Back in November of 2012, I applied for two Southwest Airlines Visa cards, both the business and personal versions of the Premier card. Each card came with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points. While I received the cards in November, I made sure not to complete the minimum spend requirement on either card until after January 1, 2013. The reason is huge and fabulous: the bonuses from these two cards would give me 100,000 points towards the 110,000 points necessary to earn a Southwest Companion Pass.
The Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earn it, plus the entire next year. So I knew that if I earned the pass in January of 2013, I would have it until December of 2014. Yes, that is almost two entire years of free travel for my companion!
The pass is especially valuable because your companion can fly for free even when you are flying on an award ticket using points.
Another great feature is that you can name up to three people (one at a time, of course) during the life of the pass.
So I was very excited when this showed up in my Southwest account today:
You may be wondering how I earned the extra 12,299 points. No, I did not spend $12,299! Here is what I did instead:
- The minimum spend I made on the cards ($2,000 per card) also counted towards the total
- I transferred 1,000 points from my e-rewards account
- I converted 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points –> 10,000 Hyatt points –>4,800 Southwest points. (You cannot convert points directly from Ultimate Rewards to Southwest because the do not count towards the pass. I have no idea why).
- I also converted 16,000 points from my Wyndham rewards account (16,000 Wyndham rewards points = 4,800 points).
You may notice that the math doesn’t add up here. All of the points above total 14,600 points. That’s because some of my spend posted back in December (doh!).
At the time of this post, this offer is still available. If you are interested, you can apply for the personal version of the Plus card here and the business version here. You can apply for the personal version of the Premier card here and the business version here. Since I applied for both cards in one day, the two credit inquiries were merged into one on my credit report, so it barely impacted my credit score at all, but of course YMMV.
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