One of the best perks of frequenting Southwest Airlines flights is earning Rapid Rewards points to redeem later for free tickets, upgrades, and more. You can boost your earnings by using the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and its 5,000-point sign-up bonus upon approval, but this credit card also has some drawbacks that may outweigh the benefits to you. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this credit card, so read on if you want to learn more about it!
About the Card
The Premier Business Credit Card from Southwest Airlines is a major credit card option for many business travelers. The sign-up bonus is 65,000 points when spending $3,000 within the first three months of opening an account. The annual fee of $99 is waived for the first year. Spend up to $10,000 and earn 3x points; spend over $10,000 and get 2x points; at the end of your billing cycle, you’ll receive 2x points on all purchases for a total of 6x!
Benefits & Features
One major benefit of the card is that it offers one free companion pass each year for your entire account (e.g., you and your spouse, or parent/child). The card also earns points at a rate of one point per dollar spent on everyday purchases with no cap. The annual fee for the Premier Business Credit Card is $99, which does not have a waived first year. There are no foreign transaction fees and the introductory purchase APR period is not subject to an interest rate increase if the promotional period expires with a balance of $1 or more. Finally, there are some exclusive perks offered to cardholders such as airport lounge access, mobile phone insurance when using your device abroad, and additional car rental privileges.
Pros & Cons
If you’re an avid traveler who has only been flying Southwest Airlines, the newly-released Premier credit card can be a fantastic tool for earning points that convert to free flights. However, if you don’t fly with this airline often and/or already have a high-paying rewards card for your personal needs, it might not be worth the annual fee. Here are some pros and cons to think about before committing.
+ Increased earn rate of 2x points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines purchases – As the new Premier credit card, this is an impressive increase from 1x points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
How Do You Qualify?
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business credit card requires an average purchase requirement of $12,000 per year, with a minimum of $50,000 within the first year. Cardholders will earn 40,000 points when they spend their first $10,000. After that, cardholders will earn two points for every dollar spent on all purchases made with the card. Points can be redeemed for free flights on Southwest airlines which cost up to 9¢ per point for travel charges and taxes due at the time of booking. Points are worth 1¢ each when used to book flights that charge more than 9¢ per point in flight costs and taxes at the time of booking.
What About Interest Rates?
A card’s interest rate can be the deciding factor for many people when it comes to determining if they should take the time to apply. The credit card from Southwest has an APR of 17.74% – 24.74% Variable and is below average for a business card. And there is no penalty APR, which means that your interest rate won’t skyrocket for late payments or over-the-limit purchases like some cards do.
How Much Are The Fees?
One of the great things about this card is the low introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases, from 0% for the first 18 months and then 17.24%-25.24% (Variable). The one thing that may be concerning to some people is that there’s no fee for transferring a balance, which makes it easier to accumulate debt while paying very little interest. Balance transfers have a 3% fee and cash advances have a 5% fee, which can help offset some of those costs but can make carrying a balance more expensive over time.
The intro bonus points expire after 18 months, so if you plan on traveling with the airline at least once every 6 months or so you’ll get a nice bonus by applying for this card before 2020.
How Can I Earn Points / Airmiles, Etc.?
A fast way to earn points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit card is by using it to purchase flights, whether you’re paying with cash or redeeming points. With every dollar spent on a flight, you’ll get 2 points. However, when you use your card for other purchases, you’ll only get 1 point per dollar spent. Plus, there’s no foreign transaction fee so it’s good for business travel and especially if you don’t want to use miles or work through a rewards program like Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel and want an easier way to earn free flights from 2x the points per $1 spent on flights when booked with the credit card.
What If I Want To Cancel My Account After Six Months?
After your account is set up, you can close your account at any time. The credit card company charges a $25 fee for this and all outstanding balances will be paid off. If you do not close the account within twelve months of opening it, then you will have to pay a monthly maintenance fee of $45 per month, which increases to $75 per year after the first year. This makes it worth checking if you’re going to cancel the card before they get around to charging you that higher rate.
What Happens To The Points / Airmiles If I Cancel My Account After Six Months?
Unfortunately, you have to hold onto your card for six months before you can cancel it. If you do cancel before six months, you will lose any rewards or points that are on the account. So if you want to get rid of your card at all, make sure it’s only temporary. Once the six-month period is up, you’ll be able to call them and cancel without penalty. That way, you won’t lose any points from canceling early.
If You Want To Avoid The Annual Fee – Join One Of These Other Cards: There are a few cards out there that don’t charge an annual fee. You could use these instead so you won’t have to worry about paying every year.
One Alternative Is The American Express Blue Business Plus Card which also offers 2x Membership Rewards Points on every purchase but doesn’t offer as many perks as the SWA business credit card does. Another option is the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard which has no annual fee but also doesn’t offer bonus miles for being a loyal customer with this specific airline like this card does either.
Bonus Tip #1 – Double Dip! Use A Personal Card And Get An Additional Companion Pass (Worth $1000+) Section: Bonus Tip #2 – Double Dip 2!: Use Points From Another Program to Buy A Faster Ticket (Ex. Flying Blue Miles Into Delta Skymiles) Section: Back To Table Of Contents
As a business owner, there are two ways to look at the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business CreditCard for personal and business expenses. First, if you fly enough for both personal and business purposes, then this card is an excellent choice. The perks are great, and if you are already earning points from another program (think Flying Blue miles) you can use those points to buy a ticket or purchase a seat upgrade faster with this card.