If you are looking to fly a companion with you for free for the next two years, you’ll want to pay attention to this opportunity. With the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card you can earn up to a whopping 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 on the card within the first three months. Not only is this a great opportunity to up your Southwest Rapid Rewards account balance, it is an amazing way to get earn the amazing Southwest Companion Pass without stepping foot on a Southwest airplane.
While this isn’t the highest offer we’ve seen and won’t earn you the pass on it’s own, it is still a great way to earn the pass, especially since the minimum spend is not too high. With Southwest Rapid Reward points worth about 1.4 cents per point (they have a fixed redemption model), the 80,000 points are worth $1,200 towards Southwest travel. You can then also redeem these points to fly for free and tack on your companion — who will also be free — so the points can be seen as even more valuable.
Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is by far my favorite benefit in the entire travel industry. It allows a friend or family member (really anyone) to fly with you for FREE (plus taxes/fees) an UNLIMITED number of times during the life of the pass. There truly are no stipulations that come with this pass, there just has to be at least one seat left for purchase to add on your companion. For domestic flights, the extra taxes are $5.60 each way — the same amount you pay when you use points to redeem for a free flight, — although international flights (to the Caribbean or Mexico) cost slightly more. I personally have had the Southwest Companion Pass for close to a dozen years now and it has saved my family thousands and thousands of dollars.
To earn the pass, you need to earn 125,000 qualifying points within a calendar year. However, earlier this year, Southwest was boosting accounts with an extra 25,000 qualifying points, so you’d only need to earn 100,000 qualifying points to earn the pass. (Note: Only account open prior to 2021 were eligible for the boost).
Since the welcome offer on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card comes with 80,000 bonus points and you need to spend $5,000 to get the full amount of points, that will net you 85,000 qualifying points, leaving you just 15,000 points shy to earning the pass. You can earn the remaining amount by additional credit card spend, partner activity or flying Southwest.
The pass is then valid for the entire year it is earned, plus the entire following year. Earn the pass now and the pass won’t expire until Dec. 31, 2022. In all of my years of experience with the pass, bonus points from the sign-up bonus hit your account about 3-5 days after the billing statement closes where you met your minimum spend.
(Note: Chase will tell you the points do not hit your account for 90 days, but 99.99% of the time, this is not the case and the points will hit your account much faster).
Aside from the opportunity to earn the Companion Pass with this card, there are many other benefits that come with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card. They include:
9,000 Bonus Points
After every cardmember anniversary, you’ll receive 9,000 bonus points to your account. This is worth approximately $124 in travel on a Southwest “Wanna Getaway” fare. You can then use those bonus points towards a future Southwest flight. Since the annual fee of the card is $199, you can think of it more like $75 a year after this benefit is tacked on (which has a fixed valued).
Upgraded Boarding Positions
Southwest has a unique seat assignment policy where you actually do NOT pick a seat before boarding the plane. Unlike some of the other carriers, you can’t even pay more to pick a seat. Instead it is a “first come, first serve” type of seat picking process, so the earlier you board the plane, the better chance you have of picking a better seat. And with the current pandemic in place, this might be quite important for many of you.
Upon checking into your flight, Southwest will give you a boarding number and you’ll board the plane based on that number. Now, to be able to board the plane first, you can purchase an upgraded boarding position when you arrive to the gate. Assuming available, it will give you boarding position A1-A15, which is the best boarding position you can have.
With this credit card, you’ll receive four complimentary upgraded boarding positions a year. Typically it costs either $30, $40, or $50 to purchase one of these upgraded boarding positions so this benefit is worth between $120-$200! Now, if you end up with boarding position A20, for example, it is not necessary to purchase an upgraded boarding position, but if you end up with C20, for example, securing position A1-A15 is huge.
So while I do not want to say you are coming out ahead another $120-$200 because this might not have been something that you’d necessarily would have paid for, it is a nice perk to have — especially right now.
Global Entry Reimbursement
This card will reimburse you for your $100 Global Entry cost once every four years. Even if you already have Global Entry, you can use the reimbursement for another family member or friend. The names do not have to match, you just need to use your credit card to pay the application fee. If this is something you’d be purchasing anyways, then take the $100 into account when justifying the annual fee.
Inflight Wi-Fi Credits
If you typically pay for Wi-Fi during your Southwest flights, this is huge! Having this card ultimately gives you free Wi-Fi always. While the terms state that you are limited to a total of 365 credits per year, that should be more than enough! Typically Wi-Fi on Southwest costs $8, so let’s say you average 6 roundtrip flights a year, that is a $48 of savings during the year.
I am extremely excited to see a great offer on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card — especially when people are starting to get ready to travel again.
Although the annual fee is more than some of the other Southwest credit cards, the benefits are worthwhile. If you fly Southwest often, then the Wi-Fi credits, upgraded boarding positions, the Global Entry and the annual point bonuses will make you come out way ahead of the annual fee paid.