How to Get a Southwest Companion Pass Without Spending $125,000 in 2021

For the last seven years, since 2014, we've had Southwest's Companion Pass.

And I know I'll have it until the end of the year, 2021, because we re-qualified last year.

I'm not a “travel hacker” or some guru. I'm a regular person like you.

I have little interest in getting a dozen credit cards, joining half a dozen rewards and loyalty programs, and figure out the most efficient way to convert hotel points into airline points into whatever. I don't want to do a spreadsheet to track it all. I don't want to download any calculators.

To the folks who love that stuff, I salute you. I'm a huge nerd myself and love a good spreadsheet, everyone knows that, but travel hacking isn't one of those things.

That said, I see why it's appealing. Going on nearly free trips, staying at swanky hotels for nearly nothing, and getting the most out of a credit card is fantastic.

Here's step by step how I did it.

Before I got the Southwest Companion Pass, I was looking into the whole travel hacking phenomenon. I learned it wasn't for me, except with one exception — Southwest Companion Pass. We live near BWI airport (Baltimore/Washington International, Thurgood Marshall Airport), which is a big Southwest hub, so this was a perfect fit. From BWI, we could fly to many destinations including international airports like Aruba.

Southwest Companion Pass was the way to go.

The Best Way to Get Companion Pass in 2021

For a really short time, Chase and Southwest offered Companion pass and points as a new sign-on bonus.

That offer has since expired and now we are back to the more standard offerings, though the minimum spend is much lower than previously.

Do you run a business? If so, the new Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business credit card will give you 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. There's a $199 annual fee but you also get 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.

Here are the best offers on those cards (currently the bonus is all the same):

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card – Get 50,000 after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card – Get 50,000 after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card – Get 50,000 after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.

How I Got My Southwest Companion Pass (2014 – 2021)

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit CardIt's very simple — the credit cards.

On the personal and business cards, they will frequently run 50,000 Rapid Reward point promotions. I waited for one of those times.

For years, the standard promotion is 25,000 miles for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. That's not very good. So they upped it.

Sometimes they offer 60,000 points but that's rare. The current 75,000 offer is unheard of.

When it's not 60,000 – you can wait for it but I'd rather get the points sooner and fly more. That's a personal choice.

You want the 50,000 points (or more) version (or the 40,000 if you're in a hurry). Anyone with an existing Southwest credit card can refer you to this offer, plus they get 10,000 points too (and those points count towards Companion Pass!).

How to get the Companion Pass for Southwest Airlines (updated with current promotional amounts):

  1. Get the personal consumer credit card, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and you spend the $2,000 for the first tier of bonus — that's 82,000 points.
  2. Spend $10,000 more to get the 30,000 additional RR points — that's 122,000 points – you're almost there.
  3. If you want, stack on a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card too, it runs smilar promotions, which right now is 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account. That also has a $99 annual fee. Don't have a business, read our applying for a Business Card section below because you can have a business.
  1. Otherwise just spend another $3,000 and you're in.
  2. With 125,000 points, you'll get SW Companion Pass for rest of the current year AND the next year!

Remember the Chase 5/24 rule! Chase has a rule that if you've been approved for 5 cards in the last 24 months, you will be declined for new cards. You probably can remember when you applied for a card but if you've forgotten, the best way to check is to check your credit reports.

If you don't see the 50,000 or better promotion, be patient and wait. The standard 25,000 point version just isn't as good and the 50,000 comes back all the time. Southwest also offers a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card (instead of Premier) which has a lower annual fee ($69) and a few other smaller bonuses (3,000-anniversary points instead of 6,000 for example). There are often 40,000 Rapid Rewards point bonuses too – you can take those if you want but 50k is ideal.

In total, this will cost you the annual fees of the cards you get, which don't count towards the required bonus spending on either card.

Want other ways to earn RR points without the credit card OR flying? My list of Southwest Airlines money-saving hacks explains how their various point-earning programs work, from the Dining program to electricity supplier reward programs.

Common Questions about Companion Pass

If you have questions about Southwest Airline's Companion Pass or the strategy, you're not alone.

Here are the most common ones I've been asked, hopefully, it answers your questions!

What Is Southwest Companion Pass?

Companion Pass lets you name one person who can fly with you for free (you only pay the September 11th fee) anywhere you fly on Southwest. No blackout dates. You fly, they fly free (you still pay fees like the September 11th security fee)

It's an amazing perk and we've saved thousands each year because of it. It's probably one of the best frequent flyer perks out there, and you don't even need to be a frequent flyer. ๐Ÿ™‚

To earn a Southwest Companion Pass, you need to earn 125,000 Rapid Reward points in a single calendar year. When you do, you get the Southwest Companion Pass for the rest of the year in which you earned it plus the following year.

If you get it January 1st 2021, you'll have Companion Pass until December 31st, 2022.

If you get it December 31st, 2020 then you'll only have it until December 31st, 2020!

There's a huge difference. When earning your miles, you want to get it as early in the year as possible to maximize your free flights.

The fastest way to earn miles is by getting the bonuses on their credit card. They often run promotions where you can get 50,000 miles for spending $2,000 in the first three months. More on that shortly.

Best Time to Earn Southwest Companion Pass

You want to get your SW Companion Pass as early in the year as possible since you'll get it for the remainder of the year… plus the next year.

The best time to apply for the cards is near the end of the calendar year. That way you get the cards at the start of the year, hit your spending goals, and earn Companion Pass. If you apply roughly in mid-November, get the cards shortly thereafter, you have three months (December to February) to spend the $2,000 on each card to get the bonus 100,000 miles.

You know your spending habits. Adjust your application date to when you will be able to reach the tiers.

Personally, I applied in December, got the cards in January, and reached the spending limits sometime in February. My Companion Pass congratulations email arrived on March 6th, once all the points posted.

Can I Spend My Points Before I Get Companion Pass?

Yes. You don't need 125,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points in your account, you only need to earn 125,000 Rapid Reward points in a calendar year.

So if you earned 5,000 points in January, that's 5,000 towards that year's Companion Pass eligibility.

You can spend those points on flights, your meter will still have the 5,000 points that you earned. If you log into your account and at the top, it'll show your progress towards A-List and Companion Pass:

I've already earned it for 2018 and 2019, so mine is completely blue.

As you accumulate points, it'll fill up to the 125,000 points you need. (A-List is always a tease though!)

Can I get points for both the Southwest Plus and Premier Cards?

No!

Why can't I get both the Plus and Premier cards? On April 5th, 2018, Chase added new language to the terms of the landing page of the promotions:

This product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. To qualify for your bonus points, you must make Purchases totaling $1,000 or more during the first 3 months from account opening. Please allow up to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your Rapid Rewardsยฎ account. (โ€œPurchasesโ€ do not include balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions, any checks that access your account, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, and fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.) To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment.

Booo. ๐Ÿ™

Can an Authorized User Get the Bonus Later?

When we got our first Southwest credit card, I was worried about putting my wife on as an authorized user because I wanted her to be able to apply for the card and get the bonus in the future. It turns out my concerns were not warranted!

I asked Southwest and Chase on Twitter and they told me that…

If the authorized user hasn't gotten bonus points then they are eligible to get it as the primary cardholder!

What if I cancel my card and re-apply, can I get the bonus?

The basic rule governing this is that you cannot get the same bonus on the same card in any 24 month period. If you opened a Chase Southwest card last year, earned the bonus last year, then you won't be eligible until 24 months after you earned that bonus. If the bonus was awarded in January 2017, you have to wait until at least January 2019 before you are eligible to get that same sign up bonus.

Let's say you're beyond the 24 month period but you're still using the card. Can you cancel today and get the card and bonus again?

Yes… but you have to wait 60 days before you apply for the card. It takes that long for their systems to be updated. If you apply earlier than 60 days, you risk being denied because their systems think you still have an activated account.

Other Things to Remember

Before we go into the business card section, some last few thoughts:

  • You only need to spend purchase requirements in the first three months to get the bonus point promotions on each card. That's the only time limit. The remaining amount you can spread out over the rest of the year, but it's better to spend it earlier so you'll have Companion Pass for longer.
  • The goal is to earn 125,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points in a year, so all the other ways of earning them (like flying, renting cars, hotels, etc.) are all in play. We focused on the credit cards and putting the points in terms of spending because it was easiest to explain. You don't have to spend $6,000 to get the other 6,000 points, you can earn them in more traditional ways.
  • You can change your flight Companion up to three times in the validity period.
  • Check out these other Southwest Airline hacks to earn miles easily, like Rapid Rewards Dining and joining Rocketmiles if you stay in a lot of hotels.
  • The best part is the Southwest credit cards are also Visa Signature cards so you get all the promotions and protections associated with Visa Signature.

Big Change to Southwest Companion Pass qualification RR Points

There was a big change on January 1st, 2017 – the only way to earn Southwest Companion Pass eligible Rapid Reward points:

  • paid revenue flights on Southwest Airlines,
  • points earned through spending on a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card (including the bonuses),
  • points earned through transaction with Southwest Rapid Rewards partners.

That means e-Rewards, e-Miles, converted points from hotel and car loyalty partners, Valued Opinions and Diners Club will no longer count towards qualification for Companion Pass. You still get the points, they just don't count towards the 125k you need each year.

Years ago, a popular strategy was to convert Chase Ultimate Rewards points and this change closed that method.

๐Ÿ™

“Spending” without Spending?

Where do you live?

If it has four walls and a roof, chances are you're paying rent or a mortgage. Most landlords and all banks will not let you pay rent or a mortgage with a credit card. Credit cards charge the merchant fees and landlords aren't a fan of those. ๐Ÿ™‚

But if you are getting close to a bonus, or Companion Pass, and just need a little more to get there… using a service like Plastiq to pay your mortgage is an option.

They charge fees, because they pay the merchant fee to the credit card, but if you need a few hundred or a few thousand points to get to the bonus and time is running out, it might be worth it.

Applying for the Business Credit Card

If you have a business, awesome! (if you don't, your best option is the Personal Plus card)

Use all the information you have from that.

What if you don't have a business? You're in luck, you might have a business and not even know it. In the United States, if you earn income outside of a job reporting your income on a W-2, then you are operating a sole proprietorship. You don't need to be incorporated, you don't need to have any employees, and you don't even need to make that much money.

In fact, if you've made a profit three out of the last five years, the IRS considers that a business and not a hobby.

Get an Employer Identification Number. It's free, nearly instant, and you never need to use it.

Getting an EIN won't guarantee you'll be approved but it's a step up from using your Social Security Number on the application.

If you want to really improve things, get yourself a website.

Otherwise, fill in the application truthfully.

Here are some more tips on getting a business credit card.

Pending Review???
Once you apply, your application will be approved or “pending review.” Pending review is not always bad but it means they couldn't verify your business or need more information.

Wait a day or two, then call the reconsideration line and ask them that you'd like to check on the status of your application. Be prepared to answer these types of questions about your business:

  • What is your business and what do you do?
  • How long have you been in business and what were your annual revenues and profits?
  • How much do you expect to make this year, revenue and profit?

Whether they approve you will be up to the representative but here are a few tips for a reconsideration call.

When I got the card, I had to call the reconsideration line even though I've had a revenue-generating business for years. They can't verify anything on the application through a third party so the approval process is effectively the same as for the personal card. And remember, when I applied, I told them I was a blogger.

How much have we used it?

ALL THE TIME. (before the pandemic, that is)

I can't even remember the last time we flew an airline other than Southwest. We've since gotten a few flights to New York to visit my parents, Boston to visit my sister and her family, plus vacations to San Juan, PR and soon a flight to Aruba.

The most expensive flight we've gotten for “free” (you pay taxes and fees) will be the one to Aruba. That baby cost me $727.50 and will cost my lovely wife just $70.60. That comes out to be just under $400 per person.

$400 for a direct flight to Aruba? I'll take it.

The 125,000 points we get via promotions are valuable too. They're worth about 1.77 cents on the best Wanna Get Away fares ($108 o/w from BWI to ISP), so that's worth about $1900+ in and of itself.

All in all, this experience has been a very positive one.

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a thirty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

Reader Interactions

Comments

About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. John @ Frugal Rules says

    Great breakdown Jim! Both my wife and I got the CP during the first quarter of this year and have loved it. It was relatively simple to earn, especially since it coincided with us adding a deck to our house – thus allowing us to charge a relatively large expense. Given that SW added those Caribbean routes I think it brings even more value to the program. We’re going to Cancun for our 15th next year and will likely take at least 1, if not 2, similar trips with our kiddos over the next year.

    We both just redeemed free flights on American recently…we were reminded again why we fly SW as much as we can.

    • Jim says

      We’ve taken advantage of those international routes too – we went to Puerto Rico (ok ok, technically not international) earlier in the year with it and in a week we’ll be in Aruba. Huge savings so far!

