Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card Review [2021]: Are the Perks Worth the Cost?

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 Oct 19, 2021 | 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

Intro Offer

80,000 points

Annual Fee

$199

Rewards Rate

up to 4X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 80,000 bonus point sign-up offer
  • 4X 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
Card Details
  • 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • 4X points on Southwest purchases; 3X on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; 2X on rideshare; and 1X on everything else

In this Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card review

Who should get the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card?

For the most part, those who will get the most from this travel business credit card 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 basics

Card Type Business
Card issuer Chase
Credit card network Visa
Annual Fee $199
Intro Bonus 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards rate 4X points on Southwest purchases; 3X on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; 2X on rideshare; and 1X on everything else
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card benefits and perks

  • Generous welcome offer: This card has a good bonus offer without a massive spending requirement. You can earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months of card membership.
  • Anniversary points: Every year on your cardmember anniversary, you receive 9,000 points. This anniversary bonus can help you continue to earn points for free airfare, as well as work toward Southwest’s A-List Status and earning a coveted Southwest 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, you can receive a statement credit for $100 as an application fee reimbursement 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.
  • Visa Signature card benefits: As a Visa Signature card, this business credit card also comes with a variety of travel perks like baggage delay insurance, car rental insurance in the form of an auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, and more.

Drawbacks to this card

  • Annual fee: This card does have an annual fee of $199. So this small business credit card will be best suited for those who get more than that amount of value out of its perks and benefits.
  • Best for Southwest fans: Because this is a co-branded credit card, it is going to be a best fit for those who are already frequent flyers of Southwest Airlines. For those who fly a variety of airlines, a more flexible travel rewards card might work better.

Earning & redeeming Rapid Rewards points

Best ways to earn

The Rapid Rewards program is fairly straightforward, with chances for cardholders to earn extra points with qualifying purchases. With the Southwest Performance Business Credit Card, you get 4X points on Southwest purchases; 3X on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners; 2X on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as social media and search engine advertising; 2X on rideshare; 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 4X
Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners 3X
Rideshare; internet, cable, and phone services; social media and search engine advertising 2X
All other purchases 1X

Maximizing your redemptions

Your best redemption is likely going to be using your points to buy Southwest flights. 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 Southwest points.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card FAQs

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 Credit 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

Carefully consider your needs as you decide what the best airline credit card or business card is the right choice for you. While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card and its ability to move you closer to the Southwest Companion Pass could be worth it for the frequent Southwest traveler or a business owner with online expenses, it isn't your only option. Let’s also look at some alternative credit card offers to consider.

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is from the same credit card issuer, but is not co-branded with Southwest. This 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.

Special Perks for Business Owners

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 mile welcome offer
  • Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

Author Details

Miranda Marquit Miranda Marquit has been covering money for more than a decade and is a nationally-recognized financial expert and journalist, appearing on CNBC, NPR, Forbes, Yahoo! Finance, FOX Business, and numerous other outlets.