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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Official application links: Earn the Companion Pass and enjoy 2-for-1 travel for the rest of 2019 with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
All three Southwest personal co-branded cards currently have a fantastic limited-time offer available. The sign-up bonus for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is 30,000 Rapid Rewards points and a Companion Pass after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months of account opening.
I suspect many people who previously believed the Companion Pass to be out of reach may take advantage of this offer and are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the pass. Let’s look at several of the most common questions about the offer and about the Companion Pass in general and shed some light on arguably the best deal in US travel.
Q: When does the promotional Companion Pass expire?
A: The Companion Pass earned with this offer will be good through Dec. 31, 2019. A standard Companion Pass earned through flying or credit card points (or both) is good the rest of the year in which you earn it, in addition to the following year.
Q: How long after meeting the $4,000 minimum spending requirement will I receive the points and Companion Pass?
A: In our experience, Chase awards sign-up bonuses within a few days of your statement (in which the minimum spend was met) closing.
Q: How long will this offer be available?
A: This promotional Companion Pass sign-up offer ends Feb. 11.
Q: If I already have a Companion Pass and sign up for this offer, will I receive a second Companion Pass?
A: No, you can only hold a single Companion Pass per calendar year.
Q: Are the Chase Southwest cards subject to the 5/24 rule?
A: Yes, you will not be approved for any of the Southwest cards if you have opened more than five personal credit cards (a few business cards also count) from any bank in the last two years.
Q: If I’ve had a Southwest card before, can I qualify for this limited-time offer?
A: Assuming you are below 5/24 , you may receive an additional Southwest sign-up bonus if you no longer hold any personal Southwest card and it has been at least 24 months since you received any personal Southwest card sign-up bonus.
Q: I already have X Chase cards, can I get this one too?
A: We recommend taking a slow approach to acquiring multiple Chase cards. There’s no set rule or time frame for how many Chase cards is too many, but risky behavior, like having too much credit extended to you or applying for too many new cards too quickly, may bring you unwanted attention.
Q: Is there any advantage to applying immediately versus waiting?
A: If you are eligible for this offer, my recommendation is to apply and meet minimum spend ASAP so you can enjoy the Companion Pass for as much of 2019 as possible.
Q: If I take advantage of this deal, can I change my existing reservations with Southwest this year to reflect the Companion Pass?
A: If you already have two seats booked, you should be able to call Southwest and ask them to split the reservation into two PNRs. Then you’d be able to cancel the companion’s ticket and get either a refund of points or a credit and then rebook using the Companion Pass. If your companion isn’t yet booked, you’d be able to add them to your existing reservation without having to rebook.
Q: Can my spouse/significant other apply for the card and use my Rapid Rewards number?
A: No, the name of the Rapid Rewards account must match the name of the card holder.
Q: How do I designate my companion?
A: Once you earn the pass, you can log in to your Rapid Rewards account and enter the companion info right on your account home screen.
Q: Can I change my designated companion?
A: Yes, you can change your companion three times before your Companion Pass expires for a maximum of four companions for the year. These are the same exact rules for the Companion Pass earned through flights and/or credit card points.
Q: How do I change my designated companion?
A: You unfortunately cannot do it online and need to call Southwest customer service at 1-800-435-9792 and ask a representative to help you.
Q: How do I book my companion a ticket?
A: Once you have made your reservation, you simply go back to your account home page. On your trip, there will be an option to add your companion to your ticket. You must still pay the taxes and fees for your companion.
Q: Can you use the Companion Pass when booking with your companion’s points or even someone else’s?
A: Yes. For example, if your spouse has points, but you have the Companion Pass, your spouse can issue an award booking in your name, and then you can add your spouse as your companion. The same is true of revenue bookings, if someone else pays for your ticket and then you add them (or someone else) as a companion.
Q: Can my companion fly without me?
A: No. There are reports of companions being de-boarded when the original ticket holder is a no-show. If you book a companion ticket, you must travel with your companion.
Q: Do my A-List benefits extend to my companion?
A: Unfortunately, no. For A-List and A-List Preferred members who are also Companion Pass holders, reserved boarding privileges will not be provided for the member’s designated companion unless he/she is also an A-List or A-List Preferred Member.
Q: If I meet the 110,000 points this year while holding the promotional Companion Pass, will I actually keep the pass through 2020?
A: Yes. According to the terms and conditions, “If Companion Pass is earned by flying 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 qualifying points in the calendar year while qualified for promotional Companion Pass through December 31, 2019, the regular Companion Pass qualifications will supersede the promotional Companion Pass entitling the Member to Companion Pass through December 31, 2019.”
Q: Do I need my Companion Pass card?
A: Southwest will send you a nice plastic card in the mail with your name on it and your Companion Pass expiration date, but you won’t need it when flying Southwest. Mine did prove handy a few times when I submitted a status match or challenge request, though, so don’t throw the card in the trash.
Perhaps the biggest potential benefit to this offer is for people looking to travel to Hawaii. Southwest has just moved one step closer to launching flights to the islands, and most in the industry expect them to launch in 2019. If you’re able to take advantage of this and score a Companion Pass, you may just get yourself 2-for-1 tickets to the Aloha state.
TPG has plenty of resources about Rapid Rewards and the Companion Pass, so be sure to read as much as you can if you’re new to the program or benefit, and ask any additional questions you may have in the comments and we’ll try to get answers to them.
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