The Southwest Cards are back to 50,000 points for the sign up bonuses, and this is super relevant as the year comes to a close for one incredible reason… the potential to have the Companion Pass for almost exactly two years.
If you’re not familiar, you must read: Maximizing Southwest Companion Pass. But basically you can earn the companion pass via points from the credit card, but it lasts for the rest of the calendar year you earn it in and the rest of the next calendar year. What I’m about to show you is how to get the cards now, have the points post in January and then have the companion pass (and 110,000 points) for all of 2015 and all of 2016. This is the real deal folks.
Once you earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year, you get to designate a person to fly with you for free (+ the ~$5 taxes domestically). It doesn’t matter if it’s points or cash, the second person is free. And the best part is that it lasts the rest of the calendar year and through the next one.
Which is great timing because the 50,000 point Southwest cards are back! So let me give a tip for playing it this year.
Get the cards nowish, get approved and get the cards in December sometime. But the key is to not have the points post until January. The safest way of assuring this is not to do any spending on your Southwest cards until Jan 1. Then after Jan 1 put $5k on each card… which will earn you 110,000 southwest points and the companion pass. Which is basically 220,000 points for us, which is incredible considering I’ve booked two flights recently for under 4,000 points and a couple more for under 7,000.
But if you want to go pro and do your spending in December but have your points post in January so you get the companion pass as soon as possible you’ll need to understand one key element, when your points post.
Warning: Understand if your goal is to spend the $3,000 required in December and you misunderstand and your points post to December… you’re basically screwed. To get the companion pass all 110,000 points have to post in the same calendar year. If you have 55,000 points post in December and then 55,000 points in January, you will not get the companion pass. Period.
So the safest way of understanding when your points post is to spend a dollar on the card to see when the points post. Southwest will tell you the exact date that they post.
But there’s a more pro way of doing this. It’s actually super simple, it’s just clicking “see statements” on Chase’s end. I’ll show you what it looks like for Carrie.
Looks like this:
Here’s the personal card statements:
And here’s the business card statements:
Notice that the personal card statements are always posted on the 25th of the month? Can you guess which day of the month?
Yep, points from the personal card posted on their statement date or after. In the picture above, you can see that the details show the points are from the 25th, the 25th, and the 8th/9th.
All this to say, that if your next statement will close on Jan 1 or after, the points aren’t going to post before that date, but likely days after.
Check your statement, and see when the points would likely initiate posting. If the points won’t post until the new year, you can be sure that you can spend in December and they won’t post.
What’s the point of all this?
First, I’m telling you how to get the companion pass for the most amount of time. This is personally how I would have played it if I weren’t out of the country for the first half of 2014. Either way, with average spend of 5,000 points we’re already down to 50,000 points. So no worry about getting my use.
But more relevant, I feel, for a lot of people is that they are wanting the cards now while the bonus is here, or because it fits in their app schedule. Because a lot of people want to apply now, but want the companion pass for all of 2015 and 2016. BUT, if they apply now, they only have 3 months to spend the required $2,000 for two cards. If that’s the case, they probably can’t afford to do all $4,000 in January.
The remaining $6,000 can technically be done anytime within the calendar year, but that should be pretty easy to knock out anytime.
Plus, it’s a concept that can help you figure out your annual fee, and has cross over to other programs and credit cards.
Now if you’re paranoid about doing the spending in December, I suppose you could just do $1,500 on each of the cards in December and the remaining $500s in January (along with the remaining $6k).
Now, I realize I don’t have affiliate links for the Southwest 50k Business card anyways, so what you should do is pick bloggers that you would like to support and sign up for the cards via their links. I personally just signed up for some cards via Frequent Miler’s links last week, and on this page here, you’ll find his links for the Southwest cards.
But really, this truly is one of the best values in the frequent flyer world, why not have it available to you for two years?