Now is an amazing time to earn Southwest miles for a number of reasons. The airline is headed to Hawai’i and the end of the year is a great time to plot your way to earning a Southwest Companion Pass for the next nearly two years and there are some brand-new credit card offers that make racking up some points easier than ever.
The Companion Pass
Getting your Companion Pass must be timed very expertly if you want to be able to take advantage of its perks for the longest amount of time possible. Your Companion Pass is valid for the year you earn it in, and then the year following. You want to earn the pass in early 2019, so that you have it to use through all of 2019, then 2020. You do not want to earn it in late December, and then only have the pass for 13 months at most (unless, of course, you are very near to earning it and don’t want to lose your eligible points at the end of the year, and you can live with only having it for the 13 months).
Now, the Companion Pass is earned when you earn 110k Companion Pass eligible points and then the applicable spending is posted to your Rapid Rewards account. While it can take up to eight weeks for this to post, don’t risk it. Time your spending so that the eligible points post after January 1, but as soon as possible afterward, as any Companion Pass progress that posts to your account in 2018 is deleted at the end of the year.
The Credit Cards
Companion Pass qualifying points can be earned via Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards. There are three cards to choose from that now have big sign-up bonuses for a limited time (through Jan. 9).
There is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.
All of them come with 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months, and then an additional 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 in your first year.
Keep in mind that you do have to earn 110,000 points to receive the Companion Pass, so 60,000 points can go a long way to achieving the pass. However, don’t think you can just sign up for multiple cards and get your pass easily. You can only take advantage of one sign-up bonus per 24 months.
What Does it Mean?
If you play your cards right, you can earn that Companion Pass in early 2019, for use for nearly two years and, with upcoming flights to Hawaii, you could suddenly find yourself flying with one other person for free to one of the most coveted destinations in the miles and points world.