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The Best Southwest Business Credit Cards in 2024

Best Southwest Business Credit Cards In 2024

Southwest Airlines is one of the most popular airlines for business travelers in the United States. If you frequently fly Southwest for work, getting one of their co-branded business credit cards can help you earn rewards and perks that make those frequent work trips easier. In this guide, we’ll compare the top Southwest business credit cards and help you decide which one is the best fit for your company’s needs.

Overview of Southwest Business Credit Cards

Southwest and Chase Bank offer two business credit cards:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Both cards allow you to earn valuable Southwest Rapid Rewards points on your business spending. The main differences are the annual fees, welcome bonuses, and earnings rates. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card has a lower annual fee of $99 per year, while the Performance card charges $199 per year. The Performance card offers a higher welcome bonus and faster earn rates, making it better for heavy Southwest travelers. Let’s take a closer look at each card’s features and benefits.

Also Read: Best Small Business Credit Cards of 2024
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card offers a strong combination of perks and affordability. With a reasonable $99 annual fee, it’s a solid option for businesses with light to moderate Southwest Airlines spending.

Earning Rapid Rewards Points

You’ll earn 2x points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines purchases. That’s double the standard earning rate for non-bonus spending. All other purchases earn 1x point per $1. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. While the 50,000-point signup bonus is decent, it is smaller than the Performance card’s offer. This card’s lower annual fee helps balance the lower bonus amount.

Also Read: Discover Business Credit Card: A Smart Option for Your Business

Benefits and Perks

The Premier card comes with several nice perks:

  • Up to 2 EarlyBird Check-Ins per year – skip the check-in line and board earlier     
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks and WiFi purchases as statement credits
  • 5,000 bonus points for each cardmember anniversary       
  • No foreign transaction fees

You’ll also get standard Visa business credit card benefits like employee cards, expense tracking, and business reporting.

One key thing this card lacks is the [Companion Pass](https://www.southwest.com/rapidrewards/tiers-and-benefits) that comes with the Performance card. 

Overall, the perks on this card are solid for a sub-$100 annual fee card focused on Southwest rewards.

Is the Southwest Premier Business Card Right For You?

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card is a good option for businesses with annual Southwest Airlines spending under $50,000. If your employees only fly Southwest occasionally, the lower annual fee and solid earning rates of this card make it a cost-effective choice. You’ll rack up points on Southwest purchases faster than a non-airline card. However, heavy Southwest travelers will benefit more from the higher bonuses and additional perks of the Performance card.  Some businesses may also want to consider the increased benefits of the [Chase Ink Business PreferredSM Card](https://www.nerdwallet.com/reviews/credit-cards/small-business/ink-business-preferred-credit-card). While it doesn’t offer Southwest rewards, the Ink Preferred has a large welcome bonus and earns 3x on travel purchases. Depending on your business’s spending habits, a general travel rewards card could be a better option than locking into just Southwest.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

For businesses that fly Southwest Airlines frequently, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is worth the higher $199 annual fee. You’ll earn points faster and unlock more benefits like Credits and the Companion Pass.

Earning Rapid Rewards Points  

The Performance card takes Southwest earnings to the next level with:

  • 3x points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases  
  • 2x points per $1 spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select advertising purchases
  • 1x point per $1 on all other purchases

New cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. That’s one of the highest public welcome bonus offers on any Southwest personal or business card. Between the accelerated earn rates and high signup bonus, you can rack up a ton of Southwest points quickly with the Performance card. 

Valuable Benefits and Credits

The Performance card comes with a unique combination of statement credits and perks:

  • Up to 4 Upgraded Boarding certificates per year – jump to the A1-15 boarding group
  • $100 Southwest travel credit each cardmember year 
  • 9,000 bonus points for each cardmember anniversary  
  • Four in-flight drink credits per year
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

The biggest benefit, however, is the [Companion Pass](https://www.southwest.com/rapidrewards/tiers-and-benefits) you’ll earn each cardmember year. The Companion Pass allows a designated person to fly free with you on Southwest after paying taxes and fees. This perk alone more than offsets the annual fee if you frequently fly with a coworker or employee.

