If you live in a city where there are quite a few southwest flight options, then the Southwest Companion pass is a must-have benefit. It’s never late to get a companion pass, especially early in the year. Companion Pass allows you to bring along a designated friend or family member for free (fare) on any Southwest flight you take, just pay the tax+fees. Southwest Companion pass can be earned easier than you might initially think, without even flying actually.
To earn a Southwest companion pass, you need to complete one of the two things:
- Fly on 100 one-way Southwest flights in a calendar year.
- Earn 125,000 qualifying Southwest Rapid Rewards Points in a calendar year
The Companion Pass requirement is now 125,000 (increased from 110K) Southwest Rapid Rewards starting Jan 1st, 2020.
Despite the increase it’s still possible to get the companion pass easily.
In this post, you will learn how you can earn this benefit for 2 years without earning by flying, by using just Credit Card points.
This is the most critical step to maximize your companion pass.
Benefits of flying Southwest with Companion pass.
- Take a friend or family member for free, just pay taxes+fees for your companion. You can’t beat this!
- The companion ticket is still free even when a flight is redeemed via rapid rewards. This makes points transferred from Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Preferred more effective and extremely valuable.
- Once you reach Companion status, you’ll earn Companion Pass for the following full calendar year (current year), and the next year as well. So it makes sense to get status as early in the calendar year as possible.
- Maintain A-list status, offering priority boarding, priority check-in etc., Learn more here
- Other benefits include 2 free checked bags per passenger, as usual.
- No Change Fee for changing flights.
- No cancellation fee and get travel credit on any canceled ticket which can be used for future travel within a year.
- Get a refund for any price drop as travel credit for any future travel.
Southwest Credit Cards qualifying for Companion Pass
The best part of earning the companion pass status is that you can gain status by earning 125,000 points or 100 qualifying one-way flights (the hard one). The points earned by following 5 cards, the welcome bonuses count towards earning the companion pass. Yeah!
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card Earn 70,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Special Bonus – Earn Additional 30,000 points if you spend $25,000 in 6 months, includes the initial $5,000 spend. This card has an Annual Fee of $199.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card: Earn 60,000 points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $99 Annual Fee. (Recommended card to get first, as business cards don’t hurt your 5/24)
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card: Earn 40,000 bonus points, after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. (Recommended, low annual fee $69)
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card:Earn 40,000 bonus points, after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card:Earn 40,000 bonus points, after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
How to Maximize the Companion Pass for 2020 and Entire 2021.
Once you get the Southwest Companion Pass, it is valid for the remainder of the calendar year earned and the entire following year. You need to time when to complete the minimum spend so that your bonus is deposited in early 2020.
If you earn Companion Pass in January 2020, it would be good for the remainder of 2020 and throughout 2021. So it’s important to get the bonus on all the cards in the same month, preferably in Jan.
How to earn 125,000 points easily to get Companion Pass
- The easy way to earn 125,000 points is by choosing one consumer credit and one Business credit card.
Tip: Getting a business card first, will help you keep below 5/24 status
If you can spend $25,000 within 6 months, you can easily get the companion pass with just Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, with the current promotion, you get 125,000 points after the minimum spend. You don’t need to follow the two-card strategy that’s explained below to get the Southwest Companion Pass.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card earning 70,000 points with $199 Annual fee and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card earning 40,000 with $69 annual fee will get you 116,000 points.
There are several other easy ways to earn more additional points.
- Refer friends and earn 10,000 bonus points for each referral. It’s the easiest one.
- Shop online using the Rapid Rewards shopping portal for bonus points like 1000 to 10,000 points per night hotel stay.
- When you make car rental booking through their shopping portal, you earn additional points.
Read how to get a Business Credit card.
Rules for Southwest Cards
Please note, you cannot have two consumer Southwest credit cards and also you cannot apply if you already got a bonus in the last 24 months. The business card doesn’t have this restriction. So the combination of Business and Consumer works.
Both of these cards fall under Chase 5/24 rule, so I would recommend getting the Business card first so that it doesn’t count when you apply for the consumer credit card.