      • Glen says

        Jim,

        Is this program still good as of 6-14-16? Someone told me they thought the ability to use the signature visa miles towards the companion pass was not allowed? Since it appears the pass is good for the year in which you apply and the following year, I was confused by the comment above that suggested one wait until November to apply. Thank you very much for the information.

        • Jim says

          Hi Glen – the program of Companion Pass?

          The suggestion to wait until November to apply is driven by this strategy: Apply in November, get the card in late November or December, wait to spend the $2,000 until January. In January, you get 50k points (or 100k if you get two cards), then you get Companion Pass for that year and the following year. If the 110k points hit in Jan or February of 2017, you get Companion Pass for 2017 AND 2018.

          If you apply now (June) and get the 110k points in August, you get companion pass for 2016 and 2017.

          Waiting maximizes the “current year” part of the equation.

          • Neema Borji says

            Jim,

            Awesome article! I only wish that I had seen it before registering and receiving my Southwest card. Womp!

            Would it be possible to sign up for the business card now and still receive the 50k points? I read this in the terms…

            “Bonus Points
            This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.”

            Any thoughts?

          • Jim says

            If you have a business, yes you can still apply. It’s a completely separate card. Good luck!

          • Dan says

            So what happens if you get the 100,000 pts in January (2017) from applying for the cards but then transfer some Hyatt points earned in 2016 to SW in January (2017) to get to the 110,000? Would those points not count because they were earned in 2016 or would they count since they were transferred in 2017?

          • Jim Wang says

            Earned = when they hit the account, so if you got the 100k points in January then it counts for 2017. Same with the transfers, even if the original points were earned in 2016 in the other program (they have no idea when the original points were earned).

          • Susan says

            Jim, Once you got your card and your business’s card, did you have to do something to combine them?

          • Jim Wang says

            They’re still separate cards but they are linked to the same (my) Rapid rewards account number.

    • Kelly koffler says

      Looks like those bonus points no longer count toward companion status. According to Southwest: Points purchased for personal use or as a gift, transferred points, points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and Partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.

      • Jim says

        Which bonus points? The points from the credit card? According to what you pasted, it still applies.

        • Josh T says

          Can anyone verify if the 50,000 points from enrolling in the RRCC from Chase counts toward companion status still?

          • Jim says

            I can confirm it, it still counts. You can always ask @SouthwestAir on Twitter too, they answer pretty quickly.

          • Dave says

            I am 22,000 miles short of my companion pass with 1 month to go. I just secured a chase marmot rewards card with a 80000 mile signing bonus with intent to transfer them to SW. Although the SW terms say transfer points will not be applied to the companion pass… so I hope like you mentioned they do? Is there any other good ways to make up a shortfall before new years? I’m afraid Im not going to get the 80,000 Marriot points posted and transferred to SW in time. I love my Companion Pass!!!! I’m addicted !

        • SCOTT NGUYEN says

          Hi Jim,
          I just applied for SW Premier card and got approved and waiting for approval for business card. If I got both cards, I am still short of 20K Points to get companion card. I called SW credit card department, they said that points from Hotel will not count toward to companion pass (I have 50K points from Chase Sapphire Preferred and plan to transfer to Hyatt and transfer to SW Rapid). Will you please give me some suggestions what to do to get companion pass?

          • Jim Wang says

            Did you tell them specifically that you were transferring those points to Hyatt and then from Hyatt to RR?

          • SCOTT NGUYEN says

            Hi Jim,
            No, I just asked whether Hyatt points can be transferred toward SW Companion Pass and response is ‘No, only points that use for airline bookings can be counted toward Companion Pass’.

    • Bob says

      Hey Jim, My wife has a business and she is going to apply for a card in her name. Is there an issue if we use my SWA mileage account with her card?

      • Jim Wang says

        It won’t work, Southwest says the names on the account have to match. That said, you can always say you’re an employee of the company and get the card anyway.

  2. Trav says

    Hey Jim, great article and interesting take on travel hacking not being for you.

    As an avid travel hacker, many people would assume that I’d think not travel hacking would be insane, but I can actually see your point of view. Sometimes, the rewards aren’t worth all the effort (even if you are a nerd about spreadsheets!)

    I feel this same way with things like taxes – yes, I know there are some things I could nerd out about that would save me money, but I just don’t care enough.

    And as long as you pick off the low hanging fruit, of which the Southwest Companion Pass is certainly the easiest and best, then no need to dive deeper if it doesn’t work for you.

    • Jim says

      Trav – thanks for stopping by! I’m a fan of your blog and love the name too.

      I think the rewards are worth the effort, it just happens that the effort can be really high if you want to take full advantage. At it’s core, it’s not really any more complicated than researching and booking a trip, you just add a layer of credit card applications, spending, and coordination. But as you said, we all get excited about different things and I think my energy & attention is better directed towards other things. The benefits of travel hacking are certainly there to reward folks who do put in the effort, that’s for sure.

  3. Jacob Wade says

    This is one of the best values in credit card rewards. Period.

    I got mine in March of this year, and was able to visit family and take a last-minute trip to Nashville, just because. I was also able to use points to fly my parents a few places as well.

    Still have about 70k miles left (WOOHOO Wanna Get Away fares!), and will most likely use it for my trip to San Diego next fall. We’ve saved thousands in travel, and this companion pass is a HUGE reason why ๐Ÿ™‚

    Maybe you can take a trip to the World Series next year (for free), if the Mets make it back? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Jim says

      Ha so we were in the NY this past weekend visiting my parents on Long Island, I was tempted to go to a game but they’re at 8pm… it would’ve been fun to go to a World Series game but I’d get back home around 2-3am, which wouldn’t have been fun. Plus, I could watch the game with family and my son – no way he would make it to a game now. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jacob says

        Gotta groom the young ones while you can. Wouldn’t have been as fun to go to a game without him too. There’s always next year.

        Hey, maybe the Mariners will live up to LAST YEAR’s hype and get there…..

        ^ (I almost typed that without laughing out loud….almost…LOL)

        • Jim says

          We don’t get much news about the Mariners here, being that they’re the AL West, but hype makes sports fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Shauna says

    Hi there, we got the 50K points for a new cc earlier this year and since then I’ve accumulated quite a bit for business and personal travel. Would you recommend we still do this late as it’s late in the year? Will we get the companion pass for next year or just this year 2015?

    • Jim says

      The pass is based on earning 110,000 RR points in a single calendar year, not total points in your account.

      If you got the 50K points already, you’ll need to hit 110k before 2015 ends in order to get credit for the 50K you earned earlier this year. On Jan 1, your points earned reset back to zero. You still have the points, but the meter on getting the pass gets reset.

      If you hit the 110K, you’ll get the pass for 2015 (this year) and 2016 (the following year).

    • Jim says

      When we looked, we could get individual flights on other airlines for slightly more than our Companion Pass subsidized rate, but they all had layovers in Atlanta or Miami or JFK. These were like multi-hour layovers too, tacking on 2-3 hours to the travel time, which is not something I enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Lazy Man and Money says

        That’s a good point. My wife made the reservations this year and I just remember the price.

        Last year, we went with Southwest and got a Super-Saver (or whatever their biggest discount is) for under $400 I think. The free baggage with Southwest is great. It’s definitely one of our preferred airlines.

        • Jim says

          Southwest has a lot of stuff going for them and if you get over the whole A/B/C boarding process, which seems to be the only complaint I hear frequently, it’s a great process. I fly it whenever I can.

  5. Chris Peach says

    Jim,

    In 2011 we cut up all the credit cards and haven’t used them since. We live on a monthly budget and literally account for every dollar that comes into our lives. With that said, I know we could get this Southwest Card and funnel $6k through it in 3 months tim. However, now I feel like I’m the alcoholic that says “its only 1 drink, I’ll be fine…” . What do you think Jim? We travel SW all the time too. Hmmmm…

    • Jim says

      Well if you feel your use of credit cards is akin to an alcoholic with one drink… No. Don’t do it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      If it’s more of an exaggeration, I’d say it’s a good chance to see if you can use credit in a way that gives you overwhelming benefits. It’s a clear cut benefit with a goal and a good reason, so it’s a relatively controlled situation.

      Plus, you seem like a well disciplined guy so with such clear parameters it shouldn’t be a problem.

  6. Kim says

    Very helpful article, Jim!

    Say I spend up to $1999/card this year and these purchases post in December 2015. Do you know if these amounts count towards the 110,000 points needed for the pass? Or do I instead need to spend the $4k in 2016 in order for it to count for 4,000 points? I hope to have the 2×50,000 bonus points post early 2016.

    Thanks!

    • Jim says

      The $1999 spend will not count towards the 110,000 points needed if it posts in 2015. You need to spend or have the statement with the spending post in 2016 for that spending to count.

  7. Jeff says

    Hi Jim,
    I have a small ebay side business. I’m planning to sign up for an EIN and then apply for the business card. But since the EIN will have no history, I’m afraid I will get denied. Would I be better off simply using my social to apply for the business card?

    • Jim says

      An EIN is better than your social because it’s a sign that at least you have an EIN. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I don’t know if they consider the age of an EIN. My EIN was many years old (registered in 2006, I applied in 2015) and I still had to call the reconsideration line.

    • Jim says

      You would need another 60,000 points to reach 110,000 after the 50,000 bonus points. So $60,000 or less if some of that is spent on Southwest flights (or you go on flights associated with that account).

  8. Chelsea says

    Is this referral link still valid? I want to use it but I’m worried about them accepting my application and only being awarded 25k miles…

    • Jim says

      When you click through, you’ll go to the card’s website and it’ll have the latest offer. As I write this, it’s valid.

  9. Brandi says

    I just tried applying for both personal cards (plus and the premier) at the same time using two different browsers. Last time (3 years ago) getting the business card (based on a rental property) was such a hassle that I was hoping not to have to deal with it. The Plus was submitted first and approved immediately. The premier was a half second later and I got the “We need to review your application a little longer” message. Any suggestions on calling or other tips getting it approved?

    • Jim says

      They will probably call you, or you can call them, so be prepared to answer questions about your business like the ones listed above. If you have a business, it’s usually not going to be an issue.

      • Brandi says

        But it isn’t a business card. They were both personal cards. Is there an amount of time I need to wait before reapplying for the second personal card, or any suggestions for getting it approved through the reconsideration line?

        • Jim says

          Oh… that’s trickier then, since you already applied it’s not something you can “take back” — my best advice is to call the reconsideration line, be polite, and ask them what you need to do to be approved. It could be you have too many open cards or total credit with Chase, so they might close one or adjust your limits to the total is lower. Just let them drive and tell you what they need to do, you don’t have to offer to close cards because they might not want or need that (plus it dings your credit a smidge because of age).

          One thing to research ahead of time – what do you love about the card and would make it your primary everyday card (don’t mention the bonus). That’s partially what they want so say the magic works, mention a few features you like, and see if they will play ball.

          Whatever you do, do not mention the bonus! And it’s OK to say thank you, hang up, and try again with a different rep.

          Good luck – I’d love to hear how this turns out.

          • Brandi says

            It worked… I think! Recent advice on Flyertalk suggests not calling reconsideration until you are positive it is declined. So, I just waited it out. I called the automated line to check every couple days, and it always listed the second application as still pending. After 3 weeks, it was suddenly approved! Both appeared in my Chase online account, and my premier card finally arrived in the mail a couple days ago. Now I just have to hope that both will still earn the 50,000 bonus.

            I hit the spend on the Plus card already. The regular points posted to my RR account after the first statement closed two days ago, but the 50,000 bonus points haven’t posted yet. When I did this 2 1/2 years ago, the 50,000 posted along with the the first statement points. Have these been posting separately lately?

          • Jim says

            Nice! That’s awesome, congratulations – if you signed up under a promotion, it should still be active.

            I remember mine posting pretty soon after one another, you might want to call and ask?

        • Pat says

          Brandi, did this work out for you? Interesting in trying 2 personal cards but would love to hear if someone had success before I try it.

          • Cliff Shattuck says

            I am interested in knowing if this worked also. When the previous posters talk about getting two cards I wonder how hard it is to “connect” these two sets of points.

          • Jim says

            I have two cards and pointed both to the same rewards account, you just tell Chase the number.

    • johnny says

      Brandi when did you cancel your cards that you did this with 3 years ago? I would like to do the same. Let me know what you did. Thanks!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Johnny says

    Hi Jim,
    Just wonder if I can change the companion for up to 6 times. Say if I get my companion pass this year and it will be valid till the end of next year, can I change it 3 times in 2016 and then another 3 times in 2017?

    Thanks!

  11. Kurt says

    I was about to transfer my hyatt points to southwest to go towards the companion pass and just called southwest to confirm. Both a rep and supervisor told me they would not count towards the companion pass. Can anyone confirm that this still works? Thanks

  12. Tony says

    Are the 2 cards automatically linked to the same RR account? Or how does SWA know I have 110K when i technically have 55K on each?

    • Jim says

      You tell Chase what your Rapid Rewards number is and they will send the points there.

