15 Things I Love About the Southwest Performance Card

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New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Chase has a brand new premium Southwest Airlines business card. It’s a great card in its own right but they’ve launched it with an enormous initial bonus offer to generate attention and it’s worth getting the card if you can. I genuinely don’t expect they’ll keep this offer around.

In fact this is the card I want most right now, because it makes earning a companion pass a gimme and I’d be able to travel with my wife and daughter (less than one year old) for just the cost of a single ticket — and the points from the card go a long way to a bunch of those tickets, especially when I then top off with Chase Ultimate Rewards points which’ll essentially become doubled in value.

  1. 80,000 Point Initial Bonus Offer after $5,000 or more in purchases during the first 3 months from account opening. That’s the biggest Southwest Airlines card offer I’ve ever seen, in fact I’ve never seen an offer of 80,000 or more points for a U.S. airline card with an annual fee under $450 that wasn’t intended to be targeted.

  2. Almost all the way to a companion pass that’ll last through 2020. 110,000 points in a calendar year earns a companion pass which means bringing someone along with you, whether you’re spending money or points when you travel, for just taxes. The initial bonus plus the points earned on the card from spending count towards that total. When you earn a companion pass — and this offer gets you most of the way there — it’s valid for the rest of the calendar year and the entire next calendar year.

  3. 80,000 Points are Worth ~ $1200 in Travel. In cash terms I value Southwest points at 1.3 cents apiece though they buy about 1.5 cents apiece in travel. An 80,000 point offer should get you around $1200 in Southwest Airlines travel.

  4. You Can Leverage the Bonus for ~ $2400 in Travel. A companion pass is valid on award travel, which means in addition to spending points at ~ 1.5 cents apiece towards your own travel you can redeem and have your designated companion join you for no additional points (just the taxes). That means once you earn a companion pass you’re able to get nearly 3 cents per point in value from those 80,000 points or nearly $2400 in travel from the initial bonus alone.

  5. Faster points-earning that counts towards companion pass. Here’s points earning with this new card: 3x on Southwest Airlines purchases, as well as hotel and car rental partner purchases through Southwest’s website; 2x social media + search ads and internet/cable/phone; 1x on everything else.

  6. 4 upgraded boardings per year, A1-15 boarding, which you purchase at the gate and get statement credit back for.

    southwest performance business card priority boarding

  7. Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years. Already have Global Entry? You can use the statement credit for someone else all that’s required is that the application fee be charged to the card.

  8. Southwest Airlines inflight wifi credits. I regularly pay $8 per flight for internet on Southwest Airlines. This card will give you up to 365 wifi purchase credits per year.

  9. 9000 Southwest anniversary points with card renewal each year. Those count towards your next companion pass, too, and alone provide nearly enough value to cover the card’s $199 annual fee [and more than cover it if you have a companion pass].

  10. Spend towards elite status. As with other Southwest co-brand cards spending contributes towards elite status: 1500 tier qualifying points for each $10,000 in purchases (up to $100,000 in purchases annually or 15,000 tier qualifying points). After getting a boarding pass in the C-50s in May when I bought a Southwest ticket after my American Airlines flight cancelled, I realized how much I value Southwest status since it meant I still got a nice aisle seat with more legroom than American, Delta, or United offer in many of their seats.

  11. Use the points to go more places than you’d think. While Southwest carries more domestic passengers than any other airline they now fly domestically to Hawaii and they also fly to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

  12. Available to more people than you’d think. Chase suggests that getting a small business card is one of the things you should do as you start your business, that it’s often the first resource many business owners look to as they start to grow. A small business card allow yous to separate business from personal expenses and builds the credit history and identity of your business.

  13. Includes travel and other protections with Citi eliminating most of their add-on insurance protections, and many travel protections not included with American Express cards, it’s notable that this still gets you benefits like purchase protection; extended warranty; lost luggage; baggage delay; roadside assistance.

  14. Doesn’t add to your 5/24 total. While you still generally need to have gotten fewer than 5 new cards in the past 24 months to be approved, getting a Chase small business doesn’t increase your 5/24 total. So if you’re under 5/24 and get this card you’ll still be under 5/24.

  15. No annual fee employee cards let you leverage the wifi statement credits and use spend from more people towards your companion pass.

Southwest Airlines is the largest carrier in my home airport, and I have status with them. This card would get a lot of use if it were in my wallet. I’ve been focused largely on new small business cards that don’t add to my 5/24 total, I just hope this 80,000 point initial bonus offer is still around when I’m able to pull the trigger.

New! Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. no. 4 is not true – the sign up bonus and the value of the companion pass are completely independent. The companion pass may be worth $0 – $1,200, $1,200, or way more than $1,200. I would like for this approach on valuation to be discontinued! : )

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