The Southwest Companion Pass: What It Is, Why It’s Awesome, and How To Get It!

Life’s much more fun when you bring along a friend! And with the Southwest Companion Pass, the possibilities are endless!

The Chase Southwest Companion Pass is one of, if not the, best airline perk out there.  For people who fly domestically, it is an absolute must-have.  

Even for people who don’t fly domestically that often, it can still provide incredible value and is probably worth getting.

What is the Southwest Companion Pass

The name of the card is not intended to fool; the Southwest Companion Pass is exactly what it says it is.

The pass allows a companion (spouse, mother, friend, favorite blogger) to fly free with you when you fly on Southwest.

And unlike many other airlines, Southwest does not make the rules super confusing.  In fact, the process is fairly straightforward:

1.  Once a person earns the Companion Pass (how to earn it is discussed below) they will designate the individual they want as their companion.

2.  The Companion Pass arrives in the mail.

3.  When the person is booking their tickets online, there is an option to choose to use the Companion Pass.  When the person is booking over the phone, they simply have to tell the representative they want to use the Companion Pass.

4.  The companion will fly for free.

About as easy as it gets, right?

Why the Southwest Companion Pass is Awesome (with a capital A!)

Want to go hiking? Head to Colorado!

There are five things that make this companion pass especially awesome.  Let’s take a look at them:

1.  You can use this pass as many times as you’d like.

This is not a one-time pass, but instead allows a companion to fly free with you EVERY TIME you fly Southwest.

Yes, you are hearing me correctly:  EVERY SINGLE TIME you fly Southwest.

Theoretically, I could fly Southwest every day and my companion would fly free with me each and every time.

2.  The Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year that you earn it AND THE ENTIRE NEXT YEAR.  

Again, you may think you are mis-hearing mis-reading me, but you aren’t.  It is good for the year you earn it and the next calendar year as well.

Example:  Let’s say you get your Companion Pass on October 1st.  Your Companion Pass will then be good for October, November, and December of 2012 and then all of 2013, for a total of 15 months.

Of course, the way to squeeze maximum value out of it is to get it as early in the year as possible (like January) and then you’d have it for a full 2 years.


3.  The Companion Pass is a legitimately free pass.

With most things in life, free doesn’t mean free, and a lot of times there is enough red tape and rules to make the “free” item not even worth it.

This is NOT the case with the Southwest Companion Pass.

In this case, free really does mean free.

The only thing that the companion will be required to pay is a government-mandated September 11th security fee, which is a maximum of $10 roundtrip (and impossible to waive).

Other than that, there are no costs for the companion whatsoever.

And in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last two years, you should be aware that bags fly free on Southwest (awesome commercial evidence here, here, and here), so the companion won’t even have to worry about that cost!

4.  The Companion Pass can used on both paid and award flights.  

Whether you pay out of pocket for your flight or use some of the Southwest miles you’ve accumulated to get an award ticket, your companion can still fly free with you.

This is basically unheard of in the airline world, as every other companion pass  (that I’m aware of) requires the original person to pay for their ticket.

Not on Southwest.

So whether you pay $500 for a last minute ticket, $150 for their normally cheap regular fares, or fly free yourself using your Southwest miles, your companion can come along as well.

What’s better than one person flying free on Southwest?


5.  You can change your designated companion up to three times.  

This is perfect for people who like to engage in fickle relationships or who have tons of friends who love to mooch off of them (I only fall in to one of these categories)!

After you originally designate your companion you can change it and get a Companion Pass reissued with another person’s name up to 3 times during the validity of your Companion Pass.

This can be done instantly over the phone and is an awesome perk that often gets overlooked among all the other amazing things about the pass.

I’ll give you a good example of how I plan to use this to my advantage.

Naturally, Heather (my wife) will be my companion on many of my trips.

However, instead of designating her as my original companion, I plan on designating my best friend Jon because we are planning a trip together down to Florida.

After we take our trip and he flies for free (saving him anywhere between $150-300), I’ll call in and ask to designate Heather as my new companion.

Then, we’ll use the Companion Pass to fly all over this awesome country of ours (You could even go visit old friends!).

You could visit your friends who live far away!
You could visit your friends who live far away!

You can even designate a new companion (i.e. Jon), change it to someone else (Heather) and then change it back to the original person (Jon).

Convinced about the awesomeness of the Southwest Companion Pass and ready to learn about how to get your hands on one?  Read on.