  13. Tracey says

    Why do Chase Ultimate Rewards not count? Is there a way around it? I have LOTS of Ultimate Rewards points.

    • Jim says

      I don’t know why they don’t count when so many other partner transfers will count. I bet a lot of people would love those transfers to count. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Brandi says

      It is possible to ‘launder’ the points through another rewards program which does count, but you will lose significant value. When I did this a couple years ago, Hyatt and Choice points both counted towards the Companion pass. So, UR points could be transferred to one of those, then transferred from there to Southwest. I think I moved around about 12,000 UR points to ultimately get 8000 points counted towards the Southwest companion pass. I think the working partners have changed since then, but you can probably still find common partners.

      • Jim says

        Yeah, you lose a TON of points in the process but if you’re super close and just need a little to get over the top…

  14. Mallory says

    Hi,

    I want to make sure I understand this correctly. I currently have the Southwest Premier card. I signed up at the beginning of April and my 50,000 spending bonus just posted today. I called the application line to verify if I could sign up for the Plus card and get another spending bonus and she said no. She said I could sign up for the card, but the bonus is one per customer. Can you confirm that I would be able to get the spending bonus again if I meet the requirements?

    Thanks!

  15. Pat says

    Jim,
    Just found this blog and really dig it! Thanks

    Are you positive that your comment below applies all year long?
    “Anyone with an existing Southwest card can refer you with this offer, plus they get 5,000 points too.”

    These offers seem to pop in the middle of the year (for obvious reasons for SW) and vanish near the end of the year and start of the year. If what you say is true, it could be a good work around….

    • Jim says

      There doesn’t appear to be an obvious rhyme or reason to when the promotion appears and disappears, but it’s available more often than it is unavailable. Plus, even if you don’t refer, you can always get this 50,000 point offer at the airport from one of the kiosks.

  16. NPK says

    May I use my points to purchase a ticket for any family member (or anyone for that matter), or can the points only be used for tickets for the person linked to the SW account?

  17. NPK says

    Can you clarify a timing question for the CP qualification?

    If a cardholder makes enough purchases plus the sign-up bonuses by 12/31 for a CP status, some of the threads/comments seem to imply that there is a chance that you still won’t qualify for CP if SW doesn’t manage to “credit” all 110K points to your SW account by 12/31 of that same year merely b/c their systems take some number of weeks to process purchases & bonuses to points.

    Here are several scenarios I’m concerned about b/c I am applying for the cards now and will thus only have about 6 months to earn the CP status:

    1. You’ve made your last $1K of purchases by 12/31 but SW doesn’t “credit” your SW account with the points until the following January.
    2. You’ve made your last $1K of purchases by 12/31 but you haven’t “paid” those amounts back to Chase until January (i.e. do they count your charges or do they count when you’ve paid Chase back for the charges).

    It seems that you’ve technically made the purchases in the calendar year, but their systems will prevent you from getting CP status b/c the points aren’t in your SW account until January.

    • Jim says

      I believe your concerns are real and I believe it works based on when the points are deposited, not when the points are necessarily “earned” through purchases. To be safe, I’d get my spending in earlier rather than later.

    • Jim says

      In each credit card account you set your Rapid Rewards account number, that number can be the same.

      • Dina says

        Can it be the Premiere and the Plus cards or does it have to be one personal and one business? I applied for the plus then realized I should have done the premiere. I called to see if I could switch because I just applied but they said no. I will get 60,000 points once I spend what I need but if I can get the premiere also that would put me at 120,000 which would get me the companion pass. do you think this will work?

        • Jim Wang says

          People have done Premier and Plus cards (both personal), I did the personal card and a business card.

  18. Amy says

    what is your plan for when your current cp expires? did you close your cards and do you plan on reopening them-is that possible to get another 2 years of flying?

    • Jim says

      You can’t do that because you won’t be eligible for the Rapid Rewards points anymore, I plan on referring folks (you can earn up to 50k that way) and put all of my spending on the card. That plus the flying (I fly almost all flights on SW) will hopefully get me CP again!

  19. D. Martello says

    HI Jim,

    Thanks for sharing this, you are such an expert on this!!! I have a quick question: if I get both business and person cc, can I open them under different names and use the one Repaid reward account number for both business and personal cc ? Or I have to open accounts under one person’s name and then I can link the same person’s rapid reward account number to both accounts? Thanks a lot!

    • Jim says

      I don’t remember if they matched names but they only asked me for the number on the account, they may try to match names on the back-end — that I’m afraid I don’t know.

  20. Liz says

    Can two different people sign up for the 50,000 point southwest cards and use the same RR # to have both bonuses sent to the same account? The business application option does not seem like it will currently work for me.

  21. Steve says

    I had a premier card that I earned 50k pts and closed it approximately 3 yrs ago. If I apply for the card again, Am I eligible to earn the 50K pts again? It has been over 24 months. Thx.

  22. Josh says

    I applied for the Plus Card today and have never been a rapid rewards member. Application said I would be enrolled upon approval. I was approved! But I didn’t get information on my rapid rewards membership. Is that still coming with the card that will get to me within a couple weeks?

    • Jim says

      They said you “will need to enroll in RR at social.southwest.com/8AT and then contact Chase at 1-800-792-0001.”

      I hope that helps!

  23. Dave says

    Hi Jim,

    The 50,000 points from my Southwest Premier card has just posted. My problem is that I got 50,000 points from the Plus card within the last 2 years. Can my spouse apply for a card with my rapid rewards number? Or is there any way to make a rapid rewards number joint?

    Thanks,
    Dave

    • Jim says

      I asked Southwest via Twitter and unfortunately they said a different name has to go to a different Rapid Rewards number. ๐Ÿ™

      No joint ones either. ๐Ÿ™

  24. Jen says

    How do people keep earning companion pass status every other year. Do they cancel their cards and then open a new one after a month or two. How does that work?

    • Jim says

      You can’t get the same bonus within 2 years, so it could be that they get the bonus and then cancel the card. Wait two years, then do it again?

  25. Brandi says

    Would you recommend applying for the personal card first or the business card first. I’ve run a sole proprietorship for the last 3 years so I use my ssn as my tax id.

    • Jim Wang says

      FWIW, I did them at the same time (technically, the personal card “first” but by only a few minutes). I have a pretty good credit score so I was confident the personal would be approved and the business card was going to take longer because business cards always do.

  26. David says

    If you get a business card, do you have to use that for business expenses or can it be for anything?

    • Jim Wang says

      If you start using it for personal expenses, you open yourself up for some liability issues when it comes to intermingling personal and business expenses.

  27. John says

    How can points from two separate credit card enrollments (and thus two rapid rewards accounts) be combined to work toward the 110,000 points required for the companion pass? Would you have to transfer the points to one account? Isn’t there a huge penalty for that?

    • Jim Wang says

      They’re two separate credit card enrollments but tied to one Rapid Rewards account, since they are different classes of card (consumer and business), this is possible. The points go directly into the RR account, there’s no transfer.

      • John Parizek says

        Jim, So you’re saying use one rapid rewards account and enroll in two credit cards (one personal, one business)? So you need to be a small business owner in order to make the hack work?

  28. Chris says

    Hi Jim – what sort of credit score would you likely need to get approved for both business and personal cards?
    Appreciate all the insight!

    • Chris says

      Also, I was thinking of applying for the Chase Sapphire premiere card, I hear those bonus points may or may not count toward the CP, can you confirm?

      • Jim Wang says

        If you mean the Ultimate Rewards point transfers, they don’t count towards Companion Pass unfortunately.

        You can, however, transfer them to a hotel partner and THEN transfer it to Southwest but you lose a ton of points in the conversion process.

    • Jim Wang says

      No one knows for certain but some places collect self-reported data and they say you will generally need in the high 600s for the card.

  29. Christina says

    I saw this asked elsewhere upthread but I didn’t see your response – forgive me if I missed it!

    I applied for and got 50,000 SW bonus points on a personal card (and possibly, a business card too, but I can’t remember for certain), in 2012.

    I am still eligible to receive the 50,000 points for both cards, correct? Since it was more than 2 years ago? I think I will wait until November/December to apply for these bad boys and get 2 years of the CP out of it!

    • Jim Wang says

      There are a few things you have to contend with:
      1. If that personal card is still open, you can’t get it because you are an active cardholder and you can’t get a second one in the same rewards program.
      2. You have to make sure you’re outside the 24 month window.
      3. Since this is a Chase card, Chase has a 5/24 rule (not confirmed or seen written anywhere but cardholders swear by it) that says you can’t open 5 Chase cards within 24 months or they will deny the 6th and beyond. There are examples of people who have gotten a 6th and 7th card as well as those who get denied. It may be subjective but it’s a real thing.

      I hope that helps!

      • Christina says

        Thanks Jim! The card is not still open. I believe it has been closed for at least 2 years.

        Re: #2 – do you know if it has to have been closed for 2 years?

        #3 – may be problematic. I have a lot of Chase cards…all 0 balances and not all open still, but I may want to look into it.

        Thanks so much!

  30. Nick says

    Hey Jim,

    Just wanted to give an update. I just checked with Southwest about whether the points from the credit card enrollment bonus count towards companion pass and sadly they no longer do via Twitter message.

    “Hey Nick – While your monthly spending points will count towards companion status, bonus points do not. Hope this helps! We look forward to having you onboard again soon. – Kayla”

      • Nick says

        Jim, that’s GREAT news! Whoever responded to me must have had the wrong information.

        Thanks for clarifying!

      • Richard Codell says

        Nick:
        I read a paragraph from the SW website and it seems to be pretty clear that points from joining the program (40,000 or 50,000) don’t count for companion passes:

        “Purchased points and points earned from Rapid Rewards program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and partner bonuses (excluding points bonuses earned on the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not count toward Companion Pass.”

        This doesn’t jive with your twitter response from SW. I noted in your question that you just asked about 50,000 points, and didn’t note that this was an enrollment bonus. Can you please confirm this?

        • Jim Wang says

          The 40,000 or 50,000 points aren’t from joining the program, it’s from the credit card — “excluding points bonuses earned on the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase.”

          • Richard Codell says

            Thanks. The wording is tricky and ambiguous to the uninitiated.
            I am rapidly trying to spend money to reach the 110,000 goal by the end of my billing period, Dec 8. I was planning to pay state and federal income taxes through the credit card. 1.87% fee. Do you know if this is considered a purchase for the companion pass? It seems like it would be.

          • Jim Wang says

            It’s tricky and ambiguous to everyone! That’s why I ask Southwest on Twitter. ๐Ÿ™‚

            It seems like it would be but you’re paying a heck of a premium for those points!

  31. Stephanie says

    Hi Jim, I opened the Pemier card and also the Plus card, both were offering the 50,000 bonus points after the 2,000 spend. I used my rapid rewards number for both cards. Can you confirm that this will get me to the companion pass once I hit 110,000 including these two bonuses? I opened one card in June and he other in July so neither of my bonuses have posted yet. Thank you!

    • Jim Wang says

      Stephanie – I’d confirm with a Southwest representative but I don’t think you can get both bonuses on the cards? If you get the points, I don’t see why it wouldn’t count…

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Stephanie,

      I’m curious to see what happened? Did the points from both cards end up counting towards the CP?

      Thanks!

  32. Obaid says

    Hi Jim, can I have a parent who owns a business apply for the Business Card and Premier Card, and eventually (once approved), purchase Southwest tickets through him for me?

  33. Dianne says

    Jim,

    I am just learning about the potential of earning a companion pass – I stumbled across your article – thank you! We’ve used the SW Plus cards for years and have earned many points for free flights. In November 2015 we got the Premier cards and the 50,000 points each. We currently have 85,000 towards the 110,000 for the Companion Pass on the card we use for all purchases. The business card is not an option and each of our names are on the 4 open accounts we still have. Other than earning points by spending ($2500-$4500 per month, paid off each month), can you think of a way for us to make it to the 110,000 points by the end of the year? I’m sad that I’ve never paid attention to the Companion Pass potential before – we have always just loved SWA and have appreciated the free flights we have already gotten! Thank you for any help you can offer!

  34. Scarlet says

    Hi Jim,

    If I have the Rapids Rewards business card and my husband has the personal card, can we transfer the bonus points from one card to another to get the companion pass?

    Thank you!

    Scarlet

    • Jim Wang says

      No because your card is linked to your Rapid Rewards and his is linked to his RR Number, if you opened a personal card and received the 50,000 then it would count towards your pursuit of the Companion Pass.

      • Matthew says

        I have done the trick once and received the companion pass-best deal ever!!!! We got one card in my name and another in my wife’s name (business card). We used her name for the RR #. Our companion pass is about to expire :(. Can we do the opposite now, (business card in my name and a personal card in my wife’s name) and put them under my name for a RR #? Any help would be much appreciated. Your article was fantastic, very clear and concise! Thanks.

