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The welcome offers on all three Southwest consumer cards have been updated today and the latest offer to be published is nothing short of fantastic, with a Companion Pass and 30,000 bonus points available to be earned by all successful new applicants.
The new welcome offer
Ok, let’s cut to the chase (no pun intended!). These three credit cards …
… all now come with this welcome offer:
These cards are not available to current holders of any Southwest Rapid Rewards consumer credit card, or former holders of any Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.
This offer will end on 11 March 2024 and the Companion Pass that can be earned is valid through 28 February 2025.
Quick thoughts on the welcome offer
On its own, the Companion Pass is incredibly valuable, so to be given the chance to also earn 30,000 bonus points (and all for just $4,000 of eligible spending) is great to see.
Personally, I value Southwest Rapid Rewards Points at 1.3 cents each (based on the value that I know that I can get out of them with relative ease) and that means that I value the bonus points on offer at $390.
The Companion Pass, on the other hand, can be worth way, way, way, more than that and the paragraph below shows why.
The Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is a benefit that usually requires a flyer to earn 135,000 qualifying points or to fly 100 one-way flights so straight away, you can see how hard it is to earn one of these the ‘regular’ way.
But what is a ‘Companion Pass’?
Southwest grants Companion Pass holders the right to choose one person to fly with them for just the cost of the flight taxes (starting at $5.60 for one-way travel). There’s no fare to pay or points to hand over. This second flyer flies for the cost of the taxes alone.
There are no blackout dates on which the Companion Pass cannot be used, and there’s no need for any kind of special fare to be available for the Companion Pass to be useable, so this is a genuinely great and easy to use benefit to have.
On a single trip, a Companion Pass can save a couple hundreds of dollars, but this isn’t a one-time thing. It can be used over and over again for as long as the pass is valid*, so for frequent flyers, the savings that a Companion Pass offers could easily reach into triple figures.
The one key condition to note is that the holder must nominate one person to be their ‘companion’ when they travel, but as Southwest now allows Companion Pass holders to change their designated companion up to three times each calendar year, that’s not going to be a particularly onerous condition for most people.
Booking companion travel is straightforward:
- The holder of the Companion Pass books their ticket.
- After booking their flight, they can head over to the ‘My Trips section’ of their Southwest account and click the ’Add Companion link’ which they’ll find next to the booking they just made.
- From there, the Southwest website will guide them through the purchase process (paying the taxes due) and will ask them to confirm their companion’s details.
That’s it. It’s as simple as that … and for a limited time you don’t have to earn 135,000 qualifying points or fly 100 one-way flights to enjoy this fantastic benefit.
You can enjoy it by simply applying for (and getting) one of the three Southwest co-branded consumer cards issued by Chase, and then hitting the spending target set by the offer.
*Usually, a Companion Pass is valid for the year in which its earned and a further full 12 months after that, but the Companion Pass that can be earned through the credit card welcome offer is only valid through 28 February 2025.
If you want to see what each card offers in detail, you can see a full comparison of the three Southwest consumer cards in this article. Overall, however, this is how we sum up who we think would get the most out of each of the cards:
This card comes with a annual_fees annual fee and is best for travelers focused primarily on earning bonus points towards a Companion Pass (every year, not just with this latest welcome offer) with the lowest cash outlay.
Note: The points earned by spending on all three Southwest consumer credit cards count towards the Companion Pass points target.
This card comes with a annual_fees annual fee and is best for flyers who want to earn Southwest points domestically and abroad (while paying the lowest annual fee they can) as well as those focused on earning bonus points towards a Companion Pass
This card comes with a annual_fees annual fee and is best for someone who flies frequently with Southwest as the best benefits that it offers (the benefits that help offset part of the annual fee) are heavily focused on travel with Southwest.
Calling all fans of Southwest: You can now earn a coveted Companion Pass simply by applying for (and getting) one of the three Southwest co-branded consumer cards, and then hitting the spending target set by the offer.
Yes, unlike a Companion Pass earned in the ‘regular way’, this Companion Pass will only be valid for travel through the end of February 2025, but that’s still over a year away and there’s a lot of travel that can be done before then. Think of the savings! 🙂
Click here for more details on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Click here for more details on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Click here for more details on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Featured image courtesy of Southwest.