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It is no secret that applying for the Southwest Airlines credit card will help you towards earning the Southwest Airlines companion pass. If this is how you plan to earn the unlimited companion pass read on to ensure you apply during the right time.
Once you accrue the necessary 110,000 points to earn companion pass status, the pass will be available for you for the entire year it was earned PLUS the entire following calendar year. So if you earn the pass in 2013, your pass will be active for the rest of the year and all of 2014. If you earn the pass in 2014, it will be available to you for 2014 and 2015.
So before applying for the credit card (if that’s your plan), decide when you want the companion pass. Applying strategically is one thing you do not want to mess up!
Want it for 2013 and 2014? Meet the minimum spend requirements in 2013 and have the points hit your account in 2013. You will need to spend $2,000 within the first three months. I suggest hitting the minimum spend amount quickly as the points do not hit your account until a few days AFTER your statement close date. The points must hit in 2013 regardless of when the minimum spend was met.
Want it for 2014 and 2015? Meet the minimum spend requirements in 2014. You want the points to hit your account in 2014 as points from 2013 DO NOT carry over. Since you have three months to hit the minimum spend, think about the timing that works for you so the points hit in 2014. Give yourself the first few weeks in January to meet the $2,000 minimum spend requirements, just to be safe. You can put $1,999 on your card in 2013, but that last dollar must hit your account in 2014. So come January 1, 2014 if you are able to spend $2,000, you’ll earn your companion pass probably late January and will get an entire 23 months of usage!
I wrote about this topic on getting the companion pass in 2014 and 2015 a month or so back, so feel free to take a look at this prior post. There are many comments as well so you can read some more Q&A about when to apply.
Credit card to help earn the companion pass: As mentioned previously, there are three different Southwest cards – ALL of them have the same bonus offer after meeting the minimum spend requirements, but different annual fees and annual bonuses. You can view all three cards and the differences in this prior blog post. You can learn more about all Airline credit card offers here.
Disclosure: These post contains affiliate links – this is a card I personally have and advocate as it is a great offer and I LOVE the companion pass!