This year has been a pretty slow one for credit card sign up bonuses so far.
Considering that we’re almost half way through 2015, I find it a bit surprising that I’ve only received four new cards to date. By the way, I also got Kim a couple of cards.
If I keep up this pace for 2015, I most likely won’t even earn 500,000 miles/ points from bonuses.
Here are the amount of miles I’ve earned thanks to credit card sign up bonuses in recent years:
- 2011 775,000 miles & points
- 2012 753,150 miles & points
- 2013 665,000 miles & point
- 2014 605,000 miles & points
However, yesterday I received an e-mail from Southwest that I’m really excited for.
After getting the Southwest personal and business cards and doing the required spends, I earned the Southwest Companion Pass for a second time. (Kim had the pass the time in between.)
To get the pass you have to earn 110,000 qualifying points or take 100 qualifying flights in a calendar year. If you ask me, it’s one of the easiest benefits to earn since miles earned from credit card signup bonuses count.
For those of you not so familiar with the Southwest Companion Pass, I’d consider it one of the more interesting and useful travel benefits although it has some negatives to it too.
The Companion Pass allows you to select one companion, a friend, family member, basically whoever you choose. When you book a flight, you can add your companion. He or she will fly for free, just paying the taxes.
The pass had tremendous value while Lucas was under 2, flying as a lap baby. (Find out where we flew with the pass here.) With the Companion Pass, we were essentially getting to fly 3 people for the price of 1. Once Lucas turned 2, the pass lost a lot of value. We now needed to get him a seat and there are many times when Southwest flights are not cheap!
When we used Kim’s pass, Lucas needing a ticket made things a bit complicated. Besides having $200 in Southwest gift cards from the Amex platinum airline incidentals benefit, his flights were going to be costly.
Besides the $200 in gift cards I also bought some more at a small discount. We had to look at the Companion Pass as a nice discount but one that was just not as valuable anymore.
The other issue to contend with is that most Southwest flights connect and leave at crappy times.
Regardless, I’m still a fan of the airline. I think their staff and crew are some of the friendliest I’ve encountered when flying….
So where are we aiming to go with my new Southwest Companion Pass?
I’ll have the pass for the remainder of 2015 and all of 2016 so this is a good problem.
With Southwest adding more international destinations, I’m hoping to get to at least one of them. (We flew to Jamaica with Southwest over the winter break this past year.)
Costa Rica and Belize sound good! I’d also still like to visit some states that I haven’t visited yet. Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, who knows…!
Have you ever earned the Southwest Companion Pass? Did you find it to be a great value?