50,000 Southwest Chase Credit Card Bonus Points Still Counting for Companion Pass in 2012

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

This offer is expired. Please check here for current offers.

Update: While this is reported to be working, I am concerned from the report in the comments from Noob Traveler that his packet from SW said that credit card sign-up bonuses don’t count toward Companion Pass.  If that is the case, then perhaps the time for this awesome deal has ended (or will be in the very near future).  I would say proceed with caution.

Update #2: False alarm with Update #1, the language in that packet that Noob Traveler is the same language that Southwest has been using for a while.  See the comments in this post for more details.  All is well in Companion Pass Land.  😉

…or at least that is what is being reported on Flyertalk (see post #517 in that thread).  This is great news on two levels.  First, the great news is that the 50,000 point sign-up bonuses for both the personal and business credit cards are alive and well.  The 50K bonuses were pulled from the affiliate channels a few months ago, but there are still some functioning links out there, like this oneThe second big news is that the credit card sign-up bonuses are still counting toward Companion Pass qualification in 2012!  There were some rumors and concern that this loop-hole (if it is a loop-hole) would close once 2012 rolled around, but so far that seems to not be the case.  A Companion Pass is just like it sounds – it is a pass for a travel companion to fly for free with you (just pay the September 11th fee) anytime you fly Southwest.  This even works when the Companion Pass holder is flying for free on points.  I even have a friend who used their companion pass to fly for free with their whole family of four.  The husband had earned the pass, named the wife as the companion, and they each took one of their twin babies as a free lap child.  Talk about maximizing the value of the pass!!  You can also change your traveling companion up to three times, so you can be strategic about who you name based on when/where your travel plans will take you.

In case you are new to the Southwest Airlines and Companion Pass world, let me explain why this is awesome.  First, if you apply for and receive the personal and business Southwest cards you will receive a total of $1666 in Wanna Get Away fare credit from the 100,000 total bonus points.  The bonus points are awarded upon first use of the card, so just one purchase will result in the points being awarded.  You do have to pay a $69 annual fee for each card.  Second, once they are awarded for both cards you will only be 10,000 points away from qualifying for a Companion Pass.  You can earn those 10,000 points by actually flying Southwest on paid fares, by spending $10,000 on the cards, or by transferring the points in from another partner program.

For example, you can transfer 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for 2,400 Rapid Rewards Points. Members can also redeem 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for 24,000 Rapid Rewards Points and receive a bonus of 6,000 additional Rapid Rewards Points for a total of 30,000 Rapid Rewards Points.  Assuming that you receive 100,000 points from Southwest Credit Card sign-ups, you would just need to convert 21,250 Hyatt Gold Passport points to transfer just over 10,000 Southwest points.  This transfer method is reported to work as Companion Pass Qualifying points, but I have not tried it myself, so I can’t speak from personal experience.  Another method discussed on Flyertalk is transferring Marriott points or Choice Hotel points.  If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Bold, then you could choose to transfer some of those Ultimate Reward points to either Hyatt or Marriott, and then transfer them from those programs to Southwest.  You do lose some points in the conversion process, but the value of the Companion Pass may still make it a worthy endeavor.  While you cannot yet transfer points from Ultimate Rewards directly to Southwest, it is reported that they will not count towards CP once you can do the direct transfer – though you never know how that will work in practice.    Just as a warning, I would not recommend applying for more than one personal and one business Chase application at at time. 

After you have hit 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying points in a calendar year, the pass is good for the rest of that year. plus the whole next calendar year.  That means that getting in on this early in 2012 effectively lets your chosen travel partner travel with you for free for almost two years!

Hopefully this method of getting lots of free travel will be around for a while, but there are certainly no guarantees.  I do recommend being somewhat cautious with applying for these cards if you already have lots of recent Chase applications, but otherwise this is a phenomenal deal that Southwest flyers might want to strongly consider.

As a reminder, if you haven’t already followed me on Twitter @Mommy_Points or Facebook, feel free to get in on the social media action!  I love Tweeting, so don’t by shy.  😉

 Disclosure:  The Southwest links in this post are not mine, but they are reported to be working links, and they are certainly the best offers out there.  The Ink Bold and Sapphire preferred links are mine, so I would receive a commission if you were approved for those card using my links.  They are also to the best available offer out there.  

The responses below 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.


    • @Noob, I guess we should hope that the FT thread is correct. Though if the SW packet said specifically that credit card sign-up bonuses are not counting, then that would worry me significantly as well. I would say everyone should proceed with caution if it there is an official written statement saying they don’t count, even if there are reports from others saying it is working. Thanks for sharing!

  1. There has always been language stating that credit card bonuses didn’t count towards companion passes, they just always have.

    Officially transfers from Ultimate Rewards don’t count either, it would be interesting to see if they do.

  2. My mom applied and made her first purchase for the SW Plus card last year and the points appeared in MY RR account today as “Companion Pass Qualifying Points.” This was after I had already received 50k points for the Premier card during last summer’s offer.

    There are two things that I infer from this:
    1.) Two different people can be linked to one RR account.
    2.) CC signup bonuses do in fact count towards the CP in 2012.

    My only concern is that #2 only appears to be true and the reality of situation is that my mom applied in 2011 so her bonus was grandfathered in as CP qualifying points. However, I truly hope this is not the case because I have already applied for the Plus Biz today in hopes of scoring a CP pass. Crossing my fingers!

  3. Noob Traveler – did the packet specifically say “credit card signup bonus” or did it say “program enrollment bonus” or “partner bonus” or something like that? The enrollment bonus seems to mean any bonus points for opening a RR account (not referring to a credit card enrollment), and the partner bonuses were not previously counting towards CP. So I’m trying to understand if this is something new in the language.