          • Matthew says

            I’m hopeful, just concerned because I read a comment above where you mentioned that the RR# and the CC name have to match. In that case, we may have just gotten lucky the first time…

  35. Mimi says

    Hi, just started to understand what I missed on. I believe 3 years ago I got CP but totally forgot about it until today. Do you think there is anything I could do about it now?
    Thanks
    Mimi

  36. Bob says

    I currently have the premier card. I got it about a year ago and got my 50k promotion points after I spent the required $2000 within the first 3 months
    It was rather simple since I used it to pay my college tuition.

    I am a current landlord and own rental property. I thought about applying for the business card and use it towards my rental property expenses.
    Do you know if this would be feasible? Only downside is that the rental property expenses have been flat since the property is in much better condition
    than when I first got it. Expenses on the property have been regular maintenance and upkeep and nothing major.

    Therefore, I dont see thousands of dollars in expenses on the property within the next 3-6 months. Now if i were to use the BUSINESS card to pay for college expenses then yeah that $2000 minimum would be met. Do you know if that would be possible?

    • Jim Wang says

      Anything is possible but you run a risk when you co-mingle business and personal expenses. I don’t recommend you do it but if you did, the risk is that a lawyer could pierce the “corporate veil” from your real estate to your personal finances. Is that a risk worth taking? It’s unlikely to happen but it’s still a risk. Up to you.

      • Tony says

        Hi Jim,

        A couple of comments here regarding liability. I’m not a lawyer but I’m thinking if the business is a sole proprietorship there would be no corporate veil to pierce (so the liability risk is there already due to the sole proprietorship structure).

        Also, I’m not sure the method of payment would increase the risk for an LLC or corporate structure. I haven’t read the T&C in detail of the business card but I don’t think there is any legal obligation to only put business expenses on a business card. Claiming the (non-business) expenses charged to a business card on your tax return as business expenses would be where you would get in trouble and open yourself up (regardless of business structure) I believe.

        I’m not sure any co-mingling occurs when you charge something, (paying personal expenses out of a business account when you pay off the business card charges). I could see paying those personal expenses out of a business checking account without reimbursing the business is where the co-mingling angle could be exploited. So I would think to avoid any appearance of co-mingling, you could write a check from a personal account to the business for the value of any personal expenses that were charged to a business account, especially if it were an infrequent occurrence.

        Again, I’m not a lawyer so I’m curious if you know of anyone who’s gotten tripped up by this (not for this promotion per se, but just mixing business and personal expenses in general).

        Thanks,
        Tony

        • Jim Wang says

          I think the cases where this comes into play (the comingling) are so rare that you don’t see it covered. You are right on the Sole Prop part, everything passes through so no veil to pierce.

          I don’t think a “business credit card” is where you’d get caught up, it’s if you start paying off personal expenses with the business – that’s where the comingling occurs.

          And I’m not a lawyer either, which is why I keep everything separate. Probably too rigid but I’m fine with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. kristyn says

    Can you use the miles you earned that are going toward the companion pass, or will it deduct toward qualifying from it?

    • Jim Wang says

      Hi Krystn, I’m not clear on what your question is asking? I’ll take a stab at it anyway!

      Miles that you earn, either points through the credit card or flying, all go towards Companion Pass but you don’t “spend” points to “buy” a Companion Pass. So if you earned the 110,000 points in a year, you’ll have 110,000 Rapid Reward points in your account that you can use towards flights AND you’ll have Companion Pass for the year you earned it and the following year.

      • kristyn says

        I’ll ask a different way ๐Ÿ™‚

        I have 55,000 points. So half way to earning a companion pass. I want to purchase a flight. My question is, if I use points to purchase a flight will that deduct from the points I am earning to qualify for the companion pass.

        For example 2 rt tickets will cost 50,000 points. If i use the points will it mean that now I only have 5,000 points towards my companion pass?

  38. Aqeel says

    Hi,
    I have southwest Premier card, for past 3 months now.
    I was interested in applying for both premier and plus card to make my way to 110K; however, i feel since I own one card for a few months I will not be get the BONUS offer on the next approval.
    The terms & conditions of the card application say that the members who have a card in the same rapid reward program will not qualify for the bonus.
    I haven’t applied for the card yet, I am bummed to read that; anyone else who had one card for 2-3 months and applied for the other one and got bonus for both?

  39. John says

    Great article, Jim – thanks! My fiance and I both applied for and received SW Premier cards with the intent of just using one to maximize points since the two accounts’ points can’t be combined. But after I read your comment of applying for a business card in my name, the light went on in my head since I do a lot of side work as an independent contractor! I just applied for an EIN per your instruction and will be applying for a business account card next month. Many thanks for the great information.

  40. Wolfgang says

    If I have the premier card with my wife is the authorized user, and then she has the business card and has me as the authorized user, can the points be combined?

  41. Stephanie says

    I wanted to confirm that I did just receive the bonus posits for the Premier card and also the Plus card and I hit the 110,000 points and received the companion pass! Thanks so much!

    • Aqeel says

      great!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am more hopeful now, I have both cards and I am expecting to get there soon now! cheers

      • Neema says

        Stephanie and Aqeel,

        Just checking to see if we are all in the same boat. We applied for our first personal card and received the bonus. We then waited several months and decided to sign up for the business card as well but were worried that we would not get the bonus for the second card due to the terms and conditions. Is this correct?

  42. Travis L says

    Hey Jim – thank you for the incredible article! Is it possible (to your knowledge) to apply for spouses to each apply for a credit card within the same account and have the 110k points amass that way as opposed to applying for both a personal and business credit card? Thinking this would also be a wonderful way to get there. Happy travels.

  43. Lori says

    My mortgage provided gives me the option to pay my mortgage with a credit card in exchange for small processing fee. If I use my southwest card to pay my mortgage loan will southwest consider that a cash advance or will it be charged like a regular credit card payment?

    • Jim Wang says

      Check with how your mortgage servicer treats the transaction, how they do it is how Chase will recognize it.

      My guess — and you should confirm this with your mortgage — the fee is probably going to be around 3% and that’s how much a credit card company charges a merchant on most transactions. I suspect it’s going to be treated as a regular purchase but you must confirm this with your mortgage to be 100% sure.

  44. LoAn says

    Hi Jim-
    Just rec’d both my premier & plus cards today. What are your thoughts on how to plan accordingly for my 110k towards the cp? Start spending to get it by December or wait until December to spend and see if my charges and bonus reward will get posted in January 2017?

    • Jim Wang says

      You want them to post in January so you get the Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018. I’d call to confirm the exact dates because December is getting close to the 3 month time limit.

      • LoAn says

        They said I can only change my payment due date and not my statement ending date. So should I change my due date to the 1st or the ending of the month? The guy on the phone sounds pretty green about the promo so I’m not sure I can trust his answer of the 28th payment date so my statement period would be 3rd-28th of the month.

        • Jim Wang says

          To be 100% honest, I don’t know and I’m afraid to give you bad advice. I’d call back until you get someone who knows what the heck they’re talking about. They must have your account opening date and know the promotional deadline, you don’t want to miss that.

          • LoAn says

            Just did exactly that. The CSR was more experienced this time and she broke down that I need to charge my $2,000 worth from 12/4-12/27 to get the 52k miles on 2017. whew… so refreshing to talk someone that’s experienced (which I still consider you are so thank you for your honesty and advice). Looking forward to reading more useful articles!

    • Jo Marie says

      Hi Jim,

      I guess I am confused. My husband opened his account in Sept. of 2016. Earned the 50,000pts and proceeded to also earn a total of 100,333 points in the 3 months that he has had the card. I was racking my brain on how to earn the additional 10,000 points needed for the companion pass. I called Southwest and they told me I only had till my closing date of Dec. 11 to qualify with a 110,000 pts. It is now Dec. 30 so I have no chance of getting to the 110,000 points this year. The woman told me I would have to earn another 110,000 points in 2017 to qualify. She said the points reset Jan. 1 back to 0 towards companion pass status. From what you are saying it doesn’t sound that way. Can you please clarify this? Thanks

      Jo Marie

  45. John says

    Hey Jim, great post!

    I already have a Premier card, and have had it for about 2 years now. I’m at 80k miles now. It probably makes sense to try and get the card now, even though it’s almost the end of the year, rather than starting fresh next year but losing my 80k CP qualifying points, right?

    If so… If I apply for a Plus card, do you know how quickly you get the bonus points, if you hit the 3k spend in the first month? Do you still need to wait 3 months for the points to be credited? Thanks in advance!

    • Jim Wang says

      If my memory serves me, I got my bonus points pretty quickly after hitting the spend. I also wasn’t trying to get it before year end so I didn’t pay super close attention.

  46. JC says

    Lots of good information from this post. My question is should I apply for the plus card in early December that way I can hit minimum spend and receive 52k points in January? Then apply for the premier card in January and do the additonal spending?

    • Jim Wang says

      I would aim to get the points in January so you get Companion Pass for that year and the following year.

  47. Salman Vishal says

    Hi Jim –

    Apologies if this has already been answered. I opened my RR premier card on Sep 19th. Unfortunately, I didn’t wait until later. So the promotional period is from Sep 19th – Dec 19th, meaning the charges must hit my account during that time. It takes 6-8 weeks for points to post to my account. So, if I were to wait until Nov 27th, 6 weeks later would be Jan 1. For those 50,000 bonus points that would count towards the 110,000 needed for companion pass, does the language — WHICH IS GOOD FOR THE CURRENT YEAR AND FOLLOWING YEAR — apply for when they points post to my account (from Jan 1-Jan 15) – OR – when the charges were made?

    I submitted my application for the RR premier business card today. I would like to know though whether to spend it all now or to wait until late November / early December because if “current year and following year” is the latter situation (2016 and 2017), instead of the former situation (2017 and 2018), then I would at least like to benefit from some Christmas and New Year’s Trips if I can. Like Merry Christmas, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Ben says

    Jim – have you heard that Hyatt Gold passport transfers do not count toward companion pass? Thanks!

  49. Bob says

    I currently have the Premier card and got my 50k bonus points when I signed up last year. I a about 30k points away from a companion pass.

    I don’t have a business so I doubt applying for the SW Rapid Rewards Business card would work. Can I sign up for the plus card? Current promo looks to be earn 40k points by spending 1,000 bucks within the first 3 months.

  50. Jennifer says

    Plus and Premier are only offering 40k points right now. Any advise about what to do/when they might be offering 50k again?

    • Jim Wang says

      It’s hard to say, it comes and goes though usually it moves between 25k and 50k — not 40k and 50k.

  51. Aaron says

    Hi Jim,

    Can I sign up for two personal (Plus card and Premier card) and two business (Plus card and Premier card) cards–and have all of them under the same rewards account? Or can I only do one personal and one business. Thanks!

    • Lo-An says

      I did 2 personal, 1 premier and 1 plus. I can see SW approving 3 (personal premier, personal plus and business). Genius!

  52. Aaron says

    Jim,

    Also, can you “buy” points from SW and have those points count towards the 110,000 for the companion pass? Thank you!

  53. John B says

    Hi Jim,

    Do RR points toward a Companion Pass expire or reset at the end of the calendar year? I obtained a personal Premier card in August and my 50k points were awarded in Sept (bringing my current total to 72k pts). I’m now prepared to apply for a Business Card and to get 40k more pts. You mentioned the 110k CP term is based on when the points are credited to your RR acct, but if my 40k signup points aren’t credited until January ’17, will I still have my 72k pts in my acct to combine with the 40k to get to 110k needed for CP? Or will the 72k pts no longer count toward CP total?

    • Jim Wang says

      The points don’t reset, you keep the points as long as you’re active (your account goes inactive if nothing happens for 2 years).

      The points going towards Companion Pass reset to zero after each year, so your 72k count for 2016 and would not count in 2017.

  54. Hunter says

    Alright … I apologize if this question was already asked but I was just approved for the card on Oct 18. From my understanding I have 3 months to spend $2,000. In order to make sure the 50k points are posted the first part of 2017 …..when should I spend the $2,000? If I wait to spend the money in Jan I’m worried it will not post until Feb which is outside the 3 month window.

  55. miranda says

    Question- I am an authorized user on my mothers card. Will I be able to take her points as well as her companion pass status? i.e. I will be the main owner of the companion status and will be able to add my husband as my companion? Or does my moms name have to be on the ticket?

  56. Corey says

    Do you know who to contact at Southwest or Chase to confirm this information? I own both the Southwest Premier Business and Southwest Premier card that I got accepted for the first week of October 2016. Ideally I’d like to complete all the necessary “hoop jumping” in the first week of January 2017 (three months after getting accepted) so that I’m qualified to receive the pass for all of 2017 and 2018. Does that sound like a possibility? Any advice you can give me to make sure I complete the process appropriately?

    • Jim Wang says

      You can call and they can look up your information to give you exact dates but otherwise I’ve had success asking Southwest on Twitter.

