Let me state upfront that this post is meant for beginners. If you know everything there is to know about Southwest Companion Pass, feel free to move along. But the reality is, we get new readers on a regular basis, and they are not familiar with this awesome perk or the fact that they too, can easily take advantage of it. Intrigued? Read on.
So, what’s the deal? Well, through October 4th, you can get 60k points bonus on all three versions of Chase Southwest co-branded credit card (read about them here). You are eligible as long as you haven’t received it in the last 24 months.
Sure, many bloggers have written about the deal at this point, some several times. While I normally don’t join “limited offer! get it now!” crowd, I think this one is different. First, here are the details of the bonus on Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card (pays us commission):
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
- 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary
- 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Earn unlimited points that don’t expire as long as your card account is open
- No blackout dates or seat restrictions
- Bags fly free® and no change fees
- Redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, gift cards, access to events and more
- Annual fee of $69 is NOT waived
You may choose to apply for Premier version (also pays us) of this card instead, but it comes with $99 annual fee. You can also view the details on the business version of Southwest Chase card here (non-affiliate link). Basically, you will have to spend $3,000 instead of $2,000, and the annual fee is $99. I recommend you apply only if you have a legitimate business.
So, assuming you get approved for both cards, you will have at least 125k Rapid Rewards points in your Southwest account. Obviously, make sure you can handle $5,000 in minimum spending within 3 months. I recommend you read my post for some ideas on how to achieve your goal. To be clear, I do think 60k offer will come back at some point, so that’s not the main appeal of applying for the cards right now.
So, why now?
It’s all about Companion Pass and the fact that sign-up bonuses from Southwest credit cards still qualify for it. This may change down the road. The Companion Pass allows you to bring a designated person with you (free) for two calendar years, starting with the year you earn it. So, if you get it on January 1st of 2018, you will be able to take advantage of it through December 31st of 2019. Not too shabby, right?
And the best part is the fact that it can be used on awards, as well as paid flights, and you only have to cover taxes. For someone who flies Southwest regularly, it’s an incredible deal. You have to earn 110k points within one calendar year in order to qualify, so two Southwest cards will put you over that threshold. Here are the answers to few potential questions you may have:
1) What if I get the cards, meet minimum spending and Southwest tells me that the bonus points don’t qualify towards Companion Pass?
It’s a possibility, sure. Most things in miles and points hobby require a leap of faith. That said, chances of Southwest closing this loophole without advance warning are fairly slim. They tried to do it before wth transfers from hotel programs and then backpedaled. Southwest, in general, prides itself on being a customer-friendly company, so I wouldn’t worry too much. Besides, even if that happened, you would still have 120k points which you can redeem on Southwest flights or towards $1,200 in Walmart gift cards.
2) I’m confused. I thought you have to meet minimum spending within 3 months after being approved. If I apply right now, this will mean that the points will probably post at the end of December, which will make me miss out on one year of Companion Pass. What gives?
Even though Chase states “3 months” in its application landing page, in reality, you get 115 days. This was confirmed by many people in the hobby, including one of my readers. Obviously, you would want to send a secure message and confirm it with Chase, just in case. Once again, you will have to take a leap of faith.
If you focus on what can go wrong with any given offer, you will never apply for anything, period. And hey, worst case scenario: you will get one year of Companion Pass instead of two. Just shift your more expensive vacation to 2018. Who knows, Southwest may even announce a route to Hawaii for next year. Wouldn’t that be neat?
I also recommend you set your statement closing date to the first of the month via SM. That way, your spending in December will be reflected on your January 1st 2018 statement and points will post accordingly.
3) Can anyone get approved for these cards?
Not really. Like I said before, I only recommend you apply for business version if you actually have a legitimate business. Chase started to scrutinize applications for their business cards, sometimes asking for proof of revenue. You really don’t want to mess with Chase, plus, honestly is the best policy.
Of course, good credit score is essential, but it’s not enough. In the title of the post I’ve mentioned Chase 5/24 rule. See this write-up for more details. Basically, if you are a habitual credit card collector, these offers are off-limits, unfortunately. They are for me.
4) I thought I saw your post where you recommended applying for Chase Sapphire Preferred if you are new to miles and points?
True, I did say that and I still think it’s a solid overall strategy. However, in this particular case, it may pay to make an exception and start with personal and business Southwest cards. This is especially true if you fly Southwest regularly and take a companion with you. As always, it comes down to your specific goals. If you are a newbie, you can always apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred later on, as long as you are under 5/24 limit.
5) Will I get approved for both personal and business versions of the card on the same day?
You may or you may not. There is only one way to know for sure, and that is to try.
I’m a huge (yuuuge!) fan of Southwest
Rapid Rewards program has been absolutely terrific for my family. The prices are usually reasonable (if you book far ahead), and you can cancel and redeposit your points without penalty. We have flown from Orlando to Montego Bay for 8,500 points roundtrip (plus tax) per person, and 9,500 points roundtrip to Buffalo to visit Niagara Falls.
In both cases, using traditional miles would be impractical. Southwest revenue-based model, where you can get any seat/anytime, works very well for families who mostly travel for leisure. In general, you can expect to get around 1.5 cents per point on Wanna Get Away fares, so even without Companion Pass, the bonus is worth $800 towards flights (after deducting the annual fee).
Waiting for our Southwest flight in 2014
All of the Southwest employees I’ve encountered are super happy/friendly and I even commented to one of them on this fascinating phenomenon. Their joking response was: “We get a special training for that.” I told them that my husband would definitely pay good money for me to get this type of training. 🙂
My son was even invited to the cockpit by a Southwest pilot
Nancy (my blogging partner) loves Southwest as well. She has taken her family of five to lots of places with the help of Southwest and their two Companion Passes. That’s why I strongly recommend you consider taking advantage of this terrific opportunity if you are able to do so.
Readers, who is going for it?
If you’ve found this content beneficial, please look at Support the Site page for ways you can help keep the blog running. Also, subscribe to receive free updates through email and recommend the site to your family and friends. You can follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, like us on Facebook and download free e-book
Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.