Maximizing the 50,000 Point Chase Southwest Offers and the Companion Pass
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers 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).
- 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.