UPDATE: This offer has expired.
I truly believe the Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal for free flying. You’ve probably heard my rant before, but after 11 years of having this pass, I want to make sure that no one misses out on this deal. Right now, all three personal Southwest credit cards are offering cardmembers the Southwest Companion Pass as part of their sign up offer. This is an extremely unique offer and one that we have never seen before. Of course this offer is coming to an end and you have just until February 11, 2019 to apply. If you are looking to fly Southwest Airlines in 2019 and you typically fly with another passenger, the Southwest Companion Pass will allow you to fly 2-for-1 for the entire year. That means your companion will fly for free an unlimited number of times—yes, you heard that right—FREE. This includes all 99 destinations through the US, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and soon enough Hawaii! (You are required to pay taxes/fees, which is $5.60 each way for domestic flights).
Southwest Credit Card Application Links:
With all three personal Southwest credit cards after spending $4,000, you’ll receive the Southwest Companion Pass (valid through December 31, 2019), plus 30,000 Rapid Reward bonus points:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)
Comparing the Southwest Credit Cards
Since all three cards will earn you the amazing pass, it is important to know which card to apply for. While every card will earn you the same number of points on every single purchase, there are many differences between the three—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. This card will put you about $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 blackout dates or seat restrictions — if there is a seat available for purchase, you can book it 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. Want to fly every single day with Southwest? Go ahead!
- Who can be a companion? Anyone can be your companion — friends, family, a complete stranger, whoever you want! 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 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 ($30-$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 revenue fare.
- 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
- 10 Tips When Using the Southwest Companion Pass
- When Will Your Southwest Companion Pass Post to Your Account