Ending Soon: Earning the Southwest Companion Pass for 2018/2019 and 60,000 Point Offer!

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This is a reminder that the 60,000 point sign up offer for the three Southwest Airlines credit cards is coming to an end October 4, 2017. While I have seen the date October 1st floating around, I do believe October 4th is the correct date. But if you want to be 100% safe, you can always apply on Sunday. This is an amazing offer for these cards and we’ve never seen a higher offer. 60,000 points is worth approximately $840 towards free flights on Southwest! The best thing about the sign up offer is that the 60,000 points earned for the sign up bonus also count towards the 110,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass! Apply for two Southwest cards and the pass is yours automatically! So not only will you earn 120,000 points, you’ll also be able to have a companion fly with you for free an unlimited number of times for all of 2018 and 2019! And yes, you are eligible for the sign up bonus for more then one card since they are all different products. 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 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.

Key Links:

  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Card: Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 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 60,000 points after spending $2,000 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.

*If you have any questions on which credit card to apply for, feel free to email me or comment below.

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:

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).

As of today, the 60,000 points DO COUNT towards the 110,000 points required to obtain the pass. Apply for two different Southwest cards (yes, you are allowed to have two Southwest credit cards in your wallet) and that will give you 120,000 points – more then the required amount for the companion pass! That means you’ll automatically receive the pass once the points post.

So lets say you apply for the two cards now. Since you have 3 months to meet the minimum spend, you will want to wait until January 1, 2018 to actually spend that last dollar. Technically, you can meet the minimum spend after your December statement closes, but you have to be 100% certain you are aware when that happens. The 60,000 points per card will not post to your account until a few days after your statement closes. So let’s say you were to apply for the card on October 1, 2017 and you have a statement close date of the 3rd of every month. Any money you spend on your card from December 4th on will count towards your January statement close. The points will then post a few days after your January statement close date, so if it were to close on the 3rd, for example, the points will post to your Southwest account somewhere between January 5-10. You can still put spend on the card before your December statement close date, but do not go over that minimum spend amount. If you want to be 100% certain you do not mess it up, wait until January 1, 2018 to meet the minimum spend. That means, do not apply for the card until October 3rd.

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.

My Experience with the Southwest Companion Pass

I’ve had the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for over 10 years now. It’s been a really long time so I’ve completely lost track on the exact number of years! I’ve used it for flights to Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Costa Rica, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Aruba, Cancun, Washington DC, Denver, Salt Lake City, etc. I love that I can use the pass for my husband or my daughter while redeeming points for my flight. This And Southwest flights can be canceled with no fee!! If you use points, the points go straight back into your account. If you pay for the flight, you receive a voucher for the amount paid to be used within a year of the date purchased.

Let me know if you have any questions!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I am at 4/24 now and will be at 3/24 in March of 2018. Looking to apply for one card now and hope that the other still has a 40k-50k ish sign up bonus next spring. Does the premier typically have a higher bonus or do they usually have the same? I’m trying to determine if it makes more sense to get one or the other today knowing I’ll still need 50k points next year.

    • @H – Typically they all have the same, although not always. We usually see a 40,000-60,000 point offer every few months.

  2. So will the link be live through 10/4 or will it expire at midnight on 10/3? I can’t remember how it has worked in the past. I saw the 10/4 date on an in-flight ad.

      • I signed up for 1 card today and plan to sign up for the 2nd card tomorrow. Do I have until January 2nd to complete the $2,000 spend?

        • @Brian – Many people were actually given 115 days to complete their minimum spend. I suggest sending Chase a secure message to find out your exact expiration date.

  3. I have 60K points in my southwest account right now. I signed up for the card on 10/5. So if I wait until January 1 to spend the last dollar of my 2K on the card, then wouldn’t that mean I wouldn’t get the companion pass because all of my other points reset to zero?

    • @Carla – Yes, that is correct. SO you’ll want the points from the new card sign up to post in 2017. Unfortunately though this means that your Companion Pass will only last until December 31, 2018.

  4. Thanks for this post. I applied for the personal card on 09/30 (thinking offer was up on 10/01) with my 3 month window closing on 12/29/17. I’ve got my business card I just got with the 3 month window closing on (01/04/18). How can I make this work out to get the points in Jan 18? Of course posting the last dollar of the business card before 01/03/18 but what is your tip for the personal card offer ending just before 2017? Would appreciate any tips!

