How To Earn Multiple Free Flights on Southwest Right Now

Disclosures: This article includes links to credit cards. If you choose to apply for a credit card through our links, we may or may not receive a referral bonus. Credit cards are not suitable for everyone, however. If you have credit card debt of any kind, are irresponsible with your past or current use of credit cards, are unaware of the risks of using credit cards, or are conscientiously opposed to the use of credit cards, please do not apply for the credit cards mentioned in this article. You are 100% responsible for your own choices regarding the use of any credit cards mentioned here.

We love to fly, and we love to get the most value possible out of our flights. Sometimes this means getting the cheapest flight possible, but not at the expense of comfort and taking our belongings with us (which is why we avoid Spirit, Frontier, and other airlines that have really cheap tickets).

Southwest Plane on the TarmacOne of the ways we do this is by using credit cards offered by airlines. When it comes to travel rewards and benefits, few airline credit cards compare to the Southwest consumer credit cards.

With three distinct options tailored to different travel needs, Southwest offers some of the best credit cards for anyone looking to maximize their travel experiences. For a limited time, these cards are even better because of the incredible sign-up bonuses that are available.

Right now, each of the three Southwest consumer credit cards has an offer for 85,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 on the card within three months of being approved. This offer is good until June 26, 2024.

With 85,000 points, you can typically book between 2-4 roundtrip award flights within the US. The taxes and fees on award flights are $5.60 per one-way flight ($11.20 for a roundtrip). This does not make award flights 100% free, but that is pretty close!

So why would you want a Southwest credit card?  Let’s take a look at the three consumer cards and why we think these cards are excellent choices for travelers seeking value, flexibility, and exclusive perks.

1. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Annual Fee: $69

Key Benefits:

  • Sign-Up Bonus (until June 26, 2024): Earn 85,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 2X Points: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1X Points: Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 3,000 Anniversary Points: Receive 3,000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary (worth approximately $42).
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Travel abroad without worrying about extra fees.

Why It’s Great for Travel: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card offers a solid sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards that make earning points easy and straightforward. With no foreign transaction fees, this card is ideal for international travelers. The anniversary points add extra value, helping offset some of the annual fee. Good option if you book one or two roundtrip tickets on Southwest every year.

2. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Annual Fee: $99

Key Benefits:

  • Sign-Up Bonus (until June 26, 2024): Earn 85,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 Anniversary Points: Receive 6,000 points each year on your cardmember anniversary (worth approximately $84).
  • 2X Points: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1X Points: Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: Enjoy fee-free spending abroad.
  • Tier Qualifying Points: Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) for every $10,000 spent on the card, up to 15,000 TQPs annually.

Why It’s Great for Travel: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card provides more anniversary points than the Plus version, helping offset most of the annual fee. The ability to earn tier qualifying points makes this card an excellent choice for frequent flyers looking to achieve A-List status with Southwest. This is another good option if you book one or two roundtrip tickets on Southwest every year.

3. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Annual Fee: $149

Key Benefits:

  • Sign-Up Bonus (until June 26, 2024): Earn 85,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 7,500 Anniversary Points: Receive 7,500 points each year on your cardmember anniversary (worth approximately $105).
  • 2X Points: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases.
  • 1X Points: Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $75 Southwest Travel Credit: Get an annual $75 credit for Southwest travel purchases.
  • Four Upgraded Boardings: Enjoy four upgraded boardings per year, when available.
  • 20% Back on In-Flight Purchases: Get 20% back on in-flight drinks, Wi-Fi, messaging, and movies.

Why It’s Great for Travel: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card offers the most comprehensive set of benefits among the three cards. The anniversary points, travel credit, and upgraded boarding passes provide significant value for frequent travelers and more than offset the annual fee. This is a great option if you fly with Southwest at least twice a year. Both of us have this card because we fly Southwest so often.

Why Southwest Credit Cards Stand Out for Travel

1. Companion Pass Eligibility: All three Southwest credit cards offer points that count toward earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, which allows you to choose one person to fly with you for free (excluding taxes and fees) every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight.

If you can get one of Southwest’s business cards and get the signup bonus this year in addition to the 85,000-point offer on one of these consumer cards, you will automatically qualify for the Companion Pass. You can read more about the Companion Pass in this article: The One Travel Deal That Has Saved Us Thousands of Dollars

2. Generous Rewards and Sign-Up Bonuses: As already mentioned, the sign-up bonuses alone can cover multiple flights, providing immediate value.

