B2B Payments

Southwest Launches Credit Card For SMBs

Southwest Airlines is introducing a credit card for small business owners aimed at enhanced travel rewards.

Business Insider reported Thursday (June 20) that Southwest announced the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card, offering small business users 80,000 Rapid Rewards points when they spend $5,000 in the first three months. The publication noted that those points are more than two-thirds what cardholders need to achieve Southwest's Companion Pass.

The new card follows the rollout of a premium rewards consumer credit card solution from Southwest and Chase last year, though this small business card is the only commercial card product currently in Southwest's portfolio.

The solution can be used by small business owners, freelancers, and gig economy workers, including professionals that have a "side gig" selling items on eBay, for example, without a formal business structure, according to the publication. For these applicants, professionals provide their Social Security number as their business identification number, along with their name and the name of their business.

Further, individual freelancers or gig workers can sign up for both Southwest's personal and small business credit card products and obtain the sign-up rewards points bonus for both (the personal credit card offers 40,000 points when users spend more than $1,000 in the first three months).

The small business card has an annual fee of $199, reports noted, and offers 3x points for spend on Southwest flights, hotel or car rental partners, and 2x points on search engine advertising, social media advertising, cable, internet and phone services used by the small business.

Southwest Airlines has focused on payments innovation investments in recent years. In 2016 the airline announced a partnership with Pay with Amazon, allowing travelers to pay via their Amazon account for in-flight entertainment.

At the same time, the small business credit card industry is also heating up, with UBS earlier this week announcing its own line of small business credit cards designed to help entrepreneurs separate business from personal spend.

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