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Raise Your Credit Score and Travel Free

I am stoked. This is something you definitely want to consider, and I’ve been waiting to write about this until I confirmed its validity. Details on the big news for the Southwest Companion Pass further below.

At Wall Street Minimalist, alongside helping you get every aspect of your personal finances set up, we have an intimate passion for free travel. In fact, Hannah and I just booked $2,500 of hotel stays using this single card from Starwood Preferred Guest. The approximate point value that is tossed around the internet for this card is 2.7 cents per point. Well… we figured out a way to get 9 cents per point – and we still have about 7,000 points left from our signup bonus on this card.


Southwest Companion Pass

The biggest ALERT of possibly this year! ***EDIT: October 5, 2017… well, this was the biggest alert. Unfortunately, the offers in this article have expired. Check out Credit Cache Premium so you don’t miss out on any time-sensitive bonus offers in the future.***

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most valuable travel rewards in the credit card points game. By earning Southwest’s Companion Pass, you’ll be able to take one friend on all of your flights for FREE. Yes, this will mean thousands of dollars in savings. Southwest flies to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and throughout the United States.

To receive the Southwest Companion Pass, you have to earn 110,000 points during ONE SINGLE calendar year. This can be very difficult if you’re trying to spend your way there, since you’re generally earning one point for every dollar you spend. Imagine spending $110,000 in one year. Yeah, that ain’t happenin’.

Thankfully, Chase makes earning this Southwest Companion Pass extraordinarily easy. Chase offers three Southwest cards with 60,000 signup bonus points for hitting their minimum spend of $2,000 in 3 months. These cards are the Southwest Plus, Southwest Premier, and Southwest Business Premier. Obviously, the two easiest cards for you to get approved for will probably be the Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier, since odds are you don’t have a business.

When you receive over 110,000 Southwest points, you’re rewarded with the Companion Pass for the calendar year that you earned these points, AS WELL AS THE FOLLOWING CALENDAR YEAR!! So if you earned the Companion Pass today, you’d have earned free travel for a friend or significant other for the rest of this year and all of 2018 (16 months). But if you were to earn the Companion Pass in January of 2018, you would have the Companion Pass for all of 2018 and 2019 (24 months).


Sorry to Those Listening to Bad Advice

Back in July when the Chase Southwest cards’ signup bonuses initially rocketed to 60,000 points, most credit churning websites out there went trigger happy. “Get the card NOW”, they said! Lol if you listened to them, you missed out on thousands of dollars in free credit card rewards. Hannah and I held off on getting the cards then, understanding that history showed these bonus peaks to last for a few months. We understood that you could trigger the signup bonus in January 2018 near the end of your three months – IF YOU WAITED to sign up for the card until right about now.

If you listened to other credit churning websites and got the cards in July, you’re probably just earning the Companion Pass today and will only get 16 months of free travel vs. the 24 months we’re advising. We KNOW free travel here at Wall Street Minimalist, and we’re going to help you get it.

We are not compensated in *any way* if you sign up for the Southwest cards. Other than our happiness in having provided you awesome advice and watching you travel the world for free.

Let’s lay it out for you so you can earn literally thousands of dollar in free travel through 2018 and 2019.


Exactly What You Need to Do

The signup bonus for these cards will end on October 4th. Wait until the VERY beginning of October to apply, so that your signup bonuses will trigger in January 2018. Most of you will want to apply for the Chase Southwest Plus and Chase Southwest Premier cards. Once you receive your credit cards in the mail, DO NOT reach the minimum spend of $2,000 on each card until near the end of your 3-month window. The ideal situation will go as follows:

  • October 1 – apply for both the Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier credit cards
  • October 10 – receive the two cards in the mail
  • October and November – spend $1,950 on each card, but DO NOT cross the $2,000 minimum spend requirement.
  • December 20 (or after your most recent December billing cycle) – spend the remaining $50 on each card to trigger the 60,000 Southwest point signup bonuses.
  • Beginning of January – this should be the end of another billing cycle, and your 120,000 Southwest Points will be triggered onto your account briefly after the billing cycle posts to your account
  • Middle of January 2018 – you receive a beautiful email from Chase that you have received the Southwest Companion Pass for all of 2018 and 2019!


