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Southwest Airlines

Rewards Points Travel

Free Flights with Southwest Airlines

July 21, 2016

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is the best credit card reward we have earned so far.  We booked $4,110.67 in free flights during the first 10 weeks of having the pass.  Yep, for real.  As of last Thursday, we are booked for 10 round trip flights on Southwest Airlines.  You can do the exact same thing we did.  Below you’ll find 3 simple steps to get a ton of free flights with Southwest Airlines.

If you missed our previous post on the Southwest Companion Pass, I’ll give you some quick deets right now.  To earn the pass you need to earn 110k Southwest Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year.  Once you do, you’ll receive the Companion Pass.  The pass lasts the rest of the year in which you earn it AND the entire next year.  Now the fun begins.  You can start booking your free flights with the 110k points you earned.  When you do, you can add your companion to each one of your booked tickets for free.  It’s pretty awesome.

Here’s how you can earn the 110k points to get your Companion Pass.  While there are a few different ways you can stack these points with Southwest’s partner programs, I feel like the following route is the easiest.

  1. Sign up for the Southwest Plus card, spend $2,000 before 90 days and earn the 50k bonus points. 50k offer for the Southwest Plus Card
  2. Sign up for the Southwest Premier card, again spend $2,000 before 90 days and earn another 50k bonus points. (suggestion: wait 30 days in between sign ups)Southwes Airlined 50k Premier Card
  3. With the points earned from spending $4k and the 100k bonus points, you’ll have 104k Rapid Rewards Points.  Your final 6k points can come from some strategic spending through the Southwest Shopping portal.  The portal will link you directly back to the online store you were going to shop at anyways, but you’ll earn 3 to 10 times the points per dollar spent when you link to it through Southwest’s portal.

The lovely people at Southwest Airlines are smart and realized that people are trying to time their sign ups to earn the Companion Pass in January.  That being said, they don’t usually offer the above mentioned cards at a 50k bonus point level around that time.  These cards are available now however and if you’re interested in getting a companion pass, make it easier on yourself and sign up while they’re easy to get.  Lacey and I didn’t need anywhere near 2 years to fully utilize this reward.  We only needed 10 weeks. …and honestly that was just time spent deciding where to go.  The actual booking of the flights took an hour.  Southwest now flies to the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and everywhere in the United States.  Deciding on where to go is maybe the toughest part of earning the Companion Pass.

With flights taken care of for the next year or so, there is suddenly way less pressure to keep signing up for multiple credit cards for free flights.  All you’ll need to focus on now are free hotels. 🙂

Let us know if you have any questions.  We can’t wait to tell you about our upcoming trips that were made possible with the Companion Pass!

Free Flights with Southwest Airlines

Pack your bags! You’re about to get a ton of free travel!

 

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Lifestyle

Get Free Stuff for Paying Your Bills

April 21, 2016

I’ll admit it.  At this point, I feel super entitled to free stuff.  I’ve put in a lot of time learning how to capitalize on credit card rewards points and now I can’t wrap my head around why I would ever pay for something, ANYTHING, and not get something in return for free.  Lacey and I pay with credit cards for literally every bill and expense we have.  Yes, this will now include mortgage payments. I’m going to tell you exactly how we do it because you should be getting free stuff for paying your bills too!

Before jumping right in and signing up for random credit cards to start paying your bills with; think about what your end goals are.  What do you want to get in return?  Look back on a previous post or two of ours that should help you decide on what card to sign up for to get a certain reward in return.

Once you select and receive the credit card that is going to get you the awesome reward you’re going for, you’ll want to create an online account with the bank that sponsors your new credit card.  For example, if you signed up for the Chase Sapphire card, you’ll create an online account at chase.com .  While logged in to your account, find where you can set up auto-pay.  It’s usually under a tab titled something like “manage payments”.  I would highly recommend you set auto-pay to pay off your entire balance each month.  This is an important step to make sure you don’t miss a payment and completely jack up your credit score (35% of your credit score is your payment history).

Now, take your new card and link it to every reoccurring monthly bill you have. Login to all of your online bill pay accounts for things like cable, internet, electricity, gas, water/sewer/trash, Netflix, iTunes, and anything else you can think of.  If you’ve never setup AutoPay for things like these don’t worry, it’s really easy.  Similar to how you setup your online account with the bank that provided your credit card, you’ll create an online account and set up auto-pay for each service you subscribe to.  Set your credit card as the payment source for every monthly bill you have. By doing this along with putting all of your day to day expenses on your card (groceries, gas, meals,etc), you’ll be shocked at how easily you’ll hit your spending requirements.

At this point, you may have figured out that your mortgage company and the bank you make your car payments to won’t allow you to pay with a credit card.  This totally sucks because these are likely your 2 biggest monthly bills and now you’re missing out on tons of reward points!  While most banks won’t accept credit card payments, they will accept checks.  There is an awesome service called Plastiq that will let you set up your credit card as a payment source while they will, in turn, send a check to whoever you need to pay. Boom goes the dynamite cuz you’re back in business!  While the Plastiq service does charge a 1-2.5% fee per transaction, if you sign up through our referral link you’ll get $200 of fee free payments.  Pretty cool of them to do that.

