Southwest Companion Pass with One Credit Card Signup 0

Southwest and Chase have for a limited time upgraded the welcome bonus on three Southwest Co-branded credit cards to include Southwest’s famous Companion pass.  Fortunately, you have some time to plan your travel strategy for 2019 with this offer in mind, since the offer is valid for applications through February 11, 2019.

Companion Pass Welcome Bonus

The new welcome bonus for all three cards is the same. After spending $4,000 on the card in the first 3 months of card membership, you will receive 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points, and Southwest Companion Pass.

Southwest will soon start flying to Hawaii!
Southwest will soon start flying to Hawaii!

This is a limited time offer only, and you have to apply by February 11, 2019. Once you have met the spending requirement and earned your Companion Pass, it will be valid through December 31, 2019. This is more restrictive than earning the Companion Pass by traditional means. Since if you earn it early in 2019, you will have it through the end of 2020.

One Card = Companion Pass

The three southwest cards with the improved welcome bonus are the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card, and the  Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. If you apply for any of the cards using this offer you will not be eligible for the normal welcome bonus associated with the card.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

You will no longer earn a 40,000-point bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You will also not earn the additional 20,000 points when you spend $12,000 in a calendar year.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

You will no longer earn a 40,000-point bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You will also not earn the additional 20,000 points when you spend $12,000 in a calendar year. Also, the card will not earn 1 point per dollar on all other spending.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

You will no longer earn a 40,000-point bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You will also not earn the additional 20,000 points when you spend $12,000 in a calendar year.

IS it Worth It For You?

If you fly Southwest then yes, this promotion can save you a ton of money effectively cutting in half your Southwest Airfare bill in 2019. If you travel regularly as a couple, then each ticket effectively become s buy one get one free with one credit card application. Alternatively, a family of four can always apply for two cards. One for each parent, and through 2019 your kids will effectively fly for free with you on Southwest.

Obviously, if you don’t fly with the same companion, or don’t use Southwest a lot, and are unwilling or unable to switch your loyalty to Southwest, then this promotion will not make much sense, and you are best served to pursue a different strategy to meet your travel goals.

Choosing The Right Southwest Card

Choosing which Southwest card is best for you can be a little tricky. While the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier is an attractive solid proposition, but so is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus. All three cards earn you 2X on Southwest purchases, and 1X on everything else, except the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. (which has this earning removed with the offer)

It is tempting to opt for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card which carries the lowest annual fee of all cards at $69 (you are after the companion pass after all). We think this is counter-intuitive, after all, you are applying for the card to get the companion pass, which means you fly Southwest a lot or are planning to in 2019.

To maximize your rewards from the offer you are best off applying for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, which carries the highest annual fee at $149, but comes with additional benefits that will make it worthwhile over a year of travel with Southwest. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card comes with a host of perks and benefits, including:

  • 7,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards points on your card anniversary
  • $75 Southwest travel credit
  • 4 Upgraded Boarding purchase reimbursements per anniversary year “Early ”
  • 20% Back on Inflight Drinks/WiFi/Movies

The $75 Southwest travel credit effectively cuts your membership fee in half, and if you are chasing the companion pass, there should be no doubt that you will use it. The “Early Bird” boarding is worth at between $60-$100 depending on the route. Just those two perks alone will more than cover the annual fee of the card.

Southwest Economy

On top of the credit and upgraded boarding, you also receive 7,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points on your account anniversary. We value Southwest points at 1.5 cents apiece. This works out as an additional $112.5 of value.

Finally, if you are chasing the companion pass, you are more than likely to occasionally order Inflight Drinks or WiFi, for which you will receive 20% back.

Application Restrictions

Since the Southwest cards are issued by Chase, there are a few application restrictions in place. All three cards are subject to Chase’s infamous 5/24 rule. So, if you have opened 5 credit card accounts in the last 24 months, you will be ineligible.

Map of Southwest Hawaii Routes
Soon you can use your Southwest Companion Pass on Flights to Hawaii from 4 Californian airports. Image: Southwest Airlines

There are additional restrictions in place. If you currently hold a Southwest Credit card, you will be ineligible to apply, and if you have held a Southwest Credit card and received a welcome bonus in the last 24 months, you will also not be able to apply for the Southwest cards.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the most generous Credit card signup bonuses we have seen since the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card arrived on the scene. Applying for the card and hitting the minimum spend needed to trigger the companion pass bonus, could ultimately save you a ton if you regularly travel with Southwest with a companion. If you are planning on vacationing in Hawaii this year once Southwest launches its flights the companion pass will come in very handy indeed.

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