3. Flexible Redemption Options: Southwest points can be redeemed for flights with no blackout dates, giving you the flexibility to travel when it suits you best. Furthermore, Southwest points never expire, so you don’t have to worry about losing them.

4. No Foreign Transaction Fees: All three cards allow for fee-free spending abroad, making them ideal for international travelers.

5. Annual Benefits: The anniversary points, travel credits, and upgraded boardings provide ongoing value that can easily offset the annual fees.

If you have ever had a Southwest card before, one thing you should remember is that you cannot hold more than one Southwest consumer credit card at a time in your Chase account, and you cannot get a signup bonus on a card if you received a signup bonus on that same card within the last 24 months (even if you have closed the account since then).


The Southwest consumer credit cards offer a range of benefits that cater to different travel needs and preferences. Whether you choose the Plus, Premier, or Priority card, you can enjoy valuable rewards, exclusive perks, and flexibility that enhance your travel experience.

Right now with the 85,000-point signup bonus, this makes the card a no-brainer for people like us who love to fly. I wish we could take advantage of this offer, but we cannot since we both already have the Priority card. But if you are interested in flying with Southwest and normally spend about $1,000 a month already on a debit card or another credit card, this might be the perfect offer for you!

Google Flights: The Best Way to Start Your Airfare Search

Google Flights MapUntil you get into the points and miles game as we have been for several years, booking airfare can be one of the most significant expenses when planning a trip. Once in a while we still have to book flights with cash, and we have several tools and strategies for finding great deals and making the best use of our money.

Along with the Southwest website, Google Flights is always my first stop when searching for flights, and it should be yours too. Whenever people ask me to look for flights for them, we start here.

Harnessing their internet search expertise, Google Flights is a powerful search engine that helps users find and compare airfare prices from various airlines.

So we want to show you how to use this platform effectively to score the best deals on airfare and why you should use it as you plan your next trip.

Using Google Flights

To begin your airfare search, go to the Google Flights website. You can also download the Google Flights app on your mobile device, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you fly often. The website is simple and works great on your phone.

Once you are there, you can enter your departure city, destination, travel dates, and other preferences to customize your search.

Google Flights DatesFlexible Date and Destination Options
One of the key features of Google Flights is its flexibility in searching for airfare deals. You can view prices for specific dates or use the flexible dates option to see prices for a range of dates, allowing you to find the cheapest travel options. Additionally, you can explore “Explore Destinations” to discover flight prices to various destinations based on your budget and interests.

One of my favourite features is its live pricing as you select your dates. When you open the calendar view, it gives you a general idea of the lowest price you can expect to pay on any given day of departure. Then, as you select your return date, it gives you the lowest price you can expect to pay for your entire trip, depending on the date you choose. So handy!

Price Tracking and Alerts
Google Flights offers price tracking and alerts to help you monitor airfare changes and receive notifications when prices drop or increase for your desired flights. After you select the airports, the dates, and the airline that you want to fly, simply enable price tracking for that specific flights or route, and Google Flights will notify you via email or push notification when prices change significantly.

Filter and Sort Options
To narrow down your search results, Google Flights provides various filter and sort options. You can filter by airline, number of stops, departure/arrival times, and more to find flights that meet your preferences and requirements. Sorting options allow you to prioritize results based on price, duration, departure time, or other factors.

Explore Map View
The map view feature in Google Flights allows users to visualize flight prices on a map, making it easier to compare prices for different destinations and airports. This feature is especially useful for travelers with flexible travel plans who are open to exploring new destinations based on price.

We don’t use this feature very often, but I have found it helpful a few times when we are going to a place that is somewhat central to two or more larger airports. This is especially true for destinations east of the Mississippi where large airports are not as spread out as they are out west. Also useful for international destinations in Europe.

Book Directly or through Partners
Once you’ve found a flight that meets your criteria and budget, you can choose to book directly through the airline’s website or through a third-party booking platform. Google Flights provides direct links and shows the prices to book flights with airlines or travel partners, streamlining the booking process and ensuring a seamless experience.

Google Flights Vs. Other Travel Portals

So why would we use Google Flights instead of other travel portals like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, etc.?

