What’s In My Wallet? – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
January 13, 2020
In this ongoing series of posts, I’ll talk about all the cards I currently own or have owned. I’ll lay out all the benefits and spending strategies. Please note some of the links in this article are referral links.
This is my newest card and my first business card. Business cards are great for a variety of reasons. When I decided to relaunch this site, I wanted to get serious about treating it like a business. I plan on traveling a lot within the US next year so Southwest points are going to be especially valuable to me.
Why I LUV Southwest Airlines
Southwest has been one of my favorite airlines for travel within the US. When I lived in Chicago, they had a hub at Midway (MDW) airport. Being in the Midwest and one of the largest cities, it was easy to find direct flights to New York (LGA) and Connecticut (BDL) to visit friends or Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to see my mom. They fly everywhere in the Continental US. And over the past few years, they have added lots of flights to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
Southwest has the best policy for all kinds of fees. Each passenger gets 2 free checked bags. They don’t charge change fees or cancellation fees. The value of any canceled flights or difference in fees can be used as a credit for future flights within one year of the original purchase. You can even cancel a flight if you see the price drop and book the same ticket.
The one negative I see would be their open seating and boarding policy. This can be tough if you’re traveling with someone and want to sit together. From my experience, if you check-in exactly 24 hours before your flight (set a reminder), you’re usually in a position to find an aisle or window seat. You can then “save” the middle seat for your partner. The only thing to worry about is getting to the gate in time so you don’t lose your boarding position. My flights have never been over 3 hours, so even being stuck with a middle seat isn’t the end of the world.
Southwest Companion Pass
This is arguably the best value in travel. There is technically an unlimited (almost) value. With the Companion Pass, a companion flies free (after paying the $5.60 taxes and fees). To get the pass, you need to “earn” 125,000 Southwest points in one calendar year. This includes point-earning flights, Southwest branded credit card spend, purchases through their shopping portal and dining program, and most importantly, credit card bonuses. What it doesn’t include is point transfers from partners. The companion pass is valid for the year it is earned and the following calendar year. Potentially, you and a companion can travel on Southwest for half off on any flight for almost 2 full years.
Update as of 01/13/2020: All Southwest personal cards are offering up 70,000 initial bonus points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. This makes the Companion Pass even easier to get. Although you can’t get two personal cards, you can combine a personal and business card to reach the minimum.
Which Southwest card should you get?
Chase currently is offering five different Southwest cards, three personal and two business. You can take a look at the charts below for a summary of the benefits.
For the personal cards, the Priority (highest annual fee) card offers the best value. Even though all three have the same initial bonus, the $75 annual credit and extra anniversary points easily cover the difference between the annual fees.
Update as of 01/13/2020: All Southwest personal cards are offering up 70,000 initial bonus points. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
The business cards offer a higher initial bonus but come with a higher minimum spend. The best overall value is the Performance Business card when you include the upgraded boardings, wifi credits, and Global Entry credit.
Depending on your goals, each of these cards provides value. The initial bonuses are all worth the initial annual fee. Southwest points have simple dollar value when redeeming for flights. Each point is worth on average 1.7 cents for their ‘Wanna Get Away’ fares. This varies a bit based on deals and certain flights. This is why some of these Southwest cards are worth keeping even after the initial bonus. For the Premier cards, the 6000 anniversary points are enough for a $100 flight. For the Priority personal card, the $75 flight credit, anniversary points, and upgraded boardings more than cover the annual fee. The Performance business card earns more for Southwest spend (3x) and business categories (2x), and the annual benefits also cover the annual fee. The decision to keep these cards will ultimately fall on whether you will use the benefits.
Chase Application Rules
If you are trying to get the Companion Pass, then you should consider getting 2 of these cards. That might not be as easy considering Chase’s many application rules. They are known to be the toughest cards to approved for. They also have certain rules that will automatically deny your application.
- 5/24 – Chase will reject your application if you have had 5 new cards in the past 24 months. Business and charge cards don’t count as a new card since they don’t go on your credit report.
- 2/30 – Chase will reject if you have had 2 applications in the past 30 days. This only applies to Chase applications.
- Southwest personal cards – You are not eligible for the bonus on a Southwest personal card if you currently own a Southwest personal card OR if you have received a bonus for one of these cards in the past 24 months. This does not apply to business cards.
- Chase business cards – New business cards don’t count towards the 5/24 rule. However, the 5/24 rule applies to applications of new Chase business cards. What?! In other words, getting a new Chase business card doesn’t add a new card to your credit report. But if you have reached your 5 card limit in the past 24 months, Chase will reject your business card application.
It sounds complicated, doesn’t it? The easiest way to get the Companion Pass would be to get both business cards. The intro bonuses together will get you to 130K points. Chase might ask for additional information when applying for multiple business cards. A discussion with a Chase application representative will include various questions about your business to determine if there is a business need. You can also combine a business card and a personal card. But that will require significant more spend to reach the minimum.
All said Southwest is a great airline for travel within the US. They don’t have cancellation fees and allow 2 free checked bags. These cards offer great value with their initial bonus and other benefits. The personal cards have a low minimum spend to get the bonus. Their Companion Pass is unrivaled if that’s your goal. I highly recommend getting one of these cards if just for the initial bonus.