If you follow this blog regularly, you probably know by now that I am a huge fan of the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. This pass allows you to fly another passenger with you for FREE an UNLIMITED number of times. All you pay are the taxes that go along with any fare (which are $5.60 per segment and approx $70ish for international flights). I truly believe that this pass is one of the best free travel opportunities in the entire travel world.
Towards the end of last year, I wrote a post letting everyone know that the 50,000 point bonus for the Southwest credit card was back. While this is a nice bonus for the credit card, the points earned also count towards the companion pass. To earn the pass you need a total of 110,000 points in a calendar year – apply for two of the cards (there are three different Southwest credit cards) and you are already at 100,000 points plus the points earned from hitting the minimum spend requirement.
While I recommended applying for the two cards when I wrote the post, I also mentioned to NOT meet the minimum spend requirement until January 1, 2016. The reason for this is that all points earned towards the companion pass reset at the end of the calendar year. And ideally, it is best to earn the pass early in 2016 since you will have it for the remainder of the year PLUS the entire following year – this means the pass will not expire until December 31, 2017. SO THIS IS A REMINDER TO GO AHEAD AND MEET YOUR MINIMUM SPEND FOR THE TWO CARDS! If you applied during the end of 2015, the offer required you to spend $2,000 to earn the 50,000 bonus points. If you did the two card method, this means you must spend at least $2,000 on EACH card which will give you a total of 104,000 points towards the required 110,000 points. You can read more about earning the companion pass for 2016 and 2017 here.
Now, if you missed out on applied for the Southwest credit card, the 50,000 point offer is still available for two of the cards. While this offer comes around quite often, I always think it is best to apply during the end or the beginning of a calendar year to maximize the number of months you have the Southwest Companion Pass (assuming that is your goal).
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card – $99/year fee, but you receive 6,000 points after year cardmember year – which is worth about $86 towards a future Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card – $99/year fee, but you receive 6,000 points after year cardmember year – which is worth about $86 towards a future Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare.
**This bonus offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months.