Easy Path to Over $3,300 in Southwest Travel

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One of the offers that has been on my “Top 5 Family Credit Card Deals” list since the list was created is the Southwest credit card 50,000 point sign-up bonus.

Offer expired. Please check here for current offer.

We have seen this offer come and go over the last couple of years, but when it is available it is a phenomenal deal for Southwest flyers.  If used for “Wanna Get Away” fares, then 50,000 Southwest points equates to $833 in free Southwest travel.  Even if that is all you do by getting one Southwest card, it is a great deal to get that much value out of one credit card sign-up bonus.  There are four different Chase Southwest cards available – and currently all are available with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 on the card in the first three months.  I have read success stories of people getting the different varieties of the card.  My recommendation if you want to get two cards is one business and one personal card.

The real play here is to get one personal Southwest card with a 50,000 point bonus, one business Southwest card with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus, and then earn the remaining 6,000 points needed (after meeting the spending requirements) to get to the 110,000 points needed for a Companion Pass (CP).  When you have a Southwest Companion Pass then you designate your companion to fly for free with you on Southwest flights.  This applies even when you are flying on points.  That means that it is possible to leverage the $1,666 in free travel from the two 50,000 point sign-up bonuses to $3,332 in free travel since the second person is flying for free using the Companion Pass.

This trick to get the CP isn’t new, but this is a good time of the year to go for it.  The reason that now is the best time to act is that the CP is good for the rest of the year you earn it, plus all of the following year.  Additionally, all of the 110,000 CP qualifying points must be earned in the same calendar year.  That means that if you start the process of applying for the cards and begin to put spending on them now, you are in a great position to finish hitting the $2,000 spending requirements on each card early in 2013.  That means that you will be able to maximize the length of time that you and a companion can fly using the CP!  You will have most of 2013 and all of 2014!  You don’t get the 50,000 bonus points for each card until you put $2,000 in spending, so start the process now, but be sure not to go to the $2,000 mark until 2013 because all of the 110,000 needed points must be earned in the same calendar year.

You will then have at least 6,000 more points to earn to hit 110,000 (more if some of your spending toward the $2,000 required minimum posts in 2012).  You can do that by flying Southwest, shopping via their Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal, putting additional spending on the Southwest credit cards, or by transferring Ultimate Reward 13,000 points to Hyatt and then those can convert to 6,000 points to transfer to Southwest.  You can’t go straight from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest as they won’t be CP-qualifying points.

Southwest is a great airline for some families since you can choose seats together, don’t have to pay for the first two checked bags, and I have found Southwest and employees and passengers to be very laid back toward family travelers.  If both parents got the CP, then a family of four could travel “for free” with one child designated on each parent’s CP!  I even had a friend who had their family of four travel for free on one CP while their twins were under two years old.

This use of the sign-up bonus points to qualify for the CP is very much an “off label” benefit.  This means you won’t be able to get anyone at the airline or the issuing bank to verify for you that it will work for sure.  It can change at any time.  However, it has been working for quite a while now, so the odds are in your favor if you act quickly.  Hopefully it will be around for some time to come, but in the miles and points world we all know that most awesome deals are time limited to some degree.

Have you done this yourself?  How did it work out for you?

 

Comments

  1. Hi

    I just got a ink plus card about one month ago. About 3 months ago I got a Hyatt chase card. Do you think I still have a chance to get the other personal southwest and a business southwest through the reconsideration line?

  2. Can both I and my spouse sign up for this and get the 50k points? I didn’t see any restriction about ‘one per household.’ You mentioned the 2 parents who had the CP, so I *assume* it’s ok. Sorry if I missed it!

  3. Hello,
    I am little confused about this, I got the two plus buz and personal card, now my confusion is if i started using now and lets say spend 1000 on each card, ad my first statement closes in by end of this month, then I get 1000 reward point on each card this yr. and then finally I do rest of the spending and meet my $2000 by 2013 Jan, and get 100,000 in 2013 so to my understanding I will still need 8000 points to earn the CP because the 1000 points on each card was earned on 2012.

  4. is it possible to get the SW Plus (personal) and SW Premier (personal) to do this trick? or will they only let you have one personal bonus at a time?

  5. Adnan – that is correct. The problem with waiting is that at some point, Chase may pull the 50k offer and bring it back down to 40k (which would mean you’d need an additional 30k points to get from 80k to 110k).