The main reason is just that Google Flights is a platform dedicated to flights, whereas the others are designed to help you also find hotels, rental cars, and even experiences. The other ones also help you find travel packages. But Google Flights is strictly flights, so it is free of the distractions of other platforms.

Google Flights is also extremely fast and doesn’t have all the ads that you find on the other web portals.

As mentioned above, when you are ready to book, Google Flights will give you links so that you can book with those other travel portals if you would like, but it’s much easier to find those flights on Google Flights first.

Google Flights also does a better job of providing the most comprehensive selection of flights. Sometimes other travel portals don’t provide all of the options available.

One thing to note is that Southwest does not allow Google Flights to display its flights. So we always still go to to compare their options to the results that we find on Google Flights. You should do the same because Southwest has an extensive flight network, they allow free checked bags, and their prices rival the other airlines (not to mention Southwest’s amazing Companion Pass which allows two people to fly for the price of one).


Google Flights is a valuable tool for travelers seeking to find the best deals on airfare and save money on their next trip. If you are not already using it, we suggest that you make it your new primary airfare search tool

By utilizing its flexible search options, price tracking features, and comprehensive filter and sort options, you can streamline the booking process and ensure you are finding the best prices.

But someday you will want to start booking more flights with points and miles because that is way more fun!

Do you have any airfare search tools that you like better than Google Flights? If so, why?

The #1 Way to Save Money on Food When Traveling

We love food.

We especially love food that has variety and unique flavours.

But more than food, we love to save money. Food, unfortunately, is a great way to waste a lot of money if you aren’t careful.

According to a conglomeration of sources, the average monthly food expenses for a family of four in the US can range from $600-1,000.

Honestly, we don’t know how they do it.

DR Hotel BreakfastWe live in the Minneapolis, MN, area, have one toddler and one infant, and average about $220 or less per month between groceries and restaurants. Sadly, we even have food go bad because we cannot keep up with all the food that we have. We truly are blessed beyond measure.

When we travel, our eating habits don’t change too much as we bring along our own food with us whenever we can to avoid paying for food at restaurants. If we are on longer trips where we stay in hotels or Airbnbs and cannot bring enough of our own food with us, we will buy food locally and prepare our own meals.

Yes, from time to time we might miss out on local cuisine, especially when traveling overseas. But we would argue that we don’t miss out on too much.

Benefits of Skipping the Restaurants

Here are several reasons we would rather eat our own food than go to restaurants:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Dining out at restaurants, especially in touristy areas, can quickly add up and strain your travel budget. By bringing or making your own food, you can significantly reduce your daily expenses and allocate your funds towards other travel experiences. With proper planning and smart shopping, homemade meals can be a fraction of the cost of restaurant dining.
  2. Flexibility and Convenience: When you bring your own food, you have the flexibility to eat whenever and wherever you please. Whether you’re on a road trip, exploring a new city, or spending a day at the beach, having your meals readily available allows you to focus on your itinerary without the need to search for restaurants or wait for table service (especially if you have squirmy little kids). Additionally, homemade meals can be customized to accommodate dietary restrictions or preferences, ensuring a satisfying and stress-free dining experience.
  3. Healthier Options: Dining out is enjoyable for many reasons. But by preparing your own food, you have the opportunity to choose nutritious and wholesome ingredients, control portion sizes, and avoid excess sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats commonly found in restaurant dishes. This not only promotes better health and well-being but also saves you from potential post-meal regrets.
  4. Cultural Immersion: Bringing or making your own food while traveling allows you to visit local markets, grocery stores, and specialty shops, providing insight into the region’s culinary culture and ingredients. Shopping for fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and homemade breads can be a delightful adventure in itself, offering a deeper connection to the destination and its food traditions. We absolutely love exploring local markets, experiencing the smells and sights, and haggling with the locals over their goods. In our opinion, this is a great alternative for those who like to try the food at their destination.

Examples from Our Travels

When traveling to neighboring states, we typically drive, so it’s easy to pack some snacks and a few meals in our bags. Snacks also help us stay awake and occupied while we drive.

When flying domestically, we take advantage of any airport lounges along the way because they usually have plenty of complimentary food options. Our home airport of Minneapolis-St. Paul has several amazing lounges that we love to frequent!

