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Maximizing the 50,000 Point Chase Southwest Offers and the Companion Pass

by on November 14, 2012 · 73 comments

in Chase, Credit Cards, Southwest

Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.

Chase and Southwest frequently change the sign-up bonus on the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa between 25,000 and 50,000-points, but they just launched a new 50,000 point promotion that should be good for at least the next month or so. Southwest Rapid Rewards is a fixed value frequent flyer program, which means you can use the points to redeem for any flights and those 50,000 points are worth approximately $900 in Wanna Getaway Fares (I recently redeemed Southwest points and got 1.8 cents per point when redeeming for Wanna Get Away fares).

Details:

  • Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account
  • Get 6,000 points every year after your Cardmember Anniversary – that’s enough for a $100 Wanna Get Away? Fare
  •  2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran purchases made directly with the airlines and on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases. Get up to 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points annually.
  • Redeem points for Gift Cards, Car Rentals, Cruises, Hotel Stays, and International flights to over 800 Destinations on 50+ global carriers.
  • $99 annual fee, not waived

Companion Pass Angle
One of the most incredible airline frequent flyer perks out there is the Southwest Companion pass, which lets a companion fly free with you- whether you pay for a ticket or use points!

You get the companion pass with 110,000 in points in a calendar year, so if you got the personal and business cards (for the business card application scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can find the link) at 50,000 points each and the $2,000 in spend on each- you’d be 95% of the way there! To get the remaining points, you can spend on the card (easy if you do the whole Vanilla/Bluebird thing) or transfer in points from hotel programs. The major trick here is to get the cards now, but don’t meet the spend requirement until early 2013. If you get the companion pass in January 2013, it will be good for 2 years!

For those unfamiliar with Southwest, they have  a hugely loyal following because they allow 2 free checked bags on all flights and there are no change fees on tickets-  if you cancel a flight, you get your money back in the form of a voucher towards a future flight. Additionally, points don’t expire as long as you have any qualifying activity (a single credit card transaction) within 24 months

If you do apply for both cards, its very likely you’ll have to call the reconsideration line, but luckily it’s staffed with rational reps who are motivated to help you get approved.

If you already have the Southwest Premier credit card, you most likely can’t get this product, but if you have a product by another name, like the Southwest Plus card, it is possible that you’d be eligible for this offer.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • AP

    TPG, might want to add a word of caution for those that might meet the minimum spend amount too quickly:
    Companion Pass Points reset on 12/31 of every year. So if you meet the $2000 spend on both cards before then, but don’t get upto 110,000 points then you will be in a tough position come 1/1/13.

  • Dhurd

    So just to be clear, Companion Pass can be earned with redeemable miles, but levels like A-List and A+ are only achieved with tier qualifying points (eg. flying,spending 10k on the WN credit card)?

  • ML

    Not sure why the comments are closed on the Vanilla post, but do you need to be at a Wal Mart to load the funds onto BB, or can it be done online?

  • thepointsguy

    Weird- that was a glitch- they are now open. As for Vanilla reloads- it can all be done online at vanillareload.com

  • thepointsguy

    You can earn the companion pass with 100 one-way flights OR 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying miles (from credit card, hotel transfers, partner miles, etc). A list/A Plus are only earned by flying or Tier Qualifying points

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- I think I was clear that you’d want to wait until 2013 to hit the spend, but will try to make it even clearer!

  • rwluver

    just got 3 cards from chase in two weeks ago. will they approve if I apply for this creditcard?

  • Christa

    Quick question- I was just wondering if the business card pulls from the same credit history. I’ve signed up for 3 chase cards in the last 3 months and feel like I’ll get rejected because of too many recent inquiries if I attempt the business one as well.

    Thanks!

  • Christa

    Quick question- I was just wondering if the business card pulls from the same credit history. I’ve signed up for 3 chase cards in the last 3 months and feel like I’ll get rejected because of too many recent inquiries if I attempt the business one as well.

    Thanks!

  • thepointsguy

    They will pull a personal inquiry when you apply for a business card. If you get rejected for the Bold, you can call the business reconsideration line (1-800-453-9719) and move around some of the credit lines from your other cards (or close an old Chase card) to get approved for the new Ink – just give them a good reason why you’d need a new business card product and as long as you have good credit and a good relationship with Chase, you should get approved

  • thepointsguy

    Thats a lot of Chase in a short amount of time. I’d wait at least a month before your next app. Will you get appoved? Only Chase knows, but if not you can still call their reconsideration line at 1-888-245-0625 and work with them to get approved- whether by closing old accounts or shifting existing credit lines around

  • Shannon

    When I got my companion pass last year, the terms stated if I hit 110k miles after (I think) June, then it would be good for 18 months. If I hit 110k in January, it would have only been good for that calendar year. You may want to double check “good for two years if you qualify in Jan” …

  • Shannon

    Nevermind … 2013 has some better terms apparently:

    Companion Pass qualification will be based on a calendar year. A Companion Pass Member will maintain his/her Companion Pass for the remainder of the calendar year in which status is earned, and the entire calendar year immediately following. To continue their Companion Pass privileges, Members must re-qualify each year. (For example, a Member who earns a Companion Pass on July 15, 2011 will maintain the Companion Pass for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012. Beginning January 1, 2012, the Member must complete 100 qualifying one-way flights or accrue 110,000 Qualifying Points by December 31, 2012, and upon doing so, the Companion Pass will be extended to December 31, 2013.)