Is it worth the % fee that Plastiq charges for making your payments? Well, that’s up to you.  To put it in to perspective, let’s say your monthly mortgage payment is $2,000.  You’ll get charged about $40 to make the payment through Plastiq.  Let’s say in this example that you’re using the Southwest Premier card to make your payment.  For the $40 you spent to put $2000 on this card, you’ll reach the spending requirement and will get an estimated $650 worth of free flights within a matter of weeks after receiving the card.  You’ll be headed to Cabo, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Aruba, or any of the other awesome new locations Southwest now flies to.  So if you’re in a rush to hit the spending requirements on a credit card to get the bonus, it may be worth a few bucks to do it through Plastiq.

I hope this gets you started on a path that earns you awesome free stuff for every dollar you spend.  The next time you get an unexpected $1,000 bill…turn that around and get a free vacation out of it!  Good luck!  Let us know if you have any questions.

Free Stuff for Paying Bills

Turn your next unexpected bill into an unexpected vacation!

 

 

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Rewards Points Travel

Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. The Golden Ticket!

March 27, 2016

I know Lacey and I are relatively new travelers, but I still can’t believe that we just recently found out about what I am now calling the Golden Ticket for couple’s travel.  A ticket so magical that not only will you have 110k miles to use yourself for free travel, but you will also be able to book a free flight for your travel companion at no extra cost EACH TIME you book a flight for yourself…drum roll…for up to 2 YEARS!!!  Yeah, you need to check this out.

The Golden Ticket is actually the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.  Earning this reward is a bit tricky but it IS doable and it will be worth every bit of effort you put into it.  You will be eligible for this perk after completing 100 Southwest flights in a single year (which no one will do), OR by earning 110k Southwest Airlines miles in a single calendar year (which I’ll tell ya how to do).  Once you qualify for the companion pass, you will be able to book a free flight for your wife, husband, buddy, or whoever you deem as your “companion” for the rest of the year in which you earn the pass AND the entire next year.  Pretty huge right?

Southwest's Golden Ticket for Couples Travel

So here’s how you can earn the pass…

Assuming you won’t take 100 Southwest flights in a year to earn the pass, you’ll need to sign up for at least 2 of Southwest Airline’s credit cards at a 50k points offer for each card.  By going this route, you’ll be on your way to 104k points in no time (50k for each card + the points earned from the spending requirements).

As you can see here, Southwest’s public offer is only 25k points for both of the personal cards right now.  Don’t worry, there are still ways you can get 50k points for each of these cards.

For the Southwest Premier (personal) card, send us your email address and I’ll personally send you a referral that will allow you to sign up for the 50k card.  Send your email address to contact@ditchingnormal.com and we’ll send it your way! Sometimes it takes a couple of days, but nonetheless, you’ll get it!

For the Southwest Plus card 50k offer, UPDATED: we now have a referral link to this card! Here is our referral link to the 50k Southwest Plus card.  it’ll be a little trickier.  Since we don’t have the offer to email you for this one, you’ll have to find someone that does.  However, people are stoked to give out referrals to this as they will receive some bonus miles when you sign up.  Here is a site where people seem to be constantly posting referrals for this card.  Just scroll down to the comments on that site and make sure to look for people that have the 50k offer for the “Plus” card.  …this is actually how we received the 50k offer for this card.

So there ya go, you’re like 98% of the way there.  But wait, what about the other 6k points you need? While you can sign up for the Marriott card or Hyatt’s card, receive their bonus points and transfer them into your Southwest account, I don’t think this is the best way to go about it. What Lacey and I did was utilize Southwest’s online shopping portal.  You can quickly earn tons of extra points just by linking through their portal and shopping for stuff you were going to buy anyways.  We got an extra 5,500 points in 2 weeks by linking through the shopping portal to do our taxes and then to purchase a couple of other things for our bedroom at a 6 points per $1 spent offer.

Wrapping up, this is by far the best rewards offer that I am aware of at this point.  Depending on how much you utilize the Companion Pass once earned, it could be worth thousands of dollars in free flights.  Just think, all of your flights will be taken care of for up to 2 years!  You can switch your reward travel focus to only hotel points for a bit.

Some initial questions you might have…

Do I get to keep and use the 110k points I earned once I receive the Companion Pass? – YES!

Can I book my companion’s free flight even when I am booking my own flight with my points? – YES!

Can I use my companion pass with more than 1 companion? – YES! You can change your companion’s name up to 3 times.

Can I sign up for both credit cards at the same time? – from what I’ve researched, more often than not, it won’t work.  I would recommend waiting at least 30 days in between applications.  Keep in mind that Chase bank will no longer approve you if you have received 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months.

Southwest's Golden Ticket for Couples Travel

Southwest flies to some international spots now!

 

Best of luck everyone! Hit us up with any questions and if you’d like to receive the 50k Southwest Premier card referral!

We’re going to use our companion pass to get back to Cabo this fall!

Mat and Lacey Ocean DitchingNormal

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