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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Chase has been offering 50,000 points on the Southwest Visa products for a couple weeks now and I just got confirmation that the offers will end August 6, 2013. To get the 50,000 points you need to spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account and there is a $99 fee on the Premier card and $69 fee on the Plus card. The Premier comes with 6,000 points every anniversary (~$108 in Wanna Get Away Fares) and the Plus gets 3,000 ($54).
Offer end dates are always good to know so you can plan it with your next round- or move up your next application in order to get the bonus. Chase periodically runs this bonus, but you never know if it will come back again. Amex used to always run transfer bonuses to Delta, but then stopped on day and we haven’t seen one in almost 18 months. My guess is that these offers will come back again, but possibly not until 2014.
I’ve written many times about this offer- basically it is marketed as 2 roundtrip flights, but you are actually getting 50,000 Rapid Rewards points. Southwest points cannot be transferred to other frequent flyer or hotel programs and the only partner airline you can redeem on is Airtran, which was acquired by Southwest in 2010. When redeemed for Wanna Get Away fares, that mean you can get up to $900 in fares- or $1,800 that if you have the Companion Pass. (I recently redeemed Southwest points and got 1.8 cents per point when redeeming for Wanna Get Away fares).
There are 2 main types of Southwest card: Premier and Plus (link at the bottom of the landing page) and each has a personal and business version (the business link is at the bottom of the landing page as well.
Chase will allow you to get the sign-up bonus for each card and it is possible to get two in one day so you can bank up to 100,000 points and credit card sign-up bonuses do count towards Companion Pass Qualification. So with the 2,000 in minimum spend on two cards plus the 50,000 point bonuses, you’re looking at 104,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and you only need 110,000 to get the pass.
Companion Pass Basics
How to Qualify
There are two ways:
1) Fly 100 one-way flights within a calendar year
2) Accrue 110,000 points in a calendar year (every January your qualifying points reset to 0) – this includes flights, credit card – including credit card sign-up bonuses and partner activity like hotel stays/transfers and rental cars.
Relevant Rules (Full list here)
1) Your companion can only board with their zone. For example, if you are a top elite, your companion cannot board with you unless they have the same elite status.
2) You cannot use your companion for an extra seat for yourself unless you are a Passenger of Size.
3) You can change your designated Companion and request a new Companion Pass up to three (3) times within the validity period of the Pass.
4) Companion Pass and reward travel is subject to a government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $10 roundtrip
Overall, these offers are extremely rich if you fly Southwest/AirTran and can get the Companion Pass- which will let someone fly for free (plus taxes) whenever you buy a ticket with either points or cash- and the pass is good for all of 2013 and 2014. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.