Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My First Step- Southwest Airlines

The first step is to decide what your goal is. My original goal was to take my kids to as many US cities as possible. Since my goal was based in the United States, I chose to go for a US based airline. I decided the easiest one to conquer was Southwest Airlines. If your goal is to travel Asia, Southwest Airlines shouldn't be the first card you try out.

The first thing I did was call in to apply for the Southwest Personal Premier Credit Card by Chase. Yes there is a annual fee of $99, but they give you 6,000 Rapid Rewards points on the anniversary of opening your card so that to me was worth the cost. After being approved for the personal premier card, I applied for the business card. I do not have an actual business, more of a hobby. So I used my social security number in place of my tax ID number. I explained what I would be using the card for (home office supplies, utilities, product) I was approved for the Business Premier card.

Each card had a sign up bonus of 50,000 miles after meeting a minimum spend amount in 3 months. As soon as I spent $2,000 on each card, I would be credited the 50,000 points x2. I had to make sure to hit the minimum send in 90 days. On the personal card, I started paying all of my utilities, my insurance, my gas & groceries. Anything that I would be paying for anyway went on the card so that I could earn miles. For the remaining missing amounts on both cards, I sent my husband money through Amazon Payments. You are allowed to send $1,000 a month free with no fees.

I hit the minimum spend on both cards. My account was credited within 2 weeks with 104,000 miles. 50,000 for each of the 2 cards, then I earned 2,000 points on each card for hitting the minimum spend (1 mile per $1 spent.)
If you get to 110,000 miles in a calendar year you earn a companion pass with Southwest Airlines. What that means is that a companion may fly free with you unlimited times for the rest of the year you earn it in PLUS the next additional 12 months.
For the missing 6,000 points, I transferred points out of my American Express Green Card account. Since there is no direct transfer from American Express to Southwest, I transferred the points to Best Western Rewards program, then from Best Western transferred them to Southwest. In doing so I earned a bonus on my miles and reached 110,000 miles and earned my companion pass.
I originally applied for the cards in the beginning of January and by March I had enough points for at least 5 round trip flights and a companion pass!

Southwest has recently started flying to international destinations which makes this deal so much more amazing!

The current offer is only 25,000 points, but by following the below steps you can get the same 50,000 miles as I did. And bonus for me being such a cool friend telling you how to do this, I get 5,000 miles too.

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments and I will try to find a solution for you too!

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