How To Earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Technically, there are actually two different ways to earn the Companion Pass:

1.  Take 100 qualifying one-way flights with Southwest in a calendar year.

2.  Earn 110,00 Southwest points in one calendar year.

Unless you love flying Southwest so much that you take a roundtrip flight each week (or your company pays for you to), there is realistically only one way to get the Companion Pass, and that is to earn 110k Southwest points in a year.  

At first glance, this may seem difficult, but in fact, it’s not hard AT ALL.

Step 1:  Earn 100,000 by Opening Two Credit Cards

The reason getting the Companion Pass is so easy right now is because Chase is currently offering 4 different Southwest credit cards which EACH earn you 50,000 Southwest points (a good deal in its own right) and these points DO COUNT towards the Companion Pass.

All you have to do is open up 2 of these credit cards and you’ll be at 100k Southwest points!

Plus vs. Premier

First thing to be aware of is that there are two types of Southwest cards, the Plus and the Premier.  These cards differ slightly:

  • The Plus has an annual fee of $69 and offers 3,000 Southwest points as an anniversary bonus each year you keep it open.  Also, it charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%.
  • The Premier has an annual fee of $99 and offers 6,000 Southwest points as an anniversary bonus each year you keep it open.  It has no foreign transaction fee, so you pay nothing extra when you use it abroad.

 The second thing to understand is that both of these cards offer a personal card and a business card.

That means there is a Plus personal card, a Plus business card, a Premier personal card, and a Premier business card.

The most surefire way to make sure you get both the signup bonus for both cards and get your full 100k (and my recommendation) is to open up 1 personal card and 1 business card.

Since 1 is a personal card and 1 is a business card you can apply for them at the same time and there shouldn’t be a problem with getting approved.

Here are some tips to get approved for a business card.

If you don’t feel comfortable getting a business card and still want the Companion Pass, you MAY be able to get 2 personal cards (1 Plus and 1 Premier) and earn the 100k that way.

Personally, I think this is a much riskier strategy than going for 1 personal and 1 business, but if you are going to do it, I’d make I’d make sure to have the first one open for a while (at least 3 months) before applying for the second one and offering to close it.

And just remember, those 100k Southwest points that you earn are actual points that you can redeem for free travel.

100k Southwest points equates to $1,667 worth of Wanna Get Away Fares on Southwest in their own right, so not only are earning almost all of the points you need towards the Companion Pass, but you are also getting $1,667 worth of free Southwest travel!

Talk about some major double dipping!


Step 2:  Earn the additional points through a variety of ways

Weekend trip to Maine? Why not?
Weekend trip to Maine for delicious lobster? Why not?

After getting the signup bonus for two cards, you’ll still be sitting 10k short of the Companion Pass.

However, you will have earned 4k points just for meeting the minimum spend on both cards ($2,000 each), leaving you with 6k left to earn.  This can be done in many different ways.

Just a quick (but very important) heads-up:  Not all ways that you can get 6,000 Southwest points counts towards the Companion Pass, so be careful.  

For example, buying 6,000 Southwest points WILL NOT count towards the Companion Pass, nor will transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Southwest.

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1.  Spend $6,000 on the Southwest credit card.

For each dollar you spend, you’ll earn 1 Southwest point, so if you spend $6,000, you’ll earn 6k points!  I’d recommend this for anyone who has a big purchase and can hit the $6,000 limit right away.

2.  Transfer hotel points.

Transferring points from hotels does count towards the Companion Pass.  Each hotel has a different ratio, so check to see how many hotel points it takes to earn the 6k you need.

For example, it takes 20k Hyatt points earn 9,600 Southwest points, whereas it takes 30k Marriott points to earn 10k Southwest points.

Hotels that transfer include Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hyatt, Marriott, and Wyndham.

3.  Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt and then to Southwest.

While transferring directly from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest WON’T COUNT towards the Companion Pass, transfers from hotels do.

That means that in order to make your UR points count towards the Companion Pass, you’ll first have to transfer them to Hyatt and then transfer them to Southwest.

If you’re UR points rich and money poor, this might be an ok option.  Personally though, I’d rather…

4.  Buy hotel points and transfer them to Southwest.

If you don’t have any hotel points to spare, you can always buy extra hotel points and then transfer them to Southwest.

I don’t normally condone buying miles or points, but in this case, the end result of the Companion Pass is well worth it.

