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For the past month or so Chase has been offering a sign-up bonus where you can earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open on their co-branded Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Cards.
Both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card are offering 50,000 points after spending $2,000 within three months, provided you haven’t received a bonus on a given card in the past 24 months.
Anyway just a quick heads up that this offer will be expiring Tuesday afternoon, so if you’ve been eying it you’ll want to apply very soon. In fairness, Chase has run this offer with at least some frequency the past year or so, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it return fairly soon. So this isn’t a total “use it or lose it” offer, since this is their “standard” increased sign-up bonus.
However, if you’re making a play for the Southwest Companion Pass (which is hands-down the best deal on domestic travel), you’ll want to take advantage of this offer sooner rather than later.
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
Basically, if you rack up 110,000 points in a year you’ll earn Companion Pass with Southwest, which allows someone else to travel with you for the entire year.
You still have to pay the taxes on their ticket, but the companion pass is valid on both award and revenue tickets.
That means if you’ve accumulated 110,000 Rapid Rewards points, you have over $1,650 worth of “Wanna Get Away” fares at your disposal. Factoring in the Companion Pass, you’re looking at over $3,300 worth of airfare.
You can change your designated companion three times in a year, so this is a no-brainer for travel within North America, in my opinion.
Why the timing matters
The Southwest Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earn 110,000 points, and the following year.
So the strategy here would be to apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card, but don’t complete the minimum spends until 2015.
You also want to wait until 2015 for any partner activity — regardless of which option you choose to earn the final few thousand points. Only points earned in a given calendar year count towards the Companion Pass, so unless you’re nearly there now, points earned in 2014 won’t help you.
This is really one of the most compelling values in the airline industry, and frankly I’m amazed that they still offer it given just how generous it is. Now’s a great time to get the card, and if you time it right, the Companion Pass status you earn would be valid through 2016.
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business credit card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.