Posted by William Charles on January 14, 2019
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Published on January 14th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Why The New Chase Southwest 30,000 Point + Companion Pass Offer Isn’t That Good

Introduction

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).

The Basics

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.

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.

Our Verdict

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.

 

 



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msb1xr
msb1xr

You have to do the modified double dip as Chase has been canceling multiple apps on the same day.

ankit arora
ankit arora

Could you explain modified double dip? I heard applying business and personal together will not combine hard enquiry.

Rahul
Rahul

What does modified double dip mean?

Bill
Bill

It is a great offer for me

Kuso29
Kuso29

Agreed, for an extra $1000 in spend, you get a lot more value. But it’s up to the person, again, on that level of comfort to achieve the CP in the general method of 110k points

Stinger
Stinger

TPG has been pushing the heck out of this promotion. Especially the Mommy Points team that likely has a high target audience for new people in the points game. That alone should be an indicator that it’s.a crummy offer! 😀

Ozymandias
Ozymandias

Great deal for the average consumer. Not great deal for anyone that churns.

Stinger
Stinger

True

Zalmy

+1 and upvote 🙂

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Since many of us can’t get any Chase cards whatsoever it’s a rather academic discussion.

Raylan
Raylan

This could also be situationally valuable. Possible that someone has built up a sizeable cache of RR miles and isn’t eligible for SW Biz for whatever reason (incl, received the bonus in the last 24 months) and is under 5/24. Unlikely, but possible. For most, though, i agree this offer isn’t great.

perfectviking
perfectviking

For your audience, no, it’s not a great deal.

It’s a great deal for my parents who may want to take one or two trips in this year and this allows them to do it with points. They wouldn’t be willing to apply for a business card let alone two cards at the same time for the Companion Pass.

Sometimes we need to pull our heads out of our asses in this hobby and realize that while an offer may make no sense for us, it makes sense for others.

Paul
Paul

I agree it makes sense for a simpler approach although if all you are doing is taking 1-2 trips, companion pass isn’t that fantastic a value unless those two trips are really expensive domestic trips. Heck, if you’re only taking one trip, the 20,000 difference in points between the two offers may make the 50,000 in flight link better for you.

perfectviking
perfectviking

If people get joy from those two trips, I don’t care if they’re really expensive or not.

Stinger
Stinger

Agreed, except the last paragraph. We are here to discuss deals from a churners perspective. Most here are probably not interested in listing all the possible situations that a mediocre signup offer may be beneficial. I don’t think that means we have our heads up our ass.

perfectviking
perfectviking

People stumble upon this site and others and aren’t churners. Remember that.

JK
JK

Has DoC ever stated what its target audience is? Didn’t this start out as an advice website to improve one’s credit score?

Anyway, however you define churning, there are plenty of non-churners who derive utility from this website.

Joe
Joe

It’s still not a good deal. It’s just that getting a good deal isn’t a priority for your parents, which is ok.

Jack
Jack

By this logic, paying cash would be a great deal because it’s less work than getting a card. By this logic, not going on the trip would be a better deal because it’s less work.

Sometimes we need to pull our heads out of our asses and realize that while logic-less shitposting somehow feels good for us, it doesn’t benefit any readers.

Joben
Joben

My wife actually brought this idea up to me for applying for this deal (she’s the typically conservative one of the bunch). We already had 60k pts from the last time we did the two card option for companion pass, so this would give us over 90k to play with for the rest of the year with several flights on the horizon.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Agree with this evolution DoC. Will point some of my non churner friends to this, they kept thinking this was the greatest deal of the century.

Christine
Christine

I’ve been begging my parents to get into the game, and this card finally sealed it. I look at this offer as a “gateway” card/offer that I think will get them hooked. My plan is to have my dad get the 30k version. I know they’ll fall in love and then be willing to do the 2 year (business/personal) for 20-21.

Rob
Rob

I’m sort of disillusioned with the Southwest Companion Pass after having it the past 2 years. The 2 main problems I keep running into with it are 1) the late opening of the booking window and 2) very limited availability of nonstop flights.

With the booking window opening later than than the 330 days of the major carriers, I got stuck in this exact same situation twice before I learned my lesson. It goes like this…We plan a trip a year in advance because it is during a peak school holiday. Major carriers tickets are available at about $400 a ticket with nonstop flights. We wait instead for SW to open its schedule months later so we can use our Comp Pass. SW schedule opens and tickets are $650 each and with inconvenient connection times. We go back to the major carriers to see if we can get the original flights we found and they have all gone up to $800 a ticket for direct flights. Since there are 3 of us, the cost saved with the CP doesn’t make up for the increase in prices that occurs for peak dates between the 330 day mark and the SW schedule opening date AND we get stuck on less convenient flights.

Tyler
Tyler

Well, now you know the CP doesn’t work well for you. Move on to another credit card and airline.

Southwest is not for everyone and the CP likewise.

Rob
Rob

I’m not “disillusioned” but never hopped on the SW credit card train precisely for the reasons you listed, despite living in one of their larger markets.

myi
myi

Well written. Definitely option two for 110k.

gary
gary

Since I’m at 17/24 It wont matter to me. But getting approved for one card may be easier than for 2

gman
gman

This is a great deal for many folks, even some that come here often. Yes, getting the two cards and close to two years is much better. Personally, we are on our 2nd CP from doing this even though we have been out of business for many years. It just does not work for everyone to go that way. For those folks, jump on it.

This assumes they will get multiple flights from it. Again, not everyone flies as often.

Aron
Aron

You can sign up for the 30k points for the 1 year of Companion pass. Next January sign up for the other card for 60k bonus points. With 20k spend you will have another 2 years of Companion pass, ending up with 3 years instead of 2 with only 20k spend.

payyoutuesday
payyoutuesday

Wrong on the additional spending. You have to earn all 110k points in the same calendar year. In your example, you would have to earn an additional 47k points in year 2.

scott
scott

But isn’t the new rule that you are not eligible for the bonus on personal cards for 24 months? If you signed up for the 30K now you would not be eligible for the 60K until 2021.

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