  57. helen says

    Hi, If I apply in November 2016 for both the SW Premier and the SW Business card and receive both in December 2016 will the purchases I make in December 2016 count towards fulfilling the additional points required to obtain the 110,000 points for the companion pass for 2017/18? Or do I need to wait to charge things until Jan 1, 2017 for it to count for the 2017 calendar year. Thanks so much for your help.

    • Jim Wang says

      That’s an excellent question, I believe the points are awarded when the statement closes and not when you the charges are made. I’d confirm this with Southwest.

  58. Lyn says

    Jim,
    I am 76% from qualifying for a Companion Pass under the Rapid Rewards VISA. Other than applying for the Business Card, do you have any suggestions on how to achieve the remaining points quickly so that I qualify for the CP by December 31, 2016? Also, please advise on timing of when to complete these suggested actions and when does Southwest typically post the points earned to a Rapid Rewards account following qualifying activities/purchases?

    • Jim Wang says

      Since the timing is so tight, I recommend asking Southwest if you can get the card fast enough to get the points – I suspect it’s too late given how long it takes for you to get the card, spend the money, and then have it post. I’d double check it.

  59. Laura says

    I’ve read some horror stories about the points being applied in 2 different calendar years. My question is this. If I fufill the $2000 spending limit on 12/15/16 and they apply the 50,000 points on 1/15/16, will the points apply to 2015 or 2016 when it comes to accruing the 110,000 total?

    • Lo-An says

      I’m in the same boat Laura. December is the final month that I have to complete the $2K purchase and when I contacted SW, they confirmed that the 50,000 miles will hit my account in January or later so definitely 2017. Fingers crossed!

  60. Jenna says

    So just to confirm… If you’re traveling solo, this doesn’t actually benefit you, right? Only if you’re traveling with someone?

    • Jim Wang says

      It’s most effective if you have someone you travel with regularly because you tell Southwest who you want as your companion. They fly for free when you fly (you pay the September 11th fee).

  61. Zoey says

    Thank you for all this wealth of information. I don’t need the companion pass until June 2017. 1) When should I “purchase” the companion pass to maximum its benefits? I figured I can accumulate $4k for Christmas shopping so I already applied for the SW Plus card. 2) Guessing I should not finish the $2k balance until January? 3) When should apply for SW Premiere?

  62. Nina says

    You have to use the signed up credit cards to earn the 6k points? You can’t say use a corporate card to fly and apply the points (using your RR#) to get the CP right?

    • Jim Wang says

      You can use any card that awards Rapid Reward points to earn the 110,000 points you need for CP. It can be business or personal, it just needs to link to your account.

      The cards listed give you bonus points when you sign up (at the time of writing, 50,000) – which gives you a head start towards 110,000.

  63. Bob says

    I currently have the Premier credit card. I dont own a business, so a business card is out of the question. I am 28,703 points away from a Companion Pass. Is it possible for me to apply for the Plus card and try to get the current promo?

    It’s 40k bonus points after spending 1,000 bucks within the first 3 months.

  64. kathy g says

    Hi Jim, I need about 8,000 points by my Dec. 13th posting date to qualify for companion pass. I was going to pay my tax bills which will be a couple hundred in fees, but wanted to make sure every charge on SW Rapid Rewards qualifies toward companion pass. Would this qualify? (property taxes) Thanks!

    • Jim Wang says

      I’d call to confirm since so much is on the line.

      But, my gut says it’ll count since it’s a regular charge vs. a cash advance.

  65. Shelley says

    Hi,

    I’m torn. My husband and I love the points and companion pass option BUT we won’t be planning on doing any major flying for two years (he’s currently a student). In two years we will be flying all the time. Is there much benefit in getting the card now?

    We already have another credit card with good rewards, and no fees. We also don’t put a ton on the credit cards, so is there a point in switching?

    • Jim Wang says

      The benefit is in the points you can still use today but getting CP wouldn’t be much of a benefit for you.

      As for switching, it doesn’t sound like it makes sense given your spending and your flying habits right now.

  66. Heather Hansen says

    Jim, Can I apply for a card and then My husband apply for the business card? Would the points be able to transfer to one or the other and be able to get the companion pass after we both hit our spend and then accrue the 6,000 extra maybe splitting it $3000 on each of our cards. Or do the two Southwest cards have to be opened under the same person? Thanks

  67. Connie says

    I see the business card is currently offering the 50k bonus but the personal card is offering a 40k bonus. Do you suggest I wait? Thanks for the details here, this is really awesome!!

    • Jim Wang says

      It’s hard to say because in the past the personal card switched between 25k and 50k (biiig difference), I don’t know if the 40k is the new 50k (so 50k will never happen again) or if 40k is just a test.

  68. Tom says

    What’s the best way to get the companion pass after already having it for 2015 2016? It was in my wife’s name so can she sign up again or should I.

    • Jim Wang says

      I think there are rules to how often you can get the bonus points for a credit card. You should confirm but if you received it in the last 2 years, you can’t get it again. (if you have the card too)

  69. Candice says

    I just applied for the business card, although my sole proprietorship only rakes in 5,000 annually. Should I wait for the approval before applying for the personal card? Or is it better to have them both under way at once for the reconsideration aspect?

    • Jim Wang says

      I had both under way at once, I don’t think one will affect the other from Chase’s perspective.

  70. Dave says

    Would it be possible to just apply for both the Southwest Premier Card and also the Southwest Plus Card? If you have them both in your name and do the required spend($1,000 in the first 3 months each) so for $2,000 you’d have 80k points racking in 40k for each of the personal cards? Is there an issue with this or can you get the bonus for both since they are technically different cards? If so.. I’m applying for them today and starting spending in January ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know!

    After that you get the business card for the 50k bonus pulling in 130k points after the required spend there($2,000 in the first 3 months). Should this work?

  71. Nina says

    Hi Jim, I got the Plus card this month and have reached the $2k required to get the 50k bonus points. The statement will come by the end of December bill due January . I won’t pay it until January 2017. Will that 50k point count towards 2016 or 2017 since I spent it in November 2016 but paying bill in January.

  72. Jay says

    Hello Jim: It is a very helpful post. I appreciate it.
    I need about 2,000 miles to earn the companion pass, and as you see we do not have much time till the end of the year (Currently I have 108,000 miles earned in 2016). I am going to purchase 2,000 miles from Southwest to make 110,000 miles. Do you think it will work? (Will the purchased mile qualify?) If you know the answer, please let me know. Thank you.

  73. Lynde says

    Thanks, Jim. This is an excellent write-up!! I don’t have a business. Is it possible to do this applying for both personal (Premier and Plus) cards?

    • Jim Wang says

      I’ve never tried it myself and I think the Terms and Conditions prohibit it, you won’t be able to get the bonus on the second one. ๐Ÿ™

      • Lynde says

        I just read more thoroughly through the post and see Brandi back in April said she got the bonus on both Plus and Premier personal cards. I wonder if terms and conditions have changed since then…or just a fluke it worked for her but usually doesn’t??

        • Jim Wang says

          I asked Southwest via Twitter and they told me if you are approved for both cards, the bonus points count! (I updated the post to reflect this)

          • Lynde says

            Woohoo! Thanks for checking into that Jim! I got approved for the Plus personal card a couple of days ago. Now I’m just wondering if I need to wait a little bit before applying for the Premier personal card. I read from another source although you could get approved for both on or near the same day, it may be best to wait at least about a month. I think I’ll play it safe and do that.

  74. Carlos Tovias says

    On the Chase website it states “Tier qualifying points are earned from revenue flights or through select Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase and are exclusive of bonuses or promotions”. Does that mean that the credit cards you mentioned will no longer help you reach the 110k companion pass requirement?

  75. Tony says

    I’m think about cancelling my PLUS and Applying for the Premier and wait a few days and applying for the Business Premier. Or should I apply for the Premier then cancel the PLUS end of December. Would this fall into the 5/24 rule? Any suggestions how to do this? Currently, Premier only offers 40K.

  76. David Menke says

    I have a question. I have 80,000 Chase sapphire rewards. Is there a way somehow to transfer these over to Southwest via double or triple transfers. I know you can buy a marriott air package for seven days and get points that way. Trying to go other routes with the points I currently have.

  77. Michael says

    I opened two cards in December of 14 and qualified in Jan/Feb of 15 for the pass. Can I cancel those cards and re-apply do it again or is there a waiting period before I can earn those bonus points again?

    thanks!

  78. Phil says

    Hello,

    So I currently have the Premier card with roughly 62k points accrued this year. I was looking to apply for the Plus card in order to get the CP but since the points wouldnโ€™t be earned in the same calendar year is there any way I could still get the CP next year with the points I already have?

    Thanks!

    • Jim Wang says

      No, you have to earn all those points in the same year to get CP. You still have the points to spend on flights but they don’t count for CP.

  79. Travis says

    What an article, Jim! Can’t thank you enough for the concise breakdown. I have achieved the $2000 on the first card and am now seeking a business card to reach the additional points needed.

    A question: If I use some of my current reward points for travel while I am accruing the remaining to total 110,000 for the year will SW still view me as eligible for companion pass since, although my balance may not show 110,000, I have clearly amassed that many points in the year?

    Thanks!
    TL

      • Travis Lauchman says

        Son of a gun! It’s calendar year rather than 110,000 in any given year? Thanks again for your quick reply.

          • Travis says

            Well I could still be ok b/c my 50k bonus won’t hit until 2017 for card 1. There is still hope! But glad to know this is the case and thank you for enlightening. Turn that frown upside down.

  80. Gary Weltmann says

    Hi – A few things:

    1.Can I apply for the cards now or do I have to wait until January 1, 2017
    2.I have good credit in both my business and personal. How long does it take to get approved? I have a large expenditure that I would like to hold until approved?
    3.Is there a website you recommend to go to fill out the applications? POr, should I do it by ppaper or phone?

    Thank you!!!!

    gfw

    • Jim Wang says

      1. You can apply now, it’ll take a few days to get them to you and the points will not possibly be rewarded until 2017.
      2. It’s very hard to say, might be instant, might need a phone call.
      3. The links in this post work, I recommend using the Internet because it’s more secure (than mail) and faster (than both mail or phone).

      Let me know if you need help!

  81. Harmony says

    I am about 8,000 points short of the companion pass. My Chase RR already posted for this month. Is there away to earn the remaining points in the next week and them post on time? I will be flying on the 31st but that will only be about 1,000 points. Any ideas would help. Thanks

    • Lo-An says

      Hi Harmony-
      My rapid miles posted right away when I flew over the weekend so perhaps the only way to get your 8k miles right away is to fly this week from west to east coast twice? (4k miles round trip). Hope that help.

    • Aqeel says

      perhaps Rocket miles may help, they award additional 3K for your first hotel reservation?
      I dont know how it will add in time to earn you the pass. But just swing by rocket miles and see if that may get you the pass

  82. Gary Chang says

    I really enjoy your website and appreciate what you do.

    I just received my Business Card and have only been receiving 40,000 point offers in the mail for a Personal Card.

    Jim, can you or anyone else refer me so I can sign up for 50,000 points (see below)?

    “You want the 50,000 points version. Anyone with an existing Southwest card can refer you with this offer, plus they get 5,000 points too (and those points count towards Companion Pass too!).”

    Thank you!

    • Harmony says

      Bummer I just transferred some on the 26th of Dec to hit the spending limit early in 2017 for the pass. I wonder if they will still count since the transfer was started before they changed the rules. Maybe a bit of a grace period?

  83. Sarah N. says

    Hi! I’m applying for personal and business cards as we speak. Is there any disadvantage of adding an authorized user (my husband)? I want to add him so we can each have a card in order to get to the $2000 quicker, but I want to ensure there are no disadvantages to this. Also, if he wants to apply for a SW card in the future, will this cause an issue? Thank you so much!

    • Jim Wang says

      I don’t know for sure, so please confirm with Chase, but adding someone as an authorized user may impact their ability to take advantage of the promotion down the road.

  84. Sarah N. says

    Does anyone have a link for the SW BUSINESS credit card?? I already signed up for the personal premier card. You get 5,000 points if you send me the link that gets me 50,000 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let me know! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jim Wang says

      The SW business card doesn’t do referrals, it’s just the personal one. You can use the business link in the post.

      • Sarah N says

        Oops…sorry, just seeing your note in red not to ask for referrals on here. I will look for the business link in your article..is it for 50K points?

        • Jim Wang says

          No worries — both a personal referral link and a business link (non referral) are in the post. Thanks!

  85. jp says

    Thank you for the very helpful information. I’m wondering if you can answer this refer-a-friend question? Is the link that is given to a prospective applicant for a specific Chase card, or for any Chase card? In other words, if I want to apply for a Chase Southwest card, must the person providing the referral have entered the last 4 digits of a Chase Southwest card for the link referral request, or can they input a different Chase card, for instance a Sapphire card? Thank you for your assistance.

