Southwest launched a card for small business owners with an 80,000-point signup bonus - the airline's highest offer ever

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  • Southwest and Chase are introducing a new premium credit card for small businesses: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card.
  • The card has the highest-ever points sign-up bonus on a Southwest card: 80,000 Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months.
  • While only "small businesses" can apply for the card, businesses are defined broadly, and include freelancers, sole proprietors, side gigs, and even people who resell items on eBay.

Southwest has announced a brand new premium credit card for small business owners. The card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card, features a variety of new perks and points-earning benefits, and features the highest-ever points sign-up bonus on a Southwest credit card: 80,000 Rapid Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

The points earned from the sign-up bonus are more than two-thirds of the total points needed to earn Southwest's coveted Companion Pass.

Although Southwest and Chase jointly introduced a premium personal credit card last year, bringing the total number of personal cards in the portfolio up to three, there has only been one small business card available - the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

Southwest loyalists should find the business card worth exploring for two reasons.

First, the definition of "business" is broad, and includes categories some people may not realize, such as freelancers, people with side gigs, or even people who resell items on eBay - even without a formal business structure in place, these users can apply with their name as the business name, and their Social Security number as the business identification number.

Second, Chase terms allow you to get the sign-up bonus on one personal card and one business card, meaning you can get both. The personal cards currently offer a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months. If you get the bonus from the Performance Business Card plus any personal card, you'll have enough points for Southwest's Companion Pass, which lets a designated friend or family member travel with them for free (minus any taxes), for a whole year.

To earn the Companion Pass, one has to earn 110,000 qualifying points with Southwest within a calendar year. The pass will then be valid for the remainder of that calendar year, as well as the entirety of the following one.

Points earned from a Southwest credit card count - including sign-up bonuses.

The Performance Business Card has an annual fee of $199, but offers a number of benefits to make up for that.

The card earns 3x points per dollar spent on Southwest flights and hotel or car rental partners, and 2x points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services. It earns 1x point on everything else.

Cardholders will also get four upgraded boardings per year, 9,000 anniversary points each year when the card renews (that alone is worth about $135, based on The Points Guy's subjective valuations), in-flight Wi-Fi credits, and up to $100 in credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Ultimately, the new Performance card offers an excellent ongoing value, but the sign-up bonus makes it a no-brainer for Southwest loyalists who qualify. It's unclear whether the bonus will remain permanently, or if it's only available for a limited time, so interested users should consider applying on the sooner side.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Performance Business Card from Business Insider's partner: The Points Guy »

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Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

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