Why is Everyone Applying for the Southwest 50,000 Point Card?

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I’m always curious to see which credit cards get the most clicks and for which cards folks are getting approved.

I don’t get your name or any of the personal information which you fill out on the application (that goes straight to the banks!), but I do know how often a link is clicked on and the number of folks approved for a particular card.

Why Is Everyone Applying For The Southwest Card

Emily Flies for Only $2.50 Per Flight With Our Southwest Companion Pass

Not surprisingly,  LOTS of folks are applying and getting approved for the Southwest 50,000 point cards from Chase.  Because now is the best time to apply!

The Southwest 50,000 point sign-up bonus ends in 1 week on October 31, 2013.

 Why Does Everyone Want the Southwest Companion Pass?

Link:   Southwest Credit Cards

Link:   Everything You Should Know About the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best ways to save money on airline tickets for travel within the US.

Why?  Because it lets a companion travel with you for free whenever you travel on Southwest.  It doesn’t matter if your flight is booked with points or paid for with cash – your companion flies free (~$2.50 in taxes and fees)!

Some folks scoff at Southwest because they have only economy seats, but in my opinion Southwest is the best domestic airline.  What’s not to like about more non-stop flights, 2 free bags, friendly flight attendants, and large comfortable planes (no regional jets!)

Oh, and it is really easy to redeem points for flights on Southwest because if a seat is available, you can book it with points!

You have to earn 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points within 1 calendar year (January 1 to December 31st).

However, the 50,000 point bonus from the Southwest credit cards are currently counting towards the companion pass (though this could change at any time).

All 4 versions of the Southwest credit cards currently offer 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 within 3 months.  You can redeem 50,000 Southwest points for $710 to ~$850 in Southwest flights or for ~$500 in gift cards.

2 Southwest credit cards and 10,000 extra points can get you ~$2,840 to $3,400 in Southwest travel and a Southwest Companion pass so that your companion can fly free (pay just the $2.50 security fee) for up to two years!

You get the Companion Pass after earning 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points a calendar year.

This is The Best Time to Apply


Because if you time it right and get all the 110,000 Southwest points to post to your Southwest account in 2014 (and NOT in 2013), you will earn the Southwest Companion Pass until the end of 2015.

That’s close to 2 years of almost free flying for your companion on both paid and award tickets! I earned my second Companion Pass on January 22, 2013 and it is valid up to December 31, 2014!

See this post for more details on how to time the minimum spending on the card to make the most out of your Southwest Companion Pass.

Bottom Line

The Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal for travel within the US and many Million Mile Secrets readers are applying and getting approved for the card.

Now’s the best time to apply for any of the Southwest credit cards because all 4 versions offer a 50,000 point sign-up bonus which counts towards the Companion Pass.  And if you earn the companion pass in 2014, it is valid until the end of 2015.

Even if you don’t want the Southwest Companion Pass, just one Southwest card can get you $710 to $850 in flights or $500 in gift cards!

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41 responses to “Why is Everyone Applying for the Southwest 50,000 Point Card?

  1. *** $99 annual fee applied to your first billing statement. ***

    I’ve do not recall ever reading on your blog your opinions on why some bonus type cards do NOT waive the annual fee and other cards routinely waive the annual fee.

    Chase Marriott card – Annual fee (but waived the first year)
    Chase Southwest card – Annual fee

  2. The best things about SW for me, especially with the Companion Pass are that you cancel flights without penalty. My wife and I were supposed to fly to Niagara Falls last weekend. I kept checking the weather reports and saw that it was supposed to rain all weekend. I canceled our trip on Thursday and got all the points back–no penalties! We have many weekend trips planned, all contingent on the weather. And don’t forget about no blackout dates! Traveling with the Pass is just so convenient and easy on SW.

  3. I have several (3) Chase cards already, including the Southwest Plus card, which I rarely use. Last time I got a new Chase card I had to talk to them and rearrange my credit limit between cards, so I assume I’ll have to talk with them again. How can I make the case that I need another Southwest Card?

