Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America catapults the West Coast into a hot contest. Alaska and Southwest are bulking up on routes. Alaska has said that the economics of the deal will work out because of the strength of their credit card deal with Bank of America. Southwest wants California cardmembers as well.
And they’re doing something interesting about it. Southwest is emailing a targeted offer to at least some California-registered Rapid Rewards members with a Companion Pass as part of the signup bonus.
Already the signup bonus and spend on a Southwest co-brand credit card counts towards earning a companion pass. But this gives it to you and comes on top of the current standard points signup offer.
The offer is:
- Open the account, make a purchase, get a companion pass (which normally requires 110,000 points earned in a year)
- Plus 40,000 points after $1000 spend within 3 months
Like most Chase offers the bonus is available to folks who do not currently have the card and who haven’t received a signup bonus for it in the past 24 months. And Chase’s 5/24 limits (only approving customers who haven’t had 5 or more new credit card accounts in the last 24 months) generally apply to the Southwest card.
Unfortunately it’s a targeted offer, the link in the email pre-populates the membership information for the person who received it. I do not have a referral link for this card, information about it isn’t provided or reviewed by Chase.
However especially if you’re a California resident (or have California listed as the address on your Southwest Rapid Rewards account) be on the lookout for an email titled “<>BCalifornia, Companion Pass offer just for you!”
The companion pass is, of course, one of the best deals in travel. You get to designate someone to travel with you just for the cost of taxes when you fly on Southwest — whether you’re buying a revenue ticket or redeeming points for an award.
I always worry a little bit that such a lucrative offer could come to an end, and indeed Southwest imposed new limits on what points count towards earning a companion pass this year. But they clearly see it as a strategic tool, which is encouraging.