    • Jim Wang says

      It’s for a specific card and you can use the link in the post above, it contains a referral link from someone I know.

      If you have a friend who wants to refer you, they will be referring you to a specific card. So they need to be a Chase Sapphire cardholder to refer you to Chase Sapphire (using the 4 digits of their Chase Sapphire card number).

  86. jp says

    Thank you for the very helpful information. I’m wondering if you can answer this refer-a-friend question? Is the link that is given to a prospective applicant for a specific Chase card, or for any Chase card? In other words, if I want to apply for a Chase Southwest card, must the person providing the referral have entered the last 4 digits of a Chase Southwest card for the link referral request, or can he/she input a different Chase card, for instance a Sapphire card? Thank you for your assistance.

    • jp says

      Just wanted to share my experience regarding length of time to receive a refer-a-friend link — almost 10 days. Both my friend and I made calls, to no avail, to check on the status of the referral link he initiated for me on 1/3/17. I had read it could take up to 7 days to be emailed, but waited nearly 10 before giving up and applying without the referral. Frustratingly (… and perhaps comically), the link arrived within 15 minutes of my being approved for the Premiere card.

      • Jim Wang says

        Yeah the email system is really archaic and slow. Your friend could’ve chosen the Twitter option, copied the link out of the tweet, and sent it to you.

        Or you could’ve used a link in this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  87. Kim says

    I’m confused by your comments that after 1/1/17 you can no longer use points from the credit card offers to get to 110,000 points —you must fly those miles or do spending up to $110,000 on the cards to earn the Companion Pass. When I looked on the Soutgwest site they seem to say that too. What am I missing?

    • Jim Wang says

      The points from credit card offers apply towards Companion Pass eligibility. (I edited the post to include clarification that this includes the bonus)

  88. Miss M says

    Thanks for such a concise explanation. This may be a ridiculous question… so let’s say you open the Premier and the Plus card… AFTER successfully receiving the Companion Pass… is there any penalty if you don’t actually charge any more purchases on one or both or the cards? Do you know how long you would have to keep them before you can close them?

    • Jim Wang says

      I’m not aware of any penalty. You pay the annual fee immediately so you might as well use it for the year and accrue more RR points if you don’t have a card that gives you more value.

  89. Jill Sadlak says

    Hello, I earned the companion pass back in January 2015 so mine was expiring at the end of 2016. I was surprised to see how close I was to earning a new one for 2017 so I made some additional purchases at the end of the year and just got my congratulations email this morning that said I earned the pass again for 2017 WITHOUT any new credit card bonus points. I wanted to give some tips for that as well. I have a business and charge EVERYTHING on my SW card I rack up about 5,000 points a month just from that plus they often run bonuses throughout the year. I fly around 20 one way flights a year so I earn some there. The Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal is another way to earn a ton of points. All of my online shopping is done through there, I earned about 30,000 points there as well. Another big one is 1800Flowers, sign up for their free shipping club and you don’t have to pay for any delivery charges after the initial fee I think its around $30-40. They run promotions where you can earn 1750 points (which is worth about $30 in points) for any order (flowers, fruit bouquets, cookies, etc) over $29.99. Schedule all your flower deliveries for the year and rack up the points and you are essentially getting almost free flowers as well.

  90. Eugene says

    I have a friend who accidentally applied for the Plus card a month ago through a 40k link even though plenty of 50k offers are available. Is there any chance to reach out to chase and see if they would honor the 50k bonus?

  91. Matthew James says

    If I signed up about 3 years ago for the business and personal cards and got the 100k miles in bonuses and the companion pass, but haven’t had the cards active for 2+ years, am I eligible to sign up again and get the companion pass again?

    • Jim Wang says

      If you still have the cards, no, you’re still considered a cardholder. You have to cancel and then wait the two years.

      • Matthew James says

        But if I cancelled the cards over two years ago (closer to 3) I should be good to get the bonuses and also qualify for the companion pass again? It’s not an “only once” kind of deal?

        • Jim Wang says

          Ohhh you already cancelled, you should be good to go after two years. You can always call to confirm, which is the safest choice.

          • Apar says

            If I opened a southwest premier card in Oct 2014 and received the bonus in Dec 2014, and subsequently closed the account in Oct 2016, am i eligible to receive the bonus now, in Jan 2017? Thank you

          • K says

            Pretty sure you do not have to have cancelled 24 months ago….. You have to have received the bonus 24 months ago, AND no longer have the card…. But in my experience you simply have to have cancelled the card before reapplying.

      • Neil says

        Jim, you don’t have to wait two years after cancelling your card, just two years since earning the bonus AND not be a current card holder. Here is what the disclaimer says with regard to Bonus Points on the Southwest Visa web site:

        “This product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.”

  92. Lawsoldier says

    Congrats! Whether you admit it or not this article makes you a travel hack! Who needs a spreadsheet when they have let no articles like these. You are a travel hack. Don’t hide what you are. Wear it proudly lol

  93. Lo-An says

    I just got an email from chase telling me that I earned my bonus points (GOOD NEWS) but that ” As a reminder, your bonus points will post to your Rapid Rewards account in up to 8 weeks”…. sheesh 8 WEEKS?!. Do you remember how long it took for your points to hit? My statement came out on 1/3/2016 and I was hoping to travel this month but now… *shrug*

    • Carlie says

      My points hit in less than a month (I spent the $2k around first week f December 2016 and they have already appeared on my SWA account). Now I’m working on getting my 2nd account…

      • Lo-An says

        Thanks Carlie but did you points hit on your SW account or on your statement? I see it the points on my credit card statement but not my SW account.

    • Les says

      I also got my$2000. Spending reached but haven’t gotten the chase email yet. I’m going also that it won’t take 2 months to get the bonus points.

  94. jp says

    I have a question regarding eligibility for the Plus and Premiere Southwest cards. I was recently approved for both the Plus and Premiere personal cards, which I applied for in order to earn points and be eligible for the companion pass. The accounts are in my name only. Part of the application included the following wording: This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months. I’m guessing this is to prevent moving of accounts.

    Would I be correct in assuming that if I put my husband on my card(s) as an authorized user, this would in no way count against him or negate his ability to apply for the Plus and Premiere cards in two years when my 2- year companion pass term is up? Since the accounts are in my name, I wouldn’t think this could hinder his eligibility, correct?

    • Jim Wang says

      I would call and ask because I’ve read conflicting reports on whether being an authorized user will impact future bonuses. Personally, my wife is not an authorized user because of this, it hasn’t really affected us though.

      • jp says

        Sorry, probably a dumb question, but who would you suggest calling to confirm this — Chase or Southwest rewards? Again, thanks for all the helpful info.

          • Leanne says

            Being an authorized user on cards is used in the card count by Chase. I am fighting this problem at the moment, having been an authorized user on a few accounts. I only have two credit cards of my own, but keep getting knocked back.
            If there is no extra bonus or reason to have the authorized user, leave them off and have them apply when your companion pass runs out.

  95. Ryan says

    Thanks for the info!!
    What about about getting the Premier & Premier Business? One is 50,000 bonus points and the other is 60,000. That alone would get to the 110,000 from bonus points. Are you sure that they both count toward the 110,000? Sounds too easy.

    • Jim Wang says

      I have a friend who is doing this right now – it’s for real and he asked @southwestair to confirm. The 60,000 point offer is new.

  96. Juan J. says

    Great Article!! Thanks a lot, A few things I hope you can clear with me,
    I received my Personal Card in the mail late December 2016.
    At the time I applied, Late Nov. the offer was 40K points. But now it’s back at 50K
    (I applied again on a flight before I got approved and got the card but I never heard back from that application, the bonus when you apply in-flight was higher, 50k which I took a picture of) but anyways

    Do you think that because I still haven’t received my bonus it could be the 50K and not the 40K? My first statement wont close until February or at least the due date will be.

    Also, There’s a part I was confused about:
    *****Big Change to Companion Pass qualification RR Points
    There was a big change on January 1st, 2017 โ€” hat tip to The Points Guy โ€” but the only way to earn Companion Pass eligible Rapid Reward points:
    paid revenue flights on Southwest Airlines,
    points earned through spending on a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card (including the bonuses),
    points earned through transaction with Rapid Rewards partners.
    That means e-Rewards, e-Miles, converted points from hotel and car loyalty partners, Valued Opinions and Diners Club will no longer count towards qualification for Companion Pass. You still get the points, they just donโ€™t count towards the 110k you need each year.**********

    This part doesn’t apply to the 50K bonus for getting the card right? I can still use those sign up bonuses for companion?

    Because if so, I want to apply for the Business Card, I sell home products at home and earn income from AirBnb. I have spending for both, so I am hoping I get considered for the business card. That bonus I see now is 60K points!!!!

    I have already spent $1,748 in my personal card and it’s been 20 days since I first got the card. Let me know if I am on track and when should I apply for that business card please. Thanks much appreciated!!!

    • Jim Wang says

      You won’t get the points until your first statement closes and it should match whatever was on the screen when you applied.

      That part does not apply to the 50K bonus, they still count towards companion.

  97. Richard Codell says

    Hi again Jim:
    I just applied for the SW business card with 60,000 point bonus. I should qualify for another companion pass pretty early in 2017. Since I already had a companion pass good until Dec 31, 2017, I was wondering what would happen when I re-qualify? I sent an email to Southwest and got the following reply:

    Sincerely,Dear Richard,
    Weโ€™re excited to have you as one of our most loyal Customers, and we are excited that you have earned a Companion Pass.ย 
    Members are limited to one Companion pass at any time. Companion Pass qualification is based on the calendar year, so if you requalify before the end of the year, you wonโ€™t receive your new Membership card until your review date (which is the beginning of each calendar year). To find out more about yourย Companion Pass, click here.
    We look forward to welcoming you onboard your next Southwest flight soon.

    Judith, Southwest Airlines
    The file referenceย number for your email isย 2151307829908.

    This seems somewhat unfair, since if I didn’t have the companion pass already, I would get more than a year benefit, and now it would be only a one year benefit. Did anyone have a similar experience?

    • Jim Wang says

      I had a similar experience and when you have an active CP and re-qualify, you just get an additional year. So being that it’s 2017, if you qualify this year then you get 2018.

      It’s not unfair though. If you didn’t have CP this year and qualified now, you’d get it for this year and next. If you did have CP, you still get the same amount in total. You might not get the same amount “free” (the rest of this year) but it’s the same amount on the calendar.

  98. MikV says

    I had chase plus card bonus pts back in Feb 2013 and cancelled the card Feb 2014. Then in Oct 2015 I opened a Premier card and got the bonus points. Now I just opened the plus again and planning to open the business one to get companion pass. But one of the customer service says It has to be 24 months from when I got since bonus points overall and not from just the bonus points of the plus card. Is this true? The plus and premiere wait period can merge like that? I told her the detail says “This product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.” she still seemed positive about what she said.

  99. Karisa says

    Currently Southwest is offering 50,000 bonus points on the personal Premier and Plus cards. I applied for the Premier card today. How long do I need to wait before I apply for the Plus card as well?

  100. Studentsmom says

    One more tip: pay all of your bills with your sw card. (At least those that don’t charge extra for paying with a credit card). Such as Verizon, your utility bill, medical copays and bills, anything! Easy way to get points!!!!

    My daughter is getting married this year… Don’t be afraid to ask individual contractors if they take cards…

  101. Larry says

    Jim, Thanks for the great article.
    Question,
    I have Marriott rewards points, can I transfer those poonts into my southwest frequent flyer account to get the 110,000 points needed to qualify for the Companion Pass?
    Thanks,
    Larry

  102. Abigail says

    If I got a personal card, and my husband got a personal card could we combine our bonus and purchase points to qualify for the companion pass? I get that this isn’t ideal because we could use him to sign up for the bonuses later once my companion pass expires next year. Just curious on our options.

    thanks!

    • Jim Wang says

      I believe the card has to link to the same individual’s account – so your points go to your RR account and his points to his.

  103. James says

    i am new at this; So if i get a personal card that 50,000 point and a business card that 60,000 points. How hard is it to transfer points from one account to another.

  104. Nina Tiger says

    Some things didn’t pan out for me like getting the bonus points last year instead of 2017 due to the billing cycle. Anyway, can I get SW Premier, Plus and Business card – 3 credit cards to help get me the CP? Since the first 2 didn’t qualify for me to get the CP – I was thinking of applying for the SW Business card to get me the CP.

    Another question is do I have to have a business to get the card?

    • Jim Wang says

      You will have to show some kind of business, I don’t know where they draw the line though. Is selling a few things on Etsy or Ebay enough? Or do you need an EIN and tax returns? I figure if you have an EIN (which takes seconds to get), it’s one step better than having nothing and hoping they accept it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  105. Seann says

    Hey man,

    I actually did this a while ago back in April. Here’s my question for you.

    In April 2016 I got the SW Premier and got the 50k points
    In June 2016 I got the SW Plus and got the 50k points

    Spent more money and ended up at the 110k points. My wife became my Companion in July 2015 making her eligible from then until Dec 31 2016.

