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Million Mile Secrets reader, Steve, commented:
I am on my way to getting the Southwest Companion Pass with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card 50,000 point sign-up bonuses. And by transferring points from Marriott.
Will it speed things up if I pay the balances on my cards in advance? If I cancel the credit cards so I can do this again in another 24 months will I lose my Companion Pass?
Great questions, Steve! And congratulations on almost earning the 110,000 Southwest points needed for the Companion Pass, which is my favorite deal in travel!
Unfortunately, you can NOT speed up receiving the Companion Pass by paying your credit card balances early. Although, it is a good habit to pay your bill early!
And cancelling your credit cards after you receive the Companion Pass will not affect your status. But, it’s usually a good idea to keep a credit card open for ~10 months before deciding whether to cancel it.
I’ll explain more!
When Do You Earn the Southwest Companion Pass?
To earn the Companion Pass, you need to accumulate 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. And right now, you can earn 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonuses on all 3 versions of the Southwest cards after you meet the minimum spending requirements.
Like Steve, you can apply for 2 Southwest cards and earn 100,000 Southwest points after you’re approved and meet the minimum spending requirements. Plus, you’ll earn at least 4,000 Southwest points for the minimum spending. You’ll be ~95% of the way to earning the Companion Pass!
The Southwest points from the sign-up bonuses and credit card spending show in your Southwest account after your billing statement closes.
For example, if your statement closes on the 20th of the month, and you’ve met your minimum spending requirements, all bonus and spending points will show up in your Southwest account 2 or 3 days later. Paying your balance before the statement closes will NOT speed up receiving the points.
You can earn the remaining points needed for the Companion pass by:
- Flying on Southwest
- Shop through the Southwest Shopping Portal
- Spending on Chase Southwest cards
- Transferring points from certain hotel chains (like Hyatt or Choice Hotels)
Remember to avoid these 3 mistakes that won’t get you a Companion Pass.
Reasons Not to Cancel Your Southwest Cards After Earning the Companion Pass
If you cancel your Southwest credit cards after earning the Companion Pass, you will not lose your points or Companion Pass.
But you should never cancel your card right after you earn a sign-up bonus. Because this could negatively impact your relationship with the bank.
Generally, it’s a good keep a credit card for ~10 months to see how you like it and if you want to keep it. And it helps establish a good relationship with the banks.
You might be thinking of cancelling the cards and reapplying to get the sign-up bonuses again. But you’ll have to wait 24 months to earn another sign-up bonus with Chase. Remember Chase counts 24 months from the time you received the bonus and NOT from when you cancelled the card.
And Chase also has stricter rules for approving new credits cards like the Southwest cards. If you’ve had ~5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll get approved for a new card.
The Southwest cards also have benefits like:
- 2X Southwest points with spend on Southwest
- 3,000 anniversary points with the Plus card
- 6,000 anniversary points with the Premier and Premier Business cards
The Premier and Premier Business cards also have no foreign transaction fees!
It’s a great time to earn the Southwest Companion Pass because all 3 Chase Southwest cards are offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonus.
You’ll get the Companion Pass after earning 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. Paying your credit card bill early will NOT speed up the process.
Before you cancel your Southwest credit cards, keep your relationship with the bank in mind. And remember you get benefits from the cards like 2X points when you pay for Southwest flights and up to 6,000 anniversary points.
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