Update: Maybe you can’t get a 2nd Southwest business card after all


Caution: Reader V L reports that even though it is possible to get approved for a second Southwest business card you may not receive a second bonus.  Data points around the Internet are mixed, but Chase has definitely denied the bonus on a second co-branded card before (see a comment about the United business card on this post and this comment on the Marriott cards). On the other hand, there has been at least one report of success with this approach on the Southwest cards in particular in the past (hat tip to Doctor of Credit for a couple of those data points).  Until we have more successful data points, I’d recommend holding off on this approach.

See our updated retraction on this: Does Chase ever deny the bonus after approval? Apparently, yes.

This past year, Chase instituted a new restriction on the Southwest Airlines personal credit cards: you can no longer get a new cardmember bonus on any of the Southwest personal cards if you have received a new cardmember bonus on any of the three personal cards within the past 24 months. However, that same restriction neither applies to nor includes the Southwest business credit card. And thanks to Zac from Travel Freely, we now know that you can get approved for a second Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business card with a second business or that you can get two Southwest Rapid Rewards business cards if you are an “owner, officer, or partner of the company” of two businesses.  For example, maybe you own one business, and you are a partner or officer in your spouse’s business.  In that case, you can apply with your own SSN under both businesses. With that card currently offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards points, that means it is possible to earn a Southwest Companion pass with two Southwest business cards.

Southwest Companion Pass without flying

Companion Pass Basics

Southwest offers what I firmly believe is the best deal in domestic travel, the Southwest Companion Pass. If you earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year, you get a Companion Pass. That means that a companion can fly with you for free (paying only the taxes, which are $5.60 each way on domestic flights or they vary on international) every time you fly Southwest — whether you pay cash, use your points, use someone else’s points, etc. For more on this valuable benefit, see our Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Complete Guide.

Why the time is right to earn the pass

The key thing about the Companion Pass is that once you have earned 110K points in a single calendar year, the pass is valid for the rest of the year in which you earned it and up until December 31st of the following year. This means that if you earn 110K points in January, you get a Companion Pass that is valid for nearly 2 years. If you were to earn 110,000 points in January 2019, your pass would be valid until December 31, 2020.

Keep in mind that you have to earn all the points in the same year. If you have 50,000 points today and you earn 60,000 points in January, you do not get a Companion Pass. You must have earned all 110K in the same calendar year. You do not need to have 110K in your account — you can spend your points as you please — you just need to have earned 110K in the calendar year.

This means that if you open a credit card now and meet the spending requirement in early January, you will earn the welcome bonus points in 2019 and they will count towards Companion Pass qualification in 2019. Ideally, one can earn the pass by simply opening two Southwest credit cards and meeting the spend. In the past, it was possible to do this with two personal cards. Today, you will not be able to get a second Southwest personal card bonus — and the spending requirement to earn the full bonus has increased considerably for the personal cards. However, the business card continues to offer 60,000 points after spending just $3,000 in the first three months. After meeting the minimum spend on a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier business card, you’ll be half way to a Companion Pass.

Find out more about the Southwest business card on our Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business dedicated page.

And you can do that twice

The key news today that comes from Zac of Travel Freely via is that you can get approved for a second Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Business credit card if you have a second business or you can get a second Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Business credit card if you are the owner, officer, or partner of a second business. Here is the key information from the Travel Freely email:

Multiple Cards with the Same Business

If you own a business, you can get multiple Chase business cards using the same EIN but a different social security number (SSN). So, if you already have one or all of the Chase Ink business cards and you are in control of your business, you could have your business partner or spouse apply for the same card. They would use the same EIN and business info, but put in their SSN number. As long as they are under 5/24, you should be good to go.

I have several friends who own their own small business. In the past month, they have doubled up on the Chase Ink Preferred by having their spouse sign up for one, too. 160,000 bonus points is better than 80,000! Note, it does require a lot of spending. So be careful.

Multiple Southwest Business Cards with Different Businesses

This could be the tip of the year. For those who are stymied from the fast track due to a bonus on a SW personal card in the last 24 months, here’s the magical workaround. If you have two businesses, you can get two Southwest business cards! There’s 120,000 miles right there. Again, you need to be under 5/24, but remember that Chase business cards don’t count against your 5/24 count, which is great.

If you already have the companion pass or don’t want it, consider this multiple business trick for multiple Chase Ink Cards. One of my friends has 6 LLCs because he develops houses in different neighborhoods. So, he is utilizing both tricks. In the last few months, he got 6 Ink Preferred cards with his SSN. Now, his wife is getting 6 of them in her name. Well done, Rob. 12 Ink Preferred cards!

The main reason I love these ideas are that they are pretty simple. No nickel and dining for extra points. Just a little bit of strategy and big time payoffs. Remember, there’s certainly a lot of spending required to hit the bonuses. So, be careful before you unleash on these ideas.

