At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
If the unofficial motto of Texas is “bigger is better,” then Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has taken that to heart. The low-cost carrier is known for serving up outsize humor and big, bold moves like not charging for flight changes or checked baggage (up to a limit). So it’s fitting that the airline, in partnership with Chase, offers a business credit card with a low cost of ownership but also some meaty extras.
Those with an appetite for an easy-to-use, easy-to-redeem airline rewards card will find that the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card hits the spot. The card comes with a substantial sign-up bonus, plus an easy-to-swallow annual fee of $99. There’s also a range of redemption options and other extras that add to the card’s appeal.
Here are five things you’ll want to know about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card:
1. You’ll get baggage protections
Southwest Airlines is one of the rare carriers that allows up to two free checked bags per person. But owning the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card also means you’ll get lost luggage reimbursement, for you or your immediate family members traveling with you, up to $3,000 per passenger. You’ll also get baggage delay insurance, which will reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing, up to $100 a day for three days for delays of more than six hours.
2. It gives you a leg up toward a Companion Pass
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card comes with a generous sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. That’s enough to get you more than halfway to earning a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.
Earning this perk is a frequent flyer’s money-saving dream, since it means you can choose a companion to fly with you for free (you’ll pay taxes and fees) for the rest of the calendar year in which you’ve earned it plus the entire following calendar year. It’s like getting a two-for-one deal on Southwest every time you buy a flight or redeem points for a free flight.
To earn this budget-boosting bonanza, you’ll either need to:
- Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year, or;
- Earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. (Qualifying points include paid Southwest flights; those that you earn on Southwest credit cards; and base points you earn from Rapid Rewards partners.)
If you meet the minimum spending requirement on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, you’ll be a heck of a lot closer to qualifying for that Companion Pass.
3. You can rack up double points on Southwest purchases
The only thing better than earning rewards on your purchases is earning double the rewards. Those who spend a bundle on Southwest flights and/or partner hotels and rental cars can quickly amass a stash of points since the earnings rate on this type of spending is 2X the points on all Southwest purchases. All other spending on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card earns 1 point per dollar spent.
When it comes time to redeem your stash, you’ve got a plethora of choices, ranging from travel to merchandise or gift cards. Just don’t expect cash or a statement credit because those are not options.
4. Another Southwest business card might be better
If you’re looking for even more value and don’t mind paying a larger annual fee, check out the New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. For an annual fee of $199 — about double that of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card — you’ll get access to a stable of perks that could outweigh the extra ownership cost.
The New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card earns 3 points per dollar on all Southwest purchases; 2 points per dollar on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable and phone services; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. It also offers four upgraded boardings per year (when available), in-flight Wi-Fi credits, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit every four years.
And if you’re shooting for that Companion Pass, it’s got a substantial sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
5. You’ll earn unlimited points that never expire
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program is both generous and forgiving. You can earn an unlimited amount of points, and they never expire, as long as your card account is open and in good standing. When you’re ready to redeem, you can use your rewards on any available seats without blackout dates, making it easier to fly off into the sunset when it’s convenient for you.