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So far 2018 is shaping up to be a year of disappointment on the travel-hacking front. Between IHG killing maiming the annual free night certificate (and bungling the roll-out),  to Southwest just announcing a minor devaluation to their award prices, the first part of the year hasn’t started out all that well.

Now we can add some restrictions Chase just implemented on their personal Southwest Visa cards to the list. Southwest and Chase have just decided that the two Rapid Rewards credit cards will now be part of the same family of cards and bonus restrictions will apply accordingly. As of now, each Southwest person card product is not available to:

  • Current cardmembers of any Southwest Rapids Rewards® Credit Card, OR
  • Previous cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

This is along the same lines as the restrictions implemented by CitiBank where you can only get a bonus within a given product family if you haven’t opened of closed one of that family’s card in the pasty 24 months. Remember that you can only get the bonus on a Chase card every 24 months.

How can you still get the Southwest Companion Pass easily?

The one plus (at the point) is that it is still possible to open a Southwest Rapid Rewards small business credit card along with a personal card to obtain enough points for the companion pass. If you can pick up one of these cards (say, the personal Premier) with a 60,000 points bonus and a small business version with a 50,000 points bonus, you can still easily hit the required 110,000 for the pass.

If you’re one of those without a small business, however, you’re out of luck (but make sure you really don’t have a small business). Getting one bonus could be helpful, especially if it is 60,000 points. But you’ll still need to spend a hefty amount to earn your pass.

If you do plan to apply for a new credit card, you can find some of these offers at the top credit card offers page in the top navigation of the site

Remember to factor in the 5/24 rule if you plan to apply for any Chase cards (SEE: Chase 5/24 is real and here’s the proof)!

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