So the past couple months I have been making purchases in the rapid rewards shopping site when retailers offer big bonuses. For example I bought an airline approved hard case for golf clubs and a ipad mini case for about $240. This was through ebags.com I believe. Since I entered their site from the rapidrewards page I earned 18 miles per $1 on that purchase! I also bought a couple sweatshirts and a couple outlet priced jackets from backcountry.com the same way at 12 miles per $1. These offers are not advertised and you have to check the site frequently but when a retailer is offering a bonus to shop there, its a great way to earn some miles.
I had been obsessively checking my southwest app on my phone to check for my miles posting multiple times a day. My most recent was a sams club membership which gave me 500 miles. This was when i was only 300 miles away! Well, I'm still waiting for that to post but in the meantime my credit card posted on the 27th and I was 100% companion pass achieved! I was nervous because my next trip to vegas is over new years and I know that the tickets will continue to inflate as that time approaches. So I was ready to go book my first ticket with a companion pass!
A great tip that I wish I had known was that to book a companion pass ticket you need to have your ticket booked first. Had I known this I would have booked my ticket 2 weeks ago when the flight I wanted was on sale and would have saved about 7,000 miles. Not the end of the world, but something to consider if you are in that same position. Once you have your flight booked you go back into the rapid rewards section of the site, click on your trip and it will have a small button that says add companion. You do need to first set up your companion and it states that any changes will need to be made over the phone so make sure you are accurate with this on the first go around. So all said and done, I have 2 flights booked over new years, and still have some rapid rewards left in my account for a rainy day! I get to enjoy this benefit until 12/31/2015. As long as no major changes occur to this program next year, the smart play will be to have my wife open a couple cards during the 50,000 mile sign up bonus and do it again!