6/22/18

Companion Pass Status = Earned!

What's up Smart Money Squad? It's been a while since I've posted, and I wanted to give you guys an update on how I earned the Southwest Companion Pass.

ICYMI - here is link to the first two articles!

Part 1
Part 2

What has happened since we last talked?



I decided to start my travel hacking journey by earning the coveted Companion Pass. To do this I applied for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business card. To earn the 110k of points needed, I had to meet some minimum spend goals by using a manufactured spending technique. The process is really as easy as it sounds; buy gift cards, get money orders with the gift cards, deposit the money orders into your checking/savings account. BOOM. Spending goals met!

Once I met the minimum spend on my personal card and my statement posted, I had 50k points transferred to my Southwest account; that's when I knew this was for real. When my business card statement posted, however, I didn't see the 60k bonus I expected. Uh oh. . .  Of course a panic mode ensued.


Rookie Mistake


I promptly contacted Chase and realized I made a rookie mistake. I was still under the minimum spend on that card by $1,000! The personal card had a $2,000 threshold, but the business card was $3,000. Luckily I still had 2 months to complete the extra spending, and it was nothing a few more gift cards couldn't fix.

A couple of lessons learned:

1. Keep track of the minimum spend requirements for bonuses as they are going to vary from card to card.

2. Keep track of the time frame in which you need to meet the minimum spend. The last thing you want to happen is find out that you need to spend a little more and not have the time to do so.

3. If you think something might be wrong, don't hesitate to contact your financial institution and ask! In my experience they were very helpful.

I was trying to do #1 and #2 all in my head and clearly I failed. Everyone has busy lives, and keeping track of points and miles perks isn't easy to do off of memory - especially when you're trying to earn multiple bonuses at once!

Luckily our resident points and miles guru (aka Ty) has developed a tool that he is ready to share with the squad: The SMS Travel Hacking Tracker.

Want to be one of the first to get your hands on it? Sign up for our email list and we'll give you all the details soon!

Where am I now?

Once I completed the minimum spend on the business card and my statement posted, another 60k points were transferred to my Southwest account, and I earned the Companion Pass.



So, now that I have the coveted pass, who is my first companion? No one other than my good friend Fields. We have a trip to Vegas in a few weeks and we're paying a whopping $12 (combined) for our flights out. That's how powerful this perk really is.

Don't worry Rosie, I won't let Jordan steal the companion status for too long.

What's next?


I'm definitely going to be utilizing my Southwest points and Companion Pass for my travels over the next year and a half, and I really can't wait to use it for my honeymoon trip. In the next post I am going to dive into how exactly to use the Companion Pass, and I'll show you guys some of the trips I'm planning for next to nothing in airfare.

For now it's time to get back to the weekend. As many of the points and miles enthusiasts say. . .

Happy travels!


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