Published on January 14th, 2019 | by William Charles65
Why The New Chase Southwest 30,000 Point + Companion Pass Offer Isn’t That Good
When the Chase Southwest bonus for personal cards changed to 30,000 points & a companion pass for 2019 I called the offer quite weak and a masterstroke of marketing. Nick over at Frequent Miler disagreed with me and Greg even chimed in with a FM vs DoC post. I thought a post explaining my reasoning in more detail probably makes more sense. (Quick note here, I think Nick & Greg had a fair look at the card and offer. I’m specifically talking about them/their site because I think it was the most balanced. Some other sites called this the greatest travel deal of all time and I think everybody can agree that’s ridiculous).
For this post I’m making a few assumptions:
- You know what a companion pass is and why it’s valuable. This pass normally requires earning 110,000 points within a calendar year and lets a companion fly with you for free (aside from $5.6 in fees). Normally when you earn it it’s valid for the remaining calendar year and then the following calendar year. With this offer you get the companion pass for the remainder of 2019 just for meeting the minimum spend requirement.
- You know that Southwest points are worth roughly 1.28¢ each.
- Card restrictions. Two restrictions apply to getting this card:
- The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) 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.
- Chase 5/24 rule applies
Why The New Offer Is Weak
Getting a companion pass is obviously useful, but you’ll only have 30,000 points (roughly $384 in Southwest flights) to use with that companion pass. Most people would agree that transferring Chase UR points to Southwest isn’t a good use of points, you can obviously still use cash to pay for flights and get good value there but this hobby is about reducing those cash costs as much as possible. In addition
The main reason why I called this new offer weak is because you need to compare it to other offers that are available or have been available recently. Remember that by getting the personal card you will be ineligible to get another Southwest personal bonus for 24 months. Instead of going for this offer you could do the classic double dip and get one personal card and one business card and get enough points for a companion pass.
- You can currently get 50,000 points after $2,000 in spend on the Southwest personal cards.
- You can also still get 60,000 points after $3,000 in spend on the Southwest business card.
The nice thing about the business card is that it doesn’t count towards your 5/24 status (although the 5/24 rule does still apply to it). If you applied for both of those cards you’d end up with a total of 110,000 Southwest points and get the companion pass for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020. Now let’s compare the two options:
- Option one (Southwest 2019 companion pass): 30,000 points (worth $384 in Southwest flights) and companion pass through 2019.
- Option two (Double dip method): 110,000 points (worth $1,408 in Southwest flights) and companion pass through 2020
By applying for the second card you’re essentially getting an additional 80,000 Southwest points and the companion pass for a second year. The total spend requirement is $5,000 for the double dip method and $3,000 for the 2019 pass method.
Why The New Offer Isn’t Weak
There are a number of reasons why the new offer isn’t weak and they mostly pertain to the difficulty in doing the double dip.
- Not everybody is eligible for a Chase business card. This is true, it’s not extremely difficult to get approved for a Chase business card and a lot of people might have businesses that they don’t really realize (e.g a ‘side hustle’).
- Not everybody feels comfortable using those in flight links. So far nobody has had any issue using those 50,000 in flight links.
Personally I’d rather apply for two cards and get 110,000 points and a companion pass for two years than apply for one card and get 30,000 points and a companion pass for one year. If you can’t/don’t want to do the double dip method and can make good use from a companion pass then there is nothing wrong with applying, but I don’t think it’s a particularly compelling offer when you peel back the layers.