Chase and Southwest Airlines have just introduced new welcome bonuses on their three co-branded personal credit cards, which I find quite interesting. For many, I’d argue this is one of the best Southwest Card welcome bonuses we’ve ever seen.
Southwest’s new Companion Pass welcome bonus
Currently the following credit cards are offering this new bonus:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee)
All three cards have identical bonuses, which include 30,000 Rapid Rewards points plus a promotional Companion Pass through December 31, 2019, when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. That’s a pretty attainable spend requirement, unlike some of their previous tiered bonuses, which required a total of $12,000 in spend.
These bonuses are limited time, and are only valid through February 11, 2019.
This is a really awesome, straightforward fast track to Southwest’s Companion Pass, which I consider to be one of the best values in domestic travel.
What is Southwest Companion Pass?
One of the best aspects of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program is the incredible value their Companion Pass offers.
For those of you not familiar with Companion Pass, it allows someone else to travel with you for the entire year. You still have to pay the taxes on their ticket, but the Companion Pass is valid on both award and revenue tickets. You can change your designated companion three times in a year, so you can potentially even use this for different people.
This is an outrageously good deal, and I’m amazed it’s still around in such a generous form. Ordinarily you need to accrue 110,000 Rapid Rewards points through select means to earn Companion Pass, so this welcome bonus makes earning Companion Pass significantly easier.
What’s the difference between the three cards?
As you can see, this welcome bonus is available on the $69 annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card, the $99 annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card, and the $149 annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card.
So, what are the differences between the cards?
- The Plus Card offers a 3,000 point anniversary bonus each year
- The Premier Card offers a 6,000 point anniversary bonus each year
- The Priority Card offers a 7,500 point anniversary bonus every year, a $75 Southwest travel credit, four upgraded boardings per year when available, and 20% back on flight drinks and wifi
So if you fly Southwest with any frequency I do think the Southwest Priority Card is well worth it. The anniversary bonus and Southwest travel credit more than cover the annual fee, while the upgraded boardings and 20% savings on inflight drinks and wifi are the icing on the cake.
Who is eligible for Southwest Cards?
Do note the following terms when it comes to eligibility for these cards (in addition to these cards being subjected to 5/24, like all Chase cards nowadays):
The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.
We’ve never seen welcome bonuses that make it easier to earn Companion Pass than what we’re seeing right now on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card.
If you’re eligible for one of these cards and could benefit from Companion Pass, I’d highly recommend taking advantage of one of these offers.