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Over the past month I wrote about a great way to earn the Southwest Companion Pass by signing up for two different Southwest credit cards. During that time, all three Southwest co-branded cards were offering 60,000 points. Since you only need 110,000 points to earn the pass, getting two bonus offers for a total of 120,000 points automatically earns you the pass! Unfortunately, those offers are no longer available, but you can still get the pass and it is still pretty easy!
While the two personal cards are now offering 40,000 points, the business version of the card is still offering a 60,000 point bonus! So if you missed the opportunity to apply for the cards last week, you can still apply for one of the personal cards and the business card, meet the minimum spend requirements on each card and earn 100,000 points. That will only leave you with having to earn an additional 10,000 points to earn to get the pass. While this is not as easy as automatically getting the pass, it is still extremely do-able.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card: Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first 3 months; $69 annual fee. This card will earn you 3,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. You can learn more about Airline credit cards here.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card: Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first 3 months; $99 annual fee. This card will earn you 6,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. You can learn more about Airline credit cards here.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months; $99 annual fee. This card will earn you 6,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. You can learn more about this credit card here.
So if you apply for both cards, that will give you 100,000 points, worth approximately $1,400 towards free flights on Southwest! You can then use your Companion Pass to bring another person with you in addition to using points for your flight! And if you meet the minimum spend correctly (more on that below), you’ll have the companion pass through December 31, 2019! Just two things to keep in mind: 1) These cards are subject to Chase’s “5/24” rule which means if you’ve applied and have been approved for 5 or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months, Chase will decline your application; and 2) Chase typically will only approve you for 2 Chase cards within a 30 day time period.
When to Meeting the Minimum Spend on the Card?
The bonus points from signing up for the card posts a few days after your statement close date. You need to earn the 110,000 points within the calendar year, so ideally you want these 100,000 points to post until 2018. That means you will want to wait until January 1, 2018 to meet your minimum spend. You’ll also want to earn those additional 10,000 points as early in 2018 as possible. This will allow you to have the pass for close to 2 years! Points earned in 2017 will not carry over to 2018.
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you are probably already aware that the Southwest Companion pass is my favorite benefit in the entire travel world! With this pass, a companion can fly with you an UNLIMITED number of times for the calendar year it is earned plus the following calendar year. While there are many ways to earn the pass, the easiest way is by signing up for their credit card (if you are okay with that).
Southwest Companion Pass FAQs
Flying limitations: With the companion pass there are no black out dates or seat restrictions – if there is a seat available for purchase, it is available for your companion. The companion pass can even be used if points were redeemed for a free flight. This can result in both passengers flying for FREE (plus the taxes/passenger)!
Number of times the companion pass can be used: Unlimited! There is no cap on the number of times the pass can be used.
Who can be a companion: Anyone can be your companion – friends, family, a complete stranger. However, the companion pass can only be switched up to three times per year. Since you need to allocate your companion when getting the pass, this allows you 4 people to use the pass per year (those people can be repeated and put back on as the companion as well but counts as one of your allowed changes). To change your companion pass, call Southwest Customer Service (1-800-IFLYSWA) and they will easily assist you on the spot.
Companion pass expiration: The companion pass is valid the remainder of the year it was earned plus the following calendar year. For example, if you earn the pass January 2018, you will have it for the rest of 2018, plus all of 2019.
Related Blog Posts:
As mentioned above, I’ve written about the Southwest credit card sign up bonus plus strategies around applying to earn the Companion Pass. Here are all the recent blog posts which will detail out everything you’d ever want to know, just keep in mind that many of these posts were written when all three cards were offering the 60,000 point bonus, so adjust the numbers accordingly.
- Everything You Need to Know About the Southwest Companion Pass
- Earning the Southwest Companion Pass for 2018 and 2019
- Other Ways to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
- Strategic Timing for the Southwest Credit Cards
- When Do Points from the Southwest Credit Card Post?
- All Three Southwest Credit Cards Offering 60,000 Points
I personally have had the Southwest Companion Pass for 10+ years and it has saved me a TON of money. Feel free to comment below or email me with any questions!