Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card review

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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is one of two Southwest co-branded business credit cards offered by Chase targeted towards avid Southwest flyers.

The card comes with great benefits for business owners and their employees, including a sizeable welcome offer of 60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, EarlyBird Check-In, fee credits for transferring points to another Rapid Rewards member and no foreign transaction fees. And with a modest $99 annual fee, it makes the card a great fit for many business owners trying to save on airfare.

Below, Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees associated with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card to help you decide if it’s right for your needs.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card review



Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

  • Rewards

    Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases; 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare; 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners; 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Welcome bonus



The welcome bonus for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card offers great value for Southwest flyers. You can earn 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

So once you hit the $3,000 spending threshold, you’ll have a minimum of 63,000 Southwest points. Rapid Rewards points have a rough value of 1.3 cents each, meaning this bonus worth about $819, or a 27% return on your initial spend.

This alone more than justifies the $99 annual fee. But, there are even more benefits to the card outside of the initial welcome bonus.

Benefits and perks

Outside of the welcome offer, the card comes loaded with benefits for your next Southwest flight, and when you land. With the Premier Business Card, you’ll get:

This is an outstanding value for the $99 annual fee. The annual bonus points alone are worth nearly $80 and the statement credits for transferring your Rapid Rewards points is a solid perk. Plus, if you order from DoorDash even a few times per year, the DashPass benefit can help you save on food delivery costs.

Earning miles for spending

When you spend on the card, you’ll earn: 

  • 3X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on purchases with Southwest Airlines
  • 2X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
  • 2X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services
  • 1X Rapid Rewards point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases

Select calculated how many points the average American can earn in a year when using their Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.

The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). Here’s what the average consumer would earn using this card:

  • Groceries: 5,174 Southwest Rapid Rewards points
  • Gas: 2,218 Southwest Rapid Rewards points
  • Dining out: 3,675 Southwest Rapid Rewards points
  • Travel: 6,732 Southwest Rapid Rewards points (Assuming all travel dollars are spent with Southwest Airlines).
  • Utilities: 4,862 Southwest Rapid Rewards points
  • General purchases: 3,953 Southwest Rapid Rewards points

With all spending considered, this would give a cardholder 26,614 Southwest Rapid Rewards points in the first year, and if you include the 60,000-point welcome bonus, this would yield 86,614 Rapid Rewards points. Over a five year period, cardholders could potentially earn 193,070 Southwest Rapid Rewards points — although the total amount will depend on an individual’s and/or business’ annual spending habits.

How to earn and redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards miles

Earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points

If you want to earn Southwest points, there are a few ways to do that: spend on one of the many consumer of small business Southwest credit cards, fly with the airline or shop with one of Southwest’s partners.

Even with several Southwest credit cards there are only so many you can have, as Chase has their 5/24 rule, which means you’ll be denied any Chase card if you’ve been approved for five or more credit cards (from any bank) in the last 24 months. Additionally, you can only earn one welcome bonus every two years with a Southwest business credit card.


If you want to hoard Southwest points, you may consider a card with transferable rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. These cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which are transferable to a list of airline and hotel loyalty programs — including Southwest Rapid Rewards at a 1:1 ratio. So as you earn on these cards, you can send your points over to Southwest Rapid Rewards to redeem for flights. But you’ll also have the option to redeem those points for other travel, cash back and more.

If you still think a Southwest credit card is your preferred option but aren’t sure about the Premier Business Card, take a look at the other Southwest cards here:

Personal

Business

Redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards points

After earning enough points for a free flight, redeeming your points is quite simple with Southwest.

To use your miles, simply log into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account and when you search for a flight, click “points” rather than “dollars”. Southwest points have a fixed value of around 1.3 to 1.4 cents apiece and prices for award flights are dependent on the current cash price of the ticket. So if a flight costs $100 you can expect to pay 6,000 to 7,000 points for that flight.

Keep in mind that when you redeem your miles, you’ll still need to pay taxes and fees. The amount is dependent on where you’re flying. If your flight is within the U.S., it will be $5.60 for each one-way flight. Flights outside the United States have varying taxes and fees.

Rates and fees


Card comparison



While the Southwest Premier Business credit card is a solid pick for small business owners who fly with Southwest regularly, how does it compete against other business travel credit cards?

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card vs. CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® is a business credit card for American Airlines flyers.

