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Million Mile Secrets reader Jill comments:
The good news is that Jill has applied for a Southwest card at the perfect time. Because she can earn the Companion Pass in early 2015 and use it for nearly free flights through 2016!
If Jill times her spending right, and gets another Southwest card (like the Southwest Premier business card), she could earn the Companion Pass in the New Year and get almost 2 years of Big Travel with Small Money!
Companion Pass Timing
Link: Chase Southwest Premier (Personal)
Link: Chase Southwest Premier (Business)
Link: Chase Southwest Plus (Personal)
Link: Chase Southwest Plus (Business)
The Southwest Companion Pass is by far the best deal for domestic travel. That’s because when you fly on a paid or award ticket, your companion flies with you for almost free!
By signing-up for 2 Southwest cards with a 50,000 point bonus, and completing the minimum spending ($2,000 per card in the 1st 3 months), you’ll earn 104,000 of the 110,000 points needed for the Companion Pass.
Then, you’ll just need another 6,000 points to earn the Companion Pass. There are lots of easy ways to do that!
I’ve written that timing the minimum spending on these cards is very important. That’s because you want the 50,000 bonus points to post to your Southwest account as early in the New Year as possible. Remember, you’ll get the Companion Pass after you earn 110,000 points in a calendar year.
So by earning these points as close to the beginning of the year as possible, you’ll get a Companion Pass which is valid for the remainder of the calendar year, and the entire year after.
If Jill earns the Companion Pass in early 2015, she’ll be able to use it for all of 2015 and 2016!
Jill should NOT try to earn the points for the Companion Pass in 2014, because if she does, it will only be valid until the end of 2015.
Don’t Mess up the Minimum Spending!
The key here is to make sure the bonus points post to your Southwest account in January 2015. If they post to your Southwest account in December, you’ll be out of luck (and will only have until December 31, 2014 to earn the remaining points for the Companion Pass)!
In my experience, the sign-up bonus with these cards usually post to your account a few days after the statement in which you complete the minimum spending closes.
So Jill should not complete the minimum spending on these cards until after her December 2014 statement closes. That way, the bonus points won’t post until after her January 2015 statement closes.
If her December statement closes on December 12th, she should complete the minimum spending AFTER December 12th. That way, the bonus 50,000 Southwest points should post to her account in January 2015!
She can then take her time (if she wants) to earn the remaining 6,000 points needed for the Companion Pass. Here’s a post on easy ways to do that!
Because Jill applied for the card in November, she’ll have until February 2015 to complete the minimum spending (3 months after the date she was approved).
Note: Jill must have the activated physical card in hand before she can start using it. But in my experience, Chase is pretty quick about mailing new cards! So she should have it a few days after being approved.
Because it’s late in the year, now is the perfect time to apply for these cards. As long as you meet the minimum spending and the bonus points post to your account in early 2015, you’ll have the rest of the year to earn the remaining points required to earn the Companion Pass.
But be careful to meet the minimum spending requirement only after your December 2014 statement closes! That way you’ll be guaranteed that the bonus will post in 2015.
Thanks for the comment, Jill!