50k Miles on Southwest: Get While the Getting is Good

“The only constant is change.” It can certainly be said of credit card travel rewards.  Over the past four years we’ve seen mergers like Continental and United, AirTran and Southwest, and US Airways and American. We’ve seen discontinuations and devaluations, but we’ve also seen big promotions and exciting new offerings.

One good rule of thumb is that you always get while the getting is good – it’s exactly why we went on a binge, telling everyone to take advantage of the US Airways card before it disappeared.  When offers are on the verge of discontinuation, it just makes sense to make it a priority to act on those before acting on others.

That’s exactly why right now we’ve got to tell you to pick up the Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card while it’s still offering 50k Rapid Rewards points and before it’s no longer a Chase card.

How is it changing?

This story indicates that Southwest is considering replacing Chase as their partner in offering a travel rewards credit card.  While it’s a little early to say that it’s absolutely happening, even the fact that it’s being considered is reason to act sooner rather than later.

While I’m no expert, I believe that Southwest’s partnership with a travel rewards program is too lucrative to be discontinued or changed to a significant degree.  The best thing is that wherever it lands, there’ll be more opportunities to earn more points to travel even more almost-freely on SWA.

The Southwest Companion Pass

We’ve written before about the Southwest Companion Pass – a great perk which I’ve been enjoying for a year and a half now. It allows me to bring a companion along for free on any flight I book – whether I pay with points or cash.  It’s a huge benefit and probably the major reason why many people decide to allocate a majority of their spending to the Southwest cards.

In early March, I brought my son to Washington DC to spend some one-on-one time and tour the nation’s capitol.  I booked our flights for 23k points – into Dulles and out of Norfolk. We stayed 5 nights in free hotels and did a variation of the Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia tour that I blogged about a few months ago.

Here’s a sampling of our activities:

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Why Southwest is the Best Airline for Domestic Award Booking

Of all the domestic flight programs, I see Southwest as easily the best – so long as they service your hometown airport.  One key reason is that you can always ensure that you get maximum point-effciency by booking and re-booking flights when they are offered at a lower rate.

Whenever I book a SW flight with points, I check back in periodically to see if I can get the same flight or a better flight for a lower rate.  Because Southwest bookings are always change-fee-free, I can constantly be looking for the best value.  More than once I’ve shaved 3000+ points off a flight, and when you have more than one ticket booked, you’re talking about some serious point-saving.

The Offer as it Stands

Apply for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card1 and get ready to get away. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in your first 3 months your account is open. This bonus offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months.

$99 annual fee will be applied to your first billing statement.

Other Posts About Southwest

Over the years we have written much about the SW Rapid Rewards program.  Most of it is still applicable today.  As with any topic you’re interested in researching on our blog, you can find all the posts on a specific topic through the categories dropdown in the right sidebar.

For ease, though, here are some of our best posts about the Southwest Rapid Rewards program:

How I just booked tickets for 4 to Orlando for $30
A Trip Every Month for Two Years with the Southwest Companion Pass
5 Ways to Maximize your Business Travel Rewards
LDS Church History Tour: Free Flights and Free Hotels
Southwest 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points: Your Ticket to a Multi-Destination Tour
 
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3 Responses to 50k Miles on Southwest: Get While the Getting is Good

  1. tyler hurst says:

    Brad,
    I love the coverage of the SWA companion Pass. My wife has it now for our daughter. with 2 weeks I should have it earned for myself. Upon further research, i found that Yes you can “daisy chain” companion passes. Ie. I book a flight with points, my flight as my companion can go for free, then my daughter as her companion can go for free. I will try as soon as I get my pass. Lets do it!

    Tyler

    • Sheldon says:

      Tyler- That is ridiculous! I hope that really works and would be stoked to hear about the success you find. That is new territory for me. I haven’t gotten it yet, but have been eyeing it closely lately and I’m thinking I’m going to jump on it sometime soon. Keep us posted. -Sheldon

  2. Joel says:

    It looks like I missed the companion pass opportunity. I can only find 1 50k bonus card, the premier card. I think there is a plus card that offers only 25k and there might be a business card. Does anyone know of another way to get the other 50k in bonus points?

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