Important things to note:

  • Chase’s 5/24 rule will stop many of you from applying for these cards. If you have received 4+ credit cards in the last 24 months, you will not be approved for these cards. I know a few tricks to get around this rule having personally done so myself, but this will be too complicated to explain here. Check out this course and platform we created to help you get approved.
  • The 120,000 signup bonus Southwest points you earn will also be available for you to use on travel for yourself. This could mean 4 roundtrip flights to the Bahamas for FREE. Bringing your friend or significant other along for free would mean you’re getting 8 roundtrip flights at absolutely no cost. This alone would mean $4,000 of travel value from this card, and we haven’t even factored in the other trips you’ll take throughout the rest of 2018 and 2019.
  • Follow the plan we outlined above EXACTLY. If you have questions, email us at We want you to do this right so you can earn this reward for a full two years, so we’ll respond as quickly as we can.
  • Since Christmas is right around the corner, now is probably the best time of the year to be able to spend the $4,000 minimum spend required to trigger these signup bonuses. It’s almost like Chase is making this too easy. And what better Christmas present is there than 2 years of free travel?
  • Both of the Southwest cards you apply for NEED to be under the same user’s name. You can’t have your spouse apply for one and you apply for another – this won’t work.
  • Submit your application for both cards at the same time (October 1st). Doing so will limit Chase’s hard pull to just one time as they will use this pull for both applications. If you don’t know what this means, just follow my instructions. You’ll thank me later.
  • If you are denied for these cards on October 1st because your credit score is too low, you’ll want to read these articles I wrote about boosting your credit score. Maximize Your Credit Score and Best Credit Cards and Churning.


Get the Word Out

SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS!! Seriously, if you’re a good friend at all, this is something everyone deserves to know. Why withhold information that could earn others thousands of dollars toward free travel for all of 2018 and 2019?  We researched and shared this info with you 🙂 pay it forward! Use our social media share tools pinned on the side or bottom of your screen to get the word out!

Nothing makes me happier than knowing you now have all of the information you need to have an INCREDIBLE 2018 and 2019 – experience more and create memories worth remembering. We can’t wait to see where you go.

Yours sincerely,

Chad & Hannah


  1. Thank you so much for this tip! Wondering if you are able to transfer the points earned on the Chase Southwest cards to a different Chase card account to just spend in Ultimate Rewards portal? Or will they need to be used only at Southwest?

    • Hey Amy! You’ll have to use the 120,000 points on Southwest only. Ultimate Rewards allow you to transfer points to their partners (like Southwest), but you can’t do it the other way around. Thanks for the question!

  2. This is amazing!!! Thank you. So excited to make this happen.

  3. I see that they are still offering the 60,000 bonus miles. Is the free companion fare always offered?

    • Wall Street Minimalist

      Thanks for the question, Staci! Unfortunately, the links may appear like the 60,000 point offer is still available, but once you click “apply”, you’ll see that there is an error. As we expected and let everyone know in this post, the 60,000 bonus points offer expired at the beginning of October. Stay tuned by subscribing to our newsletter, and you won’t miss any time-sensitive offers in the future 🙂

  4. Emily Nicholls

    We want to do this but don’t have any huge expenses coming up that would help us spend the necessary amount to get the points. Would it work to use the credit card to buy prepaid visa cards, then use those visa cards to pay off the credit card?

    • Wall Street Minimalist

      Hi Emily! Thanks for reading and reaching out! Unfortunately, the specifics of this deal have expired, although the offers for these cards are still fairly high as of the date of this comment (1/16/18). Regarding your question, we generally advise against trying “risky” travel hacking tactics like buying Visa cards and using them to trigger the minimum spend. This has been reported to work most times though, so if you’re up for trying it, go for it! Your call 🙂 We personally just try to plan the cards and minimum spends we’re working towards around the expected expenses we will have in the coming months. The minimum spend on these cards is only $2,000. It may seem like a lot, but you’d be surprised with how quickly you’ll hit this limit in a 3-month timeframe. Track your spending and see if $4,000 between two of the Southwest cards will be too difficult for you to reach. Good luck!

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