travelers who frequently fly Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card may seem like an obvious choice.

But with limited bonus categories and points that are, largely, only good with Southwest Airlines, travelers may find the card is too limiting. The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®, for example, also carries a $99 annual fee, but it’s waived for the first year. And, in addition to earning American Airlines miles, cardholders can easily transfer those points to other airlines in the robust Oneworld alliance.

Card Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year, then 1X point per $1 thereafter
$95 100,000 points after spending $15,000 within the first three months.
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
  • 2X AAdvantage miles per $1 on eligible American Airlines flights, telecommunication merchant, cable/satellite provider, car rental merchant and gas station purchases
  • 1X AAdvantage mile per $1 on all other purchases
$99 (waived first 12 months) 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after spending $4,000 within the first four months.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
  • 3X points per $1 on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • 2X points per $1 on all social media and search engine advertising, internet service, cable service and phone service purchases
  • 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
  • 9,000 bonus points upon your cardmember anniversary each year
$199 Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Best cards to pair with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card would be a great counterpart to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. This card, which comes with a $95 annual fee, earns 3 points for every dollar spent on travel, internet, cable and phone services, shipping and advertising made with social media and search engines and cable and phone services, up to $150,000 in combined purchases a year (after that, it’s 1 point per dollar). Right now, the card is offering a whopping 100,000 bonus points to new cardmembers who spend $15,000 in the first three months.

Because these are valuable transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to a number of airlines, hotels and other partners, meaning it can help fill the gaps left by Southwest’s domestic-focused route map.

Similarly, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (also a $95 annual fee) is a great choice if you want to balance the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card with a personal card. You’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent on dining and travel, and 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases — to say nothing of the 80,000-point sign-up bonus (after spending $4,000 within the first three months).

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card worth it?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card can easily help you earn Rapid Rewards points that can be redeemed for Southwest flights.

But, if you need more flexibility with your points or are looking for a wider array of benefits, you might want to consider a business credit card with a transferrable points currency. There are many — including Chase credit cards, which earn Ultimate Rewards points that transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio — that may help you earn points faster with a comparable annual fee.

Pros

  • Attractive welcome offer and annual bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn points faster by adding free employee cards
  • Valuable travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • A moderate $99 annual fee that isn’t waived the first year
  • Rapid Rewards points will largely limit you to booking Southwest flights

All information about the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.