Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card Review: Is It Worth It?

If your business travels have you flocking to Southwest flights regularly, it's time to consider Southwest's business credit card.
Last updated Dec 16, 2019 | By Christy Rakoczy

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The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card offers a slew of generous perks, including 60,000 bonus points to new card members, 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary, generous rewards for purchases on Southwest Airlines, and a variety of free travel perks.

The bonus rewards points also get you nearly halfway toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows you to bring a designated guest with you at almost no cost whenever you fly.

But while this card comes with ample perks, those perks are really only valuable if you’re a frequent Southwest flyer and can take advantage of them. You also have to pay a $99 annual fee for the card, which is applied to your first billing statement. So before you sign up, make sure you weigh the pros and cons to decide if this card is the best card for you. This review can help you decide.

Big Rewards For Southwest Travelers

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 6,000 points every year on Cardmember anniversary
  • 2X points on Southwest purchases
  • Free employee cards
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Rewards redemption limited to Southwest


Who should get this card?

If you’re a regular traveler on Southwest, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card could be a great option for you. Not only will you earn double points on Southwest purchases, but you’ll also get other perks as well, such as no change fees if your plans shift after you’ve already bought an airline ticket.

If you’re able to use the sign-up bonus to help you earn a Southwest Companion Pass, there’s serious value to be had, as the Companion Pass allows a person of your choosing to fly with you for free — paying just the cost of airline fees.

Card basics

Annual Fee $99
Intro Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Foreign Transaction Fee None

Top card benefits

  • Generous sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 6,000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary.
  • Free cards for employees: Unlike with some premium travel credit cards, you don’t have to pay to add authorized users or get employee cards for staff members to use.

  • Change your plans at no cost: Pay no change fees if you need to switch your flight — although you’ll pay the difference in the cost of a more expensive ticket.
  • Get on the fast-track to the Southwest Companion Pass: The Companion Pass allows you to bring along a designated person for free on Southwest flights, paying only taxes and fees. You become eligible by taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 125,000 points on a Southwest card in a calendar year. The 60,000-point bonus on the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card gets you nearly halfway there.
  • Travel perks and protections: Cardmembers get coverage for lost luggage and can be reimbursed up to $3,000 per passenger. You’ll also get up to $100 per day for three days to pay for incidentals if your baggage is delayed for six hours or more. And there are no foreign transaction fees charged. Be aware that not all travel perks are as valuable as they seem, though. Southwest advertises that cardmembers get a first and second bag free on any Southwest flight with their card — which is great — but Southwest doesn’t charge any passengers for a first or second checked bag unless it exceeds weight limits.

Earning & redeeming

Best ways to earn

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card allows you to earn double points on all Southwest Airlines purchases and one point per dollar spent for all other purchases. Southwest Airlines purchases that qualify you for 2X points include:

  • Flights
  • In-flight purchases
  • Southwest gift cards
  • Southwest Vacations packages
  • Purchases at participating Rapid Rewards hotel partners and rental car partners

Maximizing your redemptions

Cardmembers not only earn points for their own spending but can also earn points when authorized users make purchases on the card — so consider getting employees their own cards to use. Employee cards are free, unlike with some competitor cards.

When booking vacations, hotels, or rental cars, look for Rapid Rewards partners so you can earn double points on these purchases as well.

Common questions

How much is 50,000 Southwest points worth?

The value of Southwest points can vary depending on what they’re redeemed for. If redeemed for Wanna Get Away fares — the most budget-friendly flight option offered by Southwest — 50,000 points are typically worth around $715. Keep in mind that Wanna Get Away fares are not refundable and you cannot fly standby with a Wanna Get Away ticket.

Are Southwest Rapid Rewards cards worth it?

The benefits offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card are worth the annual fee if you’re a regular Southwest flyer — especially if you’re able to spend enough to earn the Southwest Companion Pass and can bring a chosen person with you for next to nothing out of pocket.

What are some other benefits of a Southwest credit card?

In addition to all of the benefits mentioned above, you also get other perks, including extended warranty and purchase protection.

The extended warranty offered through your card will extend any eligible manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less for one additional year. Purchase protection provides you with protection for up to 120 days against damage or theft for eligible items bought with your Southwest card; you’re covered for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Other cards to consider

For all you frequent Southwest travelers out there, there’s no doubt the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card can provide you with plenty of value. But what if you’re not so loyal to Southwest?

The United Explorer Card is a similar card in that much of the value relies on how often you’ll travel with United, benefiting those loyal to the airline the most. New cardmembers can earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, which could mean free flights immediately after signing up since one-way awards start at just 10,000 miles. The United Explorer Card comes with a $95 (waived first year) annual fee after the first year, but the included travel perks — free first checked bag, priority boarding, and a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit — should easily offset this cost.

If you have no desire to be tied down to a specific airline but still appreciate travel benefits, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a great alternative. Right off the bat, you can earn 100,000 points after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. Additionally, cardmembers can earn 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. There is an annual fee of $95, so you should make sure the value of this card outweighs the added cost.

Big Rewards For Southwest Travelers

See how these cards compare:

United Explorer Card
United Explorer Card
  • 40,000 mile sign-up bonus
  • 2X miles on United purchases and at restaurants
  • Free first checked bag
  • 2 United Club Passes annually
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