Packing food when flying is a little more difficult, but we do it. The key here is that you have to be willing to fly with checked bags, and you don’t want to pay for those checked bags. We usually fly Southwest in the US because they allow two free checked bags per person, and we also get a lot of value from our Southwest Companion Pass. But we also fly Delta and United once in awhile, and we have credit cards that give us free checked bags on those flights.

Whenever possible, we stay in Airbnbs or hotels that have full kitchens available. If that is not possible, we at least try to get places that have mini-fridges and microwaves.

Flying internationally is the trickiest when it comes to bringing and preparing our own food, especially because of border restrictions when traveling with fresh food. So for overseas travel, we tend to rely more on local markets and grocery stores.

Grocery Store in PortugalIn 2022 when we went to Portugal, the first thing we did after leaving the airport was go to a grocery store. For less than $10 we got yogurt, drinkable yogurt, juice, crackers, cheese, and a jug of water. Paired with the breakfast that we got at our oceanside bungalow, we were set for a few days!

After leaving Portugal and going to Greece, we went to a grocery store for bread, hazelnut spread, sausage, potatoes, and pasta for less than $20, and that provided us with meals for several days.

Last year in the Dominican Republic, we got rice, milk, sausage, eggs, bananas, and avocadoes from the store and an open-air market. For a little less than $29 total, we had healthy, energy-packed meals for a whole week while we traveled around the country. In fact, we actually had too much food!

When staying in hotels, we also like to book the ones that offer complimentary breakfast, and they will usually provide food that is local to the area. We have had some amazing breakfasts at hotels in the Philippines, Malta, Slovenia, Portugal, Greece, Egypt, Italy, and the Dominican Republic. No need to go to a restaurant for lunch or supper when we had a huge meal of international food for breakfast!


Bringing or making your own food while traveling offers a myriad of benefits, from saving money and promoting healthier eating habits to enhancing cultural immersion and outdoor dining experiences.

Someday when we are in a better position financially, we would love to eat out more at restaurants when traveling. But for now, saving our money for other things is a higher priority, and we are content!

You can stretch your travel budget further, savor delicious flavors, and create unforgettable moments on your journey. Before you head out on your next adventure across the state or across the world, consider packing a few homemade snacks or meals to enjoy along the way – your wallet will thank you!

Do you have your own tips for saving money on food when traveling?

The Bank That Gives Us 5.36% APY Right Now

Do you have money that is sitting there doing nothing, losing value while inflation marches along at 2% or higher every year?

If you do, you need to check out the high-yield savings account from Western Alliance Bank.

Lots of CashWe have a fair amount of money that we don’t invest because it is in our emergency fund, but it loses value as it sits there. Recently, several banks in our area have advertised some CDs (certificates of deposit) with no penalty for early withdrawals, and the interest rates of 4+% on those have been quite appealing.

But I have done a CD before, and I wanted to avoid the work involved in setting one up.

This month I was introduced to Western Alliance Bank, and I couldn’t believe the current interest rate on their high-yield savings account. 5.36% APY!

Not only that, but the amount of money to get started with them is only $500, and after that there are no account minimums and no monthly fees.

So, in my opinion, it was a no-brainer, and within 15 minutes I had created an account and funded it, and I am in the process of transferring our emergency fund over to this account.

Western Alliance Bank AccountWestern Alliance’s High-Yield Savings Account

Here are the reasons that I’m really happy with our new bank account:

  1. Competitive Interest Rates: The interest rate on its high-yield savings account is one of the highest in the US, allowing us to earn more on our savings compared to traditional savings accounts. I also have a high-yield savings account with American Express, but that one is only 4.35% APY, so I will be parking my money at Western Alliance for now.
  2. No Monthly Fees: Many high-yield savings accounts (and several traditional savings/checking accounts) charge monthly maintenance fees or require customers to maintain a minimum balance to avoid fees. Western Alliance Bank’s high-yield savings account has no monthly fees. Amazing.
  3. Low Minimum Balance Requirement: Some high-yield savings accounts require a substantial minimum balance to open or maintain the account. Western Alliance Bank’s account right now only requires an opening deposit of $500, and the lowest amount you can keep in the account and still earn interest is $0.01 (not sure how you earn interested on a penny, but that’s what they say).
  4. FDIC Insurance: Like all bank deposit accounts, Western Alliance Bank’s high-yield savings account is FDIC-insured up to the maximum allowable limit, currently $250,000. This insurance provides peace of mind to savers, knowing that deposits are protected against bank failure up to the specified limit. Our emergency fund will never have more than $250,000 in it, haha!
  5. Quick Transfers: One of the main concerns when accessing cash (especially for emergencies) is the amount of time that it takes to withdraw your money. In my experience so far, it only takes about 1-2 business days for the money to get from the account and into your hand. If you decide to couple it with another savings account and a debit card with Western Alliance, I’m guessing you could get it even sooner.

