Airlines have constantly been making changes to their loyalty programs. They’ve been busy extending status for their most loyal flyers and delaying point expiration for their less frequent customers. Programs have also been decreasing the requirements to achieve future status. Since 2021 travel, which is nowhere close to former levels, will determine your status for 2022, the airlines require fewer miles flown to earn ongoing status.
Southwest has taken a somewhat different approach to this problem. Instead of making changes to the requirements, which can be confusing, they’ve added miles and flight credits to all accounts that were open by December 31, 2020.
Tier status with Southwest consists of A-List and A-List Preferred. That’s not as important to me as the 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points that have been deposited in my account (if you don’t know what the Companion Pass is, check out this post). That put me 100,000 points away from getting a Companion Pass.
I then remembered a great sign up offer for one of the Southwest credit cards. There’s currently an offer for 100K Southwest points if you sign up for the Southwest Performance Business credit card.
Here are the terms of the sign-up bonus:
- Earn 70,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- Earn 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening.
When you’re done meeting the spending requirement, you’ll have a minimum of 125,000 spendable Southwest Rewards points and be way over the Companion Pass qualifying points needed. If it takes you all 6 months to reach the spending requirement, you’ll have almost 18 months of free flights for your companion when flying with Southwest.
If you want to sign up for this card, or any of the Southwest co-brand cards, we’d appreciate it if you’d use our referral link. We receive Southwest points for each referral, which helps us keep Your Mileage May Vary HQ going strong.
What’s the sign-up bonus worth?
A Southwest point is worth approximately 1.3 cents each. How many points it takes to pay for a ticket is depending on how much that ticket costs. That means you’re able to stretch the value as much as you can if you want to book inexpensive flights, or you’d be able to pay for a more expensive flight because you wouldn’t have to be paying out of pocket for the ticket.
100,000 points are worth $1,300. That’s a solid sign up bonus and there’s no worrying about if you’re going to be able to find a flight that has award space.
Is the Companion Ticket Really Free?
In my opinion, the ticket with the Companion Pass isn’t free. You need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket and that is some cost you’ll need to pay. I’d also need to figure in the cost of paying for Early Bird seating which if you want, you’ll need to pay for each ticket. That means you’ll be paying an additional $15 – $25 for each ticket. That might be as much as $100 for two people on a round-trip. If you’re traveling with a companion, I’d imagine that you want to sit close to one another, or maybe not.
Are there any other restrictions?
To receive this bonus, Chase puts the following restrictions on applications.
This new Cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this business credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this business credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this business credit card within the last 24 months.
This card is also subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.
After having the Companion Pass for a year, I decided it wasn’t worth it for us to go out of our way to keep it. We didn’t fly enough on Southwest for it to make sense. However, I’m considering getting this card for the sign-up bonus since this pass would be good through the end of 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate many things about how we travel and looking out into 2021 and 2022. I think it might be time for us to get the Companion Pass again.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary