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Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Review: Earn a Companion Pass

(4 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Frequent travel can take a toll on your business budget. So why not earn back some of what you spend as travel points?

The could be a good choice if you want to earn unlimited points on Southwest Airlines purchases. This card also allows you to earn points on everyday business purchases. 

You might consider this card if you're interested in earning the Southwest Companion Pass. Not to mention, you can enjoy plenty of other benefits as a Southwest Rapid Rewards member. 

This card does have a $99 annual fee but between points and card perks, you could easily make it up.

But should you choose this card over another airline or business travel card?

Learn more about the full range of benefits the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card offers to decide for yourself.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Earn unlimited points toward Southwest Airlines flights on every purchase
  • Fast-track your way to the Southwest Companion Pass
  • Free checked bags and pay no change fees on Southwest flights
  • No foreign transaction fee and no blackout dates to worry about when booking flights
  • No points transfer to other airline frequent flyer programs
  • Redemption values may fluctuate
  • International travel is limited to the Caribbean

Earn Points Toward Free Flights

If you're looking for a simple way to earn airline points for award travel, you'll find it with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. 

This card offers unlimited two points per dollar on Southwest purchases, including:

  • Flights
  • In-flight purchases
  • Southwest gift cards
  • Southwest Vacations packages
  • Purchases made at participating hotel and rental car partners

You can earn points when you spend with no blackout dates or restrictions. The more you travel with Southwest, the more points you can rack up. 

For example, spending $10,000 a year on Southwest purchases would net 20,000 points for your business. Spending $100,000 would yield 200,000 points. 

Aside from that, you also earn one point per dollar on all other purchases. So you could earn points when paying your business's internet bill, purchasing office supplies or buying ad space on social media. 

Those are just the regular rewards. This card also offers three other ways to earn additional points:

  • Introductory points sign-up bonus
  • Annual account anniversary bonus
  • Annual referral bonus

Welcome bonus

In terms of the introductory points bonus, this card is comparable to what you'll find with other airline co-branded business rewards cards.

Hitting the minimum spending requirement shouldn't be much of a stretch either. 

Anniversary bonus

The anniversary bonus points are added to your rewards balance without you having to do anything at all.

This is a bonus you get simply for being a cardmember. 

Referral bonus

Referring people to this card can pay off in a big way if you're earning referral bonus points.

There's a cap on the number of referral bonuses you can get each year but it's an easy way to score more points. 

Employee cards

Another way to increase points earnings is to add on employee cards if your business has employees.

There's no fee to add employee cards and you can set spending controls and limits to manage what's charged to each card.

Get the Southwest Companion Pass Faster

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most valuable perks of the Rapid Rewards program. 

With the Companion Pass, you can choose one person to fly with you free of charge if there's a seat available. Airport taxes and fees apply but the fare itself is free. 

Normally to earn the Companion Pass, you'd need to book 100 one-way qualifying flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points. That might be a stretch if you don't fly that often but you can make a dent in the points total using the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card. 

Points earned with this card count toward your qualifying points total. There are some exclusions, however. 

These points won't help you snag the Companion Pass:

  • Purchased points
  • Transferred/gifted points
  • Points earned from program enrollment
  • Tier bonus points
  • Flight bonus points
  • Points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Partner program transfers
  • Purchased promotional tier qualifying points

Being able to qualify for the Companion Pass could be a huge money-saver if you typically fly with a companion or colleague. 

What Else Do You Get With the Card?

There are a few other features of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card you might appreciate. Additional card benefits include: 

  • First and second checked bags free
  • No change fees
  • Unlimited reward seats when you book with international travel partners
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

It's worth pointing out one thing you don't get with this card: points transfers to travel partners. 

Southwest doesn't offer any points transfer to other airline or hotel loyalty programs. You can, however, redeem your points for award travel with more than 50 international carriers for flights to the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.

Fees

The cash advance fee is a little unusual in that it's a bit higher than what you'd normally expect from a business credit card. But considering the higher APR for cash advances, this might be something you plan to avoid. 

The regular variable APR on purchases and balance transfers is also on the higher side. If you're planning to carry a balance at all, that's something to keep in mind. 

In terms of the annual fee, this card is in line with what you might pay for other airline co-branded business travel cards. 

Compared to Other Business Credit Cards

Here are a few other business travel cards to keep in mind when comparing options. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business

The is a premium travel card. Some of this card's best features include: 

  • A generous introductory points bonus
  • Earning three points per dollar on Southwest purchases instead of two
  • Upgraded boardings
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credits
  • Premium in-flight Wi-Fi credit

This card could be a good choice if you travel for business on a regular basis. The trade-off is that you'll pay a $199 annual fee to have it. 

Chase Ink Business Preferred 

The  is suited for travel spending but it's also rewarding for everyday business purchases. 

This card offers three points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services and advertising services purchased on social media and search engines. 

All other purchases earn unlimited one point per dollar.

What's really great about this card is that points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This card has a $95 annual fee.

Read the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card editor's review.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

The  offers unlimited two miles per dollar on every purchase.

This card also comes with extras like a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit and free employee cards. 

You'll pay no foreign transaction fee and you can redeem miles for travel with no blackout dates or restrictions.

The annual fee is $0 the first year, then $95 thereafter.

Read the Capital One Spark Miles for Business Credit Card editor's review.

Applying for a Business Credit Card

Applying for a business credit card isn't that different from getting a personal credit card. When completing the application you'll need to give the credit card company:

  • Your name 
  • Your business name
  • Your personal address and the address of your business
  • Social security number or tax identification number
  • Number of employees
  • Annual revenue
  • What industry the business is in
  • Length of operating history

You don't need to be an established business to get a business credit card. If you have a newer business, the credit card company will look at your personal credit and income to decide whether to approve you. 

Remember that business credit cards are designed to be used for business expenses. The rewards you could earn, your spending limits, the fees and APR may be very different from a personal credit card. 

Business credit card activity is reported to the business credit bureaus and shows up on your business credit report.

Just keep in mind:

Business credit cards can affect personal credit scores. 

If you applied for a business credit card using your social security number, negative account information, such as late payments or defaults, could be reported to the personal credit bureaus. 

Final Verdict

The is suited to business travelers who regularly fly with Southwest and want to earn unlimited points for award travel.

This card may also catch the eye of any business owner who's interested in cashing in on the money-saving potential of the Companion Pass.

The biggest drawback may be the lack of points transfer options.

While you can book international trips with global carriers, your destination choices are limited. A card like Chase Ink Business Preferred could offer more flexibility when booking travel. 

With any business travel card you choose, keep the annual fee and APR in mind.

Remember that the best way to avoid interest charges is to pay your balance in full each month.