There are a couple more features that I have read about but have not actually used:

  1. Mobile Banking Features: Western Alliance Bank’s high-yield savings account comes with robust mobile banking features, allowing customers to manage their accounts conveniently from anywhere.
  2. Customer Service and Support: Western Alliance Bank is known for providing excellent customer service and support to its customers. Whether you have questions about your account, need assistance with online banking features, or require help with a transaction, knowledgeable and friendly representatives are available to assist you.


Overall, Western Alliance Bank’s high-yield savings account is a great option for savers looking to earn a competitive interest rate on their savings while enjoying the convenience and security of a traditional bank. Furthermore, you can do this without opening a CD!

As a side note, I also earned $60 for signing up for this account through a shopping portal, so that made it even better.

I’m not sure how long the APY will stay this high, but for right now, it was an offer that I could not ignore.

Do you currently have a plan for getting a decent return on your savings? If not, do you plan on taking advantage of this high-yield savings account?

Western Alliance Bank

How We Save a Lot of Money on Parking with SpotHero

The #1 way to save money on parking when traveling is to park where it’s free.

Now that we have established the obvious, I want to tell you about the primary way that we save money on parking when it’s not free.

Parked CarWe can usually park for free on the side of a street when we’re in a small town, but that’s not always the case in the big cities, especially around the big tourist sites. Sometimes special events also cause nearby parking facilities to raise their rates (or transform from free lots into paid lots).

Whenever we have to pay for parking while traveling, the first place we go to look for discounted parking is SpotHero.

SpotHero is a leading parking reservation app that has gained popularity for its convenience, reliability, and cost-saving features. Here’s why we consider it one of the best parking apps:

1. Extensive Coverage:
SpotHero operates in numerous cities across the United States, providing users with access to a vast network of parking facilities. Whether you’re in a bustling metropolis or a smaller urban area, chances are SpotHero has parking options available nearby.

2. Easy-to-Use Interface:
The SpotHero app features a user-friendly interface that makes finding and booking parking a breeze. Users can search for parking by entering their destination address or exploring a map view to see nearby parking options. The app provides detailed information about each parking facility, including pricing, availability, and amenities, allowing users to make informed decisions.

SpotHero Parking3. Advanced Booking Options:
One of SpotHero’s standout features is its ability to allow users to reserve parking in advance. This is particularly useful for busy city areas or events where parking may be in high demand. By booking ahead of time, users can secure their parking spot and avoid the stress of searching for parking upon arrival.

4. Cost Savings:
SpotHero often offers discounted parking rates compared to on-site or street parking prices. Users can take advantage of special deals, promotions, and exclusive offers to save money on parking fees. Additionally, the app allows users to compare prices and choose the most affordable parking option for their needs.

5. Variety of Parking Options:
SpotHero offers a wide range of parking options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re looking for valet parking, covered parking, or long-term parking, SpotHero has you covered. Users can filter their search results based on criteria such as price, location, and amenities to find the perfect parking spot for their needs.

6. Secure and Reliable:
With SpotHero, users can rest assured that their parking reservations are secure and reliable. The app partners with reputable parking facilities and employs strict security measures to safeguard users’ personal and payment information. Additionally, SpotHero provides customer support to assist users with any issues or concerns they may encounter during the parking process.

7. App-less Availability
You don’t need a smartphone to use SpotHero! You can book your parking online, print your parking pass, and scan the QR code on your paper to park. This is useful if you don’t have a smartphone, can’t install the app on your phone, or tend to run out of battery life on your device and want a hard copy backup.

