Some sad news for Southwest LUVers. Starting today, April 5th, 2018, new accounts will only be eligible for a signup bonus on one Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. This is of course, devastating for anyone looking to earn the Companion Pass via new account offers.
Previously, the process was relatively simply. One could open a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus and a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card, earning a bonus on both. Depending on the offer presented at the time, one could qualify for a Companion Pass with these two accounts alone. Or come within striking distance of it.
This change effectively means that one is limited to 40-60K Rapid Rewards points from Chase signup bonuses every 24 months. HOWEVER, there is hope! One still has the ability to earn a Southwest Companion Pass by combining a personal and small business card.
Here’s how I would play it. First, open a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus or Premier. I’d opt for the Plus, simply for the lower annual fee. These commonly carry a 40K point signup bonus, but increased offers of 50 or 60K hit a couple times a year. Hold out for the better offer. Once this is in your hand, hit that MSR as quickly as possible. While you’re working on that, open a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business. This card almost always offers 60K. You don’t need to have a brick and mortar store to do so. Most entrepreneurial activities count for approval purposes.
If you’ve done both these things, obtained 50K from the personal and 60K from the Business Premier, you’ll have your Companion Pass.
As a quick reminder, the Southwest Companion Pass is a Rapid Rewards tier that allows recipients to fly two-for-one. Once a member posts 110,000 Companion qualifying points to their account, they’ll receive the benefit for the remainder of the year they earned it, plus the entire following one. Finally, even award flights count. So one can book a Rapid Rewards ticket, then add their designated companion for free. This status tier is unmatched by any other carrier’s offering. It’s the perfect way for couples to effectively fly Southwest using a semi-permanent 50% off coupon. It’s also a great way to get closer to your mother if you’re single.
I have a very sneaky suspicion that Southwest became wise to the “double-card” loophole and put pressure on Chase to close it. That said, I think it’s very important that those looking to earn the Companion Pass via card bonuses do so immediately. I say this, because, with this move, I believe it’s only a matter of time before Southwest/Chase nerf the ability to run the personal/business combo too.