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Yesterday I put together two different different blog posts detailing how to get the Southwest Companion Pass: Earning the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018 and Many Ways to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass. For those not aware of the Southwest Companion Pass, it allows a companion (friend, family member, complete stranger, whoever!) to fly with you an UNLIMITED number of times for FREE (plus taxes). The companion pass is valid for the remainder of the year it is earned plus the entire following year. So if you plan it accordingly you can get 23 months of use out of pass.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first 3 months; $69 annual fee. This card will earn you 3,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. You can learn more about Airline credit cards here.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 on the card within the first 3 months; $99 annual fee. This card will earn you 6,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. You can learn more about Airline credit cards here.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months; $99 annual fee. This card will earn you 6,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. You can learn more about this credit card here.
*If you have any questions on which credit card to apply for, feel free to email me!
One of the best and easiest ways to earn the companion pass is by applying for two different Southwest credit cards (there are a total of 3 Southwest credit card products). Right now, all three cards are offering 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on the card. The points earned from the sign up bonus DO count towards the companion pass. You need a total of 110,000 points – get two credit cards now and that will give you 120,000 points. Remember, Chase will typically only approve you for 2 cards in a 30 day period, so if you’ve recently applied for another Chase card, getting approved for two Southwest cards might be difficult.
It is very important to know when to apply for the card and when to meet the minimum spend. Follow the directions below to make sure you do not mess up the timing!
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 apply/applied for the card in September:
If you have already applied for the card or planning on applying for this card during the month of September, you’ll need to take an extra step to ensure that your points post in 2018 and not in 2017. For example, if you applied and got approved for the card on September 10, 2017, you’ll have to spend the required $2,000 by December 10, 2017. Most likely your statement close date will be on the 17th-ish of every month. That means you’ll meet the minimum spend requirement prior to your December close date. And the 60,000 points earned from the card will post a few days after that December close date. So if the close date is December 17th, for example, the points will post probably December 22nd-ish. That means the points earned will post in 2017 and NOT 2018 – you do not want this to happen!
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 3 month 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 6ish. You’ll then have access to your companion pass for the rest of 2018 and 2019!
I also suggest calling Southwest to double check when your 3 month expiration period ends. Some Chase cards start the day you are approved while others wait until the date the card is sent to you. So double check so you are not late meeting that minimum spend!
If you apply for the card in October:
The 60,000 point sign up bonus expires October 4, 2017, so you have time in October to apply. Applying October 2-4 is definitely my recommended time to apply if you have not yet applied. You then will not need to worry about changing your statement close date. Apply October 2nd, for example, and you’ll have until January 2, 2018 to meet your minimum spend requirement. Although, call Southwest to double check your 3 month expiration date. Come January 1, 2018 meet your minimum spend requirement. 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. Your 60,000 points will then post after your January statement close date, which will probably be January 10th-ish. You’ll then have the companion pass for the remainder of 2018 and all of 2019!
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 are looking to apply for one of the cards for the 60,000 points to post in 2017, you can apply at any point between now and when the sign up bonus expires on October 4, 2017.
Make sure to meet the minimum spend before your December statement date. Points post a few days after your statement close date, NOT after meeting the minimum spend. So you’ll want to meet your minimum spend PRIOR to your statement closing in December. If you meet the minimum spend AFTER your statement close date in December, the points will not post until January and will not count towards 2017. That means the points you’ve already accrued towards the companion pass will expire and will not carry over to 2018. You need to earn the 110,000 points in the same calendar year.
Hopefully this information helps and ensures you properly earn the companion pass when you were hoping to do so. Feel free to comment below or email with any questions. I’ve had the companion pass for the past 10+ years and it has saved me a ton of money!