SpotHero App

How We Use SpotHero

We have used SpotHero for several years, and we usually use it on trips when we are in big cities like Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., Boston, etc. Most of the time we are booking a spot for a few hours, but we have also used it for overnight parking. We often know how much money we are saving because the parking garages will have their prices posted at the entrance, but we booked our spot for less than those prices. Parking meters on the street also tend to cost much more and have time limits of 2-4 hours.

Back home here in Minneapolis/St. Paul, we have used SpotHero to find discounted parking for baseball games, other sporting events, and concerts. When we fly during the warmer months, we discovered that we can find nice outdoor parking at hotels near the airport.

Sometimes the parking locations can be difficult to find after you book them, but SpotHero does a decent job of helping you navigate to the right places. They provide not only the street address but also a picture of the entrance to the lot and some good old-fashioned directions on how to find the entrance.

We have also been able to cancel our bookings for a refund and extend our current reservations when needed.


Overall, SpotHero stands out as one of the best parking apps due to its extensive coverage, easy-to-use interface, advanced booking options, cost-saving features, variety of parking options, commitment to security and reliability, and ability to use it without a phone.

Whether you are commuting to work, running errands, or attending an event, SpotHero makes parking hassle-free and affordable. If you travel a lot or spend a lot of time in big cities, we highly recommend this service!

Have you used SpotHero? Do you have another parking service that you like?

The One Travel Deal That Has Saved Us Thousands of Dollars

Disclosures: This article includes links to credit cards. If you choose to apply for a credit card through our links, we may or may not receive a referral bonus. Credit cards are not suitable for everyone, however. If you have credit card debt of any kind, are irresponsible with your past or current use of credit cards, are unaware of the risks of using credit cards, or are conscientiously opposed to the use of credit cards, please do not apply for the credit cards mentioned in this article. You are 100% responsible for your own choices regarding the use of any credit cards mentioned here.

As the price of airfare continues to rise because of increased travel demand, I have more and more people asking me how to book inexpensive flights.

Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer or one perfect solution for everyone. But for people flying in the US, there is one specific deal that has transformed our travel experience and saved us thousands of dollars.

Ever heard of the Southwest Companion Pass? This game-changing perk has revolutionized the way we travel, and right now, there’s an incredible offer available that makes earning the Companion Pass easier than ever before.

Southwest AirplaneBrief Overview of the Southwest Companion Pass

With the Southwest Companion Pass, you essentially get to bring a designated companion with you on all your Southwest flights for just the cost of taxes and fees (normally only $5.60 per one-way trip). It’s like getting a 2-for-1 deal every time you fly, which can lead to significant savings, especially for those who travel often or with a partner.

Here are some of the top reasons why we love the Southwest Companion Pass:

1. Double the Value: With the Companion Pass, you’re essentially doubling the value of your money. When you buy a ticket for yourself, you can add your designated companion for almost free, thus getting two tickets for the price of one. But it also applies to award flights booked with Southwest Rapid Rewards points! Instead of just redeeming points for yourself, you can use them to book flights for both you and your companion, effectively getting twice as much out of your rewards.

2. Flexible Travel: Unlike other airline perks that restrict you to certain flights or blackout dates, the Southwest Companion Pass is incredibly flexible. As long as there’s a seat available on a flight, you can book it for your companion, even if you’ve booked your own ticket using points or a promotional fare.

3. Maximize Savings: For couples or families like us who frequently travel together, the savings can add up quickly. Whether you’re jetting off on a weekend getaway or taking a longer vacation, having a companion fly with you for almost nothing can make travel much more affordable.

Overall, the Southwest Companion Pass is a game-changer for anyone who typically travels with someone else. It’s a valuable perk that can help you stretch your travel budget further and make exploring the world even more enjoyable. If you’re a frequent Southwest flyer, or even if you just fly once or twice a year and live near an airport serviced by Southwest, earning the Companion Pass should definitely be on your radar as a goal worth pursuing.

Limited-Time Offer: Earn Companion Pass through 2/28/25 + 30,000 Points

Southwest Airlines is currently offering an unbeatable promotion across all three of their personal credit cards – the Rapid Rewards Plus, Rapid Rewards Premier, and Rapid Rewards Priority cards.

With this offer, new cardholders can earn the Companion Pass and 30,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Under the terms of this promotion, the Companion Pass would be valid through February 28, 2025.

