Southwest Cards Add Companion Pass to Sign-Up Bonus (Limited Time)

Robin Saks Frankel
By Robin Saks Frankel 
Edited by Kenley Young

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» This offer has expired

The limited-time offer described in this article expired in February 2019. For current offers, see our details pages for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card.

If you've longed for a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass but were daunted by the requirements to earn one, a limited-time offer on the airline's consumer credit cards might be just the ticket.

For new cardholders approved for one of the cards listed below, the new sign-up bonus is as follows: Earn Companion Pass and 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Offer ends 2/11/19. Companion Pass is promotional and will be valid through 12/31/19.

Eligible cards are:

How it works

A traditional Southwest Companion Pass lets you choose one person to fly with you for free with the exception of taxes and fees starting at $5.60 one way. Fly enough with a partner, and it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on plane tickets. This limited-time promotional Companion Pass, however, differs in two key ways:

  • The good news: To earn this pass, you only need to meet the spending requirement within three months. Normally, to earn a traditional Companion Pass, you'd have to either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year or earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year.

  • The catch: Unlike a traditional Companion Pass — which is good for the remainder of the calendar year in which you earn it and all of the following calendar year — the pass that's given with this limited-time offer is good only for travel through Dec. 31.

Potential hurdles

Be aware that not everyone will be eligible for this promotion:

  • You're unlikely to qualify if you already have a Southwest personal credit card or have earned a sign-up bonus on a Southwest personal credit card within the past 24 months.

  • Your application could be denied if you've applied for multiple cards in the past couple of years, because of the so-called 5/24 rule at Chase, the issuer of Southwest cards.

Is it a good deal?

In a word, yes. In several words, this promotion can offer incredible value, as long as Southwest's routes work for you and:

  • You are eligible for the offer. See above.

  • You can meet the spending requirement. Even if you can, consider the practical timetable. See below.

  • You can take at least one flight with another person in a short window of time. The buy-one-get-one-free nature of the Companion Pass can mean significant savings, even if you're planning only one trip before Dec. 31. But the more you fly with a friend, the more you can save with this pass. Say you apply for the card in February and then take the entire three months to spend the necessary $4,000 to earn the pass. (And once you qualify for this pass, it could take as long as eight weeks for it to be awarded, according to Chase representatives.) That means you might have only from May or June (or even later) until December to squeeze in your flying before the promotional pass expires.

But don't forget about those 30,000 Rapid Rewards points that you also get with this limited-time offer, along with the ones you earned for spending $4,000 on your new card. You could put that newly earned points haul toward a vacation by itself, or you could hold onto those points and add more as you use your card, potentially hitting the 110,000-point threshold for a traditional Companion Pass.

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