The cheapest way of going about this is to buy 30k Marriott points, which will cost you $375.

Those 30k Marriott points will convert to 10k Southwest points, which are worth $167 of Wanna Get Away Fares, so in essence you’ll be paying $208 extra to earn the Companion Pass.

I hate spending “extra” money, but this is a great deal for what you’ll be getting.

5.  Open up another credit card, receive the bonus, and then transfer part of the bonus to Southwest.

This works well for people who don’t have hotel points right now to transfer and don’t want to spend money buying points.

You could very easily open up a card now, make the minimum spend requirement, and get the signup bonus for that card.

Then, transfer those points to Southwest and get the additional points.

You could consider getting a hotel card, like the Chase Marriott, or a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus and transferring those points to a hotel and then to Southwest.

Personally, I transferred 30k Marriott points, which I earned from opening up the Chase Marriott card, to Southwest to earn my Companion Pass.

Final Word(s)

The Southwest Companion Pass is an amazing, amazing perk and even those who only occasionally fly domestic should consider it.

For anyone who flies a decent amount (or would like to if it was cheaper) its an absolute must.

With Chase offering 50k for each card right now and those points counting towards the Companion Pass (two things that could change without warning) the time is now to jump on it.

Grab a personal and business card, figure out what way to to earn the additional 10k, find a good companion, and enjoy the joys of free travel!

If you’ve got the Southwest Companion Pass, weigh in below.  Is my love for it justified?  Where have you gone with it?  If you don’t have it, how do you plan on getting it?  Fire away!

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Author: Trav

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  • All four applications died a few days ago ;) Hopefully they come back because I need another card for my companion pass and I did an AOR a week before these offers went live :(

    • @Ken- I just checked all my links and they are working fine. All four links redirect to a 50k offer for each card, so you might want to jump on it quick. I did notice last night that my Plus personal link wasn’t working on my Best Current Deals page but that the other 3 were, so I found another link for the Plus personal that was working. Maybe they are in the process of pulling them, in which case, ACT NOW!

    • Unfortunately I do not think this works anymore. Southwest told me via phone that points earned from credit card signups cannot be allocated towards the Companion Pass. Is this true? I hope not

      • @zoch- They will tell you over the phone that the points don’t count towards the CP, but as far as I know, signup bonus points still ARE counting. I would refrain from calling and asking though, because at any time they could switch this, and the more people at SW who are aware of the discrepancy, the better the chance it gets shut down.

        • I am trying to see how you gained companion pass status. I am only finding 25K points per credit card opened right now. Can you post the link for the 50K point card? Thanks

        • Jim, did you apply for two personal cards or one personal and one business ? how did u earn the extra 6k points ? Do you think they will give the 50k bonus for the 2nd personal card ? thanks..

          • Yes, they will give you the bonus for 2 personal cards. I applied for the premier and the plus personal cards within 4 days of each other.

          • @Nala- Wow, that’s a score. I know most people don’t get approved for two personal, especially so close together. How’d you get that? Did you have to call in?

          • At first thought I thought the Companion Pass would be awesome, but now I am confused. Once you have the 110,000 points in your account, do you have to use them to “buy” the companion pass? Do the points then go away but then you have a Companion pass OR do you keep all of the 110,000 points as well so you can use them for traveling? Please let me know asap!

          • Once you have the points it should show up automatically in your account when you check online. If it doesn’t show up, then call Southwest to make sure that you get it activated in your account. Once you have the companion pass you can use the 110,000 to book tickets. You can use the companion pass when you book using points or when you pay for a ticket. Hope this helps!

      • @Datrwll- You won’t be able to tie the same Southwest account from your wife’s name and your name. So you would have to get 2 cards in your name to get the 100k or have her get 2 cards in her name. But if you get 1 and she gets 1, you’ll have 50k in one account and 50k in another but they won’t count towards the companion pass combined.

        • Tip to think about:

          For a married couple (as an example), any earned points by the intended campanion spouse don’t really accomplish very much, other than to bank those points for future use.

          However, the goal for us, is still to maximize the most points under one spouse. So, with the Southwest-Chase card in the name (and SW Reward#) of the primary spouse and then with the companion spouse having a credit card as an authorized user on the same SW/Chase acoount, the 2x points for each dollar charged for Southwest tickets (or SW vacation packages) still accumulate under the SW rewards account of the primary card holder. (But of course, the actual flight points earned will still accumulate independently for future use.)

