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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
TPG Reader Janice sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning the Southwest Companion Pass:
“I’m close to earning the Southwest Companion Pass, and I’m counting on the 6,000-point anniversary bonus from my Rapid Rewards credit card to get me over the threshold. I’ve read on TPG that these points count toward Companion Pass status; however, I called Southwest Airlines and was told the opposite by two different reps. Please help!”
A few weeks ago, Chase launched a new offer for 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card. Sign-up bonuses like these are a great way to boost your earnings toward the highly prized Southwest Companion Pass, which requires earning 110,000 points in a calendar year. So it’s no surprise that whenever a new offer like this comes out, I get a ton of questions about which points qualify and which don’t.
Apart from the sign-up bonus, the Premier Card offers an anniversary bonus of 6,000 Rapid Rewards points to help offset the $99 annual fee. Janice wants to make sure these points will count toward the Companion Pass, and fortunately, they do. The terms and conditions on the Southwest website are pretty cut and dry (bolding is mine):
“A Member who earns 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying Points through Rapid Rewards Partners or who flies 100 qualifying one-way flights booked through Southwest Airlines per calendar year will qualify for a Companion Pass. ‘Companion Pass Qualifying Points’ are earned from your revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, your points earned on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and your base points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners.”
The anniversary bonus is categorized as points earned on one of the Southwest credit cards, so you can bank on it to help you earn the Companion Pass.
It doesn’t surprise me that Southwest Airlines phone reps get this wrong. I think the confusion comes from the Companion Pass often being referred to as a “status,” when it’s really more of a perk. For the most part, points earned on Southwest co-branded cards do not count toward elite status. The exception is the 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points you earn for each $10,000 of eligible purchases (up to 15,000 TQPs annually). Those points count toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, but don’t count toward the Companion Pass.
You can be confident that the sign-up bonus, anniversary bonus and points earned from spending will all qualify. However, pay attention to when those points show up in your account, since you have to earn the full 110,000 in a single year.
For more tips on earning and maximizing the Companion Pass, check out these posts:
- How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass for Almost Two Years
- Southwest Companion Pass: 16 Things Every Flyer Should Know
LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees