Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card Review: Are the Perks Worth the Cost? [2020]

Let's take a look at this Southwest business credit card and whether the benefits are worth the cost of the annual fee.
Last updated Dec 16, 2019 | By Miranda Marquit

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Travelers looking for a low-cost airline have long turned to Southwest. The company’s no-frills reputation, though, might turn off some travelers who are interested in extra comforts. This is where the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card comes in and offers a few perks for both travelers and business owners.

This Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card review will take a look at what this business credit card card has to offer so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Special Perks for Business Owners

Benefits

  • Up to 100,000 bonus point sign-up offer
  • 3X points on Southwest Airlines purchases
  • Inflight Wi-Fi credits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Not as useful if you don't frequently fly Southwest
  • Has annual fee


Who should get this card?

For the most part, those who will get the most from this business credit card designed for travel are those who already use Southwest Airlines. Additionally, business owners who advertise online and regularly pay for telecommunications expenses can benefit from this card.

On the other hand, if you don’t fly Southwest often, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card won’t be as useful. The rewards are aimed at frequent Southwest travelers, so if you aren’t loyal to the company, you’re better off looking for a different airline rewards card or a different business credit card card.

Card basics

Annual Fee $199
Intro Bonus Earn up to 100,000 points: 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 in the first 6 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous welcome offer: Earn up to 100,000 points: 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.
  • Anniversary points: Every year on your cardmember anniversary, you receive 9,000 points. This can help you continue to earn points for free airfare, as well as work toward Southwest’s A-List Status and earning a Companion Pass.
  • Upgraded boardings: You can receive up to four Upgraded Boardings per year when they are available. Priority boarding can help you get settled ahead of time.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck: Every four years, receive a statement credit for $100 when you pay for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck using your Southwest Performance Business Credit Card.
  • Inflight Wi-Fi credits: When you get this card, you receive up to 365 $8 credits each year. When you pay for inflight W-iFi using your card, you’ll receive a statement credit offsetting the cost.

Earning & redeeming

This Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card review also includes information on the best ways to earn and redeem your points. The program is fairly straightforward, with chances to earn extra points with certain purchases.

Best ways to earn

With the Southwest Performance Business Credit Card, you get 3X points on Southwest purchases; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; and 1X on everything else. As you can see, using this card for certain business expenses can help you earn faster. Plus, as long as you’re a cardmember, you get an extra 9,000 points on your anniversary.

Categories Rewards rate
Southwest purchases 3X
Social media and search engine advertising 2X
Cable, internet, and phone services 2X
Everything else 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

Your best redemption is likely going to be using your points to buy airfare on Southwest. Log into your account, and when you search for flights, mark that you want to see the fares in points. You’ll be able to choose from different fares and even see a schedule of days that might allow you to use fewer points for your flight. If you’re flexible in your travel dates and times, you’re more likely to get the best value for your points.

Common questions

No Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card review is complete without answering the most common questions about it. Here are some of the questions consumers are most interested in.

Is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card worth the annual fee?

Whether the Southwest Performance Business Credit Card is worth the fee depends on how quickly you can earn and redeem points. The annual fee is $199, so to make the card worthwhile, you probably need to be able to earn enough points for at least one free flight a year.

For some, the priority boarding alone is worth the cost, though. You’ll normally pay $30, $40, or $50 to get priority boarding on Southwest. However, the Rapid Rewards Performance Business card will upgrade you up to four times a year, so you could save between $120 and $200, contributing to the likelihood that the card will be worth the cost.

Does the Chase 5/24 rule apply to the Southwest Performance Business Card?

While the Chase 5/24 rule doesn’t generally apply to business cards, there are some co-branded business cards that it does apply to. For example, the rule applies to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card.

The Southwest Performance Business Credit Card isn’t specifically mentioned in the most recent list of business cards impacted by the rule, but it could be subject to the 5/24 rule at a later time.

What are Southwest Rapid Rewards Points worth?

How much Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth depends in large part on the type of fare you select, as well as what days you’re traveling and where you’re going. You can figure out how much your points are worth by comparing the cost of a ticket with the number of points it takes to redeem.

For example, if a fare costs $207 and requires 13,351 points to redeem, you can divide the cost by the points. So, 207/13,351 = 0.0156 or about 1.6 cents per mile. However, in some cases, points might be worth less than one cent. Run the numbers to see where you get the best value.

Does the Southwest Performance Business Card have a foreign transaction fee?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Other cards to consider

While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card could be a good fit for the frequent Southwest traveler or a business owner with online expenses, let’s also look at some alternative cards to consider.

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and several benefits. You can also get 5X points on Lyft rides; 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, or phone services, and advertising purchases with social media and search engines; and 1X points per $1 on everything else. Redeeming your rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards gives you a 25% premium, making your rewards more valuable. The welcome bonus is also a generous 100,000 points.

You can also consider the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business. This card waives its $95 (waived first year) annual fee for the first year. You get 5X miles on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel, and 2X miles on every purchase, every day, with no tiers. You can also get 50,000 miles as a welcome bonus, as well as a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Carefully consider your needs as you decide what business card is the right choice for you.

Special Perks for Business Owners

Special Offer

Earn up to 100,000 points: 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months; plus, another 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 in the first 6 months

See how these cards compare:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 3X points on travel and common business spending categories
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Additional employee cards at no extra cost
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
  • 50,000 bonus miles welcome offer
  • Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees