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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card review

Published: July 16, 2018

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Published: July 16, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Business Rating:
3.5 rating
3.5 rating
3.5 / 5
Rewards Value 3.2
Annual Percentage Rate 4.1
Rewards Flexibility 4.1
Features 3.0

In a Nutshell:

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card is a high-value airline card that makes it easy to earn flights, gift cards, rental cars and more.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2 miles per dollar on Southwest purchases
  • 1 mile per dollar on other purchases

Sign-up Bonus
60,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months

Annual Fee
$99

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($4,000 monthly spend)
$605

APR
17.74-24.74% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • Points don’t expire as long as your card is open
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit on points you can earn
  • Unlimited rewards seats
  • Fare-based redemptions
  • Redeem for flights, gift cards, merchandise, car rentals, and more
  • Earn a “Companion Pass” that lets a designated companion fly free after you rack up 110,000 miles within a calendar year

Cons

  • International flights are only offered to the Caribbean
  • Redemptions are not fixed and may fluctuate under Southwest’s fare-based system
  • You can only book rewards flights on Southwest, since Southwest doesn’t have any airline partners

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fees, no cost for additional employee cards, secondary car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency services, extended warranties, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance

If you’re looking for an airline credit card that offers miles you can actually use, look no further than the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card. This card doles out miles that belong in the Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program, which features no blackout dates, no capacity controls, and a fare-based redemption system that makes it easy to shop for the best deal.

The card itself can be a valuable addition to any business owner’s wallet — especially the first year. Business owners who sign up for the card will earn an immediate bonus of 60,000 miles after they use their card for $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card, your miles will never expire as long as your card account is open. A 6,000-mile bonus is also offered on your cardmember anniversary, making it easier to keep this card for the long haul. This card does charge a $99 annual fee that is not waived the first year.

Earnings rate is poor for regular purchases

While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card has a slew of benefits, the rate you’ll earn rewards isn’t that great — especially on regular purchases. Once you sign up for this card, you’ll earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend with the airline, plus 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases you make with the card.

Even more ways to earn miles

On the plus side, the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal lets you rack up rewards for regular purchases. To earn extra miles at stores like Sephora, H&R Block and Macys, you only need to log into your account and click through the portal before you make a purchase. Meanwhile, Rapid Rewards Dining offers yet another way to rack up miles at participating restaurants nationwide.

Finally, it’s crucial to note that Southwest partners with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. If you have certain premier Chase travel credit cards, you can transfer points you earn to your Southwest account 1:1. This partnership offers yet another way to earn more miles and more free flights.

At the end of the day, this card’s earning structure isn’t that great, but it’s helpful to know there are additional ways to rack up more miles over time.

Excellent introductory bonus

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card is offering 60,000 miles after you use your card for $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. This bonus is easily one of the biggest available among airline credit cards – we peg its value at $756.

Keep in mind that this bonus could be worth two round-trip flights to the Caribbean or up to three round-trip domestic flights depending on your departure city, dates and other factors.

Use your rewards freely and with few restrictions

While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card is ideal for individuals who fly with the airline, it’s important to note you can redeem your rewards for more than flights. You can cash in miles for gift cards, hotel stays, merchandise, car rentals and even cruises (though the redemption value is poor for most of these options).

If you do decide to redeem for airfare, you’ll find that Southwest’s policies are more than fair and designed to save you money and time. The airline requires no change fees if you want to change your flight or dates — even if you pay with miles.

You can book one-way flights and open jaw flights with your rewards, and there is no booking fee ever. Finally, Southwest offers two free checked bags per person whether you pay in cash or miles, which works out to $200 in average savings for a family of four per round-trip flight.

Limited flight network

While Southwest Rapid Rewards is ideal if you want to score free flights, don’t forget this airline doesn’t fly all over the globe. Southwest flies within the U.S. and to select destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. For that reason, this rewards card is ideal for someone who travels where Southwest flies but less than helpful for everyone else.

Rewards have limited value

While Rapid Rewards are easy to earn and redeem, there’s one downside that comes with redeeming this airline currency – its limited redemption value. We value Southwest miles at 1.26 cents each, which is less than the 2 cents per point or more you can get with many frequent flyer programs.

Other card benefits

If you’re in it for the perks, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card comes with plenty of “extras” including no foreign transaction fees, no cost for additional employee cards, secondary car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency services, extended warranties, purchase protection and baggage delay insurance.

Also keep in mind that the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card can help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass — a benefit that lets a designated companion fly free with you whether you pay with miles or cash. Since you need to earn 110,000 Southwest miles within a calendar year to earn this benefit through the end of the following year, the sign-up bonus on this card will get you more than halfway there.

Why get the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card?

  • You want a huge sign-up bonus good for a few free flights.
  • You are interested in flying domestically or to the Caribbean.
  • You have a premier Chase credit card and plan to transfer miles to your Southwest account to boost your balance even more.
  • You want frequent flyer miles that are easy to use with no hoops to jump through.

How to use Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit card:

  • Use your card to pay for all of your Southwest flights to earn 2 miles per dollar.
  • Spend $3,000 within three months of account opening to score 60,000 bonus miles.

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