  4. Applied for -and received 1 personal and 1 business card this week!
    Applied for both on the same day.
    Had to call in as the cards were ‘pending’… but just a few questions and they were approved.
    Thank you!

  5. applied for 2 southwest cards this week, one was approved instantly, the other was denied because they said the promotional code was only good for one application. I explained that I did not use a code but just went through a link, (from your site), after a little back and forth it was approved. Is this common?

  6. It is not the best time to apply for a consumer, except for the fact that the current promotion is about to expire. If one gets the card now, any spending you do this holiday season that posts before January won’t count toward 2014 companion pass earning. So the 90ish day clock starts now, leaving a much shorter 2014 window if one wants all $2000 minimum spending to post only in 2014. That’s important – one should want all $2000 per card to count toward the 10K remainder for the pass. If the promo weren’t expiring it would be wiser to apply in November or December so there’s a longer period in 2014 to put all minimum spending. So in my opinion people should NOT apply now unless not seeking the companion pass or if all or most of the spending won’t be held off until January.

    Certainly it’s the best time for any affiliate marketer to have consumers apply because one can promote the expiring 50K sign-up bonus.

  7. In July,I applied for and was approved for SWA credit card.
    I spent the required $2000. and paid the $99.fee.
    In Oct. I received a note they will not give me the 50,000 miles as I was not a first time applicant.
    This requirement is hidden in small print.Please warn your followers.
    They should have denied me in the beginning,not wait until I fulfilled the obigation.
    I communicated with Chase and SWA to no avail.
    Ellen Levy

  8. Ummm, because it’s the best deal out there for domestic travel! and we have relatives that we can visit easily now, or we can visit so many places that we never dreamed we could get to,because of these offers,and the companion pass! I love SWA!
    plus, it’s so simple to plan a trip when you know you can book,and rebook flights till you have it all set with no penalties!

  9. I still have a SWA card that I’m not currently using (prob. going to cancel) it’s the (99.00) card, just applied for and got the ($69) version….am seriously considering a business version of this also,w WWYD? my Dh currently has one in his name,and will get CP for 2013-2014, we are 4 people in our family- should I go for a 2014-2015 cp in my own name? or just wait a few months for the offer again? I ask b/c I;m not sure about travel for the next couple of years or how much we’ll use a 2nd cp, since one kid is getting older,and may or may not travel with us…is it still worth it to grab that 2nd one? and again, I am thinking of maybe branching out to get some non domestic travel points,which SWA doesn’t do as well as some others you’ve noted, so maybe I should save my apps for those?

  10. I applied for the Southwest Plus ($69 version) personal card a year ago and actually cancelled it a couple months ago. If I applied for the other personal ($99 version) of the card should I still get 50K bonus points for that version as well? I’ve never had the business card so I assume if I can get the points for the personal ($99 card) and the business I’d still be in for the companion pass. Let me know if anyone has had any success with getting the bonus even if you had the other personal card. Thanks!

    • @BB – I suspect that the banks test offers with and without annual fees and if a card is popular, there’s no incentive to waive the annual fee. Or banks may have different targets for certain cards which lead to waiving the annual fee.

      @scott – Absolutely. Being able to cancel and re-book flights is awesome!

      @kt – It depends on your credit profile and if you’ve been using the other cards.

      @misty – Congrats!

      @Jeanne – I’ve never heard of that before. I’d confirm that both cards have the 50K sign-up bonus when you activate the card.

      @AZTravelGuy – That’s true and I wrote a separate post explaining that. But it is the best time to apply if you want to get the Companion Pass as early as possible in 2014.

      @ellen @Matt – There are 4 different types of Southwest cards, but you can’t get the bonus for the same type of card again.

      @JM – If you’re not going to use the Companion Pass, there’s no point in applying. The offer usually comes back in 3 to 4 months, so you could wait until then.

  11. Sorry, I’m sure this was asked but if you had the premier versions <1year ago can you still sign up for the Plus versions for the bonus?

