Blue Ribbon Prize

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I’ve been playing the miles game for about a year now.

I’ve completed four separate card churns and have extracted terrific rewards. In the process I have saved thousands of dollars in travel, which I then dutifully invested in my retirement.

I was planning my upcoming card churn today and trying to figure out which product I would go for next , when I realized that I, Miles Dividend M.D., have thus far neglected to apply for the single best travel reward for a Dividender.

Which is an irony, no?

How did this amazing award slip my mind?

To answer this question I must first point out what this award does not give you.

1. It does not give you access to outsized value on international flights (with few exceptions*.)

2. It does not give you access to premium first-class products.

3. It does not allow you to sip pre-take off Dom Perignon or taste beluga caviar.

4. It is not an “aspirational” acquisition.

david lynch design Dom perignon

Dom Perignon (not one of the benefits…)

But of course a true Dividender shouldn’t care about any of that luxury (aside from the lack of access to international travel, which is why I have yet to get this benefit.)

What a Dividender should care about is what it does give you:

1. Up to $1700 (actually $3400) in free domestic flights.

2. The ability to fly two people on 8 round-trip domestic flights.

3. The ability to pay half price on all two person bookings for somewhere between one and two years after you’ve used all of your free bookings.

What is this magic award of which I speak?

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

And here’s how it works:

1. Several times per year (including now) Southwest offers a 50,000 mile bonus offers for both of their two business and personal credit cards.

2. When you collect 110,000 Southwest Miles within one calendar year, you are eligible for a companion pass which is good until the end of the next year (i.e. a companion pass earned now will be good until the end of 2015.)

3. The companion pass allows you to take your companion along with you on any flight you that you book with miles or dollars, for only $10 in taxes and fees.

4.  Once you reach 110,000 miles you simply get the pass.  You needn’t expend any of your miles to get it.

So after you’ve been approved for the business and personal credit cards, and completed the $3000 spending on each (required for the bonus,) you only have to spend 4000 more dollars on the credit card to get the pass.  That’s $3400 worth of free domestic tickets, before even taking advantage of the 2 for 1 purchased ticket benefit after you run out of your miles.

This is undoubtedly The best benefit for domestic economy travel that there is.  And particularly great for families.

A couple of bonus points.

*1. As a result of the recent Southwest merger with AirTran, Southwest is now flying to the Bahamas, Aruba, and Jamaica.

2. Before you sign up you should take advantage of this offer to get free miles for joining their frequent-flier program.  (Courtesy of Lucky at One Mile at a Time.)

3. If you’re looking for links to the Southwest credit card applications, look no further than here, courtesy of million mile secrets.

Enjoy, but (not to be a nag,)  don’t forget to invest your savings.

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2 Responses to “Blue Ribbon Prize”

  1. David S. February 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    I have always thought that the Southwest offers do nothing for me as I am 200 miles from their nearest airport destinations. Am I being short-sighted?

  2. Miles Dividend M.D. February 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    David. You raise a good point. I’m showing my west coast bias here.

    Southwest does not participate in an alliance, so if they don’t serve an airport that you can fly out of, the companion pass loses significant value.

    Thanks,

    Alexi

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