Southwest has been regularly increasing the bonus offer on their Chase co-branded credit cards.  With the Southwest Rapid Rewards program it’s one of the last that still lets you earn premium features with just credit card spend. Its long been known that if you pick up two of the Southwest credit cards during bonus periods you can earn yourself a year of companion pass from Southwest. Additionally if you time it just right you can actually get two full years of companion pass.

The end goal is that you’ll reach the spending bonus for two Southwest credit cards right around the beginning of January. If you reach the bonus then you will get it for that entire year plus the entirety of the next year after that. With how lucrative Southwest’s companion pass is you will be saving hundreds of dollars of you fly only a couple of times a year. For anyone with a spouse and the time to travel over the next two years this deal is too good to pass up.

Timing is Everything

If you’re interested in the companion pass now is the time to jump on to it. You’ll want to apply for two of the three available Southwest credit cards. Remember they are subject to 5/24 (meaning you cannot have more than 5 new credit cards in the last 24 months) and you should apply for them at the same time to combine hard pulls from your credit bureau.

With two Southwest cards you’ll earn 120,000 miles from just the bonus alone, only 110,000 miles needed for the companion pass. The trick is to not complete your minimum amount of spending until your next year’s statement. If you hit your minimum spend too early you’ll only end up getting your companion pass for the rest of this year and the following year, falling short of two full years of use.

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Chase has different closing dates depending on when you open the cards, you’ll have to consult your actual closing date and calculate the following information for yourself. You’ll want to complete your final minimum spend for your card after your statement closing date in December. If you do this your bonus points will appear on your January statement and you’ll be awarded the companion pass for almost two full years. For example, if your normal statement closing date is the 20th of the month, you want to complete your spend after December 20th for it to work out.

Chase is generous and gives you 3 full months to complete your spending, if you get two Southwest credit cards now you’ll have until sometime in January to finish your spending, this is 3 months from the account opening date. You can always send a secured message online to Chase and they will inform you the actual cutoff date to meet spending if you’re unsure.