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One of the top credit card deals of 2011 had to have been the Chase Southwest card that awarded 50,000 Southwest points that are worth $835 in Wanna Get Away fares after the first purchase. That bonus dropped down to 25,000 for a few months, but is now back up to the 50,000 point level.
Offer has expired. Please check here for current offer.
However, since times are changing a bit in the world of rewards credit cards, there is now a minimum spending component. The good news is that the minimum spending is quite reasonable at $1,000 in three months.
Ignore the part on the ad below where it says “2 Roundtrip Flights” – how many trips you get from your points depends entirely on the price of the flights that you purchase. You can often get many more than two flights out of 50,000 Southwest points.
By far the best way to maximize this promotion is to get a business and a personal card. Remember, don’t dismiss some things that you do for money that are in essence a “small business”, and thus might require a business credit card. Do you make cute stuff to sell on Etsy? Find good deals to re-sell on eBay? Do you do small home improvement or repair jobs for your friends and family? You get the idea…… If you get the business and the personal card then you will receive a combined total of 100,000 Southwest points. That is an impressive number, and that many points are worth $1,670 in Wanna Get Away fares on Southwest. The points don’t stretch quite as far if you redeem for Business Select or Anytime fares, but they do work for those types of fares as well.
Clearly $1,670 in free travel is great, but the best part is that it gets you most of the way to a Companion Pass. A Companion Pass is obtained by earning 110,000 points with Southwest in a calendar year. With the 100K you receive from these two credit card bonuses, you are just 10K points away from earning that magical pass. If you count the minimum spending requirements on the two cards, you are just 8,000 points away. You can earn those points by flying on Southwest, by spending money on your new Southwest credit cards, or even by utilizing some of their partners.
Once you have the Companion Pass then you can use your $1600+ in free flights to purchase your tickets, and your companion flies for free for all of the year that the pass was earned, plus all of the following calendar year. That is a ridiculous amount of free travel for two approved credit card applications. As with all things that sound too good to be true, there is always the risk that at any time credit card bonus points will no longer count toward the Companion Pass. However, thus far folks have been successful in obtaining the Companion Pass in this manner. Even without the Companion Pass this is still one of the very best credit card deals out there!
Thanks so much to Extra Pack of Peanuts for the links to these great and increased offers! (For the record, these are not affiliate links, they are just the best deal out there for this card!)
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus (personal) ($69 annual fee)
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (personal) ($99 annual fee)
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus (business) ($69 annual fee)
Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (business) ($99 annual fee)
I’d love to hear if you decide to get in on this deal now, or if you are already enjoying your Companion Pass from when this deal came around last time. One of my friends has twins, and they used the heck out of their Companion Pass to essentially fly the whole family of four for free until the twins turned two years old and required their own seats! If Southwest flew to the airports that I frequent the most I would be all over this deal!