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The other week I wrote about Southwest offering targeted offers to California residents to earn the Southwest Companion Pass with only a single purchase. But now Southwest has opened up this offer to all California residents!
Update: Some offers are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!
To recap, this offer is attached to a Southwest credit card that will net you 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account. But the big kicker is that after your first purchase, you’ll have the Southwest Companion Pass all the way through 2018.
While this sounds like a terrific deal, keep in mind that if you earned the Companion Pass the ole fashioned way (by earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards) you get the Companion Pass for up to two calendar years. The fact that the Companion Pass associated with this offer expires at the end of 2018 is very significant because Southwest just announced that they are likely going to start selling tickets to Hawaii in 2018 and flights likely will begin in 2019. So if you jumped on this offer, you might miss out on being able to use your Companion Pass for Hawaii.
Note that there is also an offer for the business card version that earns 60,000 Rapid Rewards after spending $3,000. That would put you a lot closer to the 110,000 Rapid Rewards points needed for the Companion Pass.
Companion Pass for 24+ months?
It’s important to know that if you earn 110,000 points and still take advantage of this offer, your Companion Pass will be extended through 2019. This opens up a unique opportunity to earn the Companion Pass for longer than two years.
For example, you could sign up for one card with his offer and pick up the Southwest Companion Pass very soon with a single purchase (how soon it will be activated, I’m not so sure). You could then wait until 2018 to hit your bonus and take your time to earn the remaining necessary points by signing up for another southwest card several months from now. If all of your 110,000 points hit in 2018, then you’ll have the Companion Pass until the end of 2019, meaning that some people might actually reap Companion Pass benefits for over 24 months!
This could be a fantastic option for anyone who might struggle to hit the minimum spend requirements and need an extra few months between cards. Of course if you had a lot of Southwest flights planned for 2018 then that would be another route to secure the Companion Pass for 2019.
My strategy would be to apply for the 60,000 offer and make sure my sign-up bonus points hit in 2018. Then I’d hit another Southwest card and eventually earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards at the beginning of 2018. With Hawaii flights on the horizon, I surely wouldn’t want to miss out on a year of those flights during 2019 and this strategy could allow over 24 months of Companion Pass benefits!
Keep in mind that all of these Southwest cards are subject to 5/24.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the digital smart wallet, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.