  • Pearl

    Is it possible to apply for both the Premier and Plus personal cards and get both? I’m still a bit hesitant about applying for a business card without a “business”, even by the loose definitions set by the churning world.

  • thepointsguy

    Yes you can get both

  • Tim

    Yes. Yes, it does.

  • Pinkxter

    Hi – is it possible to place my RR account when my wife applies for the card? Has anyone tried that before? Thanks!

  • Christa

    Just wanted to confirm- can you get the bonus miles for both?

    As per millionmilesecrets: “Yes, you can get the bonus for 1 personal (either the Plus or Premier version) & 1 business Southwest card (either the Plus or Premier version). ”

  • Steve

    Technically though you are only supposed to be able to get a bonus for 1 personal card and one business card. I think some people have gotten the bonus from personal cards twice, but that they canceled the first card before applying for the second.

  • Nick

    I have a question .. I got 2 Chase SW cards this year .. I am short 4000 points for the 110000 points. Should I do it before the new year or wait until the new year to get the pass all of 2013-2014. I am just not sure if SW will reset the count in the new year to earn 110k again to even earn the first companion pass (i know i will have to earn it in 2013 to keep it going beyond 2014)

  • Kaladeb

    My husband got the companion pass for 2012 and 2013. His credit card is set to expire early 2013. Does he have to keep his credit card to keep the companion pass or are those two separate items? If he can cancel his card, he could reapply again in a year so and try for the companion pass again, correct?

  • thepointsguy

    The qualification meter resets Jan 1 so get it now or else you’ll need another 110k in 2013

  • thepointsguy

    Two separate things. You don’t need to have an active chase southwest credit card to keep your companion pass

  • Pink Xter

    Hi – I have a few questions:

    1. If my wife applies for a card will it be fine if I enter my Rapid Rewards number that is under my name during the application process. Does this ever work? Has anyone tried this before?

    2. I closed my Plus Business Card today, should I apply for the Premier Business today or wait a few days? I also applied for Plus Personal Card for which I got approved after talking to customer service.

    Thanks

  • Ivan

    Will transferring the airtran credits to southwest points count towards the companion points??

  • thepointsguy

    No. Nor will transferring chase points

  • Steve

    I actually contacted SW about this. I was told that points earned through the Premier card count as Tier Qualifying Points, but not points earned through the Plus card. Points earned through both cards count towards the companion pass.

    The agents never seemed 100% certain in that answer though, so take it with a grain of salt. It might be that they meant that the 1,500 bonus you get for every $10,000 spend on the Premier counts as TQP.

  • Steve

    Hey TPG, are you sure your calculation is right for the value of each SW point? I think it might be off, though only by a small amount The SW website says that you need 60 points for each dollar that you spend in Wanna Get Away fares. I get:

    100 cents / (60 points) = ~1.67 cents per point.

    This would put the value of each 50,000 point signup bonus at about $835, less the signup bonus.

  • Pink Xter

    Do you know till when this promotion will last?

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  • Devon Pack

    My wife had some late payments a few years ago but has been current since and we haven’t applied to any cards for her in years(1 inquiry only in past year on credit report). She has 735, 718, 710(Equ, Exp, Trans) for her scores and our household income is over $100k. Does she stand a good chance of approval on getting both cards?

  • Bamboo Miles

    When do points accrue to the card? Immediately when a charge is made, or when the payment is made? I’m wondering if I make charges in December but pay them off in January if the points would accrue in December or in January.

  • Devon Pack

    Any help here? Thanks!

  • thepointsguy

    Not for sure but I’d guess until mid december

  • thepointsguy

    I’d think she’d have a decent chance- no one can tell you for sure but chase

  • thepointsguy

    Usually a couple days after the statement has closed

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  • Btraer1

    You suggested applying for the rapid rewards card to get the 50,000 mile b0nus and also applying for the Chase Ink card which gives an additional 50,000 points which may be transferred to Southwest. Then you would only need another 10,000 points to get the companion pass.
    I followed your suggestion. I got both cards and charged enough to accrue 110,000 Southwest miles.
    When I called Southwest about the companion pass, they told me that my miles transferred from the Chase Ink card did not count toward the companion pass so your advise didn’t work out.

  • thepointsguy

    No- I recommended getting the southwest business card. Chase points do not count towards companion pass qualification

  • Zhangapang

    Is the companion pass only good for one use or is it good for unlimited uses during the two year duration once you achieve the status of 110K points?