    My question:

    I actually opened a legit business this month Jan 2017. I got preapproved for the Chase Ink offering 80k point bonus with $5k spent in 3 months.

    I will get the 80k points, right? I used my SSN for the business.

  106. Susan Wollenberg says

    We received our personal Plus card today.

    It is in my husband’s name. He has a RR account.

    I have a card as an authorized user. I have my own RR account.

    Will the points that I earn using my authorized user card, primarily through purchases, go to my husband’s RR account or to my RR account?

  107. Susan Wollenberg says

    Will points that I earn, as an authorize user on my husband’s Plus card, all go to his RR account? I also have a RR account; but I don’t think the application asked for my RR number.

  108. Taylor says

    Did I mess up!?

    I applied for the Premier card. Got it. Have already begun spending. I had the intention of applying for the Plus card, once I spent $2000. However, I just got off the phone with both Chase and Southwest and they said that now that I am a current card holder, I would not be eligible for any new sign on bonuses. So, how are you all getting sign on points for both the premier and the plus? The customer service reps seem to think that I can’t add on the plus for the additional 40k in points.

    • Taylor says

      Correction.

      Apparently the first few agents I was speaking with were confused. I finally did sign up for the Plus card, after an agent told me that because it is a completely different card than the Premier, I would still be eligible for the bonus points associated with the Plus card. I’ve ordered it. Fingers crossed that it all works out the way this blog and the last agent I spoke with, say it should. Not to mention, the bonus points are now 50K, so hopefully I can get to the companion pass even quicker now.

  109. Henry Horders says

    let me get this straight. I have a business. No problem there. I can sign up for the 2 cards and get to the 110,000 (adding the 60000 and 50000 sign up bonus from each card) as soon as I spend the required amount which I will do in the next month? This seems to be a scam, but is it legit? When I apply via phone (I have a 791 credit score so I will be approved) what do I tell them? I could be having a CC for the next 18 months or so, with barely spending a dime. Is this accurate? Thanks.

  110. Daniel says

    From SW website: *Tier Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlinesยฎ or through the use of the Rapid Rewardsยฎ Premier Credit Cards (maximum of 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points per card, per year). Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Rapid Rewards partner points do not count toward A-List or A-List Preferred status.”

  111. Patty says

    No one touch on this above so here’s my question. I all ready have a premier card that i opened in 2015 with 48000 points on it. when i look on my status for companion pass its says i only have 2800 qualifying points towards 2017. Im assuming points do not carry over when year ends so I would have to open 2 new cards to qualify?

  112. Henry Horders says

    So, is there a limit with chase about how many credit cards one has applied for in the past few years, before they approve? I am always looking for the “Deal,” for example, and last year applied for a Barclay Card so I could get 20% off a large Apple products purchase. Same with another card. Will this hurt me? I intend to apply for both a business card (60,000 points) and a personal card (50,000 points) and will have my companion fare as soon as I spend the required amounts which will be immediate. BUt I do not want to get stuck on only being able to apply for the business and then not being permitted to apply for the personal card. Chase said I could apply for both on 2 different phone calls, but I want to be sure I havent applied for “5 cards in the past 2 years” as I recall reading herein…. Anyone? Thanks.

  113. Greg says

    Thanks for the article. Do you have to save the reward points until your balance reaches 110,000? I just got the 50000 bonus and want to start flying with rewards but will wait if my balance has to be 110,000 to earn the companion pass.

  114. Greg says

    Do you qualify for the companion pass when you earn 110,000 points or when your balance is 110,000?

  115. grayhawk says

    Jim, My son in law just applied and received both the personal and the business cards. He seemed to have a problem registering the business card and when he called Southwest they told him he could not use his same southwest frequent flyer number on both cards. Each card had to have a separate number. Has anyone else reported this problem?
    How would that work?
    Need help.
    thanks.

    • Jim Wang says

      I’ve never had that issue because both cards are in my name, how could I use a different RR number? You may have a CSR who doesn’t know everything, I’d call back.

  116. Cherie McCandless says

    Any suggestions on how to achieve companion pass status AFTER the first year? I used the same ideas but now how can I keep up the status?!!

  117. Shawn Graves says

    It’s my understanding that Marriot is not a SWA partner and therefore the transfer points wont’ count toward the companion pass. Can anyone confirm as I spoke with a SWA Rewards desk which provided the information.

  118. Sue says

    Hi Jim- Do I have a chance at the Companion Pass at this late date? I know SW extended the deadline to March 31 2017. I have 90,000 Marriott points, 28,000 Starwood points, 70, 000 AMEX points and 120,000 United points plus around 100,000 American Airlines points. I currently don’t have the SW card but would get one. Any hope???

  119. kristen says

    Check out their new hotel site, you can earn up to 10,000 per NIGHT. It looks like the hotels at the top of the search page has the most points. A colleague earned 30,000 points for three nights.

  120. TravelerCity says

    I just got off the phone with South West Rep. and she said the 50K bonus points DO NOT count towards the companion pass. I asked twice to make sure. I said that some were supposedly getting them and she said this can not be true and must be a mistake.

  121. Melodie says

    Hello,
    So just to clarify – If I get two of the SW cards and do all the above and receive a CP, can I use my RR points to get airline tickets with those bonus points THEN tag on my companion for free? All I would be paying is the taxes, etc. for each of us? !!:)

    • Jim Wang says

      Yep — one minor distinction, you pick your companion first. ๐Ÿ™‚

      But yes you can use reward points to book a flight and then add your companion to that award flight.

  122. Molly Ocampo says

    If you don’t have a business, are you able to get the bonuses by getting both the premier and plus personal cards? Also, do you recommend spacing out applications between cards?

  123. Randy says

    Great article! I’m still a little unclear on the bonus points eligibility for Companion Pass. I recently applied for and received the Chase Sapphire Reserve card with 100,000 points bonus after spending $4,000. I spent about $8,000 in the last 3 months, got the bonus points, and now have 110,450 points in my Chase account. What are my next steps to getting companion pass? Do I just transfer all 110,000 points from my Chase Rewards to Southwest rewards points and automatically get companion pass? Or do I need to do something else? Thanks for your help with this!

  124. Cory says

    I called both Chase and Southwest and they said the bonus points do not count towards the companion pass.

    Please advise if you have any way to prove/confirm a way to make sure they count? Did these rules change this year?

    • Jim Wang says

      Read their FAQ – https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/faqs.html?topic=rapid_rewards_program_terms_and_conditions – (emphasis mine)

      Companion Pass qualifying points are earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and base points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points, transferred points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions, and Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass qualifying points.

      Bonus points from Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase do count towards Companion Pass – they do not count towards A-List & A-List Preferred.

  125. let says

    Can I transfer my chase UR points to Mariott than the southwest to obtain the pass?
    Dying need for an answer!
    THANKS IN ADVANCE

  126. Kevin M says

    Hi Jim,

    Planning ahead for 2017 – plan to apply for both in November accumulate the 110k in January/February – I don’t mind if we don’t get the companion pass until March as we don’t plan to travel much Jan-March.

    HOWEVER, I currently have a Southwest Premier Card, and last earned the points in late 2015 – I need to call and check the exact date since online records don’t go back far enough. Do I just need to cancel the current card sometime in the next few months so I am ready to apply at the end of 2017?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jim Wang says

      Good question – I’d ask Southwest to be sure but it sounds like you need to figure out the exact timing (when in late 2015) so you can get the points again after the 2 years are up.

  127. Joan Bohn says

    If you don’t add your spouse as an authorized use; they cant’ use the card? Do you each then apply for a card separately but use only one RR# to get to the companion pass spending requirement? We do not have any southwest or chase cards at this time; but we do each have an RR#. So do we need o apply for 2 cards with one name and RR’ only and add the spouse as authorized user on each?

    • Jim Wang says

      Technically they cannot, the card is in your name.

      The RR# has to match the cardholder and the account, so you get the Plus and Premier (two cards) for one person.

  128. Joseph says

    Thank you Jim! Right now, Southwest is offering 60,000 bonus for the Southwest business and 50,000 bonus for each of the personal credit card options. So if we were to apply for the 1 business and 1 personal and fulfill the spend requirements, would that just hit the 110,000 gates immediately?

  129. ANGEL CARREON says

    Do the points post after your closing date (if so how soon)? Or is it until after your payment of the previous billing cycle?

    I just qualified for the card and would like to get all my spending in during this first cycle to get the points ASAP.

    • Jim Wang says

      They post after the closing date of your statement, usually pretty quickly.

      My April statement closed 4/2 and my Southwest account showed the points I earned on my spending on 4/3. So that leads me to believe they get the information, then it’s a matter of how long they take to process the bonus – I think it’s pretty quick.

      • tony says

        Same here. My wife’s card has the same 4/2 closing date on one of her cards and the miles (which put us over 110,000!) hit sometime on the evening of 4/3 or just after midnight last night. I checked my account shortly after midnight and immediately called SW as we had a seat reserved for our daughter with miles and they told us to call us as soon as we saw our account balance at or over 110,000. (They told me to not even wait for an email saying we had earned the companion pass.) When I logged in and checked my status after midnight, it already indicated we had earned the pass and there was a link to add your designated companion-I didn’t use the link, they took care of it for me when I called.

        They then designated our daughter as my wife’s companion and re-deposited the miles we originally used to reserve her seat back into my wife’s account. (My wife and I were booked on a separate paid reservation.) Doing it this way allowed my wife and I to lock in seats and prices (saving us $50 as the prices rose over night). Using miles for the (future companion) made more sense because if we had paid for her ticket initially, they still could have switched her to a companion, but we would have only gotten the money for her seat back as a credit for future travel (said travel needing to be completed within 1-year of the credit date). The SW reps were very helpful. They gave us all these tips when I called because we really needed to book our trip but we weren’t quite there on the pass. Worked out great.

        Devil-in-the-details note: To do the switch they needed to cancel our daughter’s original reservation and re-book her as a companion. This (could be) significant if the flight is otherwise full or near-full as they said there was a slight chance she could lose her seat in the time between cancelling the first reservation and making the second. This is because revenue tickets can’t be on the same reservation as points tickets so my wife and I were on a completely separate reservation even though her miles were used to reserve our daughter’s seat. So I asked her to check how full the flights were before she actually cancelled the reservation. I would have never known that but again the SW reps explained that to us originally. Worst-case, if it looked dicey, we could have just left her reservation as-is, use the miles for this trip and start using the pass on the next one.

  130. Chris says

    I just applied for the personal card and didn’t enter a RR number because I didn’t think I had a RR account. Turns out I must have years ago. Any idea how/where I will see my 50k bonus?!

    • Jim Wang says

      I would call Chase and tell them, that way there isn’t some misunderstanding that complicates the process.

      • Chris says

        Thanks for the tip. I called and they said that Chase/Southwest can automatically link the two accounts together as they process the account. I guess they match on name to know which account to link it to. I’m a bit worried that’s there’s no way to confirm this is actually true, but I guess I’ll wait and see if rewards points start showing up in my account after I use my card…

        • Jim Wang says

          You could call and confirm the number after the fact? I imagine if the addresses and everything line up, it should be an easy find.

          • Chris says

            Following up, the account was properly linked, so I got my points for last month. Another quick question, will I get the 50k bonus as soon as I reach 3k spent? Or will it not be until I hit the 3 month mark even if I reach 3k spent sooner?

  131. Phil Gross says

    Hi Jim, right now I have 61,000 points toward a Companion Pass, most of that earned from the bonus from the Visa RR plus card. If I now open a Premier Card account with a 40,000 bonus, do you think that would apply toward the Companion Pass? Thanks, Phil

    • Jim Wang says

      Yes, as long as you’re sure the first card was the Plus card and not the Premier AND you didn’t get the bonus for the Premier within the last 2 years.

  132. Joanne says

    I applied for and got a Southwest Business premier card and also a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card. Will I get the bonus for both cards since they are southwest cards from chase OR not on the second card because it is a rapid rewards cards. This is all so confusing. Your article was very much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Jim Wang says

      They’re different cards so you should get points for both as long as you haven’t gotten them for that card in the past 24 months.

  133. Elsie says

    Hi!

    Sorry if you have already answered this in a previous comment but my phone won’t load the thread.

    Did you apply for the cards at the same time? Or separate?

    And if I close my southwest premier card at the end of this month…will November be too early to reapply??

    • Elsie says

      I’ve had the card for 3 years so I received the initial bonus for the premier card 3 years ago.

    • Jim Wang says

      I would confirm with Chase to know for sure, I don’t want to answer not knowing the exact details but Chase will know.

  134. Jill says

    Thanks for the tips. I got both personal cards and both 50k bonuses have now posted. Between that and my spending, I am just short a little over 700 miles….so close. I was really hoping to get the pass ASAP. Are there certain types of miles that credit fast (other than flying). I was hoping I wouldn’t need to wait another month for the next credit card miles to transfer.

