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The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card offers 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. That’s a majority of the way towards a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.
And right now Chase has launched the biggest initial bonus offers they’ve ever had for Southwest Airlines personal credit cards I certainly don’t expect the offers to stay this high, though I do not know how long they will last. They all will let you earn up to 75,000 points: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn 35,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee)
A companion pass is arguably the best deal in all of travel, it allows you to bring a companion along on your Southwest Airlines travels for just the cost of taxes – whether you buy your own ticket with cash or with points.
The requirement for a companion pass is 125,000 eligible points earned in a calendar year. Now is the best time to earn one – because if you earn it at the start of 2020 it’ll last nearly two full years.
And any of these credit cards get you much of the way there.
- It’s most of the way to a companion pass 125,000 points in a calendar year earns a companion pass which means bringing someone along with you, whether you’re spending money or points when you travel, for just taxes. The initial bonus plus the points earned on the card from spending count towards that total. When you earn a companion pass — and this offer gets you most of the way there — it’s valid for the rest of the calendar year and the entire next calendar year.
- 80,000 points are worth ~ $1200 in travel. Meet the spend on one of these personal cards to earn the bonus and you’ll have at least 80,000 points. In cash terms I value Southwest points at 1.3 cents apiece though they buy about 1.5 cents apiece in travel. 80,000 points should get you around $1200 in Southwest Airlines travel.
- With a companion pass, that gets you ~ $2400 in travel. A companion pass is valid on award travel, which means in addition to spending points at ~ 1.5 cents apiece towards your own travel you can redeem and have your designated companion join you for no additional points (just the taxes). That means once you earn a companion pass you’re able to get nearly 3 cents per point in value from those 80,000 points or nearly $2400 in travel from the initial bonus alone.
- Getting the card now lets the initial bonus post early in 2020. Having the bonus post quickly means a head start on earning the companion pass this year, so that it lasts for the rest of the year once earned and through the end of 2021.
You’ll still need to earn additional points – from flying, from spending on the card, from hotel stays booked through Southwest’s travel portal for instance. Or wait a month and apply for a Southwest personal card and the initial bonus offer on that card should do the trick.
Now is the perfect time to get this card. You can earn the initial bonus at the start of 2020 – at just the right time to maximize the length of time a companion pass will be valid.
Getting approved for the card, of course, likely requires that you haven’t signed up for 5 or more new cards in the last 24 months. One piece of good news though is that getting a small business card from Chase like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card doesn’t count towards or increase the total number of cards in your 5/24 numerator.