Travel reward-based credit cards have always been on my radar. Find the right one, and the perks can be great. For me that was either the Chase Sapphire credit card or the Southwest credit card.
Cue a great promotion by Southwest. Spend $x in 3 months, and get 30,000 points plus Companion Pass (your guest flies for free with you). It just so happens that when this promotion was announced, I had to have surgery…. for exactly $x !
I applied for the card, got approved, and scheduled my surgery for a week later. This qualified me for the 30k bonus points, plus Companion Pass for Adam.
Since then, Adam became an authorized user and we dump everything onto the card. Points collect each time we use our cards – no matter where we use it. Groceries, electric bills, bar tabs, he even pays his rent on the card, shopping, car insurances, healthcare… everything. We have racked up tons of points over the last 11 months. We even qualified to get Companion Pass for next year also! Meaning he will be able to fly for free all of 2020 as well.
We also know how to cash in on double, triple, and quadruple points. Southwest has partnerships with certain retailers, so whenever we purchase anything online, we go through the Southwest Shopping Portal.
Example: I had to buy a new garbage disposal. It was $233. I bought it online through a retailer that had 4x points. So I got 233 points for using my card + 932 (233 x 4) points for shopping at that retailer. Giving me 1,165 points total. For that one purchase.
So how does that equal free airfare?
An average round trip ticket can cost anywhere from 2,000-14,000 points.
So for example, I purchase a ticket to St Louis for only myself for 6,000 points. Then I add Adam to my ticket via our Companion Pass. And bam! Two roundtrip tickets to St Louis.
I chose a Southwest card because I fly with them frequently, and I have some brand loyalty. So far this calendar year Adam and I have flown for free to:
- Washington DC (and I had enough points to bring an additional friend!)
- New Hampshire
- New Hampshire again
- Costa Rica
- Grand Cayman
- New Hampshire a third time
- St. Louis
I’m not writing this to be braggy. I just want to help everyone learn about ways to travel for less. It does take a little bit of work. But once you have a system going, its easy to maintain.
There are people out there who open multiple cards, and merge points across accounts and brands, and use business cards, etc. There are a million ways to get a million points. I’m not quite there yet. This is what works for us!