    The idea is that you get the 2 cards and do all the spend in 2013 (if possible). you DEFINITELY want to wait until 2013 to hit the 2k spend – but if you need to spend $$ on the card in 2012 to meet the minimum spend in 2013, do so knowing that you’ll have to accrue more points in 2013…

  6. I noticed the below verbiage in the Application. What is anyone’s experience with this? I have had 2 of these Southwest cards with Chase & received the 50K bonus points each time. I don’t have any open Southwest cards. You think they’ll give me the 50K bonus on my 3rd card approval in 3 years?

    “This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards personal Cardmembers with new accounts. Previous and existing Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards personal Cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer.”

    Thanks!

  7. This sounds really great. Unfortunately, like someone else, I just applied for 2 Chase cards (IB and PC) about a month and a half ago. I don’t think it’s time for another churn at this point, but I would also hate for the sign-on bonus to drop to 40K. That would mean 80K points with add’l 4K points from spend, and $26K to spend in a year. Ouch!

  8. I read the T&C of SWA’s companion pass rules and it says all 110K qualifying pts (QP) have to be earned in 1 calendar year. I have 26K pts from my last Chase SWA churn a year ago; I take it those won’t count toward the 110K?

  9. Has anyone had luck doing the 2 personal cards? Looking to get the plus and premier cards. Any 2 browser trick possibilities here? Honestly I just have no business or anything close that I can speak of. Also is there any difference b/w the 2 besides the 3k vs 6k annual bonus? This seems like an awesome deal. Thanks Mommy Points!

  10. The only real risks in waiting are the offers changing and/or the point no longer counting toward the CP. I think applying now and being poised to hit the threshold as soon as the calendar ticks to 1/1/13 is a very good strategy, but it is true that any spending that posts in 2012 won’t count in 2013.

    If you earned any points in 2012, they won’t count when going for the passes in 2013. Similarly, any points earned in 2011 won’t count if you are going for the pass in 2012.

    I do know of people who have had both versions of the personal cards at the same time, but off hand I can’t point to an example where someone applied for both at the same time. It has likely happened, so maybe someone else can chime in. If you do go for that, I would be ready to explain that you need to keep spending separate on the two cards for some reason.

  11. Yikes, I’m not sure this is correct. I thought all the points had to be earned in the same calendar year. So if you signed up for one now and got the 50k bonus, that would be the worst possible time to do it since we’re at the end of 2012. Correct me if I’m wrong though..

    I signed up for the personal and then business card in early 2012, hit 110k total points and now I have companion status for 2012 and 2013..

    • @Harry, the 50K bonus won’t post until after your $2,000 in spending. So, if you time that to finish in 2013 then your bonus points will post in 2013. Hope you are enjoying your CP!

  12. Regarding posting of points and dates, if spending is done in Dec 2012, but points post in 2013, those will still count toward 2013, correct?

  13. Hi MP,

    I took advantage of this offer back in May ’12 and got the business and personal card (50k points after first purchase). I currently have 111k miles in my SW account. Is there anyway that I could take advantage of the CP as well? I’m assuming that I have until May ’13 to meet the extra $9k spend??

    Thanks for everything you do!

    • @Jason, your 110,000 points must be earned in one calendar year so you have to hit 110K CP points in 2012 or you reset to 0!
      @Ronnie, this offer really does come and go. It gets promoted heavily and then disappears. Hopefully it will last for a while this time!

  14. Just my $0.02…. I flew SW two weeks ago (HOU) and they had these 50,000 offers plastered everywhere! I have received them in my mail box and my inbox too. I have a feeling it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. That is not to say, of course, that these miles could be excluded from CP eligibility anytime. I too have signed up for 3 chase cards this year 🙁 my next churn is slated for January, so I am going to go with the flow.

  15. Can you apply for both the personal SW card, and business SW card at the same time? If not, how long should you wait between applications?

  16. I was approved and received the card before the promotion ended. I should have the required spend and companion pass points by February. Do you know what the required term is for keeping the card? How long do I need to keep it – I do not want to jeopardize my points? Any suggestions on canceling the card with the least impact on my credit? Thank you for any suggestions you can offer!

  17. So the deal has expired?? I’m not slated for another churn until January and I didn’t want to rush things since I have earned 3 chase cards this year (1 at each churn). Hopefully it will be back and the companion pass works out!

  18. I just signed up for the 50k Plus card…got it didn’t realize i could do the business one too!! I feel like a schnook!! I could have reached that 110K with no problem and could have taken EVEN MORE people to Disney!!

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