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TPG reader Dana writes:
“I got a southwest plus personal card in September of 2011and then the a southwest business plus card 10/12. I want to try for companion pass this year. This would be my first churn. I know I can only get the bonus by getting the Premier cards now, but don’t know the best plan of attack.”
Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.
Your plan of attack is simple: get the Personal and Business (scroll to bottom of the page) Premier cards as soon as possible because the sooner you get the Companion Pass, the more value you can get out of it. This post explains the of the Companion Pass in detail, but once you accrue 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying points (of which the sign-up bonuses do count) the pass will be good for all of this year and next year. So the earlier you get it in the year, the more time you have to maximize its value.
For those unaware, the Southwest Companion Pass allows you to bring a companion along with you for free (just pay taxes) whenever you fly Southwest. You can fly on paid tickets or using points and the companion is always free, so if you get the 50,000 point bonuses on both personal and business cards it equates to roughly $1,900 in Wanna Get Away fares and with a companion that means at least $3,800 in total value- for two single credit card applications!
I don’t fly Southwest much, but if I did I would absolutely get it because it can save you thousands of dollars. In my opinion it is one of the best frequent flyer perks out there and now that the Southwest/Airtran merger is finally coming to a close, you’ll be able to use it on even more flights- even to international destinations (I am not aware of any at this time).
Bottom line- you can get approved for two Chase cards in one day and the Companion Pass status can be super-valuable so get in while the bonuses are 50,000 each- they’ll soon probably drop to 25,000 and the longer you wait to get the Companion Pass during the year, the less valuable it gets.