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WHAT IS SOUTHWEST COMPANION PASS
The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most valuable tools in travel hacking.
It is essentially, a 2 for 1 on Southwest flights.
Once you earn the Southwest Companion pass, you will designate a “companion”. That companion can fly with you for the cost of taxes ($5.60 each way for domestic flights).
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve paid for your ticket with points or cash, you’ll still be able to include your companion, for taxes only.
How do you get a Southwest Companion Pass?
There are 2 ways to earn this pass. Fly 100 qualifying one way flights. OR earn 135,000 tier qualifying points within one single year. The easier route to getting the Companion Pass (in my opinion) is earning 135,000 qualifying points.
How to get 135K qualifying points quickly
Accumulating 135,000 points probably seems pretty daunting. But it’s actually easier than it seems. With just TWO new card sign up bonuses, you can get the 135K points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass.
Option 1 utilizes 1 personal & 1 business credit card sign up…
- ANY personal Southwest card- currently 75K points sign up bonus after spending $3K in 3 months
- Combined with ANY business Southwest card – current sign up bonuses are 60K for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and 80K for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Option 2 utilizes 2 business credit card sign ups…
- Sign up for BOTH Southwest business cards (linked below)
Personal Southwest Cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – 75K points sign up bonus after spending $3K in 3 months
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card – 75K points sign up bonus after spending $3K in 3 months
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card – 75K points sign up bonus after spending $3K in 3 months
* For me, I choose the Rewards Plus card, which has the lowest annual fee. It also comes with 2 early bird check ins, which I prefer over the upgraded boarding (which comes with the Priority card)
Business Southwest Cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card – 80K points sign up bonus after spending $5K in 3 months
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – 60K points sign up bonus after spending $3K in 3 months
* For me, I would choose the Premier card with the lower annual fee. The Performance comes with a TSA/Global Entry credit which is nice, but I have a different credit card I get that from already.
With EITHER of these options, the sign up bonuses from just TWO cards will put you over the 135K point threshold you need to meet.
* Not sure if you qualify for a business credit card? You probably do!
Want Southwest BOGO flights for nearly TWO years?
The absolute BEST strategy is to apply for your 1st card in LATE OCTOBER/EARLY NOVEMBER. DO NOT under any circumstance meet the minimum spend until JANUARY! Points must be accumulated in one calendar year. So if you accidentaly earn the bonus in December, this strategy is bust. Then, in January, sign up for the 2nd card. Earning the ENTIRE 135K points needed in January/February will mean your Companion pass is good for almost 2 FULL years, the year you earned it PLUS the next year.
Additional ways to earn Southwest points
- By flying Southwest
- By using Southwest’s shopping portal
- By booking hotels on Southwest’s travel portal
- Spending on your Southwest credit card (business or personal)
- You can only have 1 personal Southwest credit card at a time – if you already have one, I recommend cancelling that card then waiting a minimum of 2 weeks to apply for a new personal Southwest card.
- You can NOT earn a new sign up bonus more than every 24 months from when you earned your last bonus. So, you’ll want to make a note of the date you earn the sign up bonus.
- It is essential to keep your cards for a minimum of 1 year.
- I personally like to keep my cards for 18 – 22 months and then cancel them. This leaves some space in between applying for my next set of cards.
- You CAN have 2 Southwest business cards at a time
Questions about the Companion Pass? Travel hacking? Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.