One of the best domestic airlines for the frugal traveler is Southwest.
They save us nearly a hundred dollars in baggage every time we fly.
One of the best credit card reward benefits is the Southwest Companion Pass. However, you can only pull off the companion pass maneuver when Souhwest is offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
50,000 Southwest Offer is Back
They are currently offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus. After your approval, you just need to spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. One of the things I like about these cards is the 3,000 point bonus every year. That basically cancels out your annual fee.
Here’s a general introduction to the Rapid Rewards program.
The offer in and of itself is amazing.
Chase markets this as “2 free roundtrips”, but it can be so much more if you are savvy.
What you actually get is 50,000 points, which is worth up to $833 worth of Wanna Get Away Fare flights. This could be turned into nearly a dozen one way flights if you book smart.
So, what’s the companion pass all about?
If you collect 110,000 Southwest points in any one calendar year, then you’ll be awarded with a Companion Pass. The pass allows any person you designate to fly with you for free. (They do pay the Sept. 11th tax of up to $5 each way.)
Your companion can fly free on paid tickets or award tickets.
You’d think the Companion Pass would be hard to get, but it’s not.
Step #1: Take advantage of the current 50,000 offer, and get a personal credit card.
Step #2: Get a business credit card for an additional 50,000 points.
Step #3: Find a way to get an additional 10,000 points. If you have American Express Rewards points or Ultimate Rewards points you can transfer miles to a hotel program, then transfer those miles to Southwest. If you don’t have any miles, you can buy enough Marriott points for $375 that will transfer to 10,000 Southwest points.
The value of your two credit card applications
By getting the Companion Pass, you effectively double the value of your points. Instead of $833 + $833 worth of points, you’ll end up with $3,332 worth of domestic flights because you’ll get your ticket free as well as your companion’s ticket.
By the way, when you apply for both cards you’ll likely be automatically denied for the second. Just call the reconsideration line to get approved.
The companion pass is valid until December 31st of the year after you get the pass. If you were to get it now, it would be valid until December 31st, 2013.
I currently have the Companion Pass and love it. My son was my first companion. We’ve taken a couple of free flights. My wife is now my companion, and we have a trip planned for October. I’d love to take a weekend away, but my wife is a little travelled out after going to Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, Argentina, and Texas in a three month period.
I am not an affiliate for the current Southwest offer, so just head over to the publicly available page to sign up. I don’t know how long this offer is valid, so if you’re interested in taking advantage of the offer, do that sooner rather than later.