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Remember that great Companion Pass Offer we talked about?  I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here, because this offer isn’t everything it seems.  My main arguments boil down to three things.  One, 5/24 status.  Two, opportunity cost.  Three, timing.

Do you have your exit buddy?

This deal seems really good on the surface, but for most folks though, my answer is…meh?  (If 1 is a hard no, and 10 is a definite yes, then meh is maybe…a 6.)  The Companion Pass is the stuff of legends, don’t get me wrong.  While not as flashy as those first class suites, it provides tremendous value to people that fly with a partner, friend, child, etc.  But that’s the real Companion Pass, not this watered down version.  This version is only good for half the time and you’ll only have 30,000 points to burn.

Here’s the thing…

1)  5/24 Status

This new offer from Chase really shines if you’re right at 4 new cards in the past 24 months.  Remember many business cards don’t count toward this status, so you might have some more wiggle room.  If you’ve only got ONE slot left for Chase, and you can still get some value out of the Companion Pass for 2019, then yes, this is a great offer for you!

I’m going to assume the vast majority of us are either over 5/24 (raises hand, with a mix of shame and pride), or well under 5/24 and just getting into the game.  For those of us with more than 5 new cards in the past 24 months, it’s a no-go.  Very, very slim chances of approval for one of these Southwest cards.

As for with space for 2 cards, go for the real Companion Pass!  There are a few ways to do it, you can tack on a business card application, you can do a kind of modified double dip (check out Flyertalk or Reddit).  I won’t get into it here, since it’s been quite some time since I’ve applied for a Chase card.  It boils down to this though, a REAL Companion Pass is better than this half-pass, as I’ll explain below.

2)  Opportunity Cost

Typically you’ll get the Companion Pass by earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a single year.  The beauty here, is that you get the pass for simply earning those points, you don’t have to cash them in!  So once you have them, you’ve got two years to burn them with your fantastic Companion Pass.  See a trip down to the Bahamas for 40,000 points?  Nice!  Book yourself on points, and then book your Companion!  Instead of needing 80,000 roundtrip for the two of you, you just need the full points for the first fare, and then some cash for the taxes and fees.

By opening just a single card with 30,000 points and the Companion Pass, you’re missing out on a lot of value.

(Is the Companion Pass EVER worth it?  Not if you feel like this…)

3)  Timing

This one really lets me down.  I could ignore the rest, if Chase and Southwest were giving you the real Companion Pass.  In this case, it’d be valid for all of 2019 and 2020.  That’s some real value, even without 110,000 Rapid Rewards to burn.  We can always get more points, right?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already booked travel for the first half of 2019.  By the time I got the Companion Pass, I’d only really be able to use it for 6 or 7 months, plus a few spontaneous weekend trips.  Even if I had the Companion Pass earlier, it wouldn’t get me to Germany in April!

Hawaii though…

Winter escape to Hawaii

Soon, the Southwest Companion Pass will get you and a friend to Hawaii! Image courtesy of Jason Francisco

If your heart is set on the pass for 2019, here are the links for those cards:

  1. Southwest Plus Credit Card – 30,000 points and the Companion Pass after spending $4000 in the first 3 months; $69 annual fee
  2. Southwest Premier Credit Card – 30,000 points and the Companion Pass after spending $4000 in the first 3 months; $99 annual fee
  3. Southwest Priority Credit Card – 30,000 points and the Companion Pass after spending $4000 in the first 3 months; $149 annual fee

Let us know what you think of the offer!  Good?  Bad?  Or downright ugly?


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