When you apply for the card, you can earn 65,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in the first four months of card membership. The card gives cardholders a free checked bag for up to four other companions on the same itinerary, preferred boarding, 25% off in-flight purchases and a Companion Certificate for domestic travel after you spend $30,000 or more in purchases each cardmember year.

As you spend on the card, you’ll earn:

  • 2X miles for every dollar spent on cable and satellite providers, eligible American Airlines purchases, purchases at gas stations, telecommunications merchants and car rentals
  • 1X mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

The card comes with a $99 annual fee, but is waived for the first 12 months of card membership.

If you’re stuck between the two cards, it’s important to analyze your flying habits. Do you have specific travel destinations in mind? Or do you repeatedly fly to the same cities for work? Keep in mind that Southwest Airlines primarily flies within the U.S. with a few international destinations. American Airlines on the other hand has both international and domestic flight options. Analyze where you plan on flying and what airlines have the best and most frequent flights to those destinations.

In addition, do you want to earn status within American Airlines which has First Class seating, or would you rather have the Southwest Companion Pass to fly with someone? If you’d prefer to fly in upper class seats, the American Airlines card can help get you there. If you don’t mind an all-economy plane with no assigned seats, the Southwest Airlines card would be a solid fit.

Lastly, you could consider grabbing the American Airlines card for the first year since the annual fee is waived. And then if you decide to switch your loyalty to Southwest, you can choose to cancel the card before the annual fee posts and grab the Southwest card to replace it.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

  • Rewards

    2X miles on every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, cable and satellite providers, at gas stations, select telecommunication merchants and car rentals. 1X miles on every $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 65,000 miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases
  • Preferred boarding for eligible credit cardmembers
  • First checked bag free
  • Priority boarding

Cons

  • No special 0% financing offers
  • No airport lounge access

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card vs. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is a luxury travel card with a seemingly never-ending list of benefits.

First, you’ll earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. These points can be transferred to a number of different airline and hotel loyalty programs. Unfortunately, Southwest is not one of them.

In addition, you’ll earn:

  • 5X points for every dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
  • 1.5X points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
  • 1X points for each dollar spent on all other eligible purchases

The card also comes with a long list of additional features and benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Complimentary Amex concierge
  • Widespread airport lounge access, including access to Amex Centurion lounges, Delta Skyclubs when flying Delta and Priority Pass lounges
  • Up to $200 airline fee credit
  • Up to $400 Dell credit
  • Up to $120 wirelines credit
  • $179 CLEAR credit
  • Fee credit for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck
  • Complimentary elite status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy

However, the card comes with a steep $695 annual fee. (See rates and fees)

So if you’re unsure of which card to choose, it’s best to reflect on your travel needs. If you’re looking for a luxury experience with plenty of benefits, the Business Platinum card from Amex is a great choice. However, be weary of the large annual fee before applying. If you’re looking for a simple travel credit card for your business, and you prefer to only fly with Southwest, the Premier Business card is likely a better fit.

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases. Also, earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Enroll to receive up to $400 in annual statement credits on Dell purchases (up to $200 semi-annually), up to $360 with Indeed, up to $150 with Adobe and up to $120 on wireless telephone purchases
  • Get 35% points back when you use points to purchase all or part of an airline fare, up to 500,000 bonus points back per calendar year
  • American Express Global Lounge Collection
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® where available and get up to $179 back per year on your membership when you use your card
  • Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year toward baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline

Cons

  • $695 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% financing offers for balance transfers

Who the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is best for



The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a great choice for a small business owner who flies Southwest at least a few times a year and is ok with earning rewards solely tied to the airline. The benefits when flying, like EarlyBird Check-In certificates and 25% back on Southwest in-flight purchases, can help you save money and have a more comfortable travel experience. With the card, all authorized users get a card for no additional annual fee, making company expenses simple to keep in one place.

In addition, this card is great for someone who doesn’t want to fuss with complex airline loyalty programs. Southwest keep things very simple: earn points and spend them with the airline. Other airlines have more elaborate reward programs with airline alliances, different classes to redeem your points for and more. So for those who want simplicity, this card is a good match.

Bottom line



The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is worth considering for any small business owner who enjoys a no-frills flying experience and likes to travel with Southwest. With a valuable welcome bonus, solid spending categories and a modest annual fee, the card presents a good value for small businesses to earn rewards on their expenses as well as save on their future airfare costs.

However, before signing up for any credit card, it’s vital to check your budget to ensure your business in a position to have a company credit card.

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For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Information about the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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