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Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card review: A good value for Southwest jetsetters

If your business travel frequently takes you to the skies with Southwest Airlines, you'll be pleased to know this card is designed to reward you handsomely. And that welcome bonus alone puts you well on the way to earning a Companion Pass.
By Brooklyn Lowery  CardRatings Senior Manager  | Updated

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Our Rating:   
Excellent, Good
on Chase's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • The welcome bonus gets you closer to earning a Southwest Companion Pass. Spend $3,000 in the first three months to earn 60,000 bonus points.
  • Your bonus points don't end with the welcome bonus – each year after your card member anniversary you'll receive 6,000 bonus points.
  • Earn triple points for your purchases with Southwest Airlines.
    • This card is all about loyalty. Sure, you earn rewards with Rapid Rewards® partners, but if you're looking for a wide open opportunity to earn bonus rewards and redeem those rewards, you'll want to look for a more general rewards card.

    SOUTHWEST® RAPID REWARDS® PREMIER BUSINESS CREDIT CARD REWARDS

    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 three points per $1 on any Southwest Airlines purchase as well as two points per $1 on rideshares and 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.

    Top Features

     Rewards
    NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest Airlines® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
     Bonus Rewards
    Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
     Annual Fee
    $99

    BEST FEATURES OF THE SOUTHWEST® RAPID REWARDS® PREMIER BUSINESS CREDIT CARD

    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.

    POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF THE SOUTHWEST® RAPID REWARDS® PREMIER BUSINESS CREDIT CARD

    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.

    SOUTHWEST® RAPID REWARDS® PREMIER BUSINESS CREDIT CARD APPROVAL ODDS

    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:

    • Business name
    • Business name as you want it to appear on the card
    • Business address
    • Type of business Tax ID number (or your social security number)
    • Number of employees
    • Annual revenue/sales
    • Monthly expenses
    • Number of years in business
    • Ownership type (publicly traded, privately owned, etc.)
    • Business structure (LLC, corporation, non-profit, etc.)

    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.

    HOW THE SOUTHWEST® RAPID REWARDS® PREMIER BUSINESS CREDIT CARD COMPARES TO OTHER SMALL BUSINESS CARDS

    Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card vs. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

    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.

    Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card vs. American Express® Business Gold Card

    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 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 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 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.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

    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 $1 spent on Southwest flights and with hotel and car rental partners as well as on local transit and commuting (including rideshares) and on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming. All other purchases earn one point per $1 spent. Additionally, you'll receive an additional 3,000 points each account anniversary. Right now, you can also earn up to 100,000 bonus points – spend $2,000 in the first three months to earn 50,000 points and earn another 50,000 points when you spend $12,000 total in the first 12 months.

    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.

    IS THE SOUTHWEST® RAPID REWARDS® PREMIER BUSINESS CREDIT CARD A GOOD 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; terms apply of the American Express® Business Gold Card.

    Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card Compared to Other Travel rewards Cards

    Apply online for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
    Apply online for Citi Premier® Card
    Citi Premier® Card
    Apply online for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
    Chase Sapphire Reserve®
    Apply online for The Platinum Card® from American Express
    The Platinum Card® from American Express
    Rewards
    NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest Airlines® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 
    Rewards
    Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get our best prices on thousands of trip options. 
    Rewards
    Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets. Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels. Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases. 
    Rewards
    Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases 
    Rewards
    Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. 
    Bonus Rewards
    Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. 
    Bonus Rewards
    Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel  
    Bonus Rewards
    Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening  
    Bonus Rewards
    Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  
    Bonus Rewards
    Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.  
    Annual Fee
    $99 
    Annual Fee
    $95 
    Annual Fee
    $95 
    Annual Fee
    $550 
    Annual Fee
    $695 
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