It’s back! Chase just released a 50K Rapid Rewards point sign up bonus for the Southwest Airlines Visa. This is a pretty strong offer considering that each Southwest point is worth 1.6 cents if used for “Wanna Get Away” fares, so theoretically if used wisely, these points could be worth $800 in free travel.
Besides the sign up bonus, I don’t find this card very exciting. First, you earn 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases and hotel/rental car bookings through their site. Unless you are spending a ton on tickets, this is probably not very appealing to you. You also earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchase. Big whoop.
One nice feature is that you get a 3K point anniversary bonus, which is worth about $50 and almost covers the $69/year annual fee.
Now, one hidden feature that could be extremely valuable to some is Southwest’s top tier elite status known as “Companion Pass.” Basically, as the title states, earning this status gives you the ability to book a free (less the $12.50 security fee) companion seat with any booking (even a very cheap “Wanna Get Away” fare). The only problem is that achieving this status requires earning 110,000 points in a year. Now, most people would assume that you must actually fly enough to earn these points and status, but that does not appear to be the case. According to Million Mile Secrets, the 50K bonus from this card will count toward earning Companion Pass status.
Now mind you, 50K will not even get you half way to Companion Pass status, but there are several things you can do to hit that level including transferring points from Marriott Rewards at 3:1 conversion rate and 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points converts to 2,400 Southwest points.
In any case, the sign up bonus alone is very tempting, but if you can somehow hit the 110K points to get Companion Status, then this promo is an absolute no-brainer!