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This is post #2 of my blog series on the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.
- What is a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass?
- How to Earn a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
- Getting Two Southwest Credit Cards to Count Towards the Companion Pass
- Earning Partner Points to Count Towards the Companion Pass
- Transferring Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Southwest for Companion Pass Status
- Getting the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for 2014 and 2015 Calendar Year
- Using the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass on Southwest and AirTran flights
- Changing your Companion with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
- Top 20 Questions for the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
I’ve posted on the Southwest Companion Pass before and it has been an extremely popular topic in the points and miles community, so I wanted to re-post for those that are now interested or new to the miles and points world. If you are looking to earn the companion pass for 2013 and 2014, I suggest applying when Southwest is running the 50,000 point promotion after meeting the minimum spend requirements. Their offer changes now and then between the 25,000 point and 50,000 point offer so make sure to check the offer page to see.
To earn the companion pass you must have 100 qualifying one-way flights or 110,000 Qualifying Points in one calendar year. You can earn Qualifying Points with credit card spend, Rapid Reward partners (i.e, Marriott, Avis, Hyatt), and flying Southwest. The easiest option is to earn these points by applying for a Southwest credit card. With the credit card you’ll get bonus points after meeting the minimum spend requirements that will count towards the 110,000 qualifying points needed to earn the companion pass. If you apply for both the personal and business card you’ll earn double the amount of points getting you that much closer to that companion pass. Once you meet the minimum spend requirements, the points will hit your Southwest account just a few days after your statement closes.
Getting additional points is easy with partner activity and credit card spend. You can also transfer points from hotels to get these additional points (Chase Ultimate Reward transfers will not count). While there is always the chance that credit card bonus points will eventually not count towards the companion pass, as of today it works and I am 99% confident it will continue to work – just want to make you aware of that 1% uncertainty. The terms and conditions do not include whether these points do or do not count, but MANY others have reported they count recently, and no one has reported otherwise.
I personally took advantage of this credit card offer in November 2011 and did not hit my minimum spend until 2012. Because of that I had the companion pass all throughout 2012 and continue to have it through the rest of the year. I’ve actually earned the companion pass prior to this in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Due to this, Mr. Deals has been able to fly with me for FREE on many flights. I’ve also had my mom and sister fly with me as well. I’ve been able to use the companion pass on the following flights: New York – Detroit, Hartford – New Orleans, New York – New Orleans, New York – Ft. Lauderdale (3x), New York – Los Angeles, New York – San Francisco, New York – Salt Lake City. If you value each round-trip at around $300, this companion pass has saved me $2,800! Of course, other airlines might have been slightly cheaper for the paying passenger, but not much.
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 going FREE (plus the ~$5 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 during the validity of the pass. Since you need to allocate your companion when getting the pass, this allows you 4 people to use the pass (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 April 3013, you will have it for the rest of 2013, plus 2014. If you were to put it off and hopefully earn the pass in January 2014, you will have it for the rest of 2014, plus 2015.
Feel free to comment with any other questions!
Disclosure: These post contains affiliate links. While my goal for you is to travel on a deal, this is one I highly support as I’ve had the companion pass for many years!