Southwest Companion Move: Earn with bank cards


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The coveted Southwest Companion Move® is an elite journey profit that’s nearly too good to be true. This go permits one other passenger to fly with you totally free (plus taxes) a vast variety of instances for the remainder of the yr it’s earned, plus your entire following yr. Which means when you earn the go now, you’ll have it till Dec. 31, 2022.

However, you need it longer, proper? With the newly launched Southwest credit card offers, there’s truly a straightforward technique to have the go all over the top of 2023. Sure, you learn that accurately — somebody can fly with you for nearly free for 2 years.

Usually, incomes the go requires an enormous quantity of flying on Southwest — which you will or is probably not doing proper now. However because of the best way the airline counts bank card bonus factors, a single Southwest bank card — or combining two bank card affords collectively — can assist you earn the go nearly instantly with out even stepping foot on a Southwest airplane.

How does this work? And is it one thing you must do? Let’s dig into the main points and discover out if getting a Southwest Companion Move is sensible for you.

The Southwest Companion Move is really a no-strings-attached perk, because it comes with only a few restrictions. The go permits you to carry a companion with you on any Southwest flight totally free, plus the price of any taxes and costs, that are usually as little as $5.60 a method for a home flight.

The one principal rule of the Companion Move is there should be at the very least one seat obtainable on the market in any fare class on a flight for which you’ve bought your personal ticket, both with money or Southwest factors.

You’re allowed to vary your companion as much as 3 times per yr (not together with the preliminary companion), which means in idea you might have as many as seven individuals as your companion over two calendar years.

Historically, to earn the go, you need to earn 125,000 qualifying factors or fly 100 qualifying flights with Southwest in a calendar yr. These factors might be earned in 3 ways: paid flights booked via Southwest, base factors earned from Speedy Rewards companions and factors earned on Southwest bank cards.

That final methodology is a very powerful one, as a result of bonus factors earned from Southwest bank card sign-up bonuses qualify for the Companion Move as effectively. This makes incomes the go that a lot simpler, because of the increased bonus offers we’re seeing right now on Southwest credit cards.

Additionally, earlier this yr, Southwest boosted many Southwest accounts with 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points. However solely Southwest frequent flyer accounts — which means your Speedy Rewards account with Southwest, not one among its bank cards — that have been opened on or earlier than Dec. 31, 2020, earn the additional qualifying factors.

If that’s you, you solely must earn 100,000 qualifying factors in 2021 to earn a Companion Move, which is nice for individuals trying to earn the go instantly. Nevertheless it gained’t be helpful if you wish to earn the go and hold all of it the best way till 2023. Extra on that in a second.

There are presently a complete of 5 Southwest bank cards — each private and enterprise — which have sign-up affords for brand new card holders that may enable you earn the Companion Move. Right here’s an outline of every of them:

The primary three playing cards on the listing are the non-public Southwest bank cards — the Southwest Plus card, the Southwest Premier card and the Southwest Priority card. All three of those playing cards presently have the best affords we’ve ever seen. And the truth that all three are providing the identical 100,000-point bonus is fairly wonderful, because it permits you to choose the cardboard that works finest for you.

Associated: Earn bonus points with these Southwest credit card offers.

If you happen to acquired the 25,000-point Companion Move increase earlier this yr, then incomes the sign-up bonus on any one of many three private Southwest bank cards earlier than the top of 2021 will earn you the go instantly. Usually, factors earned from Southwest sign-up affords put up three to 5 days after your bank card month-to-month assertion closes, so when you’re going this route, simply just remember to meet the minimal spending necessities for your entire 100,000-point bonus earlier than your December assertion closes.

When you earn a Southwest Companion Move, you may hold it and use it an infinite variety of instances for the remainder of the yr you earned it, plus your entire following calendar yr. So in case your factors put up by Dec. 31, 2021, you’ll earn the go in 2021 and have it via the top of 2022. That’s roughly 14 months when you get the cardboard now and get the spending carried out shortly.

However when you’d somewhat have the go for nearly two full years, then your finest wager is to get one among these three private bank cards now, however don’t full the spending necessities till after Jan. 1. That method your factors will put up in 2022, and also you’ll get the go early in 2022 and have it via the top of 2023!

The one vital caveat is that when you wait till January to earn the bonus factors, they gained’t earn you the go all by itself as a result of the 25,000-point increase solely lasts till Dec. 31. So after incomes 100,000 bonus factors, plus one other 12,000 factors for finishing the $12,000 spending necessities, you’ll have a complete of 112,000 factors, and also you’ll nonetheless want 13,000 extra qualifying factors to earn the go.

