I had applied and received the Chase Southwest Plus card back in April. Shortly after all offers were pulled. I needed another 50k miles to reach companion status so my wife and I could fly home for Xmas this year for the cost of a single fare. Even though the T&C says otherwise, the bonus signup miles were counting toward companion status in the past. I’m not sure if that’s still the case, so YMMV with this round of cards.
I applied for the British Airways 100k offer earlier today since it expires tomorrow so I will not be instantly approved for any of these Chase Southwest cards. Chase will only instantly approve you for 1 personal card every 30 days. But, others have noted that they applied for two cards and just called the Chase reconsideration line to get things approved. Sometimes you need to shift some credit from other cards, and sometimes you need to close an existing account to approve the new one. Sometimes neither is required.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card – $69 annual fee, 3,000 bonus miles on anniversary
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premiere Card -$99 annual fee, 6,000 bonus miles on anniversary
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Business Card – $69 annual fee, 3,000 bonus miles on anniversary
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premiere Business Card – $99 annual fee, 6,000 bonus miles on anniversary
If you fly Southwest, the better deal is the Premiere cards since the 6,000 bonus miles is equal to the $99 annual fee. All four cards have minimum spend requirements which differs from the last offering of these cards which awarded you miles after first purchase. These require that you spend $1,000 within 3 months. There is a great post on MillionMileSecrets with 40+ ways to meet minimum spend requirements. Also, the annual fee is not waived for any of these cards.
Southwest miles are best used for domestic travel. You can redeem your miles for international travel, but it is extremely expensive and is a poor use of miles.
After you accumulate 110,000 Rapid Rewards miles, you earn a Companion Pass. This is valid for the remainder of the year in which it is earned and the entire year after. For example, if you earn the Companion Pass in Jul 2012 it will be valid for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013! This is hands down the best deal for domestic travel. With this you can designate someone to travel with you for free. This is valid for pair fares and fares pair for by mileage redemption. Your companion must fly with the person who earned the companion pass, and you can re-designate the person to fly free a few times in a year.