Southwest airplanes in airport
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Southwest Airlines announced an eye-popping new sign-up bonus for three of their co-branded Chase credit cards that includes 30,000 Southwest points and free access to their highly-coveted Companion Pass for a year.

With the Companion Pass, Southwest customers can bring a designated second traveler on nearly any Southwest flight, both paid and redeemed rewards flights, for just the price of taxes and fees. According to Southwest’s website, that can be as little as $11 – $25 per domestic flight. The pass is valid for any flight through the remainder of the year.

Here’s how you can decide whether this limited-time offer is right for you:

The details

Southwest’s offer gives new cardholders access to the Companion Pass through Dec. 31, 2019 and 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

The bonus is applicable with each of Southwest’s personal Chase credit cards: the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. You can apply for these credit cards on The Points Guy, Bankrate’s sister site.

To earn the sign-up offer, which ends Feb. 11, you must spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

The sooner you meet the spending minimum, the more time you’ll have to take advantage of your Companion Pass before it expires at the end of the year. Big spenders who hit the minimum within their first billing cycle could enjoy nearly 11 months of the Companion Pass.

Traditionally, the Companion Pass is granted to those Southwest loyalists who earn 110,000 qualifying points or take 100 qualifying flights within a single calendar year. Then, the Pass is yours for the remainder of that calendar year and the entirety of the next year.

Those familiar with the Companion Pass guidelines should keep in mind that, under this offer, the pass is only valid through Dec. 31.

Are you eligible?

While this is largely regarded as one of the best promotions ever offered by Southwest and Chase, you’ll want to make sure it’s right for you before submitting your application.

Due to Southwest’s new restrictions, which began last year, you won’t be eligible for this new offer if you already hold one personal Southwest card or you’ve received a sign-on bonus for a Southwest card within the past 24 months.

Remember that Southwest credit cards are issued through Chase, which means Chase’s 5/24 Rule applies as well. If you’ve applied for five or more cards from any issuer within the past 24 months, there’s a strong probability your card application will not be accepted by Chase.

A Southwest credit card may be a great addition to the wallets of frequent domestic flyers or travelers looking to take advantage of Southwest’s routes to Mexico and the Caribbean, especially with this Companion Pass offer.

If you’re eligible, consider which of Southwest’s three personal cards works best for you. They all offer compelling rewards for Southwest customers, including double points on Southwest purchases, annual anniversary bonus points and the option to redeem points with hotel, car rental and cruise partners.

Each rewards tier and annual fee can work differently for you considering your personal travel habits. Bankrate’s card reviews and list of top airline credit cards of 2019 can help you decide.

Southwest credit cards: