Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card Review

overall rating
3.3

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The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business from Chase carries an annual fee of $199, a cost that is largely justified by the value of its annual points bonus. The card offers 3 points per dollar on Southwest Airlines flights and 2 points on select categories of business spending. Its one-time offers could together be worth nearly $1,500, based on our estimates. When flying Southwest, you get priority boarding and a rebate of in-flight Wi-Fi fees.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

overall rating
3.3
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
On Chase's Secured Site.

Current Offer:

Earn 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $199
Rewards Earning Rate 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines‌® purchases. 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR (%) 24.99%
Cash Advance Fee Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all business cards in our database:
Rewards
Benefits
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is not one of our top-rated business credit cards. You can review our list of the best business credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Pros
  • Multiple points bonuses

  • Respectable rewards, even on some non-Southwest spending

Cons
  • Annual fee and bonus-spending threshold are on the high side

  • No points transfer to other loyalty programs

  • Subpar customer service to businesses from card issuer

Pros Explained

  • Multiple Points Bonuses: The points bonuses with this card begin with two one-time offers, both with fairly hefty spending requirements. Spending $5,000 in your first three months after opening an account earns you 70,000 points, worth an estimated $1,043 when used for Southwest flights (using Investopedia’s valuation of these points at 1.49 cents each). If you then spend a further $20,000, for a total of $25,000 within six months of account opening, you receive an extra 30,000 points, worth an additional $447. In all, then, the rewards from these bonuses might total as much as $1,490 when used for Southwest flights. In addition to these one-time offers, your account receives 9,000 points on each card anniversary. Worth about $134, the value of the annual bonus justifies a portion of the card’s $199 annual fee. The good news: These bonus points count towards reaching the 125,000 annually that are required to earn a free Companion Pass. The bad: They’re not “tier points,” the ones that help you achieve Southwest’s A-List and A-List Preferred tiers, which you can reach only through points earned through spending.
  • Respectable Rewards, Even on Some Non-Southwest Spending: At 3 points per dollar spent (for an average total value of nearly 4.5 cents per dollar), the rewards the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business provides for Southwest spending is more than decent. That’s to be expected for a card that’s co-branded with an airline. Less common from such a card are the 2-points-per-dollar-spent rewards for some common business expenses. With their collective value of almost 3 cents per dollar spent, those earnings compete well with—if not exceed—what you might make on purchases of advertising or telecom services with many other small-business cards. You can also earn points through spending with a number of Southwest car-rental, hotel, and retail partners.      

Cons Explained

  • Annual Fee and Bonus Spending Threshold Are on the High Side: While there are premium co-branded cards with annual fees of $500 or more, the majority of such cards cost $100 or so. That makes the $199 fee for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business on the high side, and it lacks the luxury benefits such as lounge access that are common to the premium cards. Similarly, this card’s one-time offer compares with those of many of the co-branded airline cards costing $100 or so, in both number of points and the bonus’s total value. As a general rule of thumb, the more perks and rewards a business travel credit card offers the higher the annual fee. This card is no exception, with an annual fee of $199. Compared to the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, it's about twice as expensive. 
  • No Points Transfer to Other Loyalty Programs: You can't transfer points earned with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business to any other loyalty program. You can, however, use Rapid Rewards points to redeem for international flights with a number of airlines, as well as for hotel stays, car rentals and merchandise with a number of Southwest partners. The caveat is that the value you’ll get from points is likely to be a third to a half lower for these uses than when points are redeemed for Southwest flights.
  • Subpar Customer Service to Businesses from Card Issuer: Businesses don’t necessarily interact with their credit card issuer very often. But when that’s necessary, it’s often a matter of some urgency and even stress, and you want a satisfying experience. Unfortunately, that’s less likely to be the case for businesses who deal with Chase, which issues Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business, than with most other card issuers. In the 2019 J.D. Power Small-Business Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study, Chase ranks in the lowest group, in a virtual tie with U.S. Bank as the least-satisfying issuer of business credit cards among nine that are scored. Chase’s score of 833 out of 1,000 was 14 points below the national average.