  4. @Gene, great question, sorry I wasn’t clear on that. It has been said that transfers directly from UR won’t count toward CP, though you never know how it will work in practice.

    @Steve, I knew their was language about promotional bonuses, but I hadn’t seen language specifically about credit card bonuses before. Had you seen that in your packet previously, too? I sure hope it is just old language that doesn’t really mean anything!

    @steve, that is what I have heard as well. Thanks!

    @Arjun, thanks for sharing that info!

    @MJ, reportedly UR points won’t count toward CP – though it would be great if they did.

    @Jonathan, a direct quote of the info would be great. Noob Traveler, if you have that it would be awesome to know the exact wording.

    @Maya, yep! 😉

  5. I applied for both cards in Nov, paid the annual fees in Nov and did not charge on them until Jan. 4th. My personal card has a closing date of Feb 2nd (DOH), but I think my bus card has a closing date of the 15th. When I called to activate my bus card (still hadn’t activated it, even though I paid the fee), they confirmed i would be getting 50K with first purchase. I will report back when my statement closes for the bus if the points count towards CP…cuz, obviously, that was my whole intention. But just wanted to give a little background of my situation.

  6. @Ryan… I’m in the same exact situation.

    Anyone know if we just pay the balance of our statement now – will the points post earlier?

  7. I guess we will find out now if the transfers from the UR Mall count now – Southwest is officially available for transfers today!

  8. @lots-o-points….I just paid my outstanding balance, so we’ll see. I’m guessing not, their accounting is more than likely built in, so the points will post when they normally do, either within a certain amount of days after the first purchase, or when the statement closes.

  9. The link shown above is to apply for a personal card correct? How do I apply for the business card? Is there another link somewhere or do I have to call? Is there an offer code for the business card?

  10. @Jonathan Sorry, I have been at the office all day. My packet says “purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status”. This is my first SW card and I was about to sign up for Biz card so I could get the CP. I was worried when I read the fine print here, but you are saying that it doesn’t mean c.c. sign-up bonus? Sorry for an confusion that I made have caused.

  11. @ arjun: that’s a bummer (did your points post? Others who have tried have mentioned the transfer system was under some maintenance.) Thought there might be a shot since the credit card bonuses likely are credited in the same fashion from Chase when the first card purchase is made – this might mean that the card bonus will not count in the future as well. I know MommyPoints tried a small transfer too, still hoping….. Thanks for reporting on it!

  12. @NoobTraveler that sounds like the exact same wording they have always had. Doesn’t seem to be any change there, so it seems like they will still count.

  13. I currently have 3 chase cards: First Chase Card, Freedom, and AARP(It’s been 8 months since I last applied for a chase card).
    My total credit lines with chase are at a point that they likely will not extend me any additional credit limit.

    Is it better to go ahead and apply for the cards likely getting rejected, then call have them reallocate the balance?
    or is it better to cancel or reduce the line on one of my current card so I have a better chance of being automatically approved?

    My current total limit with Chase ~ 15000
    Total credit limit from all cards ~ 39000
    Total Current balance(0% -Citi, Cap1) ~ 11000

    I was thinking I could call Chase and ask my line to be reduced by $1000 or $2000 on my most recent card. I don’t think this would lower my credit utilization too much to prevent me from being automatically approved for at least one of the southwest cards… (No one is reporting automatic approval for the business card anyways, correct?)

  14. For those curious about UR transfers, I did a test one to SW and posted about it here. @NoobTraveler, thanks for clarifying. That does sound like the old language that has been around for a while. 😉 @krista, most say apply, get rejected, and then call the recon line. Don’t giveaway credit you may need as a bargaining chip.

  15. I looked for some cheap(er) ways to get the additional 10k points instead of taking a flight. I came across Marriott’s MegaBonus where you get 2k miles for each stay starting with the second stay, though the T&C of companion pass specifically prohibit partner bonuses. However you can purchase 30k Marriott Points for $375, and Marriott has an award of 30k points to 10k Southwest points. Would this count towards CP? Or one could also apply for the Marriott Visa and use those instead of buying the points. Any other ideas besides actually flying, or spending on the card?

    • @Jefflsu, I have read reports on FlyerTalk of point transfers from Marriott counting toward CP. Is there a smaller test batch you could purchase to find out for sure? People have transferred from Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt and/or Marriott then to SW and that reportedly has worked as well. I can’t vouch for that yet myself though.

  16. Hi,
    I have a question regarding applying the business card from Southwest for the 50,000 bonus miles. I applied and received my personal card and the bonus miles about 2 week ago. Because I did not want to lose the 50,000 bonus miles they are offering, so I applied the business card about a couple days ago. I just received the rejection letter from Chase. I am just wondering if I wait for a few weeks then reapply again (assuming they are still offering the 50,000 bonus miles) Will I stand a better chance of being approved? I really want to use these bonus miles toward the companion pass. Any suggestion??

  17. I just received my personal and business SW cards from Chase with 50K bonus. Made 1st purchase immediately upon receiving the first card. Chase statement has posted and 50K miles are already shown in my SW Account online. However, the “Tier” status shows 0. Is Tier status what is used to determine Companion Pass? Has anyone else confirmed that the sign up bonus is still applying to Companion Pass? AGGGHHH, so much time with very nice recon folks – hope it’ll work.

  18. I tried transferring Hyatt points to SW and they did not count as Qualifying Points. They just posted as normal points…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *