Applying for the Southwest Airlines Credit Card to Earn the Companion Pass

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I’ve posted on the Southwest Companion Pass many times before, so for those of you who are already up to speed on this amazing perk, you can probably skip this post. However, for those of you who are new to this site or who have skipped posts before discussing the companion pass, I suggest you read more!

To quickly recap, if you are able to earn the Southwest Airlines Companion pass that means a companion is allowed to fly with you for free (plus around $10 for a roundtrip flight). You are able to use this pass an UNLIMITED amount of times!!! The pass is valid for the year you earn it, plus the entire following calendar year. So in theory it is best to earn the pass as early in the calendar year as possible.

To earn the companion pass you must earn 110,000 qualifying points within the calendar year. Qualifying points do not transfer over to the next year. While earning 110,000 points can be quite challenging, the points earned from the Southwest Airlines credit card count towards the pass!! There are three Southwest Airline credit cards and all currently have the same sign up offer. So with the credit card sign up it can be quite easy to earn close to the 110,000 points required! You can learn more about all Airline credit card offers here.

So if you were to earn the pass right now, for example, the pass would be valid for the rest of 2014 and all of 2015. I personally have had the Southwest companion pass for many years now and I’ve been able to take my husband, my family, and my friends on many free flights with me. You are allowed to change your companion 3 times a year, so I still think the pass has flexibility if you’d like to switch your designated companion.

You can learn more about the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass in this prior blog series:

  1. What is a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass?
  2. How to Earn a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
  3. Getting Two Southwest Credit Cards to Count Towards the Companion Pass
  4. Earning Partner Points to Count Towards the Companion Pass
  5. Transferring Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Southwest for Companion Pass Status
  6. Getting the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for 2014 and 2015 Calendar Year
  7. Using the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass on Southwest and AirTran flights
  8. Changing your Companion with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
  9. Top 20 Questions for the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass

A few quick Southwest Airlines 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 in July 2014, you will have it for the rest of 2014, plus 2015. If you were to put it off and earn the pass in January 2015, you will have it for the rest of 2015, plus 2016.


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  1. Hi there,
    I just signed up for the SW premier cc. (For 50k bonus points)I tried calling in tonight for the SW plus card and the person said that I won’t qualify for the bonus points if I had any prior SW cc. She said I could apply for the card but based on the fine print she was reading I wouldn’t get the points. I’m super bummed because I thought I had a plan. Do you have any current information on this? Many of the articles are a couple years old. I’m wondering if they just say that or maybe it’s a new policy. Thanks!

    • @Stacy – While I cannot guarantee you anything, many of the Southwest representatives are not fully informed. Based on my personal experience and the experience to others, as long as it is a different product (premier vs. plus) you still qualify for the bonus points. As far as I know there is no new policy.

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