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New Southwest offer can help you get the Companion Pass benefit through February 2023

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Southwest Airlines and Chase just announced new welcome bonuses on their co-branded travel cards, which could help you access the airline’s coveted Companion Pass for more than a year.

When you open a new Southwest Card account and spend at least $5,000 on new purchases within the first three months of account opening, you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass through February 28, 2023, plus 30,000 bonus points . With the Companion Pass, you can choose one companion to fly for free (plus fees) every time you travel. Eligible cards include:

Here’s what you need to know about the new Companion Pass offer and how to choose the Southwest Card that’s right for you:

How to get a Companion Pass with the New Welcome Offer

To get the new welcome offer, you’ll need to spend at least $5,000 within the first three months of opening a new Southwest co-branded card. That is equal to about $1,667 per month. Then you’ll earn both the 30,000 point bonus and the Companion Pass.

The 30,000 point bonus you’ll earn is in Southwest Rapid Rewards points, which can be redeemed for flights and more through Southwest. Although Southwest co-branded cards are issued by Chase, the points you earn are not Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Typically, when you get the Companion Pass within a year, you’ll have access for the rest of that year and the following year. If you got the Companion Pass in August 2021, for example, you could access it until the end of December 2022.

This bonus offer is a little different: your Companion Pass benefit only applies through February 28, 2023.

But the benefit can add a lot of value to your expenses during that time. Even if you choose one of the Southwest cards with an annual fee ($99 Southwest Priority Card or $149 Southwest Premier Card), you could recoup that cost with a single roundtrip flight, depending on your itinerary details.

Still, before you apply, consider your budget and travel. Not only will you need to spend enough money in the first three months to get the bonus, but you’ll also want to make sure you have upcoming travel plans that will allow you to take advantage of the pass before next February.

Otherwise, you may be better off with a different travel rewards card that offers more flexibility, or even a cash-back credit card better suited for everyday spending.

[READ MORE: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Sapphire’s Flexible Rewards Are Better for Most]

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

With the Companion Pass benefit, you can choose a companion to fly for free every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. You’ll still need to pay the applicable fees (which start at $5.60 one-way), but there’s no ticket cost for your companion’s flight.

Generally, earning the Companion Pass requires you to fly at least 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 points in a calendar year, after which you’ll earn the benefit until the following year. Southwest allows you to change your designated companion up to three times within a calendar year.

Southwest Chase Credit Cards:

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any association or advertising relationship.

The three Southwest cards eligible for the Companion Pass bonus offer vary in annual fee, rewards rate and additional benefits. Here’s how they compare:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card More information external link icon Editor’s Score: (3.55/5)

Editor’s Score: (3.55/5)

bounty rate: 3.0

welcome bonus: 3.5

other benefits: 3.5

value per annual fee: 4.0

scope and value of the program: 3.5

travel and purchase protections: 4.0

Last updated February 11, 2022

All reviews are prepared by NextAdvisor staff. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. Information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the review date.

Learn moreexternal link icon On our partner’s secure site. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Editor’s Score: (3.55/5)

Editor’s Score: (3.55/5)

bounty rate: 3.0

welcome bonus: 3.5

other benefits: 3.5

value per annual fee: 4.0

scope and value of the program: 3.5

travel and purchase protections: 4.0

Last updated February 11, 2022

All reviews are prepared by NextAdvisor staff. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. Information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the review date.

  • Introductory offer:

    Companion Pass® Plus 30,000 Points

  • Annual quota:

    $69

  • ordinary APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended Credit Score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Reward rate:

Earn double points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. New! Earn double points on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming. Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card More information external link icon Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Editor’s Score: (3,675/5)

Editor’s Score: (3,675/5)

bounty rate: 3.0

welcome bonus: 3.5

other benefits: 4.0

value per annual fee: 4.0

scope and value of the program: 3.5

travel and purchase protections: 4.0

Last updated February 11, 2022

All reviews are prepared by NextAdvisor staff. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. Information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the review date.

Learn moreexternal link icon On our partner’s secure site. See Rates and Charges, terms apply. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Editor’s Score: (3,675/5)

Editor’s Score: (3,675/5)

bounty rate: 3.0

welcome bonus: 3.5

other benefits: 4.0

value per annual fee: 4.0

scope and value of the program: 3.5

travel and purchase protections: 4.0

Last updated February 11, 2022

All reviews are prepared by NextAdvisor staff. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. Information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the review date.

  • Introductory offer:

    Companion Pass® Plus 30,000 Points

  • Annual quota:

    $99

  • ordinary APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended Credit Score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Reward rate:

New! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. New! Earn double points on local transportation and commuting, including rideshare. New! Earn double points on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming.

NextAdvisor’s Take

advantages

  • Generous signup bonus offer
  • Earn 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • Southwest offers unlimited award seats and two free checked bags

Cons

  • $99 annual fee
  • Limited redemption options for rewards
  • Southwest flies to limited international destinations

The bottom line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is a great option for Southwest loyalists. You don’t need to be in the air all the time to get value from this card, but since your highest rewards are on Southwest purchases, you’ll get the most value if you fly with the airline at least a few times a year. and can offset the annual fee. The Southwest Rapid Rewards program also offers unlimited award seats with no blackout dates, no change fees and two free checked bags per person.

Additional card details

  • Earn 6,000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary
  • 1,500 tier qualification points toward A-List status per $10,000 spent
  • 25% discount on purchases on board
  • 2 early check-ins per year
  • travel protections
  • Buy protections

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Learn more external link icon Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)

Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)

bounty rate: 3.0

welcome bonus: 3.5

other benefits: 4.5

value per annual fee: 4.0

scope and value of the program: 3.5

travel and purchase protections: 4.0

Last updated February 11, 2022

All reviews are prepared by NextAdvisor staff. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. Information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the review date.

Learn moreexternal link icon On our partner’s secure site. See Rates and Charges, terms apply. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)

Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)

bounty rate: 3.0

welcome bonus: 3.5

other benefits: 4.5

value per annual fee: 4.0

scope and value of the program: 3.5

travel and purchase protections: 4.0

Last updated February 11, 2022

All reviews are prepared by NextAdvisor staff. The opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. Information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the review date.

  • Introductory Offer:

    Companion Pass® Plus 30,000 Points

  • Annual quota:

    $149

  • ordinary APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended Credit Score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Reward rate:

New! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. New! Earn double points on local transportation and commuting, including ride sharing. New! Earn double points on Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming.

NextAdvisor’s Take

advantages

  • welcome offer
  • Bonus points on the cardholder’s anniversary
  • Travel Benefits for Southwest Flights
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Rewards are worthless if you don’t fly Southwest often
  • $149 annual fee

The bottom line

For loyal Southwest travelers, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card can enhance the travel experience when flying on the airline. It comes with perks like a $75 Southwest booking credit, four upgraded boardings per year, and 25% cash back on in-flight purchases. You can even speed it up for a Companion Pass, one of the most coveted perks for frequent Southwest flyers.

Additional card details

  • 7,500 points per cardholder anniversary
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • 25% off onboard purchases at Southwest
  • Get the Southwest Companion Pass Faster
  • 4 boarding upgrades per year, based on availability
  • Earn 1,500 Tier Qualification Points (TQPs) toward A-List status for every $10,000 spent
  • travel protections

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