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Southwest Launches New Premium Business Credit Card With 80,000 Bonus Points

June 20, 2019
6 min read
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Apply here for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card with an 80,000 point sign-up bonus.

Small business owners who are loyal to Southwest Airlines now have a brand new credit card option: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card. The headliner here is that this premium card comes with a whopping 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. And yes, those points will rocket you close to getting up to 1.5 years of a Southwest Companion Pass all in one swoop.

At 1.5 cents per point, that 80,000-point bonus is worth $1,200, according to the latest TPG valuations. With this card, you can also earn 3 points per $1 spent with Southwest, including with the airline's Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners — that's the highest among the Southwest lineup of cards. It also earns 2 points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services (categories that are popular with small businesses) and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

You can already earn 3x points on travel using the Chase Sapphire Reserve to book Southwest flights, but using the Southwest Performance Business for those charges instead means the 3x points earned will count toward triggering the Companion Pass.

Perks that come with the Southwest Performance Business card include:

  • Four A1-A15 boarding passes per year when available so you can grab a seat upfront
  • Up to 365 $8 Inflight Wi-Fi credits per year (covers all-day passes)
  • Up to $100 every 4 years to cover enrollment fees for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for each $10,000 in purchases up to 15,000 Tier points annually
  • 9,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points after every cardmember anniversary

The card has a $199 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year, but the priority boarding passes included with the card normally cost $30-$50 each, so that perk alone could save you the entire annual fee. Also, $8 is what Southwest charges for an all-day Wi-Fi pass, so this card gets you free Wi-Fi on Southwest every day of the year if you need it.

The 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 spent on the card can be very useful for business owners trying to qualify for A-List or A-List Preferred elite status on Southwest. Finally, you can get free employee cards, and there are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Companion Pass Points

One of the main questions TPG readers will immediately ask is how the Southwest Performance Business factors into obtaining a coveted Southwest Companion Pass. As with other Southwest cards from Chase, the 80,000 sign-up bonus points earned from the Southwest Performance are Companion Pass-eligible, which would get you roughly three-quarters of the way toward the 110,000 points you need in one calendar year to earn one. And since points earned from spending on the card also count for a Companion Pass, you'd only need to spend another $25,000 on this card after meeting the original $5,000 minimum spend to reach 110,000 points without ever stepping foot on a Southwest plane. Plus, if a chunk of those expenses were on Southwest bookings, you'd hit that threshold even faster at 3 points per dollar on those Southwest charges.

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Related: How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass This Year

Since points earned on actual flights with Southwest also count toward the Companion Pass, it's likely most Southwest fans wouldn't need to spend that entire amount to reach the Companion Pass promised land. In addition, you should be able to combine the points from this card with the sign-up bonus for one of the three personal Southwest cards: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card and get to 110,000 Companion Pass points that way.

Also, the terms and conditions on this card indicate you can have this card as well as the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, so you could do a two-card combo of the business cards to make it to 110,000 points.

Remember that you can only have one personal Southwest card, but you should be able to pair one personal card with a small business card to get both bonuses in one calendar year to trigger the pass. Also, all Chase card applications are now also subject to the issuer's 5/24 rule, though getting a business card generally doesn't add to your five card limit.

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

Who Can Get a Small Business Card

As a small business card, you must actually have a small business of some sort to qualify for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card. But as with most small business cards, you don't have to have a massive small business with a physical office building and bulging payroll to qualify. While Chase is anecdotally one of the tougher issuers when it comes to small business, your growing side hustle may be enough to qualify on its own.

Related: 5 Ways You Might Be Eligible for a Small Business Card

Bottom Line

The new Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card isn't cheap, and while it has a number of solid Southwest perks, it doesn't feature any annual Southwest travel credits like the $75 you get with the personal Southwest Priority card. That being said, 80,000 bonus points is a huge haul with guaranteed value thanks to Southwest's fixed-value redemption system. You can use those Rapid Rewards points to island hop Hawaii for as little as 2,000 Rapid Rewards points per ticket, head to Aruba, Grand Cayman, the Bahamas or jet off to anywhere Southwest operates. And since it's Southwest, your bags will fly free, you can reprice awards for a credit if the price drops, or even cancel without penalty if your plans change.

Finally, if you're in the market for a Companion Pass, grabbing these bonus points will go a long way to getting you one of the most valuable travel perks in the industry for the rest of this year and all of 2020.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.