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Southwest Credit Cards Bonus Increases + Companion Pass Info:
Offer expired. Please check here for current offer.
One of the topics I will be covering this weekend at the Chicago Seminars is how to easily get the Southwest Companion Pass so that a companion can fly for free with you on Southwest flights for almost two years (if timed correctly). A way to get you most of the way there is to apply for the Southwest Personal and Business Chase cards when the sign-up bonuses are at 50,000 points. Luckily, those large sign-up bonuses just returned…albeit with a higher spending requirement than before.
As Million Mile Secrets points out, you can now apply to receive 50,000 bonus sign-up points on the Southwest Rewards Plus Personal and Rewards Plus Business cards. There is a $2,000 spending requirement on each card, and the $69 annual fee is not waived. That means that you will end up with 104,000 of the 110,000 required points for the Companion Pass once you complete the spending requirements. Credit card sign-up bonuses have counted toward the Companion Pass historically, however it is always possible that will change at any time, so there is a bit of risk with this. However, the worst case scenario is you end up with $1,700+ of free travel on Southwest. To get the remaining 6,000 points you can spend an additional $6,000 on the Southwest cards, make purchases via the Rapid Rewards shopping portal, fly Southwest flights, or simply transfer 13,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points to Hyatt. Then transfer 12,500 Hyatt points to Southwest. This will convert to 6,000 Southwest points. You can’t go straight from UR to Southwest as the points won’t count toward the Companion Pass.
If you sign up for the credit cards now, you have three months to complete the required spending. If you time that to finish at the very beginning of 2013, then as soon as you obtain the additional 6,000 points to get to 110,000, you will have a companion pass for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014. That means that whenever you fly on a Southwest flight, your designated companion can do the same for free. This is true even when you are flying on points, and that’s a good thing since you will have about $1726 worth of “Wanna Get Away” fares from the two sign-up bonuses and meeting the spending requirement. Be aware that the points earned for the Companion Pass reset on January 1st each year, so don’t accidentally have the points post in 2012 if your intent is to earn the pass in 2013.
Last Chance for Hyatt Card Without $1,000 Minimum Spending Requirement:
It is clear that the minimum spending requirements for the Chase rewards cards are on the increase. We have seen many of them go from awarding the bonus upon first purchase, to requiring $1,000 in spending, to some (such as the Southwest cards) requiring $2,000 in spending. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card requires $3,000 in spending to get the bonus, so it is not unreasonable to think that others will inch toward that threshold. So far this has mainly been a one-way street, where the spending requirements are only increasing and not really decreasing. As of tomorrow, the Hyatt Card will join the rank of cards that have gone from awarding the points on first purchase, to requiring $1,000 in spending to get the bonus. The offer on Chase’s website already reflects that change, but you can still get the offer without $1,000 spending requirement by using my affiliate link.
Update: $1,000 in spending is now required to get the two free nights bonus.
Application Link: Hyatt Credit Card
My link will reportedly be deactivated by 10AM Eastern on Tuesday morning, so act quickly if you want in on this offer. If the $1,000 spending requirement doesn’t matter to you, then try making a booking on Hyatt.com to see if you are offered a $100 statement credit for getting approved for the credit card. The offer does say that “This bonus offer is valid only for first -time Hyatt Credit Card applicants booking a reservation on Hyatt.com and will appear on your credit card statement within 2 weeks after your first purchase. The statement credit is not a discount off of your room rate.” I don’t know if you actually have to book a stay to apply (I doubt you do), but just be aware of the terms and conditions. This is an increase over the previous $75 statement credit that was available via Hyatt.com.
A $1,000 spending requirement is still quite fair in my opinion, but getting two free nights at any Hyatt by simply purchasing a soft drink with your new card is even better for some. 😉 You can read more about this offer here.
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. For those interested, the Southwest cards are not my links, but the Hyatt card is. As always, thanks for your support.