    • Jim Wang says

      They all credit at their own schedules so I don’t know if there’s one that’ll credit faster than a month.

  135. Tony says

    I’ve had Rapid Rewards shopping points hit within a week of purchasing. I bought snow tires and wheels through Tire Rack and got nearly 2000 additional points (the extra points you get by shopping through their portal, other than the purchase price points that show up on your credit card statement). I was ready to order directly through Tire Rack’s site but checked SW Shopping and saw that they were a partner. Paid the same exact price, but got the extra points which hit well before the credit card statement. Dining points could go either way. I’ve had some take almost a month, and some hit within a weeks or so I think.

    • Jill says

      That worked! I made some purchases I already needed through the Rapid Rewards shopping portal on Sunday and the miles were credited to my account already. I have now chosen my companion for the pass. Thank you again for the great information. I am so excited to make use of the pass!

  136. Srinivas Gummadi says

    Great article. I recently opened (Jan) an LLC with another partners, including my wife. Can i get a business premier card on my wife’s name (with 60000 points) and then get next card at 40000 points for a total of 100K.

    If i get the card on business name, however, the intent is to use for personal use only for now as our business is still getting upto speed and no revenue yet

    • Jim Wang says

      You may have trouble getting a card because the business is so new – they’re going to ask you about it and it being only a few months old may not be long enough.

  137. Marc says

    Since I am way over the 5/24, is there a way my dad can apply for both the Southwest cards with me as an AU but with me getting the pass since he is too old to fly? He said he would happily apply for the cards for me. Didn’t know if there is a way to pull this off.

  138. Ashley M says

    Hi!
    The rewards to sign up now are 40,000 pts and I am wanting to apply for a credit card to get the companion pass eventually. If I apply now, and get two credit cards it would be 80,000. If I earn the 110K not this year but say Jan 2018 would that be possible to use points from the 2017 year and 2018 year? If so, would i get the pass for 2018 and 2019 or only 2018? Also, can you use any of the 110K points on flights before you reach the 110, or do all the points have to be unused?

    • Jim Wang says

      You have to earn the 110,000 points in a calendar year. So getting the cards now means you have to earn the remaining 30,000 in the 2017 calendar year because the clock resets on January 1st.

      If you did earn the points, you’d have Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018.

      You can use the points. It’s not about getting to 110,000 in your account, you just have to earn 110,000 points.

  139. Monica says

    Do referral points still count towards the CP?
    Do anniversary points still count toward the CP?

  140. Liz G says

    Jim, you ROCK. Thanks for being all over this! I love SWA as well and it’s the only airline I fly for BUSINESS – that’s right. I earned my companion pass in 3 months booking business select, one-way flights! Love it. Anyway, I don’t travel as much for work and may need to try CC bonus points to earn it for next year (my current pass ends 12/31/17). My questions:
    – I currently have 33k pts towards my 110k. Knowing they reset on Jan 1, should I try to get to 110k through bonuses by December, or let them restart in Jan and start from zero?
    -I already have a SW Visa – can I still earn 50k bonus points through special offers or is it just for new customers?
    -I have a business as well and plan to get the card – when should I do this?

    Thank you oh SW Guru… they should make you an ambassador and let you fly for free forever.

    • Jim Wang says

      I can’t answer the first one for you since I don’t know how quickly you can earn points, but 33/110 is well on your way.

      As for the 2nd and 3rd, you can’t earn the points again because you have the card. You should do the biz card whenever you need those points. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And I’d love to fly for free forever hahaha

  141. Lazy Man and Money says

    Southwest is offering 60K miles for their Plus and 60K miles for their Premier cards. I’m reading in some deal forums that people are signing up for one of each and qualifying for the companion pass (120K points in a year) with a $4000 qualifying spend.

    The timing isn’t perfect to maximize nearly two years of the companion pass, but why look a gift-horse in the mouth, right?

    I’m reading that the people who applied recently and only got 40K can call customer support and get the 60K. I think it’s YMMV, but it’s worth a try.

  142. Pip Lowe says

    Hi Jim,
    Thank you for your useful info. I just qualified for the companion pass and have it thru 12/31/18. Since I already have the pass thru next year, I’m assuming the points I accumulate for the rest of 2017 don’t really help me at all. And do I need 110,000 points in calendar year 2018 to qualify for 2019? So every calendar year after 2018 I need to get a total of 110,000 points to keep getting the companion pass?
    The reason I ask is that I also have the VISA flexperks card which has been great for using points to fly. So, should I just switch to using that card for the rest of 2017 since I already have the southwest pass? And, then which do I use in 2018?
    Thanks much, Pip L

    • Jim Wang says

      You are correct, the points you earn now do not count towards Companion Pass since you have it for 2017 and 2018 already. The points you earn in 2018 will get you CP for 2019 (since you already have 2018).

  143. Danitza Meneses says

    Hi Jim,

    I do not currently have any SW CC. There is a promotion going on for 60K points if you spend $2K within the first 3 months. If I apply now and get accepted for both and reach my $4K then I will have the 112K which will qualify me for the companion pass. However, it’d only apply towards the end of December 2018 correct?

    As for when this companion pass expires and I have to re-earn 110K points, how would I be able to reach that again come January 2019? Without the initial bonus points I would only be getting approximately 9K points after my card member anniversary which wouldn’t kick in until around halfway through the year. Is it possible to apply for both the premier and plus at the same time and get approved for both? I have not opened a CC in several years.

    • Jim Wang says

      Yes, it would apply for the current year (2017) and next year (2018).

      You can’t apply for the cards again to get the bonus, you’ll have to spend more or fly more unfortunately.

  144. Marie says

    great article! thank you for sharing! I have a couple questions for you.
    1. I understand how you got the companion pass the first time, but how have you kept it?
    2. Do you keep both of your cards active or did you cancel one after you got the initial bonus and qualified for the companion pass?
    I would rather not have to pay the annual fee on both so I was thinking I would cancel the second one after I qualified for the pass. Do I have to keep the card for a certain amount of time to keep the points?
    thanks!

    • Jim Wang says

      1. I put all of my business expenses through the Southwest business card and between that spending and our personal spending, we’re able to hit the points we need.
      2. I have kept both cards. Once you earn the points, you don’t need to keep the card but I’ve been using mine to keep earning points.

  145. Stacey says

    I currently have the personal southwest card that has the $69 annual fee. If I am reading this correct, I can apply for the Premier Personal card that has the $99 fee/year and can get the 60,000 points? I hope this is correct b/c that would be all of the points I need to get the companion pass for the rest of this year and 2018! Thanks!

    • Jim Wang says

      As long as the cards are different and you didn’t get the points from that card within the last 2 years, that should work (and assuming the other points you need you earned in 2017).

  146. Jeffrey Li says

    Hi Jim,

    Great article. I am still a bit confused about the spending within a calendar year rule. The current 60k sign up bonus ends on 6/29 and I’m debating whether I should get it now because it seems like once I spend enough to get the 110k points, there will only be a few months left in 2017.

    So if I get the card now for the 60k bonus and do nothing else, will I lose that 60k at the end of the year and have to earn another 110k starting in 2018?

    In your article, you said that the best time to apply for the card is towards the end of the year and finish accruing points in January. That makes it seem like you when you reset, you don’t lose your bonus points?

    Thanks!

    • Jim Wang says

      If you get the card and do nothing else, you keep the points but they do not count towards CP next year. If you get the bonus and earn another 50,000 RR points, you will have CP for 2017 and 2018.

      In the article, when you finish the bonus in January then it counts towards next year. It’s based on when the points are awarded, which happens after a statement cycle ends. I hope that helps!

  147. Katie says

    I was told that you no longer get credit towards companion pass for the credit card. I signed up for the Chase Southwest CC and it told me I get 60,000 points if I spend $2000 in the 1st three months- does this count towards the points needed for companion pass? What about when you book a hotel through Southwest- do those points go toward it?

  148. Nickie says

    If I apply now to get the 50k bonus miles & take my time for the rest, will those 50k roll over until January? I’m thinking of getting 1 card now, & 1 late December so that I reach the mark in January 2018. Will this work?

    • Jim Wang says

      Any points you earn in the calendar year of 2017 will not count towards 2018, so your plan won’t work because you would earn the first batch of points in 2017.

  149. Carolyn says

    I just signed up for both personal Premier and Plus cards and have hit the spending limit on both. Now I’ve received a letter from Chase telling me I’m not eligible for the the bonus on the Plus card since I’ve already received it on the Premier card, since they are in the “same family of cards”. I’m not really sure what to do. I thought you could get the bonus points on both personal cards?

    • Jim Wang says

      I’ve never tried it but people have told me that they successfully got points on both Premier and Plus cards… I’ll try to do more research.

      • Tony says

        We received 50,000 bonus points for each of both the plus and premier cards in my wife’s name in early Feb of this year for cards we applied for in Nov/Dec of 2016.
        This could be a change in policy for Chase (they gave away a lot of Ultimate Reward points and cash with their Sapphire Reserve card promo earlier this year – 100,000 per account, $300 travel credit, $100 Global entry Fee etc. – so maybe they need to cut back!). There was no mention of “families” of cards when we applied so I would carefully check the language on your particular offer and push back if it is not clearly stated that the bonus point offer is invalid on multiple cards. Maybe you can cancel one and get the fee back, or at worst, see if a business card would qualify and apply for one of those so you don’t lose the benefit of the bonus points on your first card, and still hopefully get to 110,000 points this year. It’s still a great deal even if you have to pay another $69 fee and can meet the spend requirement without spending $$ you wouldn’t otherwise have spent and plan to do some flying in the next 1-1/2 years or so.

  150. Ellen says

    I got the premier card in June and was planning to apply for the plus card at some point this year so I could combine the points for the companion pass. Should I wait until later in the year so I hit the 110k mark in early Jan.?
    In other words, does the “year” mark for the companion pass begin when you earn the 110k OR is it retro back to when you opened your first card OR does it have to be in the same calendar year? Hope that makes sense…

    • Jim Wang says

      If you earned the points from the Premier card already (and you should have), then they were accrued for 2017. You’ll want to earn the rest of them as soon as possible because they won’t count towards 2018. The year is calendar year.

  151. MJ says

    I currently have a SW Chase Visa Premier card. My RR account says I have 45K of the 110K points as of today 7/30/17.
    My question is – Can these existing 45K (plus whatever I accrue additionally later this year) points be used toward a Companion Pass that is obtained in early 2018 for 2018 and 2019? Or will these 45K+ points basically become null (for the purposes of Companion Pass) on 1/1/18?
    If they do become null on 1/1/18, is the only way to obtain Companion pass for 2018-2019 to close my current SW Chase Visa Premier card sometime over the next few months and then reapply for BOTH the Premier and Plus cards in late 2017 (so points do not post till early 2018 after the $2K is spent on each card)? That way, I can follow your suggested process as outlined.
    Thanks very much in advance, Jim.

    • Jim Wang says

      They will become null on 1/1/18 for the purposes of Companion Pass. You won’t be able to close and re-apply because if you earned bonus points (on sign up) within the last two years, you can’t earn them again until that two year period expires.

  152. Kris says

    Just wanted to say Thank you! We followed this blog 3 months ago and just got my companion pass! We applyied for the southwest premier and the plus the same day. And you were correct that we got a pending on the plus and had to call in and confirm it was a fraud alert for two cards in one day. It worked out quiet easy because we put our kids college tuition payment on the card then paid it immediately off to avoid interest. Something for parents of college kids to think about, why not get a perk back paying college expenses that you would be paying anyway! Thanks Jim!!!

  153. Jacqueline says

    Hi Jim!

    Thanks for posting this helpful information! Just to clarify…If I apply for and get the card in Nov. 2017, I should hold off on purchases until January 2018 so that the points start accruing in the 2018 calendar year for me to earn a CP for 2018 and 2019? Or…does it matter if I get the card in Nov. 2017 and start spending in Nov? If my spending in Nov 2017 posts in Dec 2017 and I earn the bonus points in Dec 2017, that will ruin it right? Just wanted to check to make sure I understand this correctly ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jim Wang says

      Personally – I wouldn’t cut it that close. I’d probably get the card in December or early January and then make purchases in 2018 to get the CP for 2018 and 2019.

      If you time it correctly, you can do it the way you explain. You want the last of the spend to be in 2018. But I hate timing things that tightly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  154. Kathy says

    Thanks for all the great info!!! Just a few questions:
    1. If I currently have 36,000 points I have accumulated through flying SW on my Rapids Rewards number, will those points count toward the CP points needed? I applied for the Premier card in June and think I only get 40,000 points after the three months.

    2. I asked for an additional card for my husband but his RR number is not listed under his name on his card. Now i am wondering if I should have him apply for a Premier card and business card in November/December of this year, especially if my 36,000RR points from simply flying don’t apply towards the CP. HELP!

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