  12. If I get the SW cards now by Oct. 31, 2013 but do the minimum spend in January 2014…then I would get the bonus…50,000 for each card in 2014 good towards the Companion pass…and once I hit 110,000…I would get the companion pass good thru Dec. 2015, correct?

  13. Just to be sure… the 110K SW miles have to POST in 2014, correct? I mean, with these 2 cards, I can do most of the spending in December and that’ll be OK as long as the statement closes in 2014?

  14. would they let me apply for two cards with the same credit check, or would it have to be looked up twice?

  15. Quick Question: My girlfriend signed up for the CSP and will be getting her 40k UR bonus at the end of Dec. Is it possible to transfer her UR points into a Hyatt account in my name, so that I may then transfer those points to my Southwest account to help with our Companion Pass? If not, what’s the best way to get those points into my RR account? Thanks!

  16. Maybe I’m missing it, but on your link I only see 3 credit cards. Do you have a link to the Business Premier card? I’d love to give you the referral bonus but don’t see it. Thanks!

  17. @Ellen, it’s disappointing certainly, but why wouldn’t they want you back as a customer? There’s no reason for them to think you’re just applying to get the bonus as opposed to the other benefits the card has, and thus turn you down for the card despite good credit. People change their credit card usage habits all the time. I suppose it would be nice if they had it set up so that if you applied for a card for which you weren’t eligible for the benefits promoted, it would redirect you to a different no-bonus landing page.

  18. Just applied for the card, and got approved. However, the Chase representative told me that the 50,000 bonus points would not apply towards the companion pass, so that’s a bummer. 🙁

  19. I just had the toughest call to the reconsideration line with Chase. I applied yesterday for a personal and business SW credit card. I was expecting to at ieast have one of the CC approved immediately but NO, I had to call for BOTH of the cards. The personal CC was easy, they just moved $5,000 from my Sapphire credit line and put it on the new SW card. But calling to the business reconsideration line was REALLY tough!! They had declined it because my credit line with Chase was more than 50,000 (just in three cards) and that was too much according to him. I followed all the tips that Daraius has given in different postings regarding calling to reconsideration line and was ready with all the info regarding my business. I asked the CSR to transfer some of my credit from the Ink business CC to the new SW business in order to approve it. He left me waiting for about 5 minutes and then came back to the line with TONS of questions regarding my business. Thanks God and Darious I was ready with all the answer but he really bombarded me with questions for about 20 minutes!! I was SO nervous!. Thirty minutes later, at the end of the call, he did APPROVE the business card but he slashed my credit line reducing it from more than 50,000 to just 25.000. I was so interested in this card that I simply agreed with that because he said that was the only way he will approve it. It is a bitter sweet feeling right now. Thanks Daraius for ALL your help!

  20. I too have had a similar experience with Chase while calling the reconsideration line on the business plus card. After being interrogated for nearly 30 minutes the agent on the phone suggested we move credit from my recently approved Chase Ink to allow me to get the southwest card. I agreed.

    I want to add a little bit about my Chase experience this month. I started October applying for the Chase Ink Plus for the 50K bonus and access to the 5X spending categories. I was approved instantly.

    About a week later I applied for the Chase Freedom after receiving a referral from a friend and being interested in the rotating 5X categories my ultimate goal was to use my Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus and Chase Freedom to consolidate my spending into a single rewards program. The application was actually sent to Chase’s fraud department. I suspect they got curious why I wanted all this new credit all the sudden. After a quick phone call the card was approved.

    Two weeks later we’re at the end of the month and I really start to get intrigued by the potential value of the companion pass and start to really nailing down what needed to be done to get it starting January 2014. After spending days second guessing myself I finally applied for both the Personal Plus and Business Plus.

    The Personal Plus was approved instantly online but the business showed pending status and that I should receive a notification in the mail in 5-10 business days. Thanks to advice from Donnie Law I called the reconsideration hotline and you already know the rest.