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Loyalty Status Seeker Persona
    Seeks the recognition and perks of branded travel partner status
    Loyalty Status Seeker
  • Avatar for Frequent Flyer Persona
    Flies often for business or leisure
    Frequent Flyer
  • Avatar for International Traveler Persona
    Travels outside of U.S. on occasion or frequently
    International Traveler
  • Avatar for Business Owner Persona
    Earning a primary or side income from a small business
    Business Owner

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business could be well suited even to business travelers who fly with Southwest Airlines only a few times a year. In part, that’s because the card’s annual 9,000-point anniversary bonus is (at 1.49 cents per point) worth about $134 when used for Southwest flights. The value of rewards from buying tickets and other benefits of the card, from rebates on the $8 WiFi fee (limited to 365 $8 credits per year for all Wi-Fi transactions on the overall business account per year) to the credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, could easily provide more than $200 in annual value.

As far as rewards go, this card is also especially well-suited to businesses who are seeking better rewards on advertising and telecom expenses than the single point or cent most cards provide. Provided you’re fine with earnings that are best redeemed for Southwest flights, the 2 points per dollar the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business provides on this spending may be a fine option. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card One-Time Offer

This card has a one-time offer that’s generous, if a bit onerous in terms of spending. It comprises two parts. You can earn 70,000 points if you spend $5,000 within the first three months after opening the card’s account--in other words, an average of $1,667 monthly. Those 70,000 points would be worth $1,043 in reward travel, based on our valuation of 1.49 cents for Southwest points when used for flights on the carrier.Spending a further $20,000 within the subsequent ten months, for a total of $25,000 in your first year, earns an additional 30,000 points, worth $447.

Rewards Earning Details

This card features three rewards tiers, which together afford plenty of opportunities to accrue points toward free flights. 

First, you can earn 3 points per dollar on purchases made directly with Southwest Airlines. That includes:

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

Points are unlimited so the more you spend, the more you can earn. At the second tier, you can earn 2 points per dollar on:

  • Internet, cable, and cell-phone services
  • Social media and search engine advertising

Lastly, you can earn 1 point per dollar for all other purchases. That means you can get rewarded on everything from office supplies to dinner with clients, again with no limits or spending caps. 

In addition, each year on your card anniversary, you receive 9,000 bonus points. This recurring bonus is worth about $134 a year. 

Rewards Redemption Details

Points earned with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card can be redeemed in a number of ways. You can use them for:

  • Southwest Airlines flights
  • International flights with 50+ global carriers
  • Gift cards from more than 70 merchants
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Merchandise

In terms of stretching the value of your points, the best option is to book flights with Southwest. Redemptions with other air carriers typically offer less value, and those for gift cards and merchandise typically offer the least return of all for your points. 

Southwest makes it a little tougher than some carriers to determine how far your points will take you, since the airline doesn't publish an awards chart. But doing a few sample bookings can give you at least a rough idea of the points required to award seats to destinations that interest you. There are three fare classes: Business Select, Anytime and Wanna Get Away. Business Select fares require the most points, while Wanna Get Away fares require the least. 

Here's an example to illustrate how the points minimum to redeem can vary. Say you're booking a one-way flight from Chicago to New York. For that, you'd need:

  • 35,451 points for a Business Select ticket
  • 33,855 points for an Anytime ticket
  • 13,424 points for a Wanna Get Away ticket

Price aside, a key difference with Business Select and Anytime fares is that the points required to book them are refundable, where those for Wanna Get Away fares are not. So while you could save some points by going for the lower fare, you would lose the entire amount in the event you need to cancel your trip. Making changes to your itinerary would trigger a points penalty, much like the change fees you pay on a ticket you buy with money. 

Some business travel cards have restrictions on when and how you can redeem rewards for award travel. This card makes booking business trips as simple as possible by allowing you to redeem points for flights on Southwest or international airlines with no blackout dates or restrictions. 

