You’re most likely acquainted with Southwest, the favored airline well-known for its free checked baggage and laissez-faire method to seating. With hundreds of flights per day and a sturdy route community, Southwest is a powerful competitor within the U.S. airspace — which makes the airline’s co-branded bank cards an interesting possibility for vacationers.
But when is the most effective time to join a Southwest bank card? Not all timelines are as good as others, and determining when to use for a Southwest bank card is a strategic alternative all by itself. Here’s what to consider as you coordinate the timing of making use of for a brand new Southwest bank card.
When you’ve gotten upcoming journeys
One of the most effective causes to get a journey rewards bank card is to assist easy the best way on your future journey. Different playing cards provide completely different perks, and Southwest’s bank cards aren’t any exception. With three completely different client choices and even a enterprise card, you’ll discover a wide range of Southwest Airlines bank card advantages out there to you.
If you’ve gotten future journey plans and need to reap the benefits of these perks, you’ll need to make sure you apply on your card earlier than you e book.
Of course, we will’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 seeking to journey with the Rapid Rewards factors you’ll earn as a cardholder, observe 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 certain that your factors publish.
When you anticipate spending so much
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 may be placed on a bank card, and assembly the edge could also be tough for you if you happen to don’t usually spend some huge cash. This is one motive why you’ll need to time your bank card utility appropriately. Do you’ve gotten a house renovation arising, or possibly a cost for property taxes?
These giant, one-time purchases may be a straightforward method to meet your spend purpose with out incurring further bills.
When a limited-time provide is on the market
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 presents a number of instances every year.
Increased charges can range, however it could provide as many as 50,000 factors greater than typical sign-up presents — which is important. If you’re not determined to accumulate a Southwest card, ready for one in every of these elevated presents can generate way more factors than a typical bonus.
When you possibly can squeeze worth out of a Companion Pass
Even if you happen to’re a frequent flyer, the Southwest Companion Pass might not have come up in your radar — but it surely ought to. The Southwest Companion Pass is likely one of the most beneficiant perks passengers can earn.
The Companion Pass lets you carry alongside a designated individual 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 be capable to come alongside for simply the taxes and costs.
Nerdy tip: You can change your designated journey companion as much as thrice per calendar yr.
In order to get a Companion Pass, you’ll must have both taken 100 qualifying flights or earned 125,000 qualifying Southwest factors in a calendar yr. Since 100 flights is so much, 125,000 factors could be a way more achievable purpose.
Earning these factors may be achieved via a wide range of strategies, together with flying, eating, staying at resorts 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 properly.
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 yr during which you earned it, plus the yr after. What does this imply in practicality? Let’s say that you simply signed up for a Southwest bank card in November 2022. You’ll have three months from the time you open the cardboard to satisfy the minimal spend purpose, which implies your deadline will likely be someday in February 2023.
Be conscious, you gained’t need to earn your bonus throughout November or December, since which means your spend will qualify for the calendar yr that’s about to finish. Instead, you’ll need to full your minimal spend throughout the brand new calendar yr. Depending on how excessive the welcome provide is, this could 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 outcome, you’ll internet your self the Companion Pass for the rest of 2023 and all of 2024 — which implies practically two years of (virtually) free flying for a companion.
If you need to join 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 most effective time for you to join 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 gotten, the cardboard’s welcome provide and your want to earn a Companion Pass.
While not all of those might apply to you, you should definitely consider your state of affairs earlier than you decide to use.
How to maximise 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: