Even before the improved welcome offers, Southwest’s co-branded business credit cards weren’t too shabby. Both cards charge an annual fee, which can be justifiable for the right consumer who can take advantage of the airline-related perks.

The lower-tier Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card* has a $99 annual fee and earns 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases, 2 points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car partners and local transit and commuting. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Other notable benefits of this card include:

  • 6,000 bonus points each year after your card member anniversary
  • 25% back on inflight purchases
  • Reimbursements for two early check-ins each year
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List elite status for every $5,000 spent with your card

For small business owners who live near a Southwest hub or frequently travel for business, the more costly Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card* may be a better fit. At a $199 annual fee, it earns 4 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases, 3 points per dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per dollar spent on local transit, including rideshares, commuting, social media, search engine advertising, internet, cable and phone services. Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Cardholders also receive:

  • 9,000 points each card member anniversary
  • Four upgraded boardings per year (subject to availability)
  • 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits, which could be handy for working while traveling
  • 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List status for every $5,000 spent

The notable difference with the Performance Business card that helps justify its higher annual fee is its statement credit of up to $100 every four years for the application fee for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS. For frequent business travelers, enrolling in a Trusted Traveler Program can save you hours at the airport, making this a valuable perk.

Which Southwest credit card is the better fit for you is ultimately an individual decision, so make sure to weigh each card’s annual fee against how likely you are to actually use its perks. Either way, the sizable welcome bonuses can help offset the cards’ annual fees for years if you plan on redeeming your points for high-value award tickets.

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Last Update: June 27, 2024