There are a total of three Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards – currently ALL have the same bonus offer of 50,000 points after meeting the minimum spend. The BEST THING about the offer is that the points earned from the credit card sign up currently count towards the 110,000 point required for the Southwest Companion Pass. For those new to the Southwest Companion Pass, I want to quickly point out that this pass allows another passenger to fly with you for FREE an UNLIMITED number of times! I’ve gone into detail below about the actual offers, the value of the points earned, and the companion pass overall (which is AMAZING!!!). You can learn more about all Airline credit card offers here.
If you are looking to earn the Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018, now is the perfect time to apply. You just want to hit the minimum spend on the card as quickly as possible, but not until January 1st. Once your statement closes in January, the 50,000 points earned from the minimum spend will count towards your Companion Pass. If you earn the 110,000 points in 2017, your Companion Pass will be valid through December 31, 2018! The goal is to get the Companion Pass as early as possible in 2017 to have close to 2 full years to have another passenger fly with you for free!
I’ve included the links on where you can find the 50,000 point offer. Be careful when googling or looking up the offer on the Southwest site as they are offering a lower 40,000 point offer.
**These cards are not available to those that have received a bonus within the past 24 months. However, if you applied for one card recently, you are still eligible to earn the bonus points for another card as they are three separate products. Also keep in mind that the Southwest credit cards are subject to Chase’s “5/24” rule.
What are 50,000 Points Worth?
For those who are new to Southwest, 50,000 points is pretty much worth a cut and dry $714 towards a future “Wanna Getaway” fare. Although, Southwest did implement some changes to the program last April, on some peak fare flights, you might get a slightly less value when using your points (related post). As mentioned above, there are three versions of the card and you are able to apply for more then one card offer. Remember, the 50,000 points earned from the credit card sign up after meeting the spend requirements count towards reaching companion pass status, which is by far my favorite aspect of the Southwest program.
How to get the Southwest Companion Pass
You need a total of 110,000 Qualifying points and then the companion pass is yours. As mentioned, you get 50,000 points per credit card offer after meeting the minimum spend requirements – these points DO COUNT towards the companion pass. So if you are approved for two cards, that will give you 100,000 points plus the minimum spend points earned. That will give you 104,000 points, and only 6,000 points shy of earning the pass!!! You can earn the remaining Qualifying Points with credit card spend, Rapid Reward partners (i.e, Marriott, Avis, Hyatt), and flying Southwest.
The best part of the pass is that a companion is allowed to fly with you on ANY flight. As long as there is one seat available, you can book your companion a ticket. There are NO restrictions and NO blackout dates. Not only that, even if the main passenger is flying on a free ticket with points, you can still use the companion pass! So that means on your first few flights, you can use the sign up bonus points earned from the credit card PLUS a companion can fly with you. So while 50,000 points are worth approx $714, if companion flies with you on these flights, then that is essentially doubling the value of the sign up bonus!
Some things to keep in mind:
- Once you accrue the necessary 110,000 points to earn the companion pass status, the pass will be available for you the entire year it was earned PLUS the entire following calendar year. So if you earn the pass now, your pass with be active for the rest of 2016 and all of 2017.
- You cannot combine points between two accounts to count for the companion pass.
- Transferring Chase Ultimate Reward points to Southwest DO NOT count towards the companion pass, but transferring hotel points DO count.
- Your companion can fly with you an UNLIMITED number of times during the life of the pass. You can change your companion 3 times per year.
- The only amount your companion pays is the tax which is $5.60 per one-way. International flights are more and depends on where you are flying to/from.
- You CAN use the companion pass when the main passenger is flying on a free ticket!
- Getting the Southwest Companion Pass
- Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Blog Series
- Southwest Rapid Reward Program Blog Series
Let me know if you have any questions!