The weather might be getting colder, but Southwest Companion Pass season is just heating up.

Before reading forward, if you haven’t read our primer on how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass in 2022 and beyond be sure to give that a look first. You’ll want to be sure you fully understand the steps you’ll be taking before jumping into applying for any Southwest credit card this year.

If you are ready to get going with earning the Southwest Companion Pass we’ve got good news. Southwest has announced some improved bonuses on their personal cards.

Let’s take a look at the updated bonuses and how they impact your Companion Pass strategy.

Updated Bonuses on the Southwest Personal Credit Cards

Chase has updated the bonus on all three personal cards to be up to 100,000 points. This is a tier-based bonus, meaning you won’t get all the points at once. Instead, you’ll earn some of the points as you meet one spending requirement and the remainder once you hit the second.

The first bonus tier is 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. You’ll get the remaining 50,000 points after spending a total of $12,000 on purchases in the first 12 months.

This bonus applies across the board to each of the Southwest personal cards:

How This Impacts Your Companion Pass Strategy

The biggest question most people will have is how these updated offers impact their Companion Pass strategy.

What you should know is that this really simplifies your Companion Pass strategy. You’ll still be going for one Southwest business credit card and one Southwest personal credit card.

With these updated offers you’re left with two approaches.

southwest companion pass updated bonuses

Open the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card and Any Personal Card

This is the most straightforward way of earning the Southwest Companion Pass for 2022 and 2023.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is offering 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

 

This strategy is preferential for most people because it gives you the benefit of time. Remember, you’ll need to earn 125,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points in one calendar year to earn the Companion Pass. With the Southwest Business card, you’ll earn 80,000 points. Couple this with the first 50,000 point tier from any of the personal cards and you’ll be at 130,000 points.

You won’t have to stress about getting the second tier of the 100,000 point bonus on the personal card before you get your companion pass. The Companion Pass will be yours just by hitting the first tier of the bonus of the personal card and completing the bonus on the business card.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still go for the second tier. It just means that you don’t have to earn it to get enough points for the Companion Pass. Instead, you can spread out the spending on your personal card throughout the remainder of the year. Once you spend the additional $10,000 you’ll get a nice 50,000 point boost to your Rapid Rewards balance.

southwest companion pass strategy

Rely on the Second Tier of the Personal Southwest Card Bonus

If you already know you’ll have a large amount of spend to put on your Southwest cards between the end of this year and early next year, then you can rely on the second tier of the personal card bonus.

If you are relying on the second part of the personal card bonus, you can save a little bit of money on the annual fee of your business card by opening the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. New card members of the Southwest Premier Business card are eligible for a bonus of 60,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months their account is open.

With the Southwest Premier Business card, you’re relying on the second tier of the bonus to earn the Companion Pass. With just the first tier bonus on your new personal card and the bonus on your new business card, you’ll only have 115,000 points once you include the minimum amount of points you’ll earn from the $2,000 and $3,000 minimum spend.

Because you’ll be 10,000 points shy until you hit the second tier of spending on whichever flavor of the personal card you choose, you should only choose this card combination if you know you’ll be able to meet the full bonus on the personal card early on.

southwest companion pass updated bonuses and strategy

Final Thoughts

The updated bonus across the lineup of personal Southwest credit cards is just in time for companion pass season. Pairing any one of the personal cards with the Southwest Performance Business card is the best strategy for most people to earn the Companion Pass in 2022 because it doesn’t require you to meet the second tier of the bonus on the personal card. When you do meet it later in the year, it will be a nice boost to your points to replenish any you’ve already redeemed with your Companion Pass.

Now isn’t the worst time to apply, but waiting another week or two would put you in an ideal spot to have the time to finish your spend and earn your Companion Pass early in 2022.