    • @Ryan – Send Chase a secure message through your Chase.com account and ask them when your timeframe expires. Many people were actually given 115 days, so you actually might have until January 2018 to meet the minimum spend. If not, change your statement close date to an earlier date. Then meet the minimum spend after this statement close date in January and before the 3 month window closing. The points will then not post until the next statement close date which will be in January and the points will not post until then.

      • I am almost in the the same exact predicament as Ryan (3 month closing window is 12/30). I thought I was safe as my statement ends on the 15th (I could hit the spend after 12/15, then the points would post on 1/15), but then I read (on the SW website) that points must be earned AND posted in the same calendar year to qualify for a companion pass. In my case, the points would post in 2018, but the bonus would be earned in 2017. Is this correct, or does SW consider the bonus to be earned on the closing date of the cycle where the spend was met?

        • @Joel – The points count in the year they are posted. So if they are posted January 15, 2018, for example, they count for 2018 (doesn’t matter when the credit card spend took place). For credit card spend, the date they are posted is the same as when they were earned.

  5. Hi there! I have 85k points right now so I am doing whatever needed to get the remainder of the points before my December statement. If I book a flight now, do the points count toward that or after I fly? Also, can I add a companion to a flight that I have already booked before I had the pass?

    • @Ali – Happy to help! The points for a flight do not count until after the flight is completed. While you cannot add a Companion to a flight right now (you need to have earned the pass), you can still book a flight for the first flier and then add the companion’s flight after you earn the pass. The only issue is if the flight is sold out you will not be able to make another reservation using the pass. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  6. Hello ,

    I applied for the Premier and Plus on 10/3, and was approved for 20,000 on one and 2,000 on the other . I called today and was told I have until 1/1/2018 to reach the 2,000 for the 60,000 rewards . My closing date is on the 2nd of every month . Is there anything I should be aware of ? I know I have to hit the 2,000 on both cards exactly on January 1 st . My concern is w one card w a 2,000 limit , what happens if I go over ? Also , the representative through me for a loop when she told me that the rewards do not count for the companion pass ! Also, is my statement closing date okay, or should I change this ? Thank you in advance .

    • @Sandy – You can go ahead and meet the minimum spend anytime between December 28-January 1. You can then pay off your balance the day the charge is made and that will give you back your credit limit the following day. Technically, the points post a few days after your statement close date. So anything that is put on the card after December 2, 2017 will post a few days after your January 2, 2018 close date. But to be 100% safe, best practice is to wait till the end of the year to ensure they post in 2018.

      Regarding the representative saying the points do not post, they’ve been saying that for as long as I can remember. They unfortunately have no idea what they are talking about. As of today, the points count!

  7. There’s language in some offer T&Cs that say that you can’t get the bonus points if you’ve had a southwest card bonus in the last 24 months.
    If so – does getting the bonus for card#1 prevent one from getting a bonus for the second card? IF so, the whole plan could fall apart…?

  8. Hi, Thank you for this information! I live in California and just applied and got the card that will qualify me for the pass in 2018, yay! When should I apply for the business card to get the points that I will need to meet the 110k for the 2019 pass?

  9. I think my thinking is correct from reading your post & the comments but correct me if I’m wrong.

    I applied for the southwest card on October 2 so I have until Jan 2 to spend my $2000. So If I spend $1999 today and wait to spend my last dollar on January 1st I will still get the 60,000 points posted in 2018 because I waited to spend the last dollar until the 1st, right? And then if I earn the other 60,000 points with my business card I will earn companion pass for the 2018/2019 years?

    • @Rudi – Yes that is correct! Just remember that the annual fee does NOT count towards the minimum spend requirement.

  10. I applied for the business card and the personal card and was very careful not to meet the criteria until January 2018. Unfortunately, I live in California and somehow got qualify for companion pass this week. Is there a way to decline the california deal and wait to meet the requirements early next year and thus get 2 years of the free pass versus only one year and one month?

    • @hoai cao – So while I am not 100% how the points earned from the California promo worked, I believe if you still do not meet the minimum spend until January 1 then you’ll still get two years.

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