Best Card For Southwest Perks
I know we have a lot of Southwest loyalists that read the site and are a in the ToP Facebook Group. If you are a frequent Southwest flyer than you may wonder, what is the best card for Southwest perks? Wait, Southwest has perks? I kid, I kid. There are a few options for cards that come with Southwest perks but my pick may surprise you. I think the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is the best option if you find your but in a Southwest seat often and want to make your flights as pleasant as possible.
Southwest Performance Business Card Perks
So what makes the Southwest Performance Business card the best card for Southwest perks? There are a few different underrated perks this card offers that I think are overlooked.
Companion Pass Earning
The first thing I should point out is the need for a business card to make earning the Southwest Companion Pass easy. At least when you are grabbing a personal card as well. With the current offer at 80,000 points, you would be 40,000 points short of the needed 135,000 points for the Companion Pass. That is after including the minimum of 5,000 points you would earn for the $5,000 in spend required for the offer and the 10,000 point boost cardholders get each year.
If you grabbed that Companion Pass welcome offer earlier this year, even with my warnings about it, you likely have at least 45,000 points earned this year. That is from the welcome offer, the minimum spend and the 10K boost for cardholders. That leaves you 90,000 points short of earning a companion pass for next year too. Remember that the one included with the welcome offer ends 2/28/24.
If you grabbed the Performance Business card it would get you within 5,000 points of what you need to get the rest of next year covered as well. That should be doable for most people and well with the additional spend. You could also use their dining program or shopping portal to help you along the way too.
Free WiFi For All!
The best card perk of the Southwest Performance Business card is definitely the free WiFi credits you get each year. Most people assume this is just for the cardholder, but that isn't the case. You get 365 credits per year, and they work for anyone traveling with you. They also are not limited to one per day like it may seem by giving you 365 of them.
So if you are flying with family, or co-workers, you can have them charge their WiFi access to your card and you will get reimbursed. This is huge for any road warriors out there that want to get some work done while flying. Although, to be fair, Southwest WiFi can be a bit hit and miss.
Southwest Transfers Credit
Another perk of the Performance Business card that flies under the radar is the $500 in yearly Southwest transfer credits you get. This may be overlooked since you can use your points to book a flight for anyone, so why would you need to utilize this? What if you have a family member(s) with some stranded points in their accounts? If it is a spouse you may be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards to their account etc. but that isn't really the best use of those points. That route wouldn't work for kids, your parents, siblings or any friends that you want to travel with either. You could instead use the points you already have in your account to unlock a flight booking with their account.
An example would be if they have 3,500 Rapid Rewards points in their account but the flight costs 7,500 points. You could move 4,000 points from your account to theirs and the statement credits you get each year would cover the $40 cost. This saves you from having to use the full 7,500 points from your account to book the same flight.
This could be a unique way to split the cost of a Companion Pass bookings too with non household companions.
Four Upgraded Bookings Per Year
The last perk I wanted to talk about was the chance to skip the check in process, or jump the line, 4 times per year. There is nothing I hate more than getting up early on vacation to check in for my Southwest flight. You are on vacation to relax after all! If you know you are going to have a late night, or just want to sleep in, then use one of these credits to set it and forget it.
What About The Southwest Priority Card?
This all sounds great and all but what about the personal option, the Southwest Priority card? That is indeed another great option for Southwest perks. It does come with a lower annual fee at $149 vs $199 and it has a $75 Southwest credit each year too. Where it lags behind the Performance Business card is the yearly bonus points on your card anniversary. The Priority card comes with only 7,500 Rapid Rewards points versus 9,000 with the Performance Business card. That is around $20 in value.
The rest of the perks are similar but there are two things I wanted to point out. The earning rate on Southwest fares is 4x on the Performance Business vs 3x with the Priority card. If you work lets you buy your own travel then this could be big, especially the years you are chasing the Companion Pass. That is small potatoes compared to the WiFi credits though.
If you don't use Southwest WiFi much then the Southwest Priority Card makes more sense for you. But if you use it often, especially with co-workers or family members, then the Performance Business card is likely the better choice. At a cost of $8 per flight you would need to use it 14 times to come out ahead versus the Priority card. That is an easy number to hit for frequent flyers, especially those who travel with a group. It comes down to your personal situation though.
Best Card For Southwest Perks: ToP Thoughts
The best card for Southwest perks depends on what you are looking for. I can say that the Performance Business card offers the most potential value though, if you take advantage of those WiFi credits. Especially if you often find yourself traveling with companions, since the credit works for them too.
What do you think is the best credit card for frequent Southwest flyers? Let us know in the ToP Facebook Group.