THE POINTS GUY
This offer is worth up to $1,800, according to TPG’s valuations. This is an impressive sign-up offer, especially for a card with a $99 annual fee, and is the
best we’ve seen on this card.
In addition to the points value, remember that sign-up bonuses from Southwest cards count toward
Companion Pass qualification. You must earn 135,000 Rapid Rewards points to qualify for a Companion Pass. If you qualify for the full 120,000-point bonus, you’ll have spent $15,000 — earning at least 15,000 points in addition to your bonus and bringing you to at least 135,000 points when your bonus points post. Add onto this the 10,000 bonus qualifying points that all Southwest cardholders receive each year — for a total of at least 145,000 qualify points — and you’ll automatically qualify for the Companion Pass with just this one card bonus.
The Companion Pass, once earned, is valid for the remainder of the year and the following year, so earning it as early into the year as possible will help you receive the maximum benefit of the pass. So try to meet the (admittedly high) $15,000 spending requirement as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of the Companion Pass for the maximum amount of months remaining in 2023 and all of 2024.
Related: How to use the Southwest Companion Pass Earning points on the Southwest Premier Business
Southwest Premier Business card earns:
3 points per dollar on Southwest Airlines purchases
2 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners
2 points per dollar for local transit and commuting, including rideshare services
1 point per dollar for all other eligible purchases
DAVID SLOTNICK/THE POINTS GUY
Redeeming points on the Southwest Premier Business
The primary redemption option for
Rapid Rewards points is Southwest-operated flights. Southwest follows a simple redemption process: The more expensive a flight is in cash, the more it will cost in points. There’s no outsized value to be had, but that ensures you get relatively consistent value for your rewards.
Redeeming Southwest points is as simple as booking Southwest flights online. Choose “Points” instead of “Dollars” when selecting the flight you want to book on the carrier’s website. You’ll then see the award pricing for your itinerary.
Like all airlines’ award tickets, flights booked with Southwest points will still require payment for additional taxes and fees, which start at $5.60 per way. However, tickets booked with points are fully refundable, and there is no penalty for cancellations (as long as you do it at least 10 minutes before your scheduled departure time).
The airline also offers international flights, hotels and car rentals on its travel portal, but the rates are subpar compared to using your points on Southwest-operated flights.
Related: How to redeem Southwest Rapid Rewards points Southwest Premier Business benefits
Southwest Premier Business card has a $99 annual fee and offers a fair share of perks that can make it a worthwhile card for occasional Southwest flyers.
Two Early Bird Check-Ins each year: Southwest does not assign seating but instead allows flyers to check in 24 hours before the flight to obtain their boarding position. The earlier you check in, the better the chances of snagging your preferred seat when you board. The Early Bird perk automatically checks you in 36 hours before your flight, 12 hours before flyers without the perk — and you’ll enjoy this perk twice per year with the card.
6,000 anniversary bonus points: On your account anniversary, Southwest will automatically award you 6,000 anniversary bonus points (worth up to $90, according to TPG’s valuations). This alone effectively covers almost all of the card’s annual fee.
Status Boost: You will earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) per $10,000 spent on the Premier card in a year. This can help you earn A-List or A-List Preferred status faster.
KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY
Free employee cards: There are no fees for additional employee cards, and the original cardholder will earn points on employee spending. Business owners can contact cardmember services to put a spending limit on employee cards.
$500 fee credit for point transfers: Southwest will cover up to $500 in fees associated with point transfers each year. Transferring Rapid Rewards points to another member typically costs $10 per 1,000 points transferred, so you can transfer up to 50,000 points every year without paying additional fees (after Southwest’s reimbursement).
Southwest also provides benefits to all of its flyers, independent of whether they hold a credit card with the airline or not. These benefits include two
free checked bags with every flight, no change fees (flyers do pay any applicable fare difference between the previous and current ticket) and free cancellations — though some tickets are nonrefundable and will be returned as flight credit.
Related: Why Southwest might be the best airline Which cards compete with the Southwest Premier Business?
If you want more benefits or more flexible rewards, one of these cards will be a better fit:
For additional options, please see our full list of
best business and airline credit cards.
Related: Which Southwest Business card is right for you? Is the Southwest Premier Business worth it?
For business owners who fly Southwest regularly, the fast track to earning a Companion Pass along with the EarlyBird Check-ins and bonus tier qualifying points provides tremendous value for the card’s relatively low $99 annual fee. Still, business owners who rarely fly Southwest will likely find more value in a different card.
LULIIA BONDAR/GETTY IMAGES
Related: How to get the best seats on Southwest Airlines Bottom line
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is a good option for a loyal Southwest flyer, especially with the opportunity to earn a Companion Pass after earning the current welcome bonus. However, its earning structure and benefits aren’t remarkable, so many business owners will find a better fit in a different card.
Application link: Southwest Premier Business Card
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson.