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How would you like unlimited buy one get one free flights for the rest of this year and ALL of next year?  Take your spouse, bf/gf, son/daughter, parent, friend, ANYBODY.

Yes, it’s possible with the Southwest Companion Pass and now is the perfect time to get it.  Let me explain:

 

What IS IT?

Never heard of the Southwest Companion Pass?  The Companion Pass lets a companion of yours (a friend, spouse, daughter, anybody . . .) fly for free with you on ANY Southwest flight. 

Just a book a flight on Southwest with cash or using your Southwest points and you can add your companion to that flight for almost free (you still have to pay the flight taxes which are usually just $5.60).

 

HOW?

In order to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you have to earn 125,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.  Once you hit 125,000 points, the companion pass is yours for the rest of the year along with the entire following year so it’s best to earn it as early as possible in the year.

And points earned from Chase’s Southwest credit cards COUNT towards the 125,000 point requirement so this is the easiest and quickest way to accumulate the points needed.

Chase currently has 5 different Southwest credit cards – 2 business versions and 3 personal versions.  Chase only allows you to hold one of personal cards at a time (and won’t allow to earn the sign up bonus if you already received it within the past 24 months on any of the personal cards).

But you can hold one of the Southwest business cards along with one of the Southwest personal cards.  You can also hold both versions of the business card.

(Yes you need to own a business to apply for it, but don’t forget owning a rental property, mowing lawns, tutoring, selling items on ebay, or being an uber driver are sole proprietor businesses!

You don’t have to have a formal business setup with paperwork, LLC, corporation, etc. All of the above examples are considering being a Sole Proprietor. Sole Proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It’s run by one individual and there is no distinction between the business and the owner.  Just use your name and SSN# on the application)

 

STEP 1 – Southwest Business Card

Pick one of the two Southwest Business cards below to apply for and meet the minimum spending requirement and earn XX,XXX points (depending on which card you choose and current offer) towards the 125,000 Companion Pass requirement. I prefer the Southwest Performance Business card because I think the extra perks are worth the higher annual fee but you might be comfortable with the lower annual fee of the Premier.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business

The Southwest Performance Business is the business card version that I prefer. It has a $199 annual fee but the benefits more than cover the annual fee cost.  It currently offers a 80,000 point bonus after you spend $5000 in the first 3 months. 

The card's benefits include:  9000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary.  Southwest points are generally worth 1.6 cents each so 9000 points is worth $144.

It also will credit your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every 4 years up to $100.  I'll never go without Global Entry again so this is worth $25/year to me.

Ever use WiFi on flights?  This card credits you back the cost of Wifi on Southwest flights.  365 $8 credits per year!  I don't fly Southwest everyday but maybe will take 4-6 flights per year, so I value this benefit at $24 as I usually don't purchase Wifi.

It also gives you four upgraded boarding positions each year. These are actually better than purchasing early bird since you will get boarding position A1-A15 when you purchase this at the check-in counter or ticket counter. While early bird is usually $15-$25, upgraded boardings cost $30-$50. For simplicity, let’s just say these are worth $15 (like the cheapest early bird).

$144 (9000 miles) + $60 (upgraded boarding) + $25 (Global Entry) + $24 (wifi) = $253 value vs $199 annual fee.

Learn more and apply here.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business

The Southwest Premier Business card has a $99 annual fee and it currently offers a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $3000 in the first 3 months.

The 6000 points each year that this card gives you on your cardmember anniversary just about cover the cost of the annual fee. Southwest points are generally worth 1.6 cents each so 6000 points is worth $96.

It also earns 2X points on all Southwest purchases and 1X points on everything else.

Learn more and apply here.

STEP 2 – Southwest Personal Card

Next, you should apply for a Southwest Personal card.  Timing of the application will depend on how much you spend on a monthly basis.  If you can meet the spending requirement for both the business and personal cards in a month or two then apply for the personal card about a week after the business card.

If your monthly spending is lower, then wait until you are almost complete with the business card spending requirement.  Even if it takes you the full 3 months to complete the spending requirement on each, 1.5 years of the Companion Pass is a pretty sweet deal!

Hands down I think the personal Priority card is the best of the bunch as you can see below, the perks more than cover the annual fee.  If you don’t use Wifi on airplanes, I would recommend getting the personal Priority card and the Premier Business card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card has a $149 annual fee and is currently offering 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 total in the first 3 months). 

This card also gives you a $75 annual Southwest credit each year along with 7500 points each year on your cardmember anniversary.  Southwest points are generally worth 1.6 cents each so 7500 points is worth $120.

It also gives you four upgraded boarding positions each year. These are actually better than purchasing early bird since you will get boarding position A1-A15 when you purchase this at the check-in counter or ticket counter.  While early bird is usually $15-$25, upgraded boardings cost $30-$50. For simplicity, let’s just say these are worth $15 (like the cheapest early bird).

$120 (7500 miles) + $60 (upgraded boarding) + $75 (annual credit) = $255 value vs $149 annual fee.

Learn more and apply here.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card has a $99 annual fee and is currently offering 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 total in the first 3 months). 

This card gives 6000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary.  Southwest points are generally worth 1.6 cents each so 6000 points is worth $96.  The value of these points just about covers the $99 annual fee.

It also earns 2X points on all Southwest purchases and 1X points on everything else.

Learn more and apply here.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card has a $69 annual fee and is currently offering 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 total in the first 3 months). 

This card also gives 3000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary.  Southwest points are generally worth 1.6 cents each so 3000 points is worth $48.  The value of these points cover most of the $69 annual fee.

It also earns 2X points on all Southwest purchases and 1X points on everything else.

Learn more and apply here.

NEED TO KNOWS

After meeting the spending requirement for both cards and getting all 125,000 points needed, the Companion Pass will be yours!

 

A few tips on using the Companion Pass:

  • You don’t have to pay for your Southwest flight with cash in order to use the Companion Pass, you can also book a flight using some of the 125,000 points you earned to book your flight, then add your companion to the flight for free.
  • You can change your Companion up to 3 times per year so you aren’t stuck with the same person the whole year.
  • You can add your Companion to the flight as long as there is one seat available – there are NO special requirements or capacity control
  • I’ve seen Southwest flights for less than 5,000 points one way on some routes, so those 125,000 points you earned can get you 25 flights + 25 flights for your Companion.

 

 What other questions do you have?  Which 2 cards will you apply for?

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