Is the Southwest Performance Business Credit Card annual fee worth it?
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Chase recently introduced a brand new card you’ll want to add to your wallet — the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card. Small business owners who like Southwest should have a hard look at it. With more opportunities to rack up points with the airline and valuable benefits and perks, there’s no argument that the card packs a punch.
Currently, the Southwest Performance Business Card is offering a sign-up bonus of 70,000 Southwest points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. That initial return alone will cover the cost of the $199 annual fee over and over again.
However, the annual fee is a factor to consider, and one may still wonder if the Southwest Performance Business card annual fee is worth it.
Is the Southwest Performance Business Credit Card annual fee worth it?
On top of the attractive 70,000-point sign-up bonus, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card offers an annual points bonus to keep the points coming. The card can also help to give you a great travel experience (especially when flying Southwest), too!
We’re just scratching the surface here, though. Let’s get into some perks.
Huge welcome bonus
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business card has an impressive initial bonus of 70,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. Southwest points value tends to be 1.5 cents each, making this welcome bonus alone is worth ~$1,050 in Southwest flights.
The most incredible part about this gigantic bonus is that the points count toward the coveted Southwest Companion Pass. The Companion Pass allows you to bring a friend or family member along with you, every single time you fly Southwest, for just the cost of taxes and fees (usually $5.60 each way for domestic flights). This could save you thousands depending on how often you fly.
To secure the Companion Pass, you must earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. If you were to open this card and another Southwest credit card, you’d have more than 90% of the points you need to qualify. Read our guide on how to earn Southwest points to see how simple it can be to reach the Companion Pass.
If that’s not enough for you, don’t worry — you’ll also receive an additional 9,000 Southwest points, worth around $135 in Southwest flights, every year on your card anniversary. These points make a difference in the value of the card. They help offset the annual fee each year on top of what you’ve made from the sign up bonus. The cost is essentially cut by more than half when considering the return of just this one perk. To see how to put these Southwest points to work, see our analysis on the best ways to use Southwest points.
On top of the points bonuses that the card offers, cardholders will also find value in the card through its spending categories. A couple are pretty predictable, but one is a little unique. All three, though, will allow you to dip into this cards extensive returns.
- 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases
- 2 points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
- 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
For those who spend a lot in these bonus categories, these points can add up quickly.
A better travel experience with Southwest
When you are approved for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business card, you’ll be upgrading your flying experience with a couple of the card’s attractive perks.
Your travel experience improves from there. You’ll receive four upgraded boardings per cardmember year (boarding positions A1 to A15), which means less time spent idling in line while waiting for your fellow passengers to board and more time to pick the most optimal spot on the plane. Upgraded boardings cost $30, $40 or $50 depending on the flight, so this perk is worth up to $200.
Also, every four years, you’ll receive a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit to help you speed through airport lines. This benefit alone is worth up to $100.
Another amazing benefit of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business card is its inflight Wi-Fi credits that can be applied on any Southwest flight. You’ll receive up to 365 Wi-Fi credits (worth $8 each) per year. For business travelers who want to maximize the valuable time spent in the air, this perk is pretty much priceless.
Upgrade your business
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business card encourages small business owners to keep doing what they’re doing by targeting the spend that’s important to the customer. Earning 2 points per dollar on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable and phone services can mean huge returns on some of the most important and oftentimes costly expenditures of a business.
Another great perk of having the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business card? Your employees can receive the card at no additional cost, and their spending on the card also earns you points.
What about other Southwest business cards?
While the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card is a great addition to a small business owner’s wallet, Southwest also has another comparable option to consider: the slightly less expensive (and less dazzling) Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. It has a $99 annual fee.
The Southwest Premier Business Card has a welcome bonus of 60,000 Southwest points (worth ~$900 based on Southwest points value) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. On this card, though, the spending categories are a little different.
Cardholders will earn 2 Southwest points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases (instead of the Performance card’s 3x points in that category) and 1 Southwest point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Premier cardholders won’t get that 2x points per dollar spent on social media and search engine advertising and internet, cable and phone services.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business card also offers a great anniversary points bonus of 6,000 Southwest points (worth ~$90 in Southwest flights), as opposed to the Performance’s 9,000 points.
While the Premier card won’t give cardholders all of the other perks of the Southwest Performance card, it still provides some of the other benefits that the Performance card does. With the Southwest Premier, you’ll still have the advantage of no foreign transaction fees and the ability to earn Tier Qualifying points toward Southwest status.
So, if you’re not completely sold on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business card, the Premier card is a great alternative with a lower annual fee.
The brand new Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card is an excellent option for small business owners. Benefits like a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, four upgraded boardings per year and inflight Wi-Fi credits make this card extra valuable on top of the outstanding 70,000 Southwest point sign-up bonus. Yes, it comes with a $199 annual fee, but remember that you’ll also receive 9,000 bonus points each cardmember anniversary, which is worth $135, (well over half that fee). For more detailed information on the card, you can read our review of the Southwest Performance Business card.
To be in the know with all things travel and credit cards, sign up for the Million Mile Secrets newsletter.
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)