          But the point is, by using the same credit card acount when purchasing SW tickets, the money charged by either spouse to fly SW will still convert to 2X points for every dollar spent all going to the primary card holder and their own SW Rewards points, which of course helps them reach their companion status., for which the second card holder can then of course, fly along free as the companion.

  • I have the CP and love it. I have used it a few times this year and have it all of next year. I have a family of four so it helps that 1 always flys free, but we are limited in the amount of travel we can do. Keep in mind that if the links come back before the end of the year you need to make sure you can get ALL 110K in your rapid rewards account by year end, not just meet the spend requirements. Jan1 things reset, so if you are not sure you have time to meet the spend and have all the points post to your RR account, you may want to sign up and delay activating the card. This is what I did last year. This also maximizes the time you can use the CP. There was no minimum spend when I did it so you will need to research whether the 1k in 3 months starts on card approval or card activation.

    • @Scott- Good to hear you like it so much, and a great point about getting the points in your account before January 1st. Sometimes points post a good 4-6 weeks after you meet the minimum spend requirement, so I’d tell everyone to make sure they were hitting their spend by end of November at the latest to be safe.

      I know for most cards, including other Chase cards, that the minimum spend date starts at the approval date and not the activation date, so this is something to consider. If you got the card(s) in November or December, you could easily activate them but not make the spend requirement, and then hit the spend requirement in early January. This way, your points would go in to your account in January, and you’d have the Companion Pass for all of 2013 and 2014.

      Some great points Scott. Thanks for addressing them.

      • No problem. I think this is one of the Best deals out there for domestic travel (hopefully with the Airtran merger and Hawaii speculation with SW there will be a few international options next year), along with BA Avios.

        I have been trying to get my family and friends to get in on this and it is like I am talking in a forgiegn language. They smile and nod then do nothing. Then I book travel and the actually ask me “how can you take your whole family to XYZ for $15????” I finally convinced my brother and his wife to do it, but they waited around so long that they will effectively only get CP use for 1 year rather than 2.

        I still have not convinced my sister or parents. The value here is so great I am not sure why it is so hard for some to see. I think it comes down to fear of the unknown, and not wanting to actually take the step to fill out and app, a RR account, make a ca recon call.

        • @Scott- Smile, nod, do nothing…I can’t even begin to count the number of people I’ve talked to that have had the same response! The worst is when it is my own family and friends who have seen me travel for free, been amazed by it, and yet STILL won’t act. You hit the nail on the head though; it comes down to either the fear of the unknown or complete apathy.

          This is exactly why I started the blog. I was tired of trying to help people who didn’t really want to be helped or refused to do anything. With the blog, I get to help people who WANT my advice and who will act on it. As much as I hate to give up on certain friends and family I know would benefit from free travel, there comes a point, where after telling them time and time again, and doing everything short of filling out the app for them, that I just figure it isn’t worth it anymore. I’d rather spend my time helping those who appreciate the free travel as much as I do, hence the blog!

          Agreed that between this and BA Avios, free domestic travel has certainly been easier to come by in the last year!

    • @Elena Garcia- Yeah, unfortunately I had some bad timing with this post, seeing as the offer just died. I saw that the landing page for the offers worked, and incorrectly assumed that the entire application worked (which is a common assumption). Let’s hope that the higher bonus comes back pretty soon so everyone who missed out can take advantage of it!

  • I started in March of this year getting more credit cards after reading some of these points and miles posts. It did seem to good to be true but The stories I was reading sounded Fantastic. Well now it is only 6 months later and my wife and I have the companion pass and have already used it a few times. It’s great to be able to get 2 people anywhere they fly for 1 ticket. You can change your companion but only 3 times, and it can go back to the same person. I would never pay the money to fly overseas business or first class but now after getting all these sign up bonuses for free I am definitely going for it. Thanks for all the posts and keeping us informed about new ideas. Also remember the US airways card gives you 2 companions to fly with you for only $99.00 each every year which is great if 3 people are flying.

    • @Rick- Wow, that’s amazing that you only started in March and that you not only have been able to earn many of the best deals but also learn how to best spend them, which is often the hardest part! I can’t wait for my Companion Pass to get here; I’m already dreaming of all the places we are going to go! And that’s great to hear that you can, in fact, change it back to the same person. I’ll change the post to reflect your information.

