As I mentioned in a Deal of the Day post earlier this week, the Southwest
50,000 point bonuses [expired] are back on a number of their co-branded Chase credit cards. What does this mean for us frugal travelers? A cheap way to get the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows a person to take a companion along for free! The Companion Pass requires earning 110,000 Rapid Reward points in a calendar year and is then good for the remaining portion of that year and the entire following year. Obviously, this can be quite lucrative!
On a simple flight from Boston to Seattle in November, the regular fare is $435.20, which is a lot of of money if you’re going to be flying two people. But with the Companion Pass, it would be $435.20 (plus up to $10 for 9/11 security fees) for both of you! $220 round-trip from Boston to Seattle is a great fare any day.
There are four different cards that are available:
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus (personal)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (personal)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus (business)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier (business)
There are two differences between the Plus and Premier versions of the cards. The first is that every year the Premier card offers 6,000 anniversary bonus points vs the 3,000 bonus points the Plus version offers. The second difference is that the Premier card earns 1,500 TQPs for every $10,000 spent (up to 15,000 TQPs). TQPs or Tier Qualifying Points go towards A-List Qualification, which requires 35,000 TQPs for general A-List or 70,000 TQPs for A-List Preferred. A-List offers benefits such as Priority boarding and security. There is a $69 annual fee for the Plus versions of the card and $99 annual fee for the Premier versions. These are not waived for the first year.
However, as I mentioned earlier, the real benefit of getting these cards is the ease with which you can get a Companion Pass. If you apply for the two Plus cards (personal and business) and get approved, that is 100,000 of the 110,000 Qualifying Points (not TQPs) needed in order to qualify. Each card requires $1,000 of minimum spend in 3 months, which means that for $8,000 of additional spend you can get a Companion Pass for a year and a half! You can also earn Qualifying Points by shopping through their online mall. The Frequent Miler successfully acquired a Companion Pass just by buying and selling merchandise from Sears through the Southwest Mall.
While traveling on Southwest is not for everyone, this is a way to travel with a companion for much less than it would normally cost. Think what a family of four could do with two of these passes???
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day FlyerTalk is giving away A FlyerTalk Luggage Tag & Hoodie combo for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (with your First Name, Last Initial, and 3 letter airport code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49