Southwest Rapid Rewards cards temporarily offering Companion Pass with a sign-up bonus

bernardbodo//GettyImages

At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

With the gradual vaccine rollout, many people are slowly starting to make travel plans again. Credit card issuers, after adjusting their products to match customers’ needs in the pandemic, are responding by rolling out attractive travel-minded offers.

On Feb. 9, Chase announced a limited-time sign-up bonus offer for prospective Southwest Rapid Rewards cardholders that includes a free Companion Pass—one of the most desirable perks of the Southwest Rapid Rewards program.

Considering the value of the Companion Pass, this is a truly exciting offer and great news for anyone who’s been looking into the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards.

How the new sign-up bonus offer works

Starting Feb. 9, new Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card members can earn 30,000 Rapid Rewards points (which don’t expire) and a Companion Pass that will be valid through Feb. 28, 2022, after they spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.

The Companion Pass allows program members to select one person to fly with for free, excluding taxes and fees (from $5.60 one-way) every time they purchase or redeem points for a flight.

Should you sign up for a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card now?

The Companion Pass is an incredibly lucrative benefit and often a goal for Southwest Rapid Rewards program members.

The threshold to get access to this benefit is usually rather steep—you need to earn 125,000 qualifying points or fly 100 qualifying one-way flights each year. These requirements can sound intimidating, but carrying a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card can make obtaining the Companion Pass more feasible.

That’s especially true with the new limited-time offer. While previous offers came with as many as 80,000 bonus points, the new sign-up bonus provides significantly more value. Since the Companion Pass is worth around 125,000 points, the new intro bonus is worth a whooping 155,000 points in total (or more, depending on how much you save on your companion’s flights).

If you’re set on traveling in the near future and have been looking into the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards, this may be a perfect time to apply. While the travel environment is still uncertain, we can hope that this will soon change as more vaccine doses are distributed. Plus, since new cardmembers will be able to enjoy their Companion Pass through February of next year, they’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of this perk.