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New Southwest card bonus can get you 90% of the way to Companion Pass

Sign-up bonuses were recently raised on Chase Southwest cards, putting a valuable perk within reach


The new sign-up bonuses make it easier to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass – but they won’t be available for long.

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For travelers interested in earning the Southwest Companion Pass, Chase is offering a perfect opportunity to get it sooner.

On Oct. 19, 2021, Chase announced new limited-time sign-up bonus offers that can get consumer Rapid Rewards cardholders 90% of the way to the Companion Pass. The offer will be available through Dec. 7, 2021, so for all those considering a Southwest credit card, now may be a good time to apply.

In addition, the cards debuted new earning rates and perks that add considerable long-term value.

Cardholders can earn up to 100,000 points with the new offer

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best perks in all of credit card rewards.

The pass allows you to bring a guest with you on any Southwest flight – from an award ticket or a paid ticket – for only the cost of the airport security fee. Once you receive the pass, it is valid for the rest of the year you earned it plus the entire following year.

To get the pass, a cardholder needs to earn 125,000 miles or take 100 qualifying one-way flights. That’s a steep requirement, but with the new welcome offers, it’s much easier to meet.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card are now each offering 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months with the card and another 50,000 points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months. That’s a total of 100,000 points.

The $12,000 might not be the easiest spend requirement to meet in a year. You’d need to spend at least $1,000 per month to do it. For some, it may mean putting all their purchases on the card.

However, if you’re an avid traveler and have someone regularly going on trips with you, this may be worth it. Your companion would be able to travel for the cost of the airport security fees for over a year. That’s hundreds (or potentially thousands) of dollars saved on airfare between the two of you.

See related: To Mexico and back for (nearly) free – why everybody wants the Companion Pass

New rewards can help cardholders earn points faster

Besides the generous limited-time sign-up bonus, the issuer is also adding new permanent rewards to all Southwest credit cards.

All the consumer Southwest cards will now earn 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting purchases, including rideshare, and 2 points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services and eligible streaming purchases. The Premier and Priority cards will now also earn 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases.

On top of that, the Plus and Premier cards will come with two early bird check-ins per year, and Priority cardholders will be able to earn unlimited tier-qualifying points (TPQs) to go toward their A-List status.

The business cards are getting an upgrade too. The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card* and the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card* will both earn 2 points per dollar on commuting and local transit purchases and offer $500 in annual fee credits for Rapid Rewards points transfers.

The Premier Business card will also come with early bird check-ins and 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases. The Performance Business card will earn 4 points per dollar on Southwest purchases and unlimited TPQs toward their A-List status.

In the past, the Southwest cards only offered increased earnings on eligible Southwest purchases, so the addition of new bonus categories and benefits is definitely a plus. Now, it’s easier than ever to rack up plenty of Rapid Rewards with the cards and ensure you are getting long-term value beyond the large introductory bonuses.

Bottom line

The new limited-time sign-up bonuses on the Southwest cards make the Companion Pass much more reachable, especially with the added and enhanced rewards.

However, the spend requirement may be challenging for many potential cardholders. Before you go ahead and apply for the card, make sure to take a look at your spending and ensure that meeting the required spend is doable and won’t put a strain on your finances.

*All information about the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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