Yes, it is the holy grail of travel rewards. Yes, it means that you get free flights for your companion. Yes, this is a half off on flights you’d take already. Yes, you’ll get this for about two years. Yes, just by earning it, you’ll probably have enough points to fly for free for two whole years. But it is not worth the cost.
The Southwest Companion pass is not worth it for us.
But wait… can’t you earn it by just applying to a few Chase cards and booking one flight? That sounds pretty inexpensive.
So why can’t you afford it???
To get the companion pass you need a combined total of 110,000 points. Sign-up bonus points count towards this number.
It used to be possible to chain together personal cards to reach this bonus amount. However Chase / Southwest introduced a restriction:
If you have a personal card, you can no longer get a second personal card to chain the bonuses.
Okay, well, you can still do the business card to get the points!
Yes, that is exactly where I went as well. Most other Fi Bloggers and Podcasts have explained that as long as you have a business you are good to go here. That business here is not defined clearly and your side-hustle most likely counts.
With this in mind, I filled out the application. I was ready to press submit but slowed down to read the fine print:
And that hit me like a sack o’ bricks… or at least made my stomach flip. The wording here is pretty black and white:
I certify, understand and agree that: 1) This is a business account which shall be used only for business purposes and not personal, family or household purposes;
This legalese leaves no wiggle room.
meagerfindings.com is my business. I have a business. But I have virtually no monetary expenses in running this business at this point. $12 a year for the domain name and $5 a month to run a Linode Server. That is waaaaayyyyy below the minimum spend for the business card.
I cannot see a way in which we would meet the minimum spend for this card. Unless I spend $3,000. on advertising
meagerfindings.com… Otherwise, I’ll break the spirit and the letter of the agreement here.
Call me a goody two shoes or legalistic. Do what you want, however my Lord has made it pretty clear that lying is not an option:
“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. - Leviticus 19:11
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” - Proverbs 12:22
There are many, many more verses that echo these sentiments.
I mentioned that my stomach flipped a little. I had that sinking feeling of when a dream crumbles. The companion pass and other cards could save us thousands of dollars over the coming years. The fact that this gave me a physical reaction in my stomach is quite telling. My heart is intent on providing for my family and being a good steward. But it looks like I may be putting my hope in FI a bit to much.
I am thankful that I saw this, had the gut punch, and closed the tab immediately. In my mind it was a done deal. After searching for other cards to apply for, I returned to reread and make sure I didn’t misunderstand. Yeah, it was the same as I left it. The page spells out using the card for personal expenses would be lying.
For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. - Romans 14:23b
If I were to apply for this card at present, it wouldn’t be faith. No, it would be me a) lying and b) putting my faith in the ability of travel rewards to improve our future.
Yes, there may be room in the future for the companion pass for us. If so then we’ll celebrate the growth of this business and the addition of the companion pass! But as things stand right now, the cost of the companion pass would be our integrity. This cost would be another thing our savior would be paying the price for.