Southwest Companion Pass Master Thread

Southwest is currently offering 60,000 point sign up bonuses on its three personal credit cards as well as its business credit card.

Get one personal card and the business card for a boatload of points and a Southwest Companion Pass good until the end of 2020.

You can leverage the offers for ~$3,750 in free flights in 2019 and 2020.
You can get both a personal and business card at once, and after meeting their minimum spending requirements, you will have at least 125k Rapid Rewards post to your account (which is more than enough to earn

Everything You Need to Know About Chase’s New Southwest Card: 65k Bonus Ends Wednesday

The tiered 65k Rapid Rewards sig-up bonus on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card is scheduled to end this Wednesday, August 22. What it will drop to I'm not sure, but if you want the ability to earn 80,000 Rapid Rewards for spending $15,000--65k bonus, at least another 15k for non-bonused spend to unlock the bonus--then apply by Tuesday, August 21. 

Chase released a new Southwest co-branded credit card called the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card.

Southwest to Hawaii News: Buy & Fly by Late Fall 2018

Southwest held a meeting in Honolulu yesterday that revealed approximate dates Southwest flights will go on sale and commence service. We also learned that Southwest will keep its awesome two free checked bags/free flight change policies for flights between Hawaii and the mainland.

Executive Vice President; Chief Revenue Officer Andy Watterson told the Beat of Hawaii that the announcement of flights will come by October at the latest, and service would "begin possibly just weeks thereafter".

Friday is Last Day To Transfer Hotel Points for Southwest Companion Pass

You have two more days (including today) to transfer hotel points to Southwest for the purposes of earning a Southwest Companion Pass. Friday, March 31 is the cutoff. After Friday, any points transferred to Southwest will not count as "qualifying" towards the Companion Pass. That includes Marriott Travel Packages.

The Southwest Companion Pass, if you're unaware, is one of the best deals in travel. If you have the Southwest Companion pass, you can designate a companion who flies for just the taxes on every Southwest flight you fly.

Miles With Free (or Almost Free) Change & Cancellation Fees

There are lots of obvious reasons why miles are better than cash, like the ability they give us to book mini palaces on planes that look like this...

Etihad First Class Apartment on an A380

...or the loose routing/stopover/open jaw rules of some programs that allow us to see more places on one trip.

But what about the smaller perks we often overlook? Like free or nearly free change and cancellation fees?

Southwest Rapid Rewards Devaluation Again! This Time No Notice

Southwest has mildly devalued its Rapid Rewards points by about 3%. What's alarming isn't the size of the devaluation, it's that:

Southwest gave no notice, only some sleuthing by FlyerTalkers sussed it out
This is the third devaluation in third years, something which is completely unnecessary for a revenue-based program like Southwest

The Devaluations
Southwest points used to be redeemable for any "Wanna Get Away?" fare at a rate of 60 points per dollar of the fare.

Southwest Announces Massive Devaluation, Effective April 17

Southwest currently has a purely fixed-value rewards program. For every dollar of the base fare, you have to redeem 70 Rapid Rewards to get your ticket (plus you pay a $5.60 per direction government tax on each redemption.)

That's about to get worse, much worse in my opinion.
Current Rapid Rewards Scheme
Let's look at an example. Here are the pries for tickets from Los Angeles to Tampa this March. They vary greatly by day from $207 to $334 to $607.

If you select a day with $211 fares, not all fares that day are $211.

How to Exploit the Southwest-Airtran Merger

Deal originally posted April 22, 2012. Deal ends November 1, 2014. Post updated 10/13/14:

Southwest Airlines and Airtran Airways' three-year merger is almost complete. For over two years, transfers have been allowed between Southwest's Rapid Rewards loyalty program and Airtran's A+ loyalty program.

These transfers present an arbitrage opportunity that caps roundtrip award flights at 19,200 Southwest points (the normal cost of a $274 award.)

This is a cool trick that can save you major Rapid Rewards.

Southwest 40% Bonus on Purchased Points, Worth It?

Until July 31, 2014, you get a 40% bonus when purchasing Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

You can buy points here and the bonus is automatically coded into the purchase.

With the 40% bonus, the all in price is 1.96 cents per point, and you can buy in increments of 1,400 points.

Is buying Southwest Rapid Rewards for 1.96 cents each a good deal?

There are very few circumstances in which I would buy Southwest Rapid Rewards for 1.96 cents each.

Southwest points can be redeemed for any Wanna Get Away?

50,000 Rapid Rewards + $50 Statement Credit

Commenters are not having success with calling in. Writing a Secure Message is still untested. If you want a 50k offer, just wait a few months. They pop up every few months.
I got an email from Southwest over the weekend with the subject "Get 2 Roundtrip Flights along with a $50 statement credit for EarlyBird Check-In" that advertised the best Southwest credit card offer I've ever seen.

The offer is for 50,000 Rapid Rewards (worth over $700 in free Southwest flights) after spending $2,000 in the first three months after opening the account.