You can get these remaining Companion Move factors by utilizing your newly acquired Southwest bank card on on a regular basis purchases, mixed with flying Southwest and companion exercise. Accomplice actions embody buying on-line via the Southwest shopping portal, buying flowers and automobile leases.

With many individuals buying on-line as of late, you may truly rack up a good quantity of bonus factors from the Southwest Speedy Rewards buying portal. Going via the buying website first simply takes an additional minute, and finally takes you to the identical service provider web site you’d go to immediately, however you’re incomes additional factors alongside the best way.

Use one — or even two — Southwest credit cards to help you earn the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.


Use one — and even two — Southwest bank cards that will help you earn the coveted Southwest Companion Move.

However there’s one other technique to earn the remaining factors, and that’s by opening two Southwest bank cards and mixing the bonus factors from each.

The vital caveat right here is you can’t apply for 2 private playing cards — the second card should be a enterprise bank card. That’s as a result of Chase — the financial institution that points Southwest bank cards — limits clients to having only one private Southwest bank card open at a time.

However Chase does will let you apply for each a private card and a enterprise card. Simply needless to say the bank cards should be for a similar applicant — you may’t mix factors amongst members.

Let’s put all of it collectively in an instance. Think about you apply for each the Southwest Plus card and the Southwest Performance Business card. After spending $2,000 on the Southwest Plus card and assembly the primary tier bonus supply, you’ll earn 50,000 factors. You’ll then earn one other 80,000 factors on the Southwest Efficiency Enterprise card after spending $5,000 on the cardboard.

These two bonuses added collectively come to a complete of 130,000 factors with simply $7,000 in required spending. This implies you’d earn the Companion Move earlier than you even meet the remainder of the spending requirement to earn the remaining 50,000 factors on the Southwest Plus. It additionally doesn’t require any additional flying, spending or companion exercise.

Now, when you’d want to mix one of many Southwest private playing cards with the cheaper Southwest Premier Business card, that may be carried out too, however you’ll must put in barely extra effort to safe the go.

Spend $3,000 on the Southwest Premier Business within the first three months after opening the account and also you’ll earn 60,000 factors. Add that to the 50,000 factors you’ll earn whenever you spend $2,000 on one of many private playing cards and also you’ll have a complete of 115,000 factors — 110,000 from the sign-up bonuses, plus one other 5,000 factors from spending $5,000 on the 2 playing cards. You’ll then must earn one other 10,000 factors to get the go, or meet the remaining spending requirement on the non-public card.

Simply do not forget that since these are all Chase bank cards, all candidates are topic to Chase’s “5/24” rule. Beneath this rule, when you’ve been accepted for 5 or extra bank cards throughout all banks up to now 24 months, Chase will mechanically deny your utility.

Southwest has three personal cards and two business cards, all of which have sign-up bonus offers.

Southwest has three private playing cards and two enterprise playing cards, all of which have sign-up bonus affords.

With three totally different private Southwest bank cards, you may be questioning which card is finest for you. With the Southwest Plus, Southwest Premier and Southwest Priority playing cards, you’ll earn 2 factors for each greenback you spend on native transit, commuting (together with ride-shares), web, cable, cellphone providers and choose streaming purchases.

Then, with the Southwest Premier Business card, you’ll earn four factors per greenback on Southwest purchases, whereas the Southwest Premier and Southwest Priority playing cards earn Three factors per greenback and the Southwest Plus card solely earns 2 factors per greenback spent at Southwest. All three playing cards then earn the identical 1 level per greenback on the remainder of your purchases.

In comparison with different bank cards that earn rewards, these aren’t essentially the most profitable incomes charges. For example, CNN Underscored’s benchmark credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card, earns 2% money again on all purchases — 1% whenever you make a purchase order, and one other 1% whenever you pay it off.

Associated: Read CNN Underscored’s review of the Citi Double Cash Card.

However though the incomes charges on the Southwest bank cards aren’t market main, there are important variations amongst them that make it value contemplating your choices. These embody anniversary bonus factors, journey credit and the choice to purchase as much as a greater boarding place.

You’ll discover the advantages of the Southwest Plus, the Southwest Premier and the Southwest Premier Business are related. The Plus prices $69 on an annual foundation, whereas the non-public and enterprise variations of the Premier value $99 yearly. All three playing cards now include 25% again on in-flight purchases, in addition to two EarlyBird Verify-In credit per yr, which might prevent between $30 and $50 yearly.