  • Chris Wherry

    I’m confused by this sentence – “If you already have the Southwest Premier credit card, you most likely can’t get this product, but if you have a product by another name, like the Southwest Plus card, it is possible that you’d be eligible for this offer.” Are you saying you recommend to get the Southwest Plus card for personal and then attempt to get Southwest Premier for Business card for business? Then call 1-888-245-0625 if you have any issues?

  • thepointsguy

    I’m saying if you have an old Southwest card, you may still be able to get the Premier and Business cards. The key is not to apply for the same card you already have

  • thepointsguy

    It is good for the rest of the year you achieve it plus the entire next year- thats why it makes sense to get it in January

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  • John Smith

    They changed this

  • Y2krings

    Will HHilton miles converted to Southwest RR work towards a companion pass?

  • Vu

    when does the bonus post? when you cross the 2k threshold or when the statement closes? Thanks!

  • Timothyprice1

    What are the qualifications to get a business credit card? Do you have to in any way link it to a legitimate business and use it for business expenses?

  • http://www.facebook.com/blakejnolan Blake J. Nolan

    I signed up for both cards right before the promotion was set to expire, and now on the first bill I have been charged $99 membership fee on BOTH cards! Has this happened to anyone else? The cards haven’t even been active for a month!

    Brian? Points Guy Team? Other folks? Anyone else having this issue? Is this right, or is there anything I can do about this???

    Help!

    - Blake

  • thepointsguy

    The cards come with annual fees that you pay when you open the account. What is the confusion?

  • Davis

    I got the Southwest Card sometime in 2012 (when the offer was spend $500 or something like that), can I also apply for the Business card?

    Unfortunately, it looks like I can’t do the Companion pass trick because I already burned through the 50,000 points a got from the first card.

  • saraakn

    I got the 50,000 personal card back in Nov. but didn’t get the business card (didn’t know about this awesome companion pass). If I still try for the business card now (February) and make the minimum soon, can I still get the Companion pass for 2 years (till end of 2014)? Too bad I didn’t see this when I first applied!

    Thanks for the tip.
    Sarah

  • shonuffharlem

    I love your blog and use it TONS. However, I called Southwest Rapid Rewards today and they said the 50,000 bonus miles will NOT count to companion pass per this phrase (bolding mine). Wondering why the discrepency?

    http://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/faqs.html?topic=rapid_rewards_program_terms_and_conditions

    Purchased points and !points earned from program enrollment!, Tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.

  • thepointsguy

    Phone reps are generally clueless. Hundreds of people have confirmed and reported that the signup bonuses count toward companion pass on blogs and forums so I would go with that over anything else. I haven’t personally gotten ang southwest cards because I don’t fly them, but I’d trust what people have reported

  • Wy4052

    any idea on when the next 50000 bonus will come around?

  • Jennifer

    You can apply for the 50,000 points now at 877-279-9996! I just applied for a rapid rewards card today thru above number, and they were offering the 50,000 points.

  • Jo

    I already have an old SW card with 48,000 miles. Can I apply for another card for the 50,000 bonus and the rapid reward points will be added to that? If so, is it too late in your opinion to get the companion pass?
    Thanks…

  • http://seafoodie.me/ Ryan

    Made a big mistake here – when I was totaling up my statements I missed the fact that the annual fee doesn’t count towards the spending total. After 3 months I ended up being $12 short of the $2k minimum.

    I tried calling Chase but they insisted they don’t have the flexibility to fix this. Do you think Southwest would? Do you think that Chase rep. might be fibbing?

  • http://twitter.com/JTennor Josh

    Do you purchase the companion pass with the points, or do you just qualify for it by earning a certain number of points?

  • thepointsguy

    They give it too you once you accrue 110,000 companion qualifying pass miles (credit card bonuses count)

  • http://twitter.com/JTennor Josh

    Okay. So I can’t spend the points throughout the year, they need to be saved until I reach 110,000. And THEN I can start spending them, right?

  • thepointsguy

    Once the statement closes after you cross threshold

  • thepointsguy

    You don’t “spend” companion pass qualifying points – they are separate from regular Points. Once you accrue 110,000 CPQ points you automatically get the companion pass- may take a week to process

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  • Robert

    I got both the personal and the business cards about two months apart. Got my first 50k miles and should see the second in a few weeks but looking at my online SW account the miles I’ve earned this year from CC signup bonuses do not count towards the companion pass. It even says as much if you look through the FAQs. The miles are nice but I followed this advice based on the companion pass payoff. Any suggestions or feedback on how to proceed? Thanks!

  • shonuffharlem

    I got this answered in previous conversation, yes according to the terms and even an agent said bonus miles don’t count, they currently do. Obviously they are allowing it, but could revoke it at any point they want. I believe others have said this has been good for at least 18 months though…

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  • Daniel B

    I can confirm this still works. Just got my biz card miles posted after the personal one and my companion pass activated last night. Just booked a flight for 14,000 miles for me and my girlfriend. 7,000 each for a RT ticket in the US!

  • Christian McCarthy

    Good question. Would be great to know the answer!

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  • Vitaliy Vinogradov

    Thats why you always spend a few hundred more, whats the big deal?

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