Another reader has earned their Companion Pass with help from my free “Step-by-Step Guide to Earning the Southwest Companion Pass and Flying Free Around the U.S.” Congrats to husband and wife, Gary and Jane H., who got their pass this week!

The Southwest Companion Pass lets one person fly free with you from the time you earn it until the END of the following year. So Gary and Jane’s pass will be good through Dec. 31, 2018.

Gary and Jane H. Readers

Download my free guide on how to earn the Pass below:

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Gary and Jane took advantage of the 60,000-point sign-up bonuses available on the Chase Rapid Rewards credit cards earlier this year. While the business card still has a 60,000-point sign-up bonus, the personal cards are currently offering 40,000 points.

Jane applied for both personal cards (you CAN be approved for two personal cards from Southwest!) — Plus and Premier — and were ultimately approved, netting them 120,000+ Southwest points. All of these points qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, though you only need 110,000 points to earn your pass. Plus, they can still SPEND all these points on free travel. That will take them far!

Applying for Southwest Cards Close Together

Gary offers a word of caution, noting they applied for the cards within a few days of each other and as a result were initially denied approval of card No. 2 despite their excellent credit.

“A few days later, we got a call from Chase about the second card, and they said they could approve it if we would be willing to transfer some of our available credit from the first card to the second,” says Gary. “I agreed for them to take half of that credit and put it on the second card.  With that decided, they immediately approved the Premier card and we were off to the races.”

I advise separating card applications with Chase by at least 30 days — or alternately you can try applying for both within the same day before they are notified of both applications. If you did apply for two cards within 30 days of each other but not on the same day, they will almost always decline you. Here’s what to do if Chase declines your application.

More Tips from Gary:

  • The annual fee DOES NOT count toward the minimum spend required to earn your bonus points
  • Complete all transactions at least a few days BEFORE the credit card billing cycle closes if you are trying to complete your minimum spend within that timeframe. It can take several days for a transaction to go from “pending” to a part of the balance — and thus count toward the minimum spend — and you don’t want to wait another month to earn your points.

“Within a couple days we got our two 60K bonuses so now we have a boatload of points to use for the rest of this year and all of 2018,” says Gary. “We’ve already booked a trip to L.A. for November.”

Excellent! Thanks for sharing your tips with us and enjoy flying free on Southwest!

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  • Lyn Mettler

    Lyn Mettler is a longtime travel writer for US News & World Report, USA Today 10Best and The TODAY Show who created Families Fly Free, a program which teaches families her simple system to use travel rewards to fly for free.

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