However other than the variety of factors you may earn with every card, you’ll additionally discover a distinction within the variety of bonus factors you obtain yearly after you pay the annual price.

The Southwest Plus card comes with 3,000 bonus factors (value $42 at 1.four cents per level, which is usually the worth you get when redeeming for Southwest’s “Wanna Get Away” fares) on each card anniversary, which means each 365 days from whenever you have been first accepted for the cardboard. The Southwest Premier and the Southwest Premier Business include 6,000 bonus factors at every card anniversary, that are value $84 at 1.four cents per level.

Though the Southwest Plus card is the least costly choice for the primary yr, if it is a card you imagine you’ll be protecting for years to come back, you’ll discover the Southwest Premier to be the higher long-term worth, because of the bonus factors.

However the Southwest Priority private card and the Southwest Performance Business card are the place the massive variations lie.

With the Southwest Priority, the annual price is considerably increased at $149 per yr, however the advantages are enormously higher. Not solely do you earn 7,500 bonus factors (value $105) at every card anniversary, you’ll additionally obtain a $75 Southwest journey credit score yearly and 4 upgraded boarding certificates yearly. The $75 journey credit score can be utilized towards any Southwest flight buy — simply pay to your flight or taxes in your Southwest card and also you’ll obtain a press release credit score as much as $75.

The Southwest Performance Business has the best annual price at $199 per yr, however with this card, you’ll earn 9,000 bonus factors (value $126) at every card anniversary yr, 4 upgraded boarding certificates yearly, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck price credit score and in-flight Wi-Fi credit.

You’ll discover that the 2 most costly playing cards each include upgraded boarding certificates, that are distinctive to Southwest because the airline boards its airplanes very in a different way than most different airways. There’s no assigned seating — as a substitute, you obtain a boarding place based mostly in your flight check-in time. Passengers are assigned into teams A, B and C, and might be wherever between 1 and 60 inside every group.

Upgraded boarding certificates usually will let you buy an A1 via A15 place on the gate (if obtainable), supplying you with the choice to be one of many first passengers to board and select nearly any seat you’d like, guaranteeing you’re not caught behind the airplane in a center seat. Upgraded boardings sometimes value $30 to $50 every, so if that is one thing you’d buy anyway, you may put a $120 to $200 worth on this profit. You may even use these certificates for different passengers flying with you.

Bearing in mind the entire advantages, you’ll discover the worth of the Southwest Priority and Southwest Performance Business playing cards far surpasses the worth of the opposite three playing cards, each throughout the first yr and yearly thereafter.

The Southwest Companion Pass can be a great way to save thousands of dollars on family travel.


The Southwest Companion Move might be a good way to avoid wasting 1000’s of {dollars} on household journey.

I’ve personally been a Southwest Companion Move holder for 13 years now, and it’s saved my household tens of 1000’s of {dollars} on journey. The go permits my husband, my youngsters, my mother and father and even associates to fly with me on each Southwest flight I take only for the price of taxes. (Home taxes are $5.60 every method, whereas worldwide taxes differ relying on the vacation spot.)

The very best half concerning the Companion Move is that you need to use all of the Southwest factors you earn from the sign-up bonus affords to guide flights — you don’t lose them by getting the Companion Move — after which nonetheless add your companion onto your ticket utilizing the go. This implies each passengers are basically flying totally free aside from taxes and costs, basically doubling the worth of the sign-up affords.

Nonetheless, because the Companion Move is legitimate for the yr it’s earned, plus your entire following yr, the perfect time to earn the go is as early within the calendar yr as potential. This implies you may apply for the cardboard — or playing cards — now and wait till January 2022 to satisfy the minimal spend.

Or, when you want extra time to satisfy the minimal spend necessities, apply for the non-public card now to lock within the 100,000-point supply, then wait a couple of months to use for the enterprise card so you may unfold out your purchases over an extended time. Southwest doesn’t base Companion Move factors on the yr you utilized for the cardboard, however as a substitute when the factors are earned in your account.

Incomes the go in 2022 will will let you have the go via Dec. 31, 2023. Time it proper, and you’ll fly two-for-one for nearly two years.

Southwest private bank cards:
Learn more and apply for the Southwest Plus card.
Learn more and apply for the Southwest Premier card.
Learn more and apply for the Southwest Priority card.

Southwest enterprise bank cards:
Learn more and apply for the Southwest Premier Business card.
Learn more and apply for the Southwest Performance Business card.

Discover out which playing cards CNN Underscored selected as its best credit cards of 2021.

Get all the latest personal finance deals, news and advice at CNN Underscored Money.

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