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Those who are loyal to Southwest Airlines will find that loyalty reciprocated when they become cardholders of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
Cardholders enjoy benefits such as double points on any Southwest Airlines purchase as well as on purchases with Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners. You’ll also earn one point for every $1 spent on your other purchases, but, let’s face it: You’re looking at an airline rewards card because your business requires traveling and you’re rightfully interested in earning rewards and enjoying perks for all that travel.
With that in mind, other airline benefits include no baggage fees, no blackout dates, no seat restrictions and no change fees, plus – and this is big – this card provides a nice boost toward earning that all-important Southwest Companion Pass so that a companion of your choice can travel with you free-of-charge (just pay taxes and fees) for the remainder of the year in which you earn the reward as well as for the entire calendar year after that.
Your earning toward the Companion Pass gets started with a healthy welcome bonus. Open your account and spend $3,000 in the first three months to receive 60,000 bonus points – that’s almost halfway to the 125,000 qualifying points you need to earn the Companion Pass. You will also receive 6,000 bonus points each year after your card anniversary. Though the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business card carries a $99 annual fee, the small business owner with plenty of Southwest Airlines travel on the agenda will find the rewards and perks should be plenty to offset that fee.
What's not to love about the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card? Let's go through those highlights with a bit more detail, starting with fact number one: You're a small business owner. Small business owners need to be prudent with spending and should relish any opportunity to put money back toward their business’ bottom line. This card allows for both by offering free employee cards, points earning on employee spending, and easy access to employees' statements so you can track monthly spending habits. These benefits allow you as the business owner to make the right decisions based on company need and not on company financials. If business travel is necessary, reap the rewards via the points you and your employees rack up.
Fact number two: You're a loyal Southwest Airlines customer. As such, you'll not only earn points for future travel, you'll also be on the fast track to that Companion Pass, which, as mentioned above, allows a companion to travel with you for free (taxes and fees excluded). The 60,000 points you can earn as an intro bonus will put you on the fast track to earning that pass. You can learn more in our "Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass." These bonus points also stack nicely with your monthly spending, letting you sink them back into your business or use them to enhance your personal time. There are no foreign transaction fees, no change fees, no baggage fees, and best of all no blackout dates or expiration on all the points you earn.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card isn't for everyone. If you don't travel very often using Southwest Airlines or Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners, many of the perks and bonuses could be out of reach. In that case, you might want to look for a card that doesn't have an annual fee or that offers cash-back rewards instead. You could also look for a more general travel rewards credit card, specifically one with more flexibility and less brand loyalty.
|Rewards||Bonus Rewards||Annual Fee|
|2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.||Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.||$99|
Do you qualify for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card? Since you don't necessarily need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to qualify for a business credit card, your odds may be better than you might think.
The list of people who can apply for a small business credit card includes quite a few professions, such as freelancers/self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners/officers, owners/officers of established businesses, and owners/officers of startups. Most credit card companies have a pretty broad definition of a "business" when it comes to deciding who will be granted a small business credit card. To qualify for a business credit card, you need to be an "authorized officer" of a company. In other words, you must have the legal right to enter into borrowing arrangements with financial institutions on behalf of a business. As you've likely guessed, if you are the owner of a sole proprietorship business or the sole owner of a small business, you are already an "authorized officer." It can be more complicated determining who ranks for businesses that have multiple owners, though. That said, most owners, even multiple ones, are also "authorized officers."
Credit card issuers consider each application on its own merits, so let them make the decision on whether you qualify - rather than assume you aren't a good fit simply because your business doesn't appear to fit a standard business model. And some hopefully helpful FYI: your personal credit history will likely be what is used to determine your eligibility and/or credit limit on a business card before you've built up a credit history for your business.
If your business doesn't have a tax ID number (EIN), you can enter your personal social security number instead, but in general, you'll want to try and have the following information available when you apply:
To learn more about who can qualify for a small business credit card, and how to apply for one, be sure to check out our "Small Business Credit Cards 101" guide.
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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card and the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business credit card both offer double rewards, but Chase's Southwest card only offers it on brand-loyal purchases, including the airline as well as those with hotel and car rental partners. Capital One offers the double rewards on every purchase, plus offers five miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel™.
If you're in search of bonus rewards, the Capital One credit card has a nice welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,500 in the first three months of your account opening. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card welcomes you with 60,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in your first three months with the account. The Southwest points are worth differing amounts depending on when and where you travel.
One other thing worth noting, the Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business offers up to a $100 reimbursement for one Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fee.
Neither card has expiration dates on rewards and both charge an annual fee. The Capital One card, however, does waive that fee for the first year ($0 intro for first year; $95 after that). If you're loyal to Southwest Airlines, go with Chase; if you're just looking for the better deal and don't care about brands, the Capital One option may be a better fit.
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Both the Southwest card and the American Express® Business Gold Card offer higher point earnings for travel purchases, but the American Express card definitely kicks it up a notch. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
To start, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers new cardholders the opportunity to earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of opening an account. It also offers 4x Membership Rewards® points on the two select categories where your business spends the most each month (4X points apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these two categories each calendar year). You also get 25% points back after you use points for all or part of an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel, up to 250,000 points back per calendar year.
There is also a flexible payment option that can help manage cash flow on purchases of $100 or more. Access expense management tools: Connect to Quickbooks, access the American Express® Business App, receive a Year-End Summary, and more.
This all sounds great, and it is, but you also need to consider where your needs actually are. If you know you prefer to fly Southwest Airlines, you’ll benefit a great deal from the Southwest card and you’ll be paying a much lower annual fee to do it. The annual fee is $295 for the American Express® Business Gold Card.
If, however, you're a big spender business owner who will max out those bonus categories each year, the American Express card could be the way to go.
Though it's not specifically a business credit card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is another way to earn points for free airfare on Southwest Airlines, at a slightly lower cost with an annual fee of $69.
This card provides two points per dollar spent on Southwest flights and with hotel and car rental partners. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent, and you'll earn an additional 3,000 points each account anniversary. You can also earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within three months of opening an account. That's fewer bonus points than what is offered by the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business card, but the spending requirement is lower too.
Among the other differences between the cards, the Southwest Rapid Reward® Plus card charges a foreign transaction fee while the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business card does not. In short, the Plus card is a nice bare minimum alternative to the Premier Business card.
The best applicant for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card is a person who travels using Southwest Airlines often and knows they will spend enough to earn that coveted Southwest Companion Pass. If you are a frequent business traveler, or require employee business travel, you are also well-suited for this card. It won't take long to achieve the thresholds needed for some very attractive perks. Internationally or domestically, there are few fees and plenty of miles to earn.
See Rates and Fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card.