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If you recently applied for one or two of the Southwest credit cards, it is extremely important to know when you need to meet your minimum spend. Remember, the 60,000 sign up points count towards the Southwest Companion Pass and is probably one of the main reasons you applied for the card. You want to make sure that the points post during the correct calendar year and that all has to do with when you meet that minimum spend requirement. You do not want to mess this up!
If you want the points to count towards the 2018 and 2019 pass
If you want to earn the pass for 2018 and 2019 you’ll want to make sure all points post on January 1, 2018 or after. Points earned in 2017 DO NOT carry over!
If you applied for the card in September:
If you applied for the card during the month of September, you’ll want to find out from Chase when exactly your minimum spend expiration date is. While the sign up offer stated 3 months, many folks were actually given 115 days. Send a secure message to Chase to find out. You might actually find that your minimum spend time goes through early January.
But, if your minimum spend needs to be met in December, you’ll need to take an extra step to ensure that your points post in 2018 and not in 2017. And you will need to do this fast! For example, if you need to meet your minimum spend by December 15 and your statement close date is December 20, you’ll need to change your statement close date. If you meet the minimum spend on December 15, in this example, your points will post a few days after your December 20 statement close date – so probably December 23rd-ish. This means the points will post in 2017, not 2018, which you do not want!
You need to change your statement close date! To make sure your points post in 2018, you’ll need to change your statement close date. Typically it takes a billing cycle for the statement close date to change, so you’ll want to do this NOW. Call Chase and ask to change your statement close date to the 1st of every month. That means your statement close date in December will take place before you need to meet the minimum spend. So you’ll want to wait until December 2nd to meet the minimum spend (and by your expiration date). The points will then post a few days after your January statement close date. So if your statement close date is January 1, 2018, the points will probably post January 4th-ish. You’ll then have access to your companion pass for the rest of 2018 and 2019!
If you applied for the card in October:
Again, send Chase a secure message (through your Chase.com account) to find out exactly when your minimum spend expiration date is. You’ll then want to wait until January 1, 2018 to meet your minimum spend requirement. You ideally want to meet that minimum spend at some point between January 1 and your January statement close date so you can get the Companion Pass in January and do not need to wait until February. You’ll then have the companion pass for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019! While you can always meet it after your December close date, I recommend just waiting till January 1st to ensure there is no room for error.
You can also put $1,999 on the card in 2017 and apply that final dollar on January 1st. Remember, the annual fee for the card does NOT count towards the minimum spend requirement.
If you want the points to post in 2017
If you already have a healthy balance of points counting towards the companion pass and you applied for one of the cards for the 60,000 points to post in 2017, you’ll want to make sure to meet the minimum spend BEFORE your December statement close date. Points post a few days after your statement close date, so if you do not meet the minimum spend until after your December statement close date, the points will not post until your January statement close date. That means the points will post for 2018 and will not be combined with the points you’ve already accrued in 2017. You need to earn the 110,000 points in the same calendar year.
Now, if your statement close date is towards the end of December, I suggest doing one of two things to ensure the points post in 2017 and not 2018. 1) You can change your statement close date to an earlier date (i.e., the 15th of every month). This means you’ll need to meet the minimum spend by December 15, 2017. Or, 2) You can meet your minimum spend by your November statement close date. That means the points will post a few days after this date which will probably be the end of November or the beginning of December.
Remember, if you earn the pass in 2017, that means you’ll only have the pass through the end of 2018. If you earn the pass in 2018, you’ll have the pass through the end of 2019!
If you have any questions about your specific situation/timing, feel free to comment below or send me an email. I want to make sure you get your Companion Pass properly!