The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card is the best overall credit card from Southwest Airlines. It’s aimed at businesspeople who often fly on Southwest. It has a $199 annual fee (NOT waived the first year), a very attractive sign-up bonus, and some of best earning opportunities and perks of any Southwest credit card.
Southwest Airlines is one of the most popular domestic airlines in the United States. They also offer several co-branded credit cards with Chase because of such popularity. Southwest and Chase released the Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card in June 2019 to much acclaim.
The Southwest Performance Card is the best earner of the Southwest credit card lineup. It earns 3x Rapid Rewards points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases. Also, it earns 2x points on internet, cable, and phone services as well as social media and search engine advertising. Furthermore, it also earns one point per dollar on non-bonus spend. This is a great earning structure for many businesses, especially those whose personnel fly Southwest. Its also far better than the personal Southwest Premier Card, despite having roughly twice the annual fee.
Plus, Chase and Southwest are also offering a sign-up bonus worth 80,000 Rapid Rewards points. It can be earned by spending $5,000 within the first three months. This is an attractive bonus because it leaves new cardholders very close to earning a Southwest Companion Pass for one year. The pass is worth 125,000 points.
Furthermore, the Performance Card comes with an anniversary bonus worth 9,000 points. Cardholders will receive their anniversary bonus upon paying the $199 annual fee. This bonus is also enough points to justify half of the card’s annual fee, assuming a valuation of one cent apiece (CPP). However, many people value Southwest Rapid Rewards points much higher.
This is the most valuable and easy way to redeem Rapid Rewards points. Southwest does not publish an award chart online. Instead, cardholders must go to their website and enter the dates they would like to travel. The website will then show a list of flights and how much they cost in points and cash.
Wanna Get Away fares are the least expensive of the bunch while Business Select tickets are the most expensive. However, the cost of an award ticket is tied to the cash price of the flight. That means there is no need to worry about getting the highest possible redemption value.
Southwest lets cardholders redeem Rapid Rewards points in other ways too. Merchandise, gift cards, and hotel stays are some of the other ways to redeem points. But these options are not valuable because points are often worth less than 1 CPP. Plus, Southwest gives cardholders the option to redeem points for hotels, car rentals, or experiences. However, these options are not valuable either because points are worth less than 1 CPP in value.
Co-branded cards commonly come with benefits that will make traveling easier. The Southwest Priority Card is no exception as it comes some nice perks. However, the card does not come with any luxury perks like airport lounge access.
Cardholders will also receive four Upgraded Boardings each year they have the card. These Boardings are passes that let cardholders upgrade to a better seat for no additional cost. Upgraded Boardings may be purchased at the departure gate or ticket counter on the date of travel. The price (and value) of the Boardings depends on where the cardholder is going.
Free Checked Bags
Southwest will give cardholders their first two checked bags for free just for having the card. Assuming a value of $50 per bag, just two checked bags per year will justify the card’s annual fee.
Free Cancellation and Fare Changes
This benefit lets cardholders cancel or alter their plane tickets for no additional cost. Many other airlines have cancellation or fare change fees and they charge people who need to cancel.
Furthermore, Southwest will give cardholders back their points if they used points to book a flight and they need to cancel or change. Many competing airlines do not do this.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Cardholders will save 3% with the Southwest Premier Card when they use it to travel outside the United States.
Pre-TSA / Global Entry Fee Waiver Credit
This perk is commonplace among premium cards, but it’s also there on some mid-tier cards. The Southwest Performance Card is one of the mid-tier cards with this benefit, which can save cardholders up to $100 depending on which program you pick.
In-Flight Wi-Fi Credits
Southwest provides cardholders with 365 in-flight wi-fi credits per year with the Performance Card. These credits are valued at $8 each. That’s one credit per day for every day of the year (except for leap years).
This is a very nice perk that is not commonly seen on business credit cards. The amount of credits received and its uniqueness are remarkable! Sole proprietors and small businesses could maximize this perk because there are fewer people who would be able to use it.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is the most comparable card to the Southwest Performance. Moreover, it’s a better option for business travelers who are not loyal to a certain airline or hotel. Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that it earns can be transferred to Southwest. This card also has a $95 annual fee (NOT waived the first year), which is roughly half that of the Southwest Card.
The Ink Business Preferred earns one UR point on non-bonus spend and 3x UR points on the following categories:
- General Travel
- Cable & TV Services
- Internet Services
- Phone Services
- Social Media and Search Engine Advertising Purchases
There is a limit of $150,000 per year across all categories. That means it is possible to earn up to 450,000 UR points per year by spending within the categories. Chase has a broad list of what includes travel. Their list includes airfare, hotel stays, a car rental, and toll road fees. This is the same list for qualifying purchases as the Chase Sapphire cards.
The Ink Business Preferred earns more points on more categories than the Southwest Performance Card does. Therefore, it’s a better all-around earner.
Plus, Chase is offering a sign-up bonus worth 80,000 UR points for the Ink Business Preferred. This bonus can be earned by spending $5,000 within the first three months. It also comes with a slew of benefits and travel insurances that the Southwest Performance Card does not come with.
Chase Southwest Priority Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is the personal counterpart to the Southwest Performance Business Card. Both cards are very similar; they both offer the same earning structure, sign-up bonus, and redemption options. However, the Priority has more perks and a higher annual fee.
The Priority Card has a lower $149 annual fee (NOT waived the first year). And it comes with a lower anniversary bonus worth 7,500 Rapid Rewards points. The card also comes with an annual $75 Southwest credit. These two perks together should be enough to justify the Priority Card’s annual fee. The Priority Card also comes with the same other perks as the Premier Card and then some. You will also receive Four Upgraded Boardings (upgraded seats) per year.
The Southwest Priority Card earns just 2x Rapid Rewards points per dollar on Southwest purchases and one for non-bonus spend. This earning structure is standard among personal Southwest cards and it pales in comparison to the Performance Card.
The Priority Card also comes with the same other perks as the Performance Card. The exceptions are the Wi-Fi Credits and Global Entry / Pre-TSA fee waiver credit. You will also receive Four Upgraded Boardings (upgraded seats) per year.
The Southwest Performance Card is the better card for Southwest loyalists. However, the Priority Card is a great alternative for those who don’t qualify for a business credit card.
The Southwest Performance Business Card is the best of the bunch Southwest loyalists and many travelers. It comes with useful perks such as the wi-fi credits and free checked bags that will save cardholders money. The Performance card’s sign-up bonus can also be a way to obtain the Southwest Companion Pass.
Apply Today: Chase Southwest Performance Business Card