      I’ve never actually taken advantage of the USAirways $99 companion tickets yet even though I have 4 to use for this year (because I have 2 cards). I just haven’t had the chance since I haven’t paid for a USAirways flight yet; I’m still busy working through my miles! But yes, thanks for reminding us all that they can also be an amazing value, especially if you are traveling with two other people!

      Keep up the good work and let me know I can help! Congrats on all the miles you’ve accumulated in half a year! Much more to come!

  • my heart has been broken in two…. I was waiting until next week to get the cards for my wife during our next app party :*-(. The peril of procrastination…….

    • @Joseph- I feel your pain! Sometimes this can be a cruel game. I felt the same way as you did earlier this year, when I was waiting until my next App-o-Rama to get the personal card and then it dropped down to 25k a few days before I was scheduled to apply. Luckily, the deal went back up to the 50k in July and stayed there for my August AoR. Hopefully, the same thing will happen for you. The good news is that this offer does tend to bounce back and forth between 25k and 50k pretty frequently. I’ll cross my fingers for you!

  • Thanks for your blog. It has helped me quite a bit in understanding the credit card points opportunities. I was disappointed earlier this year too when the SWA credit card sign up bonuses dropped from 50,000 to 25,000. But when it jumped back up to 50,000 in July, I had to jump at the chance for the Companion Pass.
    Long story short, I now have the Companion Pass.
    Very good and thorough article on the SW Companion Pass.
    Thanks for all your advice and keep up the good work!

    • @Charles- Really glad you were able to jump on the SW cards when the deal bounced back up to 50k and get the Companion Pass. It’s an awesome perk! Have you used it yet, and if so, where’d you go?

      The goal of the blog is to be as clear but thorough as possible, so I’m glad you liked this post! Keep those miles and points rolling in!

  • Great writeup Trav. I love the excitement that you convey about the SWA Companion Pass, which is a feeling I definitely share!

    One other thing that’s worth mentioning is that getting *two* CP statuses really works well for a family of four like mine. Signing up for four SWA cards at the beginning of 2012 for my wife and I was our first entrance into this world of credits cards and airline points, and it was a great introduction. Now through 2013 my kids fly for free whenever we fly, which is an amazing deal! For example, this Thanksgiving I decided to plan a cross-country trip to Disneyland with the family, which I never would have paid cash for (nearly $1000 round trip for tickets at this point!), but I was willing to burn some accumulated SWA points for the grownups’ tickets and use the two CP tickets for the kids. With that one frivolous trip alone, we’re getting $2000 worth of tickets for free.

    By the way, I can confirm the above comment that it’s fine to re-designate an original companion again. Also, I wanted to point out that I was actually able to change my designated companion over the phone, I didn’t need to do it in writing. (I happened to be talking to Customer Relations at the time instead of the regular Rapid Rewards support line, but I don’t know if that mattered.)

    • Keith C.- Great point about doubling up on the CP for a family of four. It really makes unattainable trips attainable, which is what this blog is about. I love hearing success stories like yours, and I hope the kids loved Disneyland! $2,000 of value, and it’s still good for another 15 months…you can’t beat that!

      Thanks for confirming that you can change back to the original companion, and its awesome to know that you were able to do it over the phone. That definitely makes it way less of a hassle. Thanks for the heads up on that one, and thanks for the compliments!

    • Just to be entirely clear on changing companions up to three times rule. If I have signed up my first companion (Kelly), then changed to my 2nd companion (Alex), then changed to my third companion (Dave), can I then change it back to Kelly? Can I change again to Alex or Dave after that? Thanks!

  • We have had the companion pass since April and have so far been to San Diego, Chicago, Portand (OR), and Washington, DC. We have trips for New Orleans, NYC, and Las Vegas planned before the end of the year. And that’s just the 1st year! This is awesome. I am planning on going for it in 2013 again in hopes that we can keep flying for almost free thru 2014. We will see…

    • @Jasmine- Wow, you’re really making some awesome use of it! I can’t wait to get mine too. Makes “weekend trips” affordable! Where are you flying out of? And what’s your plan to get the pass again in 2013?

  • We fly out of Buffalo, NY but live in Rochester. We can’t wait until Southwest flies out of our city! It supposed to happen in 2013. My husband signed up for the 2 credit cards this year so I am his companion through 2013. But I am hoping that in early 2013 I can earn the companion pass myself so that we can travel with it through 2014. We will have to wait and see if SW will still be allowing credit card bonuses to count towards the CP, and also if there will be 50,000 point sign up bonuses again in either Dec or Jan. I hope so!

