If you’ve been keeping up with miles and points news, you’ve probably heard about the new bonus offer on the Southwest personal credit cards that came out earlier this month. You can earn a Southwest companion pass with just one new credit card! While we haven’t dedicated a full blog post to this updated offer yet, the cards are highlighted in our Hot Deals section.
Many of our longtime readers are ineligible for this new offer. But, if you are new to the miles and points hobby and haven’t opened a new credit card in a while, you might be eligible. Should you jump on this offer? It depends.
What’s the New Offer?
All three versions of the Chase Southwest Rapids Rewards credit cards have a new offer that includes 30,000 bonus points plus a special companion pass that is good through the end of 2019. What?!?! A companion pass just for signing up for one card?
For anyone not familiar, a Southwest Airlines companion pass is a very valuable tool. Once you name a companion, that person can fly with you for free (well, for a $5.60 fee). You can purchase your fare with cash or use points, and your companion still flies for free.
Back in the years before 5/24 restrictions, my husband and I each earned two companion passes. We were able to fly two of our kids for free on numerous family vacations! We saved a lot of money.
Normally, you have to earn 110,000 Southwest points in one calendar year in order to get a companion pass. In order to earn that many miles, you must either open both a business and a personal credit card during the same year or fly a lot on Southwest.
The current offers lets you earn 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points plus a special companion pass valid through 12/31/2019 after spending $4000 in the first three months. The annual fee is not waived, and it is $69, $99 or $149 depending on which version of the personal card you get. This offer expires 2/11/19.
Why This New Offer is Great For Some People
If you have a lot of trips planned on Southwest Airlines this year and you plan to travel with another person multiple times, this could be a great deal! Since the bonus is only 30,000 points (it has been up to 60,000 in the past), you will benefit more from this deal if you already have a stash of Southwest Rapid Reward points that you can burn while you have the companion pass.
People who live near a Southwest hub should take a closer look at this offer. Sometimes, Southwest has some rock-bottom fares (especially to/from its hubs) that would enable you to stretch this bonus offer to many flights.
If you don’t own a small business and therefore you don’t qualify for a Southwest business card, this is your best chance at earning a coveted companion pass.
Let’s say you are a family of four. You and your spouse/partner could each apply for the card separately. Then, you would each get the companion pass, and you could potentially fly your two kids for free through the end of the year!
Who Shouldn’t Apply For This Card
People who are ineligible: If you are over 5/24, currently own a Southwest personal card or have received a Southwest bonus within the last 24 months, you are ineligible for this card. Those restrictions knock a lot of us miles and points veterans out of contention.
People who own a business: If you own a business and are under 5/24, I recommend you apply for the business version of the card, which currently has a 60,000-point bonus. Then later in the year, apply for a personal version when the bonus increases to 50,000 points or more. Then, you will earn a regular companion pass that lasts until the end of 2020 and you could have a companion pass that lasts for 18+ months instead of less than one year.
People who don’t plan to fly Southwest a lot this year: If you don’t already have plans to fly on Southwest multiple times before the end of the year and you don’t foresee adding plans, you should consider another credit card or wait until the offer on this card changes back to a regular points bonus.
People who can’t complete the minimum spend quickly: If you take the full three months to meet the minimum spending and then you wait a few weeks until your card cycles to collect the bonus, you might only have 6 or 7 months to use your companion pass. That’s not a lot of time to take advantage of your companion pass.
Are you tempted to go for this new offer? Where would you fly with a Southwest companion pass?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.