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Traveling can be a great
adventure, but it’s always better with a friend or loved one.
Having a free plane ticket for your favorite travel buddy for up
to two years could help you make even more travel memories.
Sounds too good to be true? It’s actually a thing.
travel benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with
you, free of airline charges, though taxes and fees are not
covered, for up to two years (provided your timing is
If you can qualify for the
, it’s a worthwhile
How the Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass
allows you to book a friend or family member’s airplane ticket,
on the same flight as you, without airline charges. You will be
responsible for taxes and fees, but typically these do not amount
After you earn the Companion
Pass, you will be able to designate your companion. The good news
is that you can change to a different companion up to three times
per calendar year. This means that you can bring along different
friends for different trips.
Once you have decided that you
want to earn the Companion Pass, you need to plan out the timing
just right. If you are going through the work of getting a pass,
then you should maximize the amount of time you have to use
The pass will be good as soon as
you earn it and for the rest of the year. Additionally, it will
be valid for the entire year that
So if you
earn it in November 2018, then you will only be able to use it
until December 2019. However, if you earned it in January 2018
then you would be able to use it until December 2019, which
effectively doubles the amount of time you have to use the
With this in mind, the best time
to start planning to get the Companion Pass is toward the end of
a calendar year. If you plan properly, your sign-up bonuses and
spending can help you hit the required mileage for the Companion
Pass early in the next year. This can mean an active Companion
Pass for almost two years.
How to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass
To qualify for the pass, you will
need to earn 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or fly 100
one-way flights per calendar year on Southwest Airlines, which
must be earned and posted to your Rapid Rewards account.
You can earn qualifying
- Booking flights
Earning points issued on
Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards
Earning point from Rapid
Points you can earn on your Rapid Rewards account that do
not qualify for the Companion Pass:
- Purchased points
Points transferred between
Rapid Rewards members
Points converted from hotel and
car loyalty programs
Points converted from
e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions, and Diners Club
Points earned from Rapid
Rewards program enrollment
- Tier bonus points
- Flight bonus points
- Partner bonus points
How can I earn 110,000 points in a calendar
Perhaps the most common ways of
earning points is using rewards credit cards. Southwest has a few
credit cards with generous sign-up bonuses that count toward
earning a Companion Pass.
The Southwest Rapid
Rewards Priority Credit Card as well as
the Southwest Rapid
Rewards Premier Credit
Card and Southwest Rapid
Rewards Plus Credit Card all offer a sign-up bonus of 40,000
points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three
months of opening your account. You also get 2x points on
purchases made with Southwest and one point on all other
purchases using these cards.
Though 40,000 points is a lot of
points for a sign-up bonus, you’ll still need another 70,000 to
earn the Companion Pass. That’s where adding another card to the
mix could help.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business
also has a
sign-up bonus that can count toward the Companion Pass.
By spending $3,000 within the first
three months of opening your account, you will receive 60,000
With the business card,
you can earn even more points by
using the card to cover travel. All Southwest purchases on the
card earn 2x points. Plus, you will get one point on all other
Additionally, you can earn one
point on balance transfers up to $15,000. You must complete the
during the first
90 days from opening your account to earn Companion Pass
If you are able to sign up for
more than one card, then you will already be very close to the
110,000 miles needed for the Companion
You can only
earn a sign-up bonus for one personal card — regardless of which
one — however, you can earn the bonus for one personal card, plus
the small business card, within one year. Keep in mind that just
about anyone is eligible for a small business credit card — even
if you’re a freelancer, work a side gig, occasionally sell things
on eBay, or even if you just want a separate card for
reimbursable work expenses.
To make up the remaining points,
you can refer friends to sign up for Chase Southwest credit cards
with your designated referral code, book hotels throughSouthwest Hotels, or use theRapid Rewards shopping
portal. Don’t forget
that you also can earn one point per dollar spent on other
purchases made with the Rapid Rewards credit cards mentioned
The Companion Pass really is a
incredibly lucrative benefit for those who can qualify. It may
take some extra work and timing of purchases, but it could be
well worth it to make precious travel memories with friends and
Learn more about the
Southwest Companion Pass rules and
Click here to
learn more about the Southwest Priority card from Insider Picks’
partner: The Points Guy.
Click here to
learn more about the Southwest Premier card from Insider Picks’
partner: The Points Guy.
Click here to learn more about the
Southwest Premier business
from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.
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