    • @Jasmine- Sounds like a plan…now let’s hope that they bring back the 50k bonus AND that those points count! If that’s the case, I’ll be following your lead and having my wife do the same thing!

  • I’m really confusesd. I spoke to a Southwest/Chase rep today and he said bonus points used for enrollement cannot be used towards credit for a companion fare. Here is the information that I am going to paste from the SW website.

    What are the Companion Pass Rules and Regulations?
    Companion Pass status is based on taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 Qualifying Points in a calendar year. A qualifying flight for Rapid Rewards Companion Pass status is a one-way revenue flight on Southwest Airlines from an origin city to a destination city, including any intermediate stops and/or connections on Southwest Airlines. Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights, points issued on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status

    Any information out there?

    • @Sunflower- The wording is definitely weird, but technically the points earned from a signup bonus would be “points issued on SW credit cards” and therefore would count.

      And regardless of the wording, I do know FOR A FACT that my credit card signup points JUST counted for my Companion Pass 3 days ago. I have yet to hear anyone whose signup points HAVEN’T counted, and so until then, I think you’d be safe with your signup bonus points counting. Of course, they could change this at any time, but right now, they are counting, regardless of what the rep said.

      If you are looking to transfer points over, just be aware of what partners points do count and don’t count. For example, Chase Ultimate Rewards points DON’T count but transfers from HOTEL PARTNERS DO count.

      Hope this helps!

  • Thank you very much for this helpful information, Trav. I signed up for both Southwest premier cards this week and got approved! The cards should arrive next week in the mail. Am I supposed to wait on attempting to accrue any miles/points on the cards until 2013 because anything I accrue for the remainder of this year will be reset on Jan. 1 or can I start using the cards as long as I don’t hit the 1k by the end of December? I am attempting to earn the companion pass in early 2013 so that I will hopefully have it for 2 years. Please advise. Thanks!

    • @Karen- You can start spending now but just make sure that you don’t hit the minimum spend requirement of $2,000 (I think you listed it as $1,000) until after January 1st. That way, the signup bonus will not go in to your account until January, 2013, and those points will count towards the Companion Pass for the year 2013.

      If you do start spending right away though, any of the points you do accrue simply through spending (ie. You spend $500, you accrue 500 points) may post in December, depending on when your bill comes due. So if you do make some large purchases in December, they MAY post in December and not count towards the Companion Pass in 2013. However, the main thing is to make sure that the signup bonus (50k) posts in January, since that will be the bulk of your points.

      Congrats on the cards!

  • After you meet the SW companion pass minimum points and they are posted…how long does it take to get the actual pass? I think I might be able to qualify around Middle of March…but would like to use it in April. Will that be possible?

    • @Danny- After the points get in to your account, you should be able to get it almost immediately. I’d say that if you don’t receive an email from them saying you qualified for the Companion Pass after 3 days of the points actually being in your account, I’d call them. From there, the actual card will come in the mail, but I don’t even think you need the physical card to book the tickets, since it will all show up in your online profile as well.

      It should be doable for April. Of course, you can always try to expedite the process a little by calling Southwest as soon as the points post and making sure they send it to you immediately.

  • I had a personal premier card that was cancelled well over 1 year ago. Do you know if I will get the 50k points if I apply again?

    • @Allen- I doubt it. Chase rarely lets you get a the same card a second time, no matter how long ago you had it canceled. What Id suggest you do is try applying for the business version of the card if you haven’t already had it. Chase will allow a person to have 1 personal and 1 business version, so that is probably the best way to go to.

      Here’s some tips for applying for a business card.

  • Okay, my husband was just approved for the cards with the 50k bonus. We’ve got a plan in place for reaching the $2,000 spending requirement on each card in early January, so now we’ve just got to get that extra 10k for the Companion Pass.

    I am slightly confused by the reward points stipulations. Would I be able to purchase a round trip flight at the Business Select level and have those 10,000+ Rapid Rewards points count toward the Companion Pass? Purchasing the flight would cost almost $1,000, but it would actually be worth it for our situation if we could get the CP earlier rather than waiting to spend $10,000 on the card.

    Will this work? If so is it the cheapest, quickest option?