Understanding the Southwest Credit Cards

Typically, the personal Southwest credit cards offer a signup bonus of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points, but they do not include the Companion Pass as part of the offer. In fact, you normally have to earn 135,000 Rapid Rewards Points within the same calendar year in order to qualify for the Companion Pass, making it a little more difficult to earn.

With the current promotion, however, new cardholders can enjoy the best of both worlds – almost a full year of Companion Pass privileges plus a nice points bonus. Now, you obviously have to complete the minimum spend requirement before you receive those perks, but if you’re looking to travel anytime this summer and into next winter, the timing could be perfect for you.

Here’s a brief overview of the three Southwest personal credit cards:

1. Rapid Rewards Plus: Ideal for occasional Southwest flyers with basic perks ($69 annual fee).
2. Rapid Rewards Premier: Perfect for moderate Southwest travelers seeking additional benefits and rewards ($99 annual fee).
3. Rapid Rewards Priority: Tailored for frequent Southwest flyers who want premium benefits and perks ($149 annual fee).

Our personal favourite is the third option, the Rapid Rewards Priority card, but that’s because we travel frequently enough to justify the annual fee. But each of these options has the same offer right now.

Our Companion Pass Experience

For the past seven years, we have been fortunate enough to enjoy the countless benefits of the Southwest Companion Pass. From weekend getaways to cross-country adventures, the Companion Pass has been our ticket to unlimited travel experiences at a fraction of the cost

Whether booking flights with cash or redeeming Rapid Rewards points, the Companion Pass has consistently provided us with unparalleled savings and flexibility. Because we have also earned so many Southwest points and booked award flights with them, about half of our flights have only cost us $22.40 total for the family ($11.20 in taxes and fees per adult on award tickets), making travel more accessible and affordable than ever before.

With the current offer available across Southwest’s personal credit cards, there has never been a better time to earn the Companion Pass and unlock unlimited adventures.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to save some money on your upcoming flights!

Does this offer appeal to you or someone you know?

Save Money on Your Next Gas Stop with This Free App

When I was a kid, my dream car was a glow-in-the-dark ambulance. A decommissioned one of course, but how cool would it be to drive one of those around?

As I got closer to driving age, and despite my disinterest in actually getting a license and driving, I wanted a Toyota Prius. As fuel prices rose from the sub-$1 prices that I remembered as a child, it just made sense to drive something that would use less gas.

Four years ago, Alyssa and I needed a second vehicle since we both had full-time jobs, and we test-drove some Priuses. After running the numbers, we ultimately decided that we would do better with an older Camry like the one that we already owned.

Twin Cars

Today, our dream car is a Tesla.

Some of you understand, and some of you are curious. Some of you think it’s an awful idea and want to convince me why we should never get one. Chances are, if you fall into either of the last two categories, you probably have never driven one, or you lean too far to the right in your political convictions to appreciate what Elon Musk and his team have built.

But until we have the privilege of realizing our dream someday, we continue to drive our faithful Toyota internal combustion engines.

When we travel, fuel is always one of our most significant expenses. Perhaps it is for you too. So how do we cope with gas prices that seem high to us (but are relatively cheap compared to the rest of the world)?

Introducing the Upside App

The Upside app is a game-changer in the world of savvy travel savings. This isn’t our only way of saving money on fuel, but it’s one of the easiest.

Of course, if you don’t have a smartphone, you can stop reading here because this money-saving method requires a smartphone app.

Using Upside, we routinely save 5-12 cents off each gallon of gas that we purchase. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it sure adds up over time, especially if you drive a larger vehicle or travel a lot for work (or vacations!).

How Upside Works

Cashback on Gas Purchases
The main feature of the Upside app is its ability to help you save money on every gallon of gas you purchase. The process is simple: before heading to the pump, open the app and browse through a list of participating gas stations in your area. Once you have selected the gas station that you want to use, you go there and complete the transaction.

Back in the app, you specify the debit/credit card that you used, and Upside takes care of the rest, matching your transaction with the gas station’s records and crediting your account with the appropriate cashback. It’s like getting a discount every time you fill up your tank!

Smart Refueling Choices
The Upside app doesn’t just provide cashback – it also helps you make informed decisions about where to refuel. The app displays real-time gas prices at nearby stations, allowing you to choose the most cost-effective option and avoid overpaying for fuel.

