Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card review

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Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Rewards rate

1X–3X Cash back

Annual fee

$99

Intro bonus

60,000 points

Regular APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent  (740 - 850)

Best for frequent business travelers who fly Southwest Airlines

  • Rewards rate: Earn 3X points on Southwest airlines purchases, 2X points on participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners, 2X points on rideshares, and 1X points 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 3 points for every dollar you spend on purchases with the airline, 2 points per dollar on rideshares and Southwest’s Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners along with 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 Rapid Rewards points can be earned and redeemed in a variety of ways—on more than strictly airfare.

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 3X points. This rate is boosted thanks to the most recent update to Southwest cards, plus you’ll now also earn 2X points on rideshares. Like before, you’ll also earn 2X points by spending with the airline’s Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners, plus 1X points on all other purchases.

What’s more, cardholders can depend on receiving 6,000 points every year on the anniversary of their account opening, regardless of how much they spend.

You can also earn points 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 The Points Guy’s latest valuation, making the 60,000-point sign-up bonus worth approximately $900, depending on how you redeem those points. However, like several airline loyalty programs, your points’ value may vary based on factors like your destination, travel date and more.

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 (based on a 1.5-cent point value), which almost offsets the card’s annual fee entirely.

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, plus a few other handy travel perks like auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, roadside dispatch and travel accident insurance.

If your bags are damaged or lost by the airline, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger with lost luggage reimbursement. Additionally, if your bags are delayed by six hours or more, your baggage delay insurance benefit provides up to $100 a day for three days to cover essential items such as toiletries and clothing.

Southwest travel benefits

Southwest’s latest update to the Premier Business card added several features to its benefit roster, which could lead to solid savings:

  • 25 percent back on inflight purchases
  • Two complimentary EarlyBird Check-In® boarding upgrades per year (worth up to $50)
  • Unlimited 1,500 Tier Qualification Points (TQPs) for every $10,000 spent (at least 35,000 TQPs in a calendar year required for A-List elite status)

Rates and fees

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card charges an annual fee of $99. Unlike some 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 is an obvious choice. Its higher-caliber sibling, the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, could be a wise choice if you spend enough to make up for its $199 annual fee. The Performance Business card has a leg up over the Premier Business thanks to its 2X rewards rate on telecom and select advertising services, plus its slightly richer benefit offerings.

If your budget leans closer to everyday business expenses, but you either can’t justify the Performance Business card’s annual fee or you don’t want your rewards to be tied to one airline, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is one of the best business cards on the market. Since Southwest Airlines is one of Chase’s transfer partners, the Ink Business Preferred remains a good rewards engine for Southwest while keeping your flight options open.

Card Rewards rate Annual fee Welcome bonus
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
  • 3X points on Southwest purchases
  • 2X points on participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners
  • 2X points on rideshares
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$99 60,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on select categories (then 1X points): travel, shipping, internet service, cable service, phone services and advertising with social media sites and search engines
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$95 100,000 points when you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first three months
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
  • 4X points on Southwest purchases
  • 3X points on participating Rapid Rewards® hotel and rental car partners
  • 2X points on rideshares
  • 2X points on social media and search engine advertising as well as internet, cable and phone services
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$199 80,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months

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

Chases 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 3X 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 each account anniversary year (after that, it’s 1X points).

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card could also be a valuable partner card thanks to its boosted 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. Although its rewards are touted as cash back, you’re actually earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which could also be transferred to your Southwest loyalty account in case you’re ever shy of a certain number of points—or if you simply want to widen your rewards spending to include business expenses that fall outside your Southwest card’s categories.

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 general-purpose business travel card. There are many—particularly 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

  • Solid welcome offer and an enticing 6,000-point bonus on your account anniversary each year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn points faster by adding free employee cards and using the Tier Qualifying Points offer to qualify for elite status faster
  • Decent travel and purchase protections

Cons

  • A moderate $99 annual fee]
  • Rapid Rewards points will largely limit you to booking Southwest flights
  • The only bonus category outside Southwest and its partners is for rideshares, which may limit your rewards potential