    • @Abby- So you’re talking about actually buying the ticket and flying those miles. Yes, those should count. If I were you, I’d call Southwest just to make sure though, but I’m 98% sure that will get you those points.

      Also, make sure you take the flight in January, obviously, so the points post during the 2014 calendar year.

  • The SW cards are now back at 25k rewards. Any chance they will go back up to 50k before year’s end? Just did a mini AOR last night and left off SW when I saw it was only at 25k. Thanx for all your help!

    • @Travelgirl22- I doubt they will go back up before the end of the year, but I’m guessing they will go back up sometime in the beginning of 2014. No guarantees, but it seems to go up every few months or so.

      You made a wise choice leaving it out of this AoR and waiting until it was at 50k.

  • Hi Trav–I know you wrote this article a couple years ago but you seem so knowledgeable about the companion pass I thought I’d see if you could answer a couple questions for me!

    If my husband and I both wanted to qualify for the companion pass so that our two kids could fly free, would we both need to open two credit cards–like the personal and business card–or is there another way to do it other than spending that much money to earn the points? I saw on other sites where people said both parents earned one and was just wondering the best way to go about that. Having four credit cards open seems a bit much…?

    Also, would selling personal items on ebay, etc. count as a business? We’ve sold stuff when we’ve cleaned out the garage, attic, etc. and made a profit that way but didn’t know if that would qualify as a business? I mean we did make a profit… ;)

    Thanks for your help!

    • @Katie- Glad to help! The easiest way is for both of you to open a business and personal card (4 cards total). If you can’t do that, and only get a 50k bonus, getting the other 60k is hard. You either have to spend a lot, transfer a ton of hotel points, or buy a lot of stuff through the Southwest shopping portal.

      If you can’t do any of those, I’d go for 1 biz and 1 personal each. And yes, selling stuff on Ebay counts as a business, for sure. If you do apply and have to answer questions over the phone, tell them that is what you do, and then also mention that you’ll be doing a lot more of it in the future, hence the need for a biz card to keep biz and personal expenses separate.

      Good luck!

  • I have been debating this for over a week now. I am afraid to open both cards since they both have annual fees– i already have two cards with annual fees and after a year or so dont want to hurt my credit! any good advice?

  • I applied for both the personal and business got approved for the personal, denied for the business since they said I have too many credit cards open– which is weird since thats only 7 ( including my work one and new southwest one) what are my options now to still get the companion pass?

  • Hello!
    Do you know if bonus points still apply towards the companion pass? This is what it says in the rules:

    Points purchased for personal use or as a gift, transferred points, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Rapid Rewards Partner bonuses (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not count toward Companion Pass status.

    I called Southwest and they told me that bonus points do NOT count towards your companion pass. I thought maybe there is a loophole I’m missing?

    Thanks for your help!

    • @Kelsey- It’s said that for a long time, but points have always counted. Of course, at any time, that could change, but as of right now (Feb. 2015) bonus points are counting.

      • I just got a companion pass for my wife and I, we both qualified in Feb 2015 and can attest that bonus points DO count toward the companion pass. We are good to go until December 2016. Really nice!!!!! THANK YOU SWA!

  • If you are getting 50,000 points on each card I can see that equals 100,000 points but being new to this wouldn’t the 100,000 points plus the 10k more a person would earn all have to be on 1 card to earn the companion pass, not on separate cards?

    • @Rachel- You have to tie the 50k from the business card to your SW account. Put in your SW account number when you open the biz and the personal and they will all end up in the same account, hence the 100k.

      • Hi Trav Im just starting the process of applying for the 2 cards(1 biz and 1 personal) You responded to Rachel on March 7,2015 to “put in your SW acct # when you open biz and personal accts” When do I get that SW acct.#? Which card do I get 1st?

        • @Avi- You should create a SW frequent flyer account before opening the cards. It’s totally free and you can do it at Once you have that frequent flyer account, put that number in when you apply for the cards.

          • thx Trav I signed up for the SW frequent flyer and have a # and then applied for the first card.Notice said that I would be contacted by mail about my approval Then I tried to apply for the business card but it doesnt allow me to enter my info I suppose that I have to wait until Im approved for the personal card?

          • @Avi- You shouldn’t have to wait until the personal card. You should be able to put in your ff mile. Weird that you can’t.

          • I already have a regular SW personal credit card. Can I upgrade my card & open a business card to gain the 100,000 points?

