You’re most likely conversant in Southwest, the favored airline well-known for its free checked baggage and laissez-faire strategy to seating. With hundreds of flights per day and a sturdy route community, Southwest is a sturdy competitor within the U.S. airspace — which makes the airline’s co-branded bank cards an interesting possibility for vacationers.
But when is the perfect time to join for a Southwest bank card? Not all timelines are as sensible as others, and determining when to apply for a Southwest bank card is a strategic alternative all by itself. Here’s what to take into consideration as you coordinate the timing of making use of for a new Southwest bank card.
When you’ve got upcoming journeys
One of the perfect causes to get a journey rewards bank card is to assist clean the way in which for your future journey. Different playing cards provide completely different perks, and Southwest’s bank cards are not any exception. With three completely different client choices and even a enterprise card, you’ll discover a number of Southwest Airlines bank card advantages accessible to you.
If you’ve got future journey plans and need to reap the benefits of these perks, you’ll need to be certain you apply for your card earlier than you guide.
Of course, we are able to’t speak in regards to the timing of making use of for these playing cards with out speaking in regards to the sign-up bonuses. For the unfamiliar, sign-up bonuses provide a one-time lump sum reward of factors after assembly a sure spend threshold.
If you’re trying to journey with the Rapid Rewards factors you’ll earn as a cardholder, notice that it takes time to each earn these factors and have them deposited into your account. We advocate getting the cardboard no less than 5 months prematurely of your journey to make sure that your factors put up.
When you anticipate spending a lot
As we talked about above, you’ll solely obtain your welcome provide after spending a sure sum of money in your card. Take the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, for instance. It comes with this welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 bonus factors after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months your account is open.
Not all of your bills will be placed on a bank card, and assembly the edge could also be troublesome for you should you don’t repeatedly spend a lot of cash. This is one purpose why you’ll need to time your bank card utility appropriately. Do you’ve got a house renovation developing, or possibly a fee for property taxes?
These giant, one-time purchases will be a simple approach to meet your spend objective with out incurring further bills.
When a limited-time provide is out there
Every Southwest bank card comes with a sign-up bonus, however these bonuses truly fluctuate all year long. Card issuers can — and do — present limited-time elevated gives a few instances every year.
Increased charges can range, however it might provide as many as 50,000 factors greater than typical sign-up gives — which is important. If you’re not determined to purchase a Southwest card, ready for one among these elevated gives can generate way more factors than a commonplace bonus.
When you’ll be able to squeeze worth out of a Companion Pass
Even should you’re a frequent flyer, the Southwest Companion Pass might not have come up in your radar — however it ought to. The Southwest Companion Pass is among the most beneficiant perks passengers can earn.
The Companion Pass permits you to convey alongside a designated particular person with you, for practically free, on all of your flights. This is true whether or not it’s a paid ticket otherwise you’re utilizing award factors; they’ll give you the option to come alongside for simply the taxes and costs.
Nerdy tip: You can change your designated journey companion up to 3 times per calendar 12 months.
In order to get a Companion Pass, you’ll want to have both taken 100 qualifying flights or earned 125,000 qualifying Southwest factors in a calendar 12 months. Since 100 flights is a lot, 125,000 factors will be a rather more achievable objective.
Earning these factors will be achieved via a number of strategies, together with flying, eating, staying at motels and spending on bank cards. However, it is not simply the spend in your bank cards that qualifies you for a Companion Pass — the welcome provide in your card counts in direction of these 125,000 factors as effectively.
This implies that pairing your card utility with an elevated provide can get you a lot of the approach towards a Companion Pass with out ever stepping on a aircraft.
Finally, the Companion Pass is legitimate for the remainder of the calendar 12 months wherein you earned it, plus the 12 months after. What does this imply in practicality? Let’s say that you just signed up for a Southwest bank card in November 2022. You’ll have three months from the time you open the cardboard to meet the minimal spend objective, which implies your deadline can be someday in February 2023.
Be conscious, you gained’t need to earn your bonus throughout November or December, since meaning your spend will qualify for the calendar 12 months that’s about to finish. Instead, you’ll need to full your minimal spend throughout the brand new calendar 12 months. Depending on how excessive the welcome provide is, this will get you a lot of the approach towards incomes a Companion Pass.
Now, let’s say you have been in a position to earn all 125,000 of these required factors by February 2023. As a end result, you’ll internet your self the Companion Pass for the rest of 2023 and all of 2024 — which implies practically two years of (nearly) free flying for a companion.
If you need to join for a Southwest bank card
Timing is a vital consideration once you’re deciding on when to open up a Southwest bank card. Figuring out the perfect time for you to join for a Southwest bank card goes to range based mostly on a number of components, together with your upcoming journey plans, any main bills you’ve got, the cardboard’s welcome provide and your want to earn a Companion Pass. While not all of those might apply to you, be certain to consider your scenario earlier than you make a resolution to apply.
How to maximize your rewards
You need a journey bank card that prioritizes what’s vital to you. Here are our picks for the finest journey bank cards of 2021, together with these finest for: