Do you want to earn the Southwest Companion Pass this year? Or score a bank of Southwest points to use for free flights? You’ve got until April 4, my friends!

I have confirmed with a spokesperson for Chase Bank that ALL Southwest Rapid Rewards Chase Visa offers will GO AWAY April 4, 2018. That includes both Premier and Plus personal cards AND the Business Premier card. So get your plan in order!

Please note this means just the current BONUSES are going away, not the cards. The bonuses usually come and go, but no word on when they might return. Usually, they go down to 40,000 points when these special 50,000-60,000 offers end.

Right now, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa personal cards are both offering 50,000-point bonuses after meeting the minimum $2,000 spend in the first three months. The Rapid Rewards Visa Premier Business card has a bonus of 60,000 points after meeting the $3,000 minimum spend within the first three months.

These cards do carry annual fees of between $69-$99, so you’ll need to factor those into the cost of flying nearly free, but I’ll break down all the benefits for you below.

To apply for the credit cards included in this post and to help support Go to Travel Gal at no cost to you, please use the Compare Cards link below or the TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS link in the main menu above. This allows me to earn a commission so that I may pay the blogging bills 🙂 and continue bringing you great information free. I sincerely appreciate you taking this step!

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Need to get your credit in order before applying for cards? Here are my tips for how to improve your credit score FAST!

The Southwest Companion Pass

Go to Travel Gal Southwest Companion Pass 2018

Here is my THIRD Southwest Companion Pass!

By signing up for just ONE personal and ONE business card, you will have all 110,000 qualifying points you need to earn a Southwest Companion Pass.

The Southwest Companion Pass lets ONE person fly FREE with you from the time you earn it until the end of the FOLLOWING year.

So if you earn it now, it will be good through the END of 2019! This is THE best time of the year to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, because it allows you to use it for almost TWO FULL YEARS.

The pass is essentially a Buy One, Get One FREE deal, which is a great way to STRETCH your Southwest points as far as possible, especially when you combine it with buying flights when they are at their lowest points prices. Follow my Southwest Deals page to get updated fare deals each Tuesday from 30+ cities!

Download my FREE guide that walks you step-by-step through how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass below:

Download Your FREE Guide & Start Flying FREE on Southwest!

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How the Companion Pass Has Changed My Life

Bryce Canyon National Park Family Photo

Hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah in 2017

I am now on my THIRD Southwest Companion Pass and it has completely changed my life and that of my family.

We went from taking one or two car trips a year to flying to six destinations in the first year of holding the pass and eight destinations in our second year — almost entirely on points!

Since I earned my first Companion Pass, my kids have seen:

  • Empire State Building in New York City
  • The Rocky Mountains
  • Pearl Jam in Telluride
  • ComicCon in San Diego
  • Dolphins on Marco Island, Florida
  • The Haunted Mansion at Halloween at Disneyland
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando
  • Mickey at Walt Disney World
  • Climbed the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas (AND seen the actual Eiffel Tower in Paris, but we did that using Chase Ultimate Rewards points)
  • Hiked Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Utah

Not bad!

Using Southwest Points for Free Flights

Not only do these cards give you a bank of 110,000 points that earn you a Companion Pass, you can also use them for FREE flights on Southwest.

For example, we flew all four of us for about ~22,000 points to New York City, so you can see how it’s possible to stretch those 110,000 points quite far if….

  • You choose to book during sales (stay updated on the latest Southwest Sales here — bookmark this page so you don’t forget!)
  • Choose destinations that cost the fewest points from your home airport
  • Consider departing from nearby airports that may be a 1-2 hour drive from home to pay less points
  • Pair with the Companion Pass, so ONE member of your group doesn’t cost ANY points or cash (aside from the mandatory $5.60 government security fee)

Your Current Southwest Card Options

Credit Cards - Minimum Spend, Closing Date

Thanks again for using my Compare Cards link below or TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS link in the main menu to compare and apply for cards.

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Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card 

  • Earn 50,000 Southwest points after $2,000 minimum spend within 3 months
  • $99 annual fee is applied to your first statement, so factor that into your cost of flying free
  • 2 points per $1 on purchases and with hotel and car rentals partners
  • 1 point per $1 earned on all other purchases
  • Other benefits include 6,000 points credited on your one-year anniversary of holding the hard, which DO qualify for the current year’s Companion Pass
  • Zero foreign transaction fees
  • Points don’t expire as long as you hold the card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

  • Earn 50,000 Southwest points after $2,000 minimum spend within 3 months
  • $69 annual fee is applied to your first statement, so factor that into your cost of flying free
  • 2 points per $1 on purchases and with hotel and car rentals partners
  • 1 point per $1 earned on all other purchases
  • 3,000 points credited on your one-year anniversary of holding the hard, which DO qualify for the current year’s Companion Pass (this is the main difference vs the Premier card aside from the lower annual fee and it DOES charge fees for foreign transactions)
  • Points don’t expire as long as you hold the card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

  • 60,000 Southwest points after $3,000 minimum spend in 3 months (BEST OFFER TO DATE)
  • $99 annual fee applied to first statement, same as above
  • You may be approved for a business card so long as you receive a 1099 for any type of side income (read more in my free ebook)
  • 2 points per $1 on purchases and with hotel and car rentals partners
  • 1 point per $1 earned on all other purchases
  • 6,000 points credited on your one-year anniversary of holding the hard, which DO qualify for the current year’s Companion Pass
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points don’t expire as long as you hold the card

What If I Don’t Qualify for a Business Card?

I recently had a reader, Rebecca S., try to apply for a Southwest business card with just her social security number as a sole proprietor. They told her that she did not have any of the paperwork necessary to validate her business.

So, Rebecca easily signed up for a Tax ID number for her business online and was able to supply them with the resulting Tax ID form. That was enough to get her approved!

I, too, was declined initially for the Southwest business card, and I’ve had my own business since 2005! If this happens to you, don’t get discouraged. Keep your end game in mind — the Southwest Companion Pass — and call the reconsideration line. Here’s what to expect when you call the Chase Reconsideration Line.

For me, all they wanted was some additional paperwork, proving I was associated with the business. It was a bit of a pain, but it got me the card!

If you absolutely don’t qualify for the business card, you CAN sign up for two personal Southwest cards, BUT you will need to earn another 6,000 points, as two personal cards will only get you to 104,000 (after you meet the minimum spend on each card, you’ll have another 4,000 points).

How to Earn Additional Qualifying Southwest Points

Rapid Rewards Dining restaurant - beano's Cabin

Earn MORE Southwest points by enrolling in Rapid Rewards Dining

You can easily do this by starting all online shopping at the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal or even signing up for cheap subscriptions to magazines and newspapers and earn between 500 and 1,000 points each. Follow my Monday updates of the best Rapid Rewards Shopping deals of the week to see your best chances to earn points.

You should also sign up for Rapid Rewards Dining, which earns you points when you dine at participating restaurants and register your credit cards.

You can also use SouthwestHotels.com to book hotels and earn up to 10,000 points per night. We did this at the end of 2017 to finish up our 2017 Companion Pass points.  You can even earn points by paying your electric bill in some states!

Here are even more ways to earn Southwest points.

You can also earn points on my absolute FAVORITE travel credit card, Chase Sapphire Preferred, which has NO annual fee the first year and a 50,000-point bonus after meeting the $4,000 minimum spend in three months. These points transfer instantly to Southwest Airlines and can be used for free flights, but they DO NOT qualify for the Companion Pass.

What questions do you have about signing up for the Southwest cards or earning the Southwest Companion Pass? I always answer all of my emails and comments :).

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