Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another golden ticket!

In early 2013, I applied for two Southwest credit cards (a business and a personal card). I met the minimum spending ($2000 in 4 months) to receive a bonus on each card (50,000 miles  x 2) and continued to charge our normal monthly expenses to the cards while paying off the balance each month. In mid-2013, I had earned enough miles to get a companion pass (my golden ticket!) on Southwest Airlines. (See my original blog post here).

Photo credit AARP

My companion pass allowed my husband to travel for free with me on 3 separate round-trip flights, which saved us around $700-$800. The miles I accumulated in the process sent my family of 5 round-trip to Florida twice, along with a NYC trip for 2 for our 10th anniversary and two one-way flights for me to Denver and Orlando (again!). All of these flights were free except for the security tax of $2.50 - $5.60 per ticket. My companion pass expires at the end of 2014 and my miles are all gone...but we got some really great use out of the miles.

But the free travel isn't over husband just earned his own golden ticket! He just finished the requirements for his own companion pass that will expire at the end of 2015. He applied for his own Southwest credit card earlier this year to help us travel for free from the west coast back home after our upcoming Hawaii trip. In November, a different version of the card offered another 50,000 mile sign-up bonus, and it only took him a few weeks to get his companion pass.

These miles and free companion pass are HUGE for us as a large family. Flying for free reduces the price of our vacations by at least $1000. Today, we signed up one of our kids as his companion. Our son will fly for free in 2015 (no $, no miles) on at least two trips we have planned.

The higher sign-up bonuses are no longer available for these Southwest credit cards, but based on history, Chase will most likely offer them a few different times next year.

Let the vacation planning begin!

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