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Spend $100 and earn 5,000 points with any Southwest credit card

CNN logo CNN 6/9/2021 By Jennifer Yellin
a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky © iStock

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If you have a Southwest Airlines credit card, you're in luck. Southwest is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, and to commemorate the occasion, for one day only on Friday, June 11, all Southwest credit card holders can earn 50 points for every dollar spent on up to $100 in Southwest purchases, meaning you can potentially earn a total of 5,000 Southwest frequent flyer points in one day.

Southwest points are worth about 1.4 cents each when redeemed for the carrier's cheapest Wanna Get Away fares, so 5,000 points are worth roughly $70 toward future travel on Southwest.

This promotion is valid on all five Southwest personal and business credit cards, and includes any purchases made directly with Southwest, such as flights, inflight purchases, Southwest Vacations packages and the purchase of Southwest Rapid Rewards points and Southwest gift cards.

That last one is key, because it means even if you aren't looking to book a flight right now, you can purchase a $100 Southwest gift card at southwest.com on Friday to use for a future flight and still earn the bonus points now. Purchasing Southwest points would also work, but you'd be purchasing points at a higher value then they're worth, so we don't typically suggest you do this.

Of course, if you're in the market to book a Southwest flight anyway, Friday will be the perfect time to do it. And if you'd prefer to redeem Southwest points for a flight, the taxes and fees you'll pay along with the points would also qualify to earn 50 points per dollar spent. While taxes and fees on domestic flights are typically only $5.60 each way, international routes can cost significantly more.

And while you can only earn 50 points per dollar on up to $100 in Southwest purchases per card, you can take advantage of this offer on all of the Southwest credit cards you have in your wallet. So if, for instance, you have both a personal and a business Southwest credit card, you could net a total of 10,000 points by making $100 in Southwest purchases on each this Friday.

These bonus points qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass

While this is a fantastic promotion all by itself, it's also extremely helpful for those looking to earn the Southwest Companion Pass this year. That's because any bonus points earned as part of this promotion also count toward qualifying for the pass (though they don't count for A-List or A-List Preferred elite status qualification).

The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to bring a friend or family member with you on any Southwest flight for just the cost of taxes and fees. You can use the pass an unlimited number of times for at least a year and potentially longer. Typically, you're required to earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year to get a pass, but for this year, you only need 100,000 points to get the pass if you had a Southwest frequent flyer account open on or before December 31, 2020.

Related: How to use the Southwest Companion Pass to fly with a friend or family member for free through 2022.

So if you manage to get 5,000 points this Friday for making a $100 Southwest purchase, you'll already be 5% of the way toward earning the Companion Pass (or 10% if you earn 5,000 points on each of two separate Southwest credit cards).

What if you don't have a Southwest credit card? Well, you probably can't get one in time to take advantage of this Friday's promotion. But if you're interested in earning a Southwest Companion Pass this year, all five Southwest credit cards are currently offering limited-time sign-up bonuses that count toward earning the pass:

Once you earn the Southwest Companion Pass, it's valid through December 31 of the following year. So if you earn the pass now, you'll be able to take advantage of it for another 18 months until the end of 2022, which could make it worthwhile to get a Southwest credit card in the next few weeks.

But if you're already a Southwest credit card holder, you've got a great opportunity to earn 5,000 bonus points by spending just $100 this Friday. So whether it's booking a Southwest flight that you were going to book anyway or purchasing a Southwest gift card for future use, mark Friday on your calendar and make your upcoming Southwest Airlines purchase count that much more.

Learn more about all the Southwest personal and business credit cards.

Get all the latest personal finance deals, news and advice at CNN Underscored Money.

a person sitting in a car: Not only can you earn up to 5,000 points with your Southwest credit card on Friday, the points count toward the airline's coveted Companion Pass. © iStock Not only can you earn up to 5,000 points with your Southwest credit card on Friday, the points count toward the airline's coveted Companion Pass.
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