Should Your Business Get This Card?  

Thanks to the high earn rates and Companion Pass perk, the Performance card is extremely valuable for companies with over $50,000 per year in Southwest Airlines spend. Businesses spending six figures or more on Southwest annually will find the Performance card to be a no-brainer. Ensure you’re earning as many Rapid Rewards points as possible on those big Southwest expenses. Sole proprietors and partnerships should also consider this card if Southwest is their primary airline. The Companion Pass benefit allows small business owners to double up on rewards. Even if your business only flies Southwest occasionally but you fly them frequently for personal use, the Companion Pass can make getting this card worth it. The Performance card does carry a higher annual fee but the Companion Pass alone outweighs the extra $100 per year if you can use it frequently.

Earning the Southwest Companion Pass

One of the best airline perks available is the Southwest Companion Pass. This pass allows you to designate one person to fly with you for nearly free on Southwest Airlines. You earn the Companion Pass when you accrue 125,000 qualifying Southwest points or take 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year. If you attain Companion Pass status, it’s valid for the rest of the year you qualified plus the entire next year. The fastest way to earn the 125,000 points is by getting an approved Southwest consumer credit card. Here are some examples of signup bonus points that can count toward Companion Pass qualification:

  • 60,000 points from Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card
  • 80,000 points from Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card
  • 80,000 points from Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card
  • 100,000 points from Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card  

Even if you only earn one Southwest credit card’s signup bonus, when combined with points from flights and other Southwest spending you can usually reach 125,000 points. Getting a business and personal Southwest card in the same year makes it even easier. The Companion Pass is an incredible benefit for sole proprietors, partners, and other small business owners. It can also be extremely valuable for companies with employees who frequently travel together.

How to Use Southwest Business Credit Card Points

The main allure of the Southwest business credit cards is the Rapid Rewards points you’ll earn from everyday business spending. Let’s discuss the best ways to redeem those hard-earned points.

Booking Award Flights

The primary option is to use points to book free Southwest Airlines flights. You can redeem points for any available seat with no blackout dates. Award flights start at just 5,000 points each way, making Southwest point redemptions very reasonable compared to other airlines. You will still need to pay the applicable government taxes and fees for award bookings. One tip is to find flights when the taxes and fees are low to squeeze even more value from your points. For domestic U.S. flights under 500 miles, the fees usually only total around $10 roundtrip. 

Transferring to Partners 

You can also transfer Southwest points to participating hotel and rental car loyalty programs. Here are some of the best transfer partners:

  • World of Hyatt – Transfer 1:1 
  • Marriott Bonvoy – Transfer 1:1
  • The Hertz Corporation – Transfer 1,200 Southwest points to 500 Hertz points

These can be good options if you have more Southwest points than you need for flights.

Paying with Points  

A lesser-known redemption method is Pay with Points when booking Southwest flights. You can use points to pay for all or part of a revenue fare flight.

The value you’ll get per point varies but often will be around 1.4 cents to 1.8 cents each. It’s not quite as lucrative as booking

Conclusion:

Whether your business takes frequent flights on Southwest Airlines or only occasional trips, there is a Southwest business credit card that can maximize your rewards. The Southwest Rapid Rewards cards offer easy earning and redemption of valuable Rapid Rewards points. Perks like the Companion Pass on the Performance card provide even more ways to get the most bang for your buck. By putting your everyday business spend on a card that aligns with your biggest expenses – like airfare – you can quickly rack up points to offset your travel costs. With a payment processing partner like 5 Star Processing, your business can securely accept credit cards and seamlessly integrate points earning. With industry-leading speed, service, and reliability, 5 Star Processing is the best platform for your payment processing needs. Sign up today and start earning rewards on Southwest and beyond.

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