Southwest 50,000 Rapid Rewards Offers are Back!

One of our favorite credit card bonuses is back! 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards for the Premier, Plus, and business cards! We’ve leveraged this bonus a few times in the past and have succeeded in obtaining the Southwest Companion Pass twice! In fact, we’re leaving very shortly on a trip where my son, as my companion, is flying free (we only paid the $5.60 in taxes in each direction). For domestic travel, there is no better deal out there. And given the uncertainty of when Chase will expand their new “5/24” rule, in addition to the fact that credit card rewards still count toward the required points in the acquisition of the companion pass, now is probably a great time to get the card if you haven’t had it in the past 24 months.

As I mentioned yesterday, Chase has instituted a “5/24” rule on their own products (Chase Freedom, Ink Plus, Sapphire, for example). And there have been rumors that the rule has been implemented on their co-branded credit cards like the United, British Airways, and Hyatt cards, as well. The jury is still out on whether or not that has officially happened. But it is widely believed that it is only a matter of time before this rule will be implemented across all cards including co-branded and business products. Therefore, now is the perfect time to go for these cards as there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get these products in the future.

So what is the Companion Pass? The Companion Pass allows your designated companion to fly with you on any Southwest Airlines flight, without limit. If you’re booked on the flight (either with miles or cash), your companion is able to join you for the cost of the taxes alone. Flying within the US, that most likely means $5.60 each way. If you’re flying from any of the many international destinations now served by Southwest Airlines, the taxes will be higher, but still not unreasonable. And, the pass is valid for travel within the calendar year you achieve it and the following year. For those families and couples who travel extensively within the Southwest Airlines network, this could mean a huge savings.

So how do you get the Companion Pass if you only fly a few times a year on Southwest Airlines? I’ll give you one guess… You got it! Signing up for credit cards! Two Southwest Airlines credit cards to be exact. In order to obtain the Companion Pass, you need to accumulate 110,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards in one calendar year. If you sign up for one personal version and one business version and receive the sign up bonuses, you’ll have received 104,000 Rapid Rewards towards this total. But you still need to get 6,000 more Rapid Rewards to get to the finish line.

There are two methods we’ve employed to bridge this gap. One is to convert hotel points to Rapid Rewards. We’ve converted Hyatt points to Southwest, for example. You do lose some value doing this conversion, but it very much could be worth it if you get a lot of use out of the Companion Pass. The second method we’ve used is to simply spend $6,000 more on one or both of the cards. When my manufactured spending technique via Bluebird was in full swing, spending $6,000 was pretty easy to achieve. If we were going for the Companion Pass now, we likely would convert more hotel points. Of course if you fly Southwest Airlines on paid tickets, you could chip away at that total through the Rapid Rewards you receive for that travel as well.

So, what are the offers?

Southwest Plus – 50,000 Rapid Rewards after spending $2,000 on the card in 3 months. $69 annual fee not waived.

Southwest Premier – 50,000 Rapid Rewards after spending $2,000 on the card in 3 months. $99 annual fee not waived.

Southwest Business – 50,000 Rapid Rewards after spending $2,000 on the card in 3 months. $99 annual fee not waived.

The best way to play this one would be to sign up for the Plus (because of the lower annual fee) and the business card. Chase has long allowed one to get one personal and one business card at the same time. Of course, this is assuming that you haven’t had either card in the last 24 months and that you have the capacity to spend $4,000 in 3 months. If you are not able to meet the spending requirement for both cards at once, not to worry, just apply for one and then when meeting the spending is on the horizon, apply for the other.

There is no doubt about it, for those who do a lot of flying domestically, this deal cannot be beat. We’ve leveraged the pass for flights to Florida and Mexico in the past, but with the relatively new destinations that Southwest now serves, we’re hoping to use it a little more this time around!

What about you? Have you ever had the Companion Pass? Will you pursue it this time around?

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One Comment

  1. Was recently recommended to get a Southwest card for my business, primarily to get the Companion Pass status. I read this in their fine print and was wondering if this applies to the 50,000 point signup bonus.
    “Points purchased for personal use or as a gift, transferred points, points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and Partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.”

    Thanks!

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