You can earn the Companion Pass PLUS 30,000 points by opening just ONE credit card!
There is a new offer on all 3 personal Southwest credit cards. If you open the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, or Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card and spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll earn a Southwest Companion Pass valid through 2/28/22 plus 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points.
There are 3 Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit cards
In addition to the new welcome offer, here are other details about each of the cards:
The annual Fee is $69. Bonus Categories include 2 points per dollar on Southwest airfare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Extra Benefits inclue 3,000 bonus points every anniversary.
The annual Fee is $99. Bonus Categories include 2 points per dollar on Southwest airfare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, then you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Extra Benefits include 6,000 bonus points every anniversary, the ability to earn tier qualifying points towards A-List status, and no foreign transaction fees.
The annual Fee is $149. Bonus Categories include 2 points per dollar on Southwest airfare and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases, and you’ll earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Extra Benefits include 7,500 bonus points every anniversary, $75 annual Southwest credit, 4 upgraded boarding positions per year, 20% back on inflight drinks and WiFi. Also, earn tier qualifying points towards A-List status, and no foreign transaction fees.
Why is this such a great deal?
The Southwest Companion Pass is kind of the holy grail of award travel. The strategy to earn it has changed over the years, but it is still fairly easy to earn with credit card sign up bonuses even if you’ve never flown on a Southwest plane. With the typical Southwest credit card offers, you can earn enough or almost enough points for the CP with just two credit card sign up bonuses. There are a few catches, though.
- You have to be eligible for business cards since one of the cards required is a business card. Chase no longer allows you to have more than one personal version of the card at one time. But you can have a business and a personal card.
- You must be under 5/24. You have to be under 5/24 for this offer as well, but you only need one card instead of two.
- There are minimum spending requirements, so you need to be able to meet the min spend requirement on 2 cards.
With the current offer, you only need to sign up for one personal credit card. No business card required.
If you sign up for one of the 3 personal Southwest credit cards, you will receive a Companion Pass plus 30,000 points after meeting the minimum spending requirement. The minimum spending requirement is $5,000 in the first 3 months.
If you are worried about meeting minimum spending requirements, Plastiq is a great way to help meet minimum spend. Use code 573475 to receive 500 fee-free dollars after using Plastiq to make your first payment of $500 or more. Click here for details and for more ways to help meet minimum spend.
How long is the pass valid with this offer?
Well, that’s the catch. If you earn the Companion Pass via credit cards the “other way” (by opening one personal and one business card), the pass is good in the year you earn it and the next year. In other words, if you were to earn it this month as outlined in the post about the Companion Pass, the pass would be good through this year AND all of 2022. It wouldn’t expire until December 31, 2022. More on that in a bit.
With this deal, your pass is only going to be valid until February 28, 2022. Anything could happen, but I wouldn’t expect them to extend this date due to Covid. While Southwest has extended the validity of Companion Passes earned through other methods (including those earned by opening one business and one personal Southwest card), this is considered a promotional Companion Pass. Companion Passes earned through offers such as this sign up offer have been explicitly excluded each time Southwest has extended Companion Pass validity for Covid reasons.
If you plan to fly on Southwest with a companion even just a few times between now and February 2022, this is still an easy way to save lots of money and/or points.
Which of the 3 Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit cards is best?
Even if you take just one Southwest flight per year, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is the best deal.
To compare annual fees, the Plus is $69, Premier is $99, and Priority is $149. Assuming you will use the $75 Southwest credit, it brings the Priority fee down to $74. That’s lower than the Premier version, and similar to the Plus version. I’d say the extra $5 is worth it for the extra benefits, such as the 4 upgraded boarding positions per year.
For those who fly Southwest often, the benefits of this card may make the card worth keeping year after year even if you do not use it for everyday spending (after meeting the minimum spending requirement for the bonus offer of course).
Can I have 2 Southwest credit cards?
You cannot have more than 1 personal version of a Southwest credit card at the same time. But you can have one personal card and a business card.
Who is eligible for this bonus offer on Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards?
If you have earned a welcome bonus from any of the 3 Southwest personal credit cards the past 24 months, you are not eligible for this bonus offer.
If you had a personal card but closed it in the past 24 months, and you received the bonus more than 24 months ago, but you are under 5/24, you would be eligible.
Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards are subject to Chase 5/24
If you do not know what this is, read this post about Chase’s 5/24 policy.
Chase has an unofficial policy that is known as the 5/24 rule. It means that if you have opened 5 or more cards from ANY bank (not just Chase) in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for any Chase 5/24 cards until 25 months after your 5th newest card was opened. All Chase cards discussed on this site are now 5/24 cards, therefore, it is important to open the Chase cards that you want before opening cards issued by other banks.
Do points from the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card bonus qualify for the Companion Pass?
Obviously you’ll have the Companion Pass with this offer that’s valid until February 2022. But you’ll also have the 30,000 points from this offer that count towards earning the Companion Pass the traditional/other way. The points earned from the bonus on Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards qualify for the Companion Pass. Also, points earned from everyday spending on Southwest co-branded cards qualify for the Companion Pass.
Normally, you need 125,000 points or 100 flights in a calendar year to earn the pass. Earning the pass the traditional way means the pass is valid in the year in which you earn it plus the following year.
This means that if you’re also able to open a Southwest business card and reach the amount of points needed for the Companion Pass as explained in this post for 2021, the pass would be valid through December 31, 2022.
A few things to note about the Companion Pass
You can read a more in-depth post about the Companion Pass here, but here are a few facts:
- Unlike annual companion passes that are valid for one flight per year (such as the Alaska Airlines companion pass), the Southwest Companion Pass allows you to book a companion as many times as you want for the entire period in which your pass is valid.
- You can add your companion to any ticket booked on Southwest. That includes tickets booked on points!
- This includes tickets to Southwest’s international destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
- Generally, you will only pay $5.60 in taxes and fees for your companion each way. This may be slightly higher if you’re booking an international trip due to departure taxes and other fees imposed by foreign governments.
- You can only designate one companion at any given time but you can change your companion up to 3 times per year
- The companion does not have to be a family member, it can be anyone you choose
- You must be present in order for your companion to fly. In other words, you cannot book a flight, add a companion, and then cancel your flight but still have the companion fly.
- If you earn the pass after you’ve already booked a trip, you can go back and add the companion to your reservation
- There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions
Final Verdict: Should you open a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card?
Current offer: Earn a Companion Pass valid through 2/28/2022 and 30,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 in 3 months.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
You are eligible if you:
- are under 5/24
- do not have a personal Southwest card open
- have not earned a welcome bonus from a personal version of a Southwest card in the past 24 months
Southwest Rapid Rewards cards are usually at the top of our list of cards for beginners.
If you’re brand new to award travel, I still would probably suggest a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve first. Unless you plan to fly with a companion on Southwest several times before February 2022, I value the welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred higher. But if you’re going to open a Southwest card, and you have plans to fly on Southwest in the near future with a plus one, now would be a good time to open a Southwest co branded card.
To answer the question, it really just depends on how much you plan to travel on Southwest between now and February 2022. If you want a pass valid through the end of 2022, you’re better off earning it by signing up for a Southwest business card and a personal card and earning the 125,000 points needed*.
*Note that Southwest gave 25,000 companion qualifying points to all Rapid Rewards members who had an RR account by December 31, 2020. This means you need 100,000 by the end of this year to earn the type of Companion Pass that would be valid through December 31, 2022. This offer on the personal cards gives you 30k, so that brings the total needed down to 70k. Signing up for one of the Southwest business cards puts you at or close to the additional points needed. Click here for a comprehensive Companion Pass post.
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