UPDATE: This offer has expired.
For those who follow this blog, you already know that I am a huge Southwest Airlines fan! I love their flexible change and cancellation policies, their free checked bags allotment, and most importantly their Southwest Companion Pass benefit. For the past 11 years, I’ve been a proud holder of this lucrative pass and it has saved my family over $10,000 throughout the years—a fabulous savings if you ask me for quite honestly minimal amount of work. While I have earned the pass through many ways over the years, by far the easiest method is via the Southwest credit card. Typically, it requires you to apply for two cards to earn the pass the easy way, but right now, just one sign up offer will get you the pass for all of 2019, plus 30,000 bonus points! This offer is ending on February 11, 2019 so you have just one more week to jump on this opportunity.
With this offer, once you meet the $4,000 minimum spend requirement the pass will post to your account a few days after your statement closes and it will be yours for all of 2019! The goal is to earn the pass is soon as possible so you can start using it pronto. The Southwest Companion Pass ultimately allows another passenger to fly with you an unlimited number of times throughout the year for free. Yes, you heard that right—use the pass as many times as you’d like and only pay minimal taxes/fees (domestic flights cost just $5.60 per one way flight). Or, go all in and attempt to earn the pass for 2 years! I promise you, there is absolutely no catch to this offer. It is as good as it sounds—no black out dates, no price limits, really, no restrictions! You can even use it to fly to all domestic and international destinations, and once Hawaii is on the route map, you can use it there too.
Comparing the Southwest Credit Cards
Although you’ll earn the same number of points on every single purchase, the main difference is the annual fee, the bonus points you receive upon account renewal, and any travel credits that you’ll receive with the card.
If you are looking at just year 1 of being a cardmember, you’ll see that the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card will give the best value during the year. This is taking into the bonus points that you receive from the welcome offer (valued at about $450) and then subtracting the annual fee. You are $5 ahead of the value you’d receive with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.
If you look past year 1, you’ll see that the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card is actually the best value card. While this card has the highest annual fee, the $75 travel credit and 7,500 annual bonus points more than make up for the annual fee. Actually, this is the only card where you can actually come out ahead. With both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card you’ll be at a slight loss on a yearly basis. Remember, the $75 credit can be used on a Southwest flight, so I think of this as straight up cash.
FAQ’s About the Companion Pass
- Are there blackout dates with the companion pass? 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 $5.60 taxes/passenger for domestic flights)!
- How many times can 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).
- How quickly does my designated companion go into affect? Immediately. To change your companion pass, call Southwest Customer Relations and they will easily assist you on the spot. You can then book a flight for your companion right away.
- What if I need to change my reservation, will the companion still be able to fly without the primary person? No. If you need to cancel or change your flight, your companions flight will also be cancelled. I’ve actually screwed myself over before as I needed to change my flight last minute and my companion had to buy a new ticket (at a much higher price since it was only a few days in advance of the flight).
- Can I use the companion pass on international flights? Absolutely!! You can currently use your companion pass on any route Southwest flies. Of course with international flights you are going to pay a little more in taxes/fees ($50-$100), but it is so worth it!
- Can the companion pass be used even on an awards ticket with points? Yes! The companion pass can be used on ANY ticket type, the primary person’s ticket does not have to be a paid ticket.
- If I go standby at the airport can I apply the companion pass? Unfortunately no.
This is by far my favorite credit card offer of the year. I 100% would be applying, but since I already have the companion pass for this year, the offer unfortunately doesn’t help me out. I personally put about a $1,500 value on this offer, but of course, the more you fly with Southwest and use the pass, the more money you’ll save for this year! It really is my favorite benefit in the entire travel world—a bold statement, but it is true. You can learn more about the pass and the offer by reading through these prior posts:
- WOW: Earn the Southwest Companion Pass with Just 1 Credit Card!
- Fly 2-for-1 for All of 2019 with the Southwest Companion Pass
- An Amazing Southwest Credit Card Offer that I am NOT Getting
- Real Life Savings with the Southwest Companion Pass
- Best Southwest Credit Card to Fly 2-for-1 All Year!
- Earn the Southwest Companion Pass for 2 Years the Old Fashion Way
- The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the Southwest Companion Pass
- When Will Your Southwest Companion Pass Post to Your Account