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Good news, the three remaining Southwest Airlines credit cards have all brought back the public 50,000 point offers, good for over $715 worth of “Wanna Get Away” travel!
These credit cards seems to bounce with some regularity from the 25,000 to 50,000 point sign-up bonus levels, but I’m happy to have them back at the public 50,000 point level for now so that anyone that wants can get in with the higher sign-up bonus. Even if “all” you do is get one of the three different Southwest credit cards, and have 50,000 points to use for over $715 in “Wanna Get Away” travel, that is a fantastic way to travel more with your family for much less! Remember, Southwest now even flies internationally to destinations like Aruba, Jamaica, The Bahamas, and Mexico.
These offers have expired.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card: (This offer has expired.) Get 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account ($99 annual fee)
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card: Get 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account ($99 annual fee)
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Personal Card: Get 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account ($69 annual fee)
However, some like to take this offer a bit further and use the credit card sign-up bonus points not only for lots of award travel, but also to help get the 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points needed in a calendar year needed to earn a Companion Pass.
As you may already know, the Southwest Companion Pass is incredibly valuable for families who like to travel on Southwest as having it means a companion can fly virtually for free (other than taxes) with the pass holder on all Southwest flights for potentially close to two years if you time it correctly.
This is actually a pretty good time of the year to work on earning the Companion Pass because it is good the year you earn it and all of the following year. Earning a Companion Pass now would mean it is good until December 31, 2016.
Easily Earn the Southwest Companion Pass:
Normally the only people who would earn a Companion Pass are those who do a very significant amount of travel on Southwest in a calendar year. However, there is currently another way to get it that is much easier and more accessible to almost all of us. You need 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points in a calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31) to earn the Companion Pass, and the sign-up bonus from the co-branded Southwest credit cards count.
Who Can Get the Sign-up Bonuses:
Keep in mind that the terms state that the new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either current cardmembers of this credit card, or previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. However, all three versions of the card are considered different card products.
Fly Your Family Around for Less with the Companion Pass + Lots of Southwest Points:
I know some families where the mom and dad both are companion pass holders, and thus they can then have both kids fly with them via just paying taxes. I even know a family where the dad had the pass and the wife (his companion) and two twins (under the age of two) would all fly thanks to that one pass, and the rules allowing children under two to travel as lap infants.
When you have and use a companion pass while redeeming Southwest points, you are essentially doubling their value and making them the most valuable type of points for domestic US travel. A Southwest point is normally worth close to 1.4 cents each toward Wanna Get Away fares, but if that point is being used to get two flights instead of just one, it is essentially now worth about 2.8 cents.
You can transfer points into Southwest from Ultimate Rewards via cards the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, but those points will not be Companion Pass qualifying. However, those points will be worth a ton when you are redeeming them for flights for you + 1 using the Companion Pass, if you start to run low on all the points that will come with getting the Southwest cards in the first place. If you are in a pinch to get to 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points you can transfer Ultimate Reward points to Hyatt and then to Southwest in order for them to count. There is substantial loss in the process, but it can be worth it to get over the last hurdle to earn the pass. You can change your designated companion up to three times within the validity period of the pass, so you can adjust accordingly if only certain members of your family are going with you on a given trip.
Whether you want to try for the Companion Pass or just get hundreds of dollars in award travel fro a sign-up bonus, be aware that all three versions of the Southwest card are back to the 50,000 point offers without needing to be targeted or referred.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.