Wanna Get Away….from 2020?

What You Need To Know About the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass

The Southwest Airlines Companion pass is one of the absolute best perks out there for savvy travelers. While Southwest Airlines doesn’t partner with anyone and you can only use their Rapid Rewards points for Southwest Airlines, it’s a superb tool to have. Especially if you are traveling couple and are keen on traveling North America. The Companion Pass allows you to have a specified travel partner whom flies on your itinerary for only $5.60 per ticket to any destination in the U.S. Which is the US Taxes and fees that every US airline requires. Simply put, you pay for your ticket, your travel partner flies for less than the price of a beer.

In This Post About Southwest Airlines Companion Pass:

  1. Southwest Companion Pass Details
  2. How to Acquire Rapid Rewards For The Companion Pass
    • Flights
    • Co-Branded cards
    • Online Shopping/Exclusive Offers
    • Hotels and Rental cars
  3. Qualifying for the Companion Pass

Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Details

Per Southwest.com…

Companion Pass is the benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with you, free of airline charges (does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. To qualify, simply fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points* in a calendar year, and you’ll earn Companion Pass for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned it.

What That Means…

In a nut shell, if you earn 125,000 Rapid Reward Points from Southwest in a calendar year, you qualify for the companion pass. This allows you to have a companion travel with you for a full year. As well as the rest of the year that the companion pass was earned. And only for the price of the taxes and fees which are $5.60 per ticket to anywhere Southwest flies. If you get the pass at the beginning of the year, you can enjoy the benefits for longer. Make a mental note of that.

The 125,000 points are worth about $1,875. So using those points with having a companion pass potentially makes this worth $3,750, since you have another person flying with you.

You can change your designated travel companion up to three times in a year.

How You Acquire The Southwest Companion Pass

There are a few ways for earning Rapid Rewards points.

  1. Take enough Southwest flights to earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards.
  2. Sign up for Southwest Co-Branded Visa cards from Chase Bank.
  3. Shop Online using the Southwest Shopping portal and Southwest.com for exclusive offers to earn Rapid Rewards on purchases.
  4. Earn Rapid Rewards through hotels and rental car purchases.
  5. Combine all four ways to earn exponentially.

Butt In The Seat Method (Taking Flights)

Earning those Rapid Rewards while sitting in my seat on board Southwest Airlines at Burbank Airport.

When you pay for Southwest flight, you will only earn those Rapid Rewards once you actually take that flight. Whatever year you took that flight would be the year your rewards would count towards getting the Companion Pass. You can sign up for a Rapid Rewards account for free HERE.

Southwest Co-Branded Credit Cards

You have a line of cards to help you elevate your Rapid Rewards to earn a companion pass.

Southwest has a line of co-branded from Chase that can easily help you to boost your Rapid Rewards. There is a line of personal use cards as well as business cards from Chase. It should be noted that the personal cards fall under the Chase 5/24 Rule.

Priority Card (Personal Use)

The Priority card has a welcome offer of 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. That’s worth about $600. Unique perks include $75 annual Southwest travel credit. 20% back on inflight drinks, Wi-Fi, messaging and movies. Four Upgraded Boardings in the A1–A15 position each year (worth up to $50 each). It has a $149 annual fee which is offset by the $75 annual credit.

Earn 2x the Points on every southwest flight you book. 1 point per dollar every where else. Plus, you get 7,500 Rapid Rewards on your card anniversary.

Premier Card (Personal card)

The Premier Card has a welcome offer of 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. That’s worth about $600. The card has ZERO Foreign Transaction Fees. Earns 2x the Points on all Southwest flights and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. 6,000 bonus Points after your card anniversary. The annual fee of $99.

Plus Card (Personal Card)

The Plus card has a welcome offer of 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. That’s worth about $600. You can earn 3,000 points after your card anniversary. Earns 2x the Points on all Southwest flights and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Annual fee of $69.

Performance Business Card

It should be noted That the other business card Southwest offered are no longer available.

The Performance Business Card comes with a welcome offer of 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Plus earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 in the first six months. Earn 3x the Points on all Southwest flights as well as Hotel and Car Rental Partners. Earn 2x the Points on all social media and search engine advertising along with internet, phone and cable services. 1 points per dollar on all other spend. 9,000 Bonus points with card anniversary.

Unique Perks include Four A1–A15 annual boarding passes. Inflight Wi-Fi credits. Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application statement credit every four years. With a $199 annual fee. ZERO Foreign Transaction Fees.

Online Shopping/Exclusive Offers

Shopping Online using the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal is an easy way to help you boost your earning potential. Simply by shopping offers through the portal that earn more than 1 point per dollar on your purchases.

Furthermore, Southwest.com has exclusive offers available that have bonus spending categories to take advantage off.

Hotels and Rental Cars

Southwest has partners with multiple hotels as well as rental cars. You can use Southwest Vacation packages to earn points and save money.

Using Rocket Miles can Reward you with 3,000 Rapid Rewards after your first stay. You can earn up to 10,000 Rapid Rewards Booking through Southwest Hotels as well.

Renting a car can be done through Southwest’s promotion page as well to book a rental car and earn a bonus on points. Although paying with a Southwest card doesn’t offer rental car protection like the Chase Sapphire cards, or the AMEX Platinum. It does however get you closer to that 125,000 mark.

Qualifying For The Companion Pass

While using all of the methods in conjunction will surely get you to the 125,000 mark, timing is of the utmost importance. I don’t recommend going for the companion pass in 2020 given the circumstances behind Covid19. But if you were, you would need to open cards and meet the minimum spend before December. Points don’t usually post until your statement closing date. If you are looking to get the benefits and qualify for 2021, I would time getting the points for January of 2021. Just to be on the safe side.

For those that are planning on using Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer over to Southwest. It will not count. You will be stuck with 125,000 points that don’t qualify you. Southwest will not honor any type of points transfers into a Rapid Rewards account. Sorry my savvy little travel hackers.

Bottom Line

The Companion Pass is an incredible way to save on travel throughout North America while traveling with a partner. There is so much value in it. While 2020 may not be the time to go after the Companion Pass, 2021 can be your year. Many time holding out can sometimes allow Welcome offers to increase as to entice would be customers to sign up. There by making the Companion Pass all the more available to obtain.

If you have any questions regarding the Southwest Companion Pass, Leave a comment or shoot us an email.

Finance disclosure

Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.