Transferring Points

Points earned with this card don't transfer to other frequent-flyer programs. However, you can use them to redeem points for international flights with more than 50 carriers. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

Any time you're earning travel rewards, it's helpful to look at how you can maximize your earnings. Here are two examples of different spending scenarios and the points you could earn. 

Average Case

Let's say you have a small business and you're the sole proprietor. You spend $12,000 a year on business travel with Southwest, $12,000 on advertising and telecom bills, and $12,000 on other business purchases. 

Altogether, that spending would earn you 72,000 points annually ($12,000 x 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest flights = 36,000 points. Then $12,000 x 2 points per dollar on the ads and telecom spending = 24,000 points. Finally, $12,000 x 1 point per dollar on the miscellaneous spending = 12,000 points). Add in the 9,000-point anniversary bonus and you'd have 81,000 points to work with. If you always redeem for Southwest flights, those points would be worth $1,207 in travel value, assuming you indeed earn our estimated average value of 1.49 cents per point. 

Aspirational Case

Now, let’s say you have five employees, all of whom have cards on the account. And that your total business spending comes to triple the average amounts above: $36,000 for Southwest purchases, $36,000 for advertising and telecom bills, and $36,000 for other purchases. 

In that case, you'd earn 216,000 points annually ($36,000 x 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest flights = 108,000 points. Then $36,000 x 2 points per dollar on the ads and telecom spending = 72,000 points. Finally, $36,000 x 1 point per dollar on the miscellaneous spending = 36,000 points). With the anniversary bonus, you'd have 225,000 points to work with. That could be worth $3,353 in travel value if you're booking Southwest flights. 

You can also earn up to 50,000 points annually when you refer friends who qualify for and open a Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business account.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card’s Outstanding Benefits

This card comes with several added travel benefits that make it an exceptional choice.

  • Earn the Companion Pass faster: The Southwest Companion Pass allows someone to fly with you free of airline charges when a seat is available. Normally, to qualify you need to book 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points. Points earned with this card, including from bonuses, count toward your Companion Pass qualifying points total. 
  • Upgraded boardings: Cardmembers can also enjoy up to four upgraded boardings per year, when they're available. Upgraded boardings are reimbursed to you as a statement credit. 
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit: When you charge TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to your card, you can get up to a $100 statement credit toward the application fee. This benefit is available every four years. 
  • In-flight W-Fi credits: If you purchase inflight WiFi when traveling, you can get a credit for that as well. Cardmembers are eligible to receive 365 $8 credits per year. 

Standard Benefits

You also get these benefits as a cardmember:

  • Auto-rental collision damage waiver
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty protection
  • Baggage-delay insurance
  • Travel-accident insurance
  • Travel-emergency assistance services
  • Lost-luggage reimbursement
  • Roadside dispatch

Cardholder Experience

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card is issued by Chase, which scored an 833 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Small Business Credit Card Study. This score is below the industry average of 849 for credit-card satisfaction in serving businesses, and is only slightly above that of U.S. Bank, which received the lowest score among the nine issuers ranked for service to businesses.

If you need customer service support, you can log in to your online account to send a secure email. Or you can call 1-800-272-7338 or reach out to Chase via Twitter @ChaseSupport at any time. 

Security Features

Chase, the card issuer, takes the standard security measures to protect your card and account information. For example, cards come with chip technology and you have the option to set up fraud notifications or alerts to monitor account activity. 

Fees to Watch Out For

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card has the typical fees you'd expect, though the cash advance fee is a bit more than what other cards charge. One fee upside, though, is that you'll pay no foreign transaction charge for purchases made with foreign vendors. 

Our Verdict

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business is a great option if you don't want to commit to the higher annual fee for a luxury travel card, but still want more rewards and benefits than a standard business travel card offers.If you travel regularly with Southwest, you shouldn't find it difficult to earn rewards-value sufficient to easily justify the annual fee, especially after the value of the annual points bonus is taken into account.

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For Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
on Chase's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
overall rating
3.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 15.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $199
Rewards Earning Rate 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines‌® purchases. 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.