By now, I probably sound like a broken record, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Southwest Companion Pass. I know I just wrote about this the other day (check out blog post here), but the ease of getting this is coming to an end TODAY! The reason for this is that the Southwest Airlines credit card offer that will get you a quick and easy 50,000 points ends TODAY – November 11, 2011. This offer has been seen a few times these year, so I have a gut feeling it will be back again, but… you never know!
I have received MANY questions regarding the credit card and linking it to the companion pass, so I will do my best to answer your questions here based on my experience and knowledge. Essentially, If you are interested in opening up another credit card (or two), you will end up with 50,000 points per card (worth $833) and on your way to a free companion pass (which is an unlimited access pass)!
Relevant Blog Posts:
How does the Southwest Credit Card get me a companion pass?
- To earn a companion pass with Southwest, one needs to earn 110,000 Qualifying Points. With this offer, you will receive 50,000 points towards the 110,000 points needed. Now, if you get both the personal and business credit card, you should receive 100,000 points – meaning only 10,000 more points is needed! I highlight should as I have an old Southwest credit card, so have not taken advantage of this offer. I do not have personal experience with the 100% certainty that it works, however, many have reported being able to do this. I cannot guarantee that you will get the bonus points for both offers. I did re-apply for the two cards last week, so I am hoping getting the companion pass works! The terms and conditions do not state if the points do or do not count, so I am going off reported experience from others. No one has reported otherwise.
If I am able to get Qualifying Points from the credit card offer, how do I earn the remaining number of points needed?
- You can earn Qualifying Points with credit card spend, Rapid Reward partners (i.e, Marriott, Avis, Hyatt), and flying Southwest. You will earn 1 point per ever $1 spent on the card. With paid Southwest flights, you will earn 6 x fare price for “Wanna Get Away Fares”, 10 x fare price for “Anytime Fares”, and 12 x fare price for “Business Select Fares”
How long is the companion pass good for?
- The companion pass expires December 31 the year after it is earned. For example, if you were to earn the companion pass today, it would expire December 31, 2012. If you were to earn the companion pass January 1, 2012, the companion pass would expire December 31, 2013.
Is there a secret for waiting and earning the companion pass January 2012 to extend the expiration?
- Yes! If you open the credit cards today, you have to make just one purchase on your card to earn the 50,000 points. Wait until January 1, 2012 to activate the card and then start spending! After activating, I would not wait too long to make your purchase. Try to get that companion pass as early as possible!
How many times can the companion pass be used?
- Unlimited! No, I am not joking! You can take a companion with you every day of the year if you so desire! The only cost the companion will incur is the 9/11 security fee, which is either $5 or $10 each-way based on the number of stop-overs.
How many companions can use my companion pass?
- Once you earn your companion pass, you will designate your companion. If you are not sure who will be flying with you on your first flight, hold off on designating this person. After the initial person is identified in the system, you can change your companion 3 more times during the validity of the pass. The person who received the 110,00 Qualifying Points always needs to be the passenger flying with the companion. This is important when deciding who should sign up for the credit card offers.
Once I earn this status, how quickly can my companion fly with me?
- Once you earn your companion pass, a companion reservation can be booked immediately! To designate your companion, you can do this online or by calling Southwest at 1-800-435-9792. You will need to include your companion’s name, date of birth, and telephone number. With each companion, you will receive a companion pass card with their name on it in the mail. I have never had to show my companion pass, and have flown with my companion prior to this card arriving in the mail.
Are there any tips/tricks to booking a companion pass prior to earning it? I want to ensure the availability.
- As long as there is a seat available, it is yours. However, I have read places that there needs to be 2 seats available to book a companion ticket. You could always book a refundable ticket, cancel it, and that opens up a seat for your companion. There is still no guarantee, but it’s a potential option.
What is the difference between the Southwest Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Plus Credit Card
- Both credit cards have a 50,000 point offer, however, I cannot guarantee that you will get the bonus points for both cards (although you might). The main difference is the annual bonus and the annual fee. The Plus card has an annual fee of $69 and an annual bonus of 3,000 points (worth $50). The Premier card has an annual fee of $100 and an annual bonus of 6,000 points (worth $100). Neither fee is waived the first year. If you plan on having the card long term (5+ years) then the Premier card is a better value. If this is a churn/short term card for you, then the Plus card will be less expensive over the few years. Also, the Premier card allows you to earn 1,500 tier qualifying points for every $10K in purchases with a max of 15,000 TQ points annually – this is great for those that will spend a lot on the card and care about obtaining status.
You can check out my Promotions page to see the latest offer for the Southwest Airlines credit card. Sometimes the offer is 25,000 points or 50,000 points.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.