While we have long known that it is possible to open an additional Chase business card for a separate business and earn the bonus, we did not have a data point on the Southwest business cards. However, Zac reports that he was able to get approved under a second business. Further, he reports that you can get a second card if you own or are an officer pr partner of a second business. That’s awesome as it means it is possible to earn 60,000 bonus points on each of two Southwest business cards for a total of 120,000 points after spending $6K in the first 3 months ($3K on each card separately) — more than enough for a Companion Pass. Completing the spending requirement for both in January should net a quick Companion Pass that will be valid for nearly two years. Assuming Southwest ever gets flights to Hawaii off the ground, that could really turn out to be awesome.

Update: To clarify the point on getting a bonus under a second business, here’s are two examples:

Example 1

  • Bob owns Bob’s Business Supplies
  • Bob owns Bob’s Rental properties
  • Bob can apply for a Southwest business card under the EIN for Bob’s Business Supplies (and get 60K after spending requirement)
  • Bob can apply for a second Southwest business card under the EIN for Bob’s Rental properties (and get 60K after spending requirement)
  • Bob can earn a total of 120K bonus points, good for a Companion Pass

Example 2

  • Bob owns Bob’s Business Supplies
  • Sally owns Sally’s Stretch Limo Services
  • Bob is a joint owner, officer, or partner in Sally’s Stretch Limo Services
  • Sally is a joint owner, officer, or partner in Bob’s Business Supplies
  • Bob can apply for a business card as the owner of Bob’s Business Supplies (and get 60K after spending requirement)
  • Sally can apply for a business card as a joint owner, officer, or partner of Bob’s Business Supplies (and get 60K after spending requirement)
  • Sally can apply for a business card as the owner of Sally’s Stretch Limo Services (and get 60K after spending requirement)
  • Bob can apply for a business card as a joint owner, officer, or partner of Sally’s Stretch Limo Services (and get 60K after spending requirement)
  • Bob and Sally can each get 120K points good for a Companion Pass (or other similar opportunities)

Caution #1: This card is subject to 5/24

While Chase business cards do not add to your 5/24 count, they are subject to 5/24, so those over 5/24 will not be approved.

Chase 5/24 semantics ("Subject to" vs. "Count towards"): Most Chase cards are subject to the 5/24 rule. That means the rule is enforced in making approval decisions. In other words, you probably won't get approved if your credit report shows that you opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. Meanwhile, most business cards (such as those from Chase, Amex, Barclaycard, BOA, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo) are not reported on your personal credit report. These cards do not count towards 5/24.

Example: Chase Ink Business Preferred is subject to 5/24, so you likely won't get approved if over 5/24. If you do get approved, it won't count towards 5/24 since it won't appear as an account on your credit report.

Caution #2: Don’t meet the spend early

Be very careful about any Southwest card you’re opening now for the bonus in January. While it might be tempting to complete almost all of the spend now and then finish it in January, you need to beware of a couple of potential problems with that.

First, if your card is fraudulently used and it brings you over the spend threshold, you might earn the welcome bonus this month instead of next month. You of course shouldn’t be liable for any fraudulent charges, but if they bring you over the spending requirement they will trigger the bonus regardless.

Second, you never know when a merchant might mess up. I recently read a story about someone who had a charge at a merchant that didn’t go through. They ran the card a second time — only it turned out that both charges went through. The business refunded the overcharge immediately, but that didn’t matter — from Chase’s computer’s end, the spending requirement was met and the points were awarded too soon. You don’t want a cashier who somehow types in an extra zero to mess up your companion pass for two years.

All that said, if your December statement has already cut or you’re opening a new card today, the bonus you earn shouldn’t post until January. You should be safe to complete spending after your December statement (or if you have just opened the card and your first statement isn’t scheduled until January), though I personally wouldn’t do that. If Chase decides that they want to be generous and post your bonus right away for some reason, you would have an uphill battle arguing about why you shouldn’t earn it until January. A little patience won’t hurt.

Caution #3: Beware of Chase shutdowns

Greg wrote a post earlier this year about Why Chase Shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them. We have received more reports this year than in years past about people who have had all of their Chase accounts shut down. A common thread reported by those who had accounts shut down was that most also reported recently opening a new Chase card — or two. If you are intending to open two cards in close temporal proximity, I would suggest thinking about your charging patterns on other Chase cards and perhaps spacing the two applications by at least a few weeks (if not a month) if possible — though that is pure speculation (and perhaps it doesn’t matter at all if you are applying under a separate business or separate co-owner). I’m not positive whether it will make a difference and obviously can’t predict the risk of Chase shutdown. It’s worth consideration.

Bottom line

We’ve written previously about our new relationship with Travel Freely (See: Take the stress out of credit card bonus hunting: Travel Freely). Here, they have come out with a fantastic tip that should help at least some readers get a Companion Pass pretty easily. You’ll still need to be under 5/24 to qualify, and some folks will rightly say that there are more valuable new cardmember bonuses on the market for those under 5/24 — namely the Ink business cards. However, if you know you’ll get good value out of the Southwest Companion Pass, this may certainly be worth it — that likely depends on your travel patterns.

If you have not yet signed up for Travel Freely and would like to do so, here is our referral link. As you can read about in the “Take the stress out” post above, we think it’s a service that will benefit many readers. Today’s tip alone is one I’m glad to have received thanks to their efforts.

H/T: Travel Freely

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