Plan your Southwest Companion Pass and Loyalty Status Upgrades for the Year
Wait...what? You might be wondering what this means. Loyalty status upgrades? Levels? Yes. You've heard of the Southwest Companion Pass right? OK, please read on.
There are several companies, usually with loyalty programs of some sort, that reward you for reaching certain purchase milestones every year. In the past I've talked about Best Buy Elite status levels. It takes $1,500 in purchases in a calendar year to reach Elite status, $3,500 to reach Elite Plus. Why would you care? Because you may use the benefits a lot, and you have to figure out how you will earn them again. Elite Plus extends your return policy to 45 days among other benefits. The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to get a free companion ticket for every ticket you purchase. It is earned by earning 110,000 miles in their reward program. Nordstrom(yes, I'm talking about Nordstrom) has a pretty big end of year party, with free food and booze, which you can get invited to if you spend $2,500 in a calendar year while being signed up for their reward program.
One of the main focuses of Cash Boner is to save money. Your time is also of incredible value, and benefits like Best Buy Elite Plus and especially the Southwest Companion Pass have incredible value and time savings for you. I'm sure there are a lot more than just these, I don't shop everywhere and neither does my wife. Here are some tips on how to plan this and have greater success in attaining them this year:
Decide what benefits to focus on. This will make you more actively search for ways to save money with these stores/programs. There may be ways to get extra points through other means.
Credit cards. This applies mostly to airline status upgrades, like the Southwest Companion Pass. Now is the time, if it's financially responsible, to sign up for a credit card if it supports a status you want to reach. The Southwest Credit Card for instance, will give you a 50,000 mile bonus for signing up, getting you that much closer to 110,000 miles.
Stack em. See if you can earn from more than one at a time. For instance, Southwest has a shopping portal called Rapid Rewards. If I go through it to shop from Best Buy, I will accumulate points from both! If you have a credit card that gives points for one of these programs, that would be points from three sources! You can also use gift cards to pay through these and still get points. Speaking of...
Gift cards. What if there is something you want, but it's cheaper somewhere else? Gift cards! Buy a Walmart gift card at Best Buy for instance, so you can add to your Best Buy total. This works because most stores will not count purchased made using a gift card towards any rewards program. The store that gets your actual money is the one that rewards you. Shopping portals don't usually pay for gift card purchases.
Plan a little. Do you have any big purchases planned? Always keep them in mind, keep a look out for sales, and pounce to your shopping portal of choice, and buy from the right place. I know I will get a USB microphone at some point for our YouTube channel, so I'm lurking, searching, waiting...
Groupon. Yes, Groupon, I love Groupon. Not only because they have some sweet deals when they have promo codes, they are part of almost every shopping portal, paying at least 4%. You never know what you'll find, and that will get you ever close to that Companion Pass etc.
I am looking forward to reaching at least Elite Status with Best Buy this year. I planned this last year too. 2017 had the Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch though, so that was $800 right there. I'm not sure I will get Elite Plus this year, but I will enjoy returning things after having them for 44 days in 2018. Do you have any other tips or ideas? Please let us know! Now get out there and earn your free stuff and status levels!