    What I wanted to say is that Chase seems willing to work with you to get you the cards you want, they just make you feel terrible about it. Of course YMMV but I’m a 25 year old with excellent credit who got approved for 4 chase credit cards in less than 30 days.

    Hopefully my experience will help others who were questioning applying.

  21. To Matt’s question above.. We had the plus versions that we closed about 10 months ago. Read the response that they “should” be treated as separate products.. But has anyone here actually signed up for premier (both personal and business) successfully?

    I also received an email solicitation today for personal premier and it had an application deadline of Nov 24th.

  22. Hopefully the Chase guy was wrong about these cards not counting towards companion pass! Was just approved for personal credit card immediately, and the business card is pending. The last time I had a pending application, I just waited the 30 days and eventually was approved and got it in the mail. Darius, any reason not to do that? I assume the bonus is based on the application date, and not on the approval date?

  23. I’ve had a Chase Premier business card for about two years. I just applied for the Chase Plus business card, was approved after a few days. Called Customer Service; verified that I will get the 50,000 point bonus.

  24. Regarding there being 4 separate cards, are you all sure about that, because for the past couple of months, the offers I get have this clearly spelled out in the fine print (pasting relevant portion here: Note: the bonus may be earned on one first-time personal and one first-time business Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card new account. ).

    ONE Personal, ONE Business — that seems clear enough that Personal Plus/Premier (or whatever they’re labeled) will NOT be looked at as separate cards for the bonus.

    I’ve had the Premier in the past (since cancelled) and figured I’d try for the companion pass at the end of 2014 if it’s still out there, but according to the rules I can’t do it anyway.

    • @Jan Ruizb @Dave – You can complete the minimum spending anytime after your December statement closes to ensure that the points post in January. The points have to post in 2014 to get the Companion Pass in 2014.

      @kyle shay – I’d count on two credit inquiries, but it could sometimes be one.

      @New Guy – The terms say that you can transfer only to spouse or partner accounts, so you should qualify. If you’re looking to just get a few points for the Companion Pass, buying Choice hotel points is usually the best choice. Remember that you’ll lose ~half your Ultimate Rewards points in the transfer.

      @Kristen – Thanks for thinking of us! If you click on the Plus business card and scroll down, you should see the business premier card. If you can’t see it, no worries!

      @Jamie – That’s what they sometimes say, but it does currently count!

      @Stephen – The bonus is based on the terms when you applied, not when you were approved. And the points do currently count towards the Companion Pass.

  25. If we have to call the reconsideration line for the business card, what should we be prepared to say?

  26. Hi, I already had personal southwest card (cancelled 6 months ago) and currently has southwest business card. Both of these are premier versions. Can I still apply for another version of these cards, as you mentioned there are 2 versions of southwest cards in each personal and business categories. Thanks,

  27. Hi there…. I did the southwest regular and business card before and did end up getting the companion pass. My wife is now doing it. But, I can’t remember is there a suggested amount of time between getting the regular card and applying for the business card?

  28. @Wayne: These are some of the questions I was asked yesterday when I called. to the Chase business reconsideration HOT line. Question can vary depending on the nature of your business.
    1) Type of business
    2) How old is your business
    3) How many employees
    4) Revenues from 2011, 2012, 2013
    5) Expenses (what type and how much)
    6) Are you expecting revenues for this year? Based on what?
    7) Address of business
    8) Value of your business
    I have a vacation home rental and I had to explain to him how I manage the reservation process, my rates, my expenses and all of that. I felt like I was investigated by the IRS, LOL!! Before I called I read these two old articles from Daraius. Hope that help!!
    Check these links:

  29. I have a question which I can’t seem to find anywhere. My assumption is that the answer is no, but do the points earned from the signup bonus count towards alist status?

    I’d love to get that companion pass and free internet! 🙂

  30. @ Keaton: Sorry but Rapid Rewards’ Terms & Conditions says that points from bonuses don’t count toward Alist or Alist Preferred.

