UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa
How does this sound… Chose one person to fly for free with you everytime you fly Southwest Airlines for an entire year. Cool right? That’s the Companion Pass and it’s, in my opinion, the best deal in travel!
Casual travelers and experienced travel hackers alike covet the Southwest Companion Pass because, well, that’s an amazing deal! I’ve had the Southwest Companion Pass for the last two years and so anytime I fly Southwest, my wife can hop on board with me for free. It’s just amazing. But to qualify for Companion Pass you need to do one of the following two things:
- Fly 100 Southwest flights in a calendar year. Yeah, that’s difficult.
- Earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points in a calendar year. Also tough, but manageable.
So here’s how the Southwest Rapid Rewards VISA card will help you earn Companion Pass.
50,000 Bonus Points
Yes. 50,000! That’s the bonus you’ll get for signing up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier VISA card and spending $2,000 in your first three months with the card. There’s a $99 annual fee for this card, but you also get 6,000 bonus Rapid Reward points each year on your signup anniversary, so it works out alright if you fly Southwest a lot. But let’s get back to that 50,000. What will that do for you?
For starters, those 50,000 Rapid Reward points will get you two roundtrip flights, sometimes even three if you aren’t going cross-country and you book the “Wanna Get Away” point fares. Second, that bonus gets you nearly halfway to earning Companion Pass right off the bat, and that’s a heck of a jumpstart!
Do you have a business? There is a Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card as well, and the current signup bonus on that is 60,000 points! So theroetically, if you sign up for and get approved on both the personal and business Southwest Premier VISA cards, you just got yourself Companion Pass. Congratulations! Host a party, and let friends bid for the honor of joining your jetsetting ways!
If you don’t have a business or opt not to go for two new credit cards, don’t worry, there are still ways to make up the 60,000 point difference and get yourself Companion Pass. We’ll be covering some of the best ways to optimize and maximize your Rapid Reward point earning potential in a follow-up post. Be sure to subscribe to the Explore Inspired newsletter so you don’t miss when we drop that post!
And you’re lucky. It’s still just February and if you get on the credit card sign up bonus now, you have plenty of time to get to those 110,000 points and earn the pass!
Is this for you?
Let’s backtrack. I don’t advise taking out a new credit card if you currently have terrible credit, are bad at managing your credit card balances, have too many cards you can’t handle already, or will be too tempted to buy what you can’t afford.
But on the other side of the spectrum, if you can responsibly use credit cards by simply putting what you’re already spending on the card and paying it off on-time each month, then go for it! If you fit in this second bucket, there is absolutely no point in using your debit card. You are throwing away money by doing so. Start buying on credit, with the right card, and get rewarded for purchases you would be making anyway.
For instance, all of my utility bills (electric, gas, car insurance, phone, cable, etc.) are on autopay with my Hyatt Rewards card. I pay it off each month, and in doing so, I maintain Platinum status at Hyatt and earn free nights each year without any other purchases!