Upside App Rewards

Real Money and Gift Cards

One of my favourite features of Upside is its cashback options. You can literally transfer the money directly to your bank so that it’s truly a discount on your fuel purchases! You also have the option of buying gift cards with your cashback, but I don’t recommend going that route. Buy the gift cards later if you decide that you want them!

Passive Income
If you refer your family and friends to Upside, you will receive 1 cent per gallon of gas that they purchase while using the app. Again, not much, but most of you have a lot of friends, and it all adds up! You also get an additional 15 cents off per gallon on one fill-up for each friend that you refer.

Beyond the Pump: Cashback on Everyday Purchases

We don’t do this often, but you can also earn cashback at retail stores and restaurants with Upside. We used to get 20% back at our nearby grocery store before they stopped participating in the program.

I do not encourage people to go and spend money just so they can take advantage of discounts and cashback, but if you can get money back for purchases that you already intend to make, why not?

Upside App RetailersRetail Stores
Many retail stores partner with Upside to offer cashback on your purchases. From clothing stores to grocery stores to electronics retailers, you can earn money back on items you were planning to buy anyway. As mentioned above, we really benefited from this when our nearby grocery store was still on Upside.

You can enjoy cashback rewards when dining at participating restaurants, and the locations nearby you may include nationwide chains or even local independent eateries. Open the app, browse the map to find what you like, and enjoy your meal knowing that you are earning money back. I would not recommend spending more money though just because you know you’re getting a discount.

Get Started with Upside Today

It’s easy to use Upside, and you can always change your mind and delete it if you decide that it’s not worth the space that it uses on your phone. If you would like to use our referral code, you will receive an additional 15 cents back per gallon on your first fill-up, and you’ll be gifting us the same favour. But you can sign up without our referral if you would prefer to do that. Our promo code is 4VKBC, and you enter it when you register your account.

  1. Download the Upside app from your app store. It’s available for both iOS and Android devices:
  2. Create your account in the app. You need to provide some basic information like your name, email, etc. You also need to link your preferred payment method to receive cashback. If you would like to use our referral code and claim your extra 15 cents back per gallon the first time you buy gas, enter the code 4VKBC when prompted. You can also skip this step if you wish.
  3. Browse offers in the app to discover gas stations, restaurants, and retail stores offering cashback. Upsidee’s map makes it easy to find the best deals near you.
  4. After you have made a few purchases at participating locations, simply redeem your cashback within the app by transferring the money to your bank or purchasing an online gift card.

When Upside Doesn’t Work

Upside App MapThere are times when Upside doesn’t work or cannot be used. Hopefully this list answers any questions that you might have.

  1. It does not work at all gas stations. Each gas station has to agree to participate in Upside’s program, and some choose not to. We have found gas stations all over the US that participate, and typically the larger chains do (BP, Shell, Circle K, Holiday, Speedway, Casey’s, Kwik Trip, etc.). We have even found small towns that have multiple gas stations that participate. You just have to open the app and check the map to see which ones do and which ones don’t.
  2. Sam’s Club, Costco, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Fleet Farm, and other gas stations attached to larger retail stores do not participate. After all, some of these places already give you better discounts than the standalone gas stations. Unfortunately, you can’t double up on the savings at these places.
  3. Not all restaurants and stores participate, but I have seen some common ones like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Chick-fil-A on Upside. So you don’t know what you can save until you check the app!
  4. If you don’t claim an offer in the app before you make your purchase, you won’t get cashback. Think of it like a coupon book and “clip the coupon” in the app before you make the transaction.
  5. If you have multiple payment methods loaded into the app, be sure to specify the correct form of payment that you used to make the transaction. If you paid with a card ending in 4124 but the app is showing a card ending in 1762, Upside will not identify your transaction with the merchant and will not give you cashback.


The Upside app is a must-have for any road trip enthusiast looking to maximize savings on their trips. But it can also help you save money right in your neighborhood as you make your daily purchases.

From earning cashback on gas purchases to enjoying discounts at restaurants and retail stores, the savings add up over time. Combined with our other money-saving habits while living life and traveling, it really makes a difference!

Someday if we get our Tesla, we won’t use this app quite as often as we do, but that won’t be for a while.

Perhaps that glow-in-the-dark ambulance will also show up along the way.

Have you heard of Upside before, and do you plan to try it if you haven’t?