Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Overview
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is the airline’s lower-tier business credit card. It offers 3 points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases and 2 points per dollar on rideshare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners. With an annual fee of $99, the Premier card is a great pick for thrifty Southwest loyalists. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Airline-specific credit cards aren’t often the first picks for travel credit cards since they tend to feature limited benefits that only apply to a specific airline. But the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card can be a good choice for small-business owners with its lower annual fee and appealing bonus categories allowing you to earn points on nearly all your expenses.
And right now, you can receive the coveted Southwest Companion Pass from earning the welcome bonus on this card alone.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering the Southwest Premier Business card for your company.
Southwest Premier Business welcome offer
Redeeming points on the Southwest Premier Business
The primary redemption option for Rapid Rewards points is Southwest-operated flights. Southwest follows a simple redemption process: The more expensive a flight is in cash, the more it will cost in points. There’s no outsized value to be had, but that ensures you get relatively consistent value for your rewards.
Redeeming Southwest points is as simple as booking Southwest flights online. Choose “Points” instead of “Dollars” when selecting the flight you want to book on the carrier’s website. You’ll then see the award pricing for your itinerary.
Like all airlines’ award tickets, flights booked with Southwest points will still require payment for additional taxes and fees, which start at $5.60 per way. However, tickets booked with points are fully refundable, and there is no penalty for cancellations (as long as you do it at least 10 minutes before your scheduled departure time).
The airline also offers international flights, hotels and car rentals on its travel portal, but the rates are subpar compared to using your points on Southwest-operated flights.
Southwest Premier Business benefits
The Southwest Premier Business card has a $99 annual fee and offers a fair share of perks that can make it a worthwhile card for occasional Southwest flyers.
Two Early Bird Check-Ins each year: Southwest does not assign seating but instead allows flyers to check in 24 hours before the flight to obtain their boarding position. The earlier you check in, the better the chances of snagging your preferred seat when you board. The Early Bird perk automatically checks you in 36 hours before your flight, 12 hours before flyers without the perk — and you’ll enjoy this perk twice per year with the card.
6,000 anniversary bonus points: On your account anniversary, Southwest will automatically award you 6,000 anniversary bonus points (worth up to $90, according to TPG’s valuations). This alone effectively covers almost all of the card’s annual fee.
Status Boost: You will earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) per $10,000 spent on the Premier card in a year. This can help you earn A-List or A-List Preferred status faster.
Free employee cards: There are no fees for additional employee cards, and the original cardholder will earn points on employee spending. Business owners can contact cardmember services to put a spending limit on employee cards.
$500 fee credit for point transfers: Southwest will cover up to $500 in fees associated with point transfers each year. Transferring Rapid Rewards points to another member typically costs $10 per 1,000 points transferred, so you can transfer up to 50,000 points every year without paying additional fees (after Southwest’s reimbursement).
Southwest also provides benefits to all of its flyers, independent of whether they hold a credit card with the airline or not. These benefits include two free checked bags with every flight, no change fees (flyers do pay any applicable fare difference between the previous and current ticket) and free cancellations — though some tickets are nonrefundable and will be returned as flight credit.
Which cards compete with the Southwest Premier Business?
If you want more benefits or more flexible rewards, one of these cards will be a better fit:
- If you want more Southwest benefits: The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is the more premium Southwest business card available. It has higher earning rates and includes perks like a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit for a higher $199 annual fee. For more details, check out our full review of the Southwest Performance Business.
- If you want more flexible rewards: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to Southwest or any of Chase’s other 13 travel partners. For more details, check out our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.
- If you live near a United hub: The United℠ Business Card has comparable perks for United for a similar $99 annual fee (waived the first year.) For more details, check out our full review of the United Business Card.
Is the Southwest Premier Business worth it?
For business owners who fly Southwest regularly, the fast track to earning a Companion Pass along with the EarlyBird Check-ins and bonus tier qualifying points provides tremendous value for the card’s relatively low $99 annual fee. Still, business owners who rarely fly Southwest will likely find more value in a different card.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is a good option for a loyal Southwest flyer, especially with the opportunity to earn a Companion Pass after earning the current welcome bonus. However, its earning structure and benefits aren’t remarkable, so many business owners will find a better fit in a different card.
Application link: Southwest Premier Business Card
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson.