Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Review [2022]: Do the Perks Outweigh the Fee?

If your business travels have you flocking to Southwest flights regularly, it's time to consider the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
Last updated Aug. 12, 2022 | By Christy Rakoczy | Edited By Yahia Barakah

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The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card offers a slew of generous perks, including 60,000 bonus points to new card members, 6,000 anniversary 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

Intro Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$99

Rewards Rate

3X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases, 2X on rideshare purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 6,000 points every year on Cardmember anniversary
  • 3X points on Southwest purchases
  • Two early bird check-ins per year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Rewards redemption limited to Southwest
Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 3X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases, 2X on rideshare purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

In this Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card review

Who should get the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card?

If you’re a business owner and a regular traveler on Southwest, the Southwest 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

Card type Business
Credit card issuer Chase
Credit card network

Visa

Annual fee $99
Intro bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Reward rate

3X points on eligible Southwest Airlines purchases, 2X on rideshare purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Foreign transaction fee None

Southwest Premier Business Credit Card benefits and perks

  • Generous sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an anniversary bonus of 6,000 points each year on your account anniversary.
  • Board earlier: As a cardholder, you can take advantage of two upgraded boardings in the form of EarlyBird Check-In each year.
  • 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 airfare — 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.

Drawbacks of the Southwest Premier Business Credit Card

  • Annual fee: This card has a $99 annual fee. While it isn't the highest fee around, it still means that having this card comes at a certain cost.
  • Fewer luxury perks: This card has fewer luxury perks compared to other Southwest business credit cards. If you're looking for a list of travel benefits, then you might find that the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is a better fit.
  • Limited redemption options: While this card earns a generous intro bonus, this bonus comes in the form of Southwest Rapid Rewards points. You could only use these points through Southwest and its partners.

Earning & redeeming Rapid Rewards points

Best ways to earn

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card allows you to earn 3X points on all Southwest Airlines purchases. Southwest Airlines purchases that qualify you for triple rewards program points include:

  • Flights
  • In-flight purchases
  • Southwest gift cards
  • Southwest Vacations packages

You can also earn 2X points on rideshare purchases, as well as your spending on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners.

Categories Rewards rate
Southwest Airlines 3X
Rideshare purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners 2X
All other purchases 1X

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 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.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card FAQs

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.

What is the annual fee for the Southwest Premier Business Credit Card?

The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card has an annual fee of $99. While this might not be as high as the annual fee for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, which costs $199, it still means that this card costs money to have.

Can you get a companion pass with a business card?

The points you earn using Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card or other Southwest business credit cards would count toward your Companion Pass. You would need 125,000 points in total to qualify for the Companion Pass, so the intro bonus alone might not be enough to qualify you.

Other cards to consider

For all you frequent flyers with Southwest out there, there’s no doubt the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card can provide you with plenty of value and is one of the best airline credit cards in its class. 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 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases 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 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
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn 2X on dining (including eligible delivery services), hotel stays, and United purchases
  • Free first checked bag
  • 2 United Club Passes annually
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
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

Author Details

Christy Rakoczy Christy Rakoczy has a Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School with a focus in Business Law, and a Certificate in Business Marketing with an English Degree from The University of Rochester. As a full-time personal finance writer, she writes about all things money-related but her special areas of focus are credit cards, personal loans, student loans, mortgages, smart debt payoff strategies, and retirement and Social Security. Her work has been featured by USA Today, MSN Money, CNN Money and more, and you can learn more at her LinkedIn profile.