  31. I love Southwest! Greatest airline ever! I travel for business and always choose them first. The greatest bang for your buck is to go to the SW shopping portal and click thru to Staples online. Buy the SW gift cards you need for your flight with the Chase Ink cards that give you 5x points on office supply stores. Staples will email you the gift card redemption codes within days. Use the codes to buy your flight, which if your a A-list traveller you will get 25% more points, A-list Preferred = 100% more points. Also, SW has double points promos every few months. So I just spent $700 on a flight and received the following extra points; 1,400 SW points from Staples(2x), 3,500 Chase points (5x), and double points on SW. Plus, I book all my hotel and car rentals thru SW. In one flight I earned over 15k points. I use my extra SW miles to get free items on Amazon. They sell everything on Amazon! Love this site! Thank you for sharing. Happy travels, JB

  32. Yo D-Dawg $$ ,

    I got approved for both personal versions of the cards today, about 5 min apart. I used 2 different browsers (not intentionally and I’m not sure it made a difference. Just wanted to let your readers know that it’s possible. Hopefully you and Emily can meet my husband Pete and I for dinner at one of these exotic locations with our new companion passes. Thanks for everything you do

    Sincerely yours,

    • @ed – Depends on your credit profile etc. Some folks do it on the same day and some wait.

      @Joselyn – Thanks and glad it worked out for your vacation rental!

      @ Keaton – Unfortunately, they don’t count.

      @ Johno – They sure make it easy to earn lots of miles and points!

      @SouthWest Sal – LOL! Perhaps we’ll meet somewhere while traveling with the Companion Pass!

  33. Thank you as usual for your helpful website!

    My husband and I both had Southwest credit cards about 3 years ago, and closed the accounts before we needed to pay a 2nd year annual fee. Now we would like to try to get the companion pass (totally unaware of this amazing perk before) by applying for the 2nd personal credit card and one business credit card. Unfortunately, neither of us can figure out which version of the personal card we had before (whether plus or premier)!! We have tried calling Southwest (no records on this) and Chase (no records of closed accounts this far back). From our credit reports, all we can see is the dates the accounts were opened and closed, and the transunion report gives the credit card number with all but the last 4 digits.

    Can you 1. think of any other way to figure out which version we had? 2., if Chase claims they don’t keep record of which cards we applied for so far back, do you think we would still get the bonus if we accidentally applied for the same card twice?

  34. Another potential clue, did the annual fee used to be waived for these cards? If so, do you know when they stopped waiving the annual fee? We can’t remember if we paid the annual fee or not, but if there was one I am sure we would have applied for the cheaper card.

  35. if you can remember which fee you paid, either 69.00 or 99.00 that would tell you which card you had,or by the color. you did pay the fee when you opened the card.

  36. I applied for the Personal Plus card a few days ago. Instantly accepted. Great!
    I waited and 2 days ago, I applied for the Biz Plus card. I wasn’t instantly approved. Bummer.
    I only had one other card with Chase, a Sapphire Preferred.
    Not a big deal, I can transfer some of the credit line from the CSP and the new SW personal to the biz card. Right?
    I call the appropriate number and amazingly I was denied for having two applications close together?!?!
    I was so upset, I immediately called and just simply canceled the personal card even before getting it in the mail. Even if my credit score takes a hit from that I did not care. I wanted to spite them.
    Maybe my problem was calling in the evening, 9pm, and the smarter and nicer reps have gone home for the day?

  37. me too… denied for applying too close together…I just got approved for the personal(yay) and denied the business…(boo) but I wouldn’t cancel the other, this isn’t about hurt feelings or anything….. (?)

  38. I was approved for the Premier but was rejected for the business card. Called Southwest and lowered my credit line to $7000 on the card, applied for the second personal card and was just approved for Southwest Plus. My question as long as the final $2000 spend reaches the January statement, I am approved for the 50,000 per card. Will I have 4000 points from my spend on these two credit card? Do I then transfer points (from Marriott) to reach my 110,000 in January? Once I accumulate 110,000 points in my account in January, do they automatically send me the companion pass or do I have to do something?