          • @Carol- If you upgrade the card, you most likely won’t get the 50k bonus affiliated with it. You’d have to open a brand new personal card to get the bonus.

  • Thank you so much for all the info! I’m new to this – hoping to get a companion pass someday :) – and I see the current offers to the general public is currently 25,000 points. However, my wife received a personal invitation by email for the Southwest card – offering 50,000 pts! I’m trying to figure out what to do – we of course will need a business card to get the other 50,000 pts…should we go for the personal card now, and hope for a 50,000 pt. business card offer later?

    • @Chris- Yeah, that is what I’d do. Typically, they raise it every few months or so. You could also wait until it is available to the public (both the personal and biz ones up to 50k) and then get both assuming you can make the minimum spends if you get them at the same time.

  • Hello Trav, I’ve just Earn my CP in April using 2 Cards. If I cancel one of my card today would I be still eligible to use CP until end of 2016. Can you share your thoughts of when and how is the best way to cancel card or cards and still be able to use the CP. Thanks

  • I currently have some referrals left for the Premier card to get 50,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Email me at if you are interested, and I will send you a referral link.


  • For anyone that needs the Southwest Personal Plus card with the 50K sign up bonus to get your Companion pass or just wants the Plus card. I have some 50K referrals that expire 9/30/2015 if interested.

    It is a $69 annual fee
    Spend $2000 in 3 months
    3000 anniversary bonus

    Please email if you want the offer

    Thanks and have a great day

  • I have a companion pass good through the end of 2015. Can I use it this year to book a flight in 2016 and get a free companion ticket?

    • @Joel- I don’t THINK so, but you could give it a try and see if it works. I’m guessing the system won’t let you add a companion though. Report back please!

  • If my wife and I open up separate card accounts is there a way to combine those points to meet the 110,000 threshold?

    • @Jason- Unfortunately, no. They will be tied to two separate accounts. They won’t let you put someone else’s points in your account. If you try to put your account number on her application, it won’ work because of different names.

  • I would like your advice. I am going to apply for 2 personal cards so that I can receive 100k in sign up bonuses. Can I do this and work towards the 110k all throughout the year and then just wait until January to exceed the 110k mark? Or does it reset at the new year? What do you suggest is the best plan to maximize the CP and get it in January so I have 2 years with it?

    • @Drake- It resets every calendar year, so you’ll end up messing yourself up if you do that. The best way is to wait until November or December to get the cards, then hit the minimum spend AFTER January (as soon as you can) and then you’ll get the bonus points. Then get the additional 10k as quickly as possible too. That way, you have it for almost 2 years.

        • @Isabel- Honestly, I can’t tell you. There is no real way to know. Obviously, getting it in Jan would be sweet, but there is the risk it’s not at 50k or they pull it all together. If you think you can use it this year, then maybe get it this year and err on the side of caution.

  • Hi! If my husband and I both have our own SEPARATE southwest cards, can we merge our points in order to qualify for the CP? Our can the CP points only come from one person?

    • @Carly Hill- No, you CAN’T merge between your accounts. One person would have to get all the points in their account, unfortunately.

  • I am planning on applying for two personal cards to receive the 100k miles. The promotion ends Aug. 31st. If i spend the minimum 1000 dollars by december on each card to receive the 50k, it says it will take 4-6 weeks to get my points. Do you think that by the time the points are processed it will be january? then, i can transfer my marriotts reward points onto my southwest account and successfully have 110k. Do you see anything wrong with my plan or have any sugggestions?

  • How often does Southwest offer the 50K signup bonus? I am debating on applying for both premier cards (personal and business) now or wait until the end of the year so I can make better use of the companion pass. If they offer it every few months it might be worth me waiting until the end of the year to apply so I can get the companion pass for 2016 & 2017. However, I don’t want to wait and they stop offering it. Story of my life haha. Thanks in advance!

    • @Jonathan- There is no set time period, unfortunately, and no real guarantee that it will continue to bounce back up. However, history shows it usually bounces back up every 3 months or so. It is a little risky to wait, and I don’t have any good advice because I don’t know what the future will hold. If you think you can use it a bit this year, maybe I’d err on the side of caution and get it now.

  • Thanks. I had already was approved for a Premier card and after reading the article and comments, went ahead and applied for the Plus card and was approved also. Will have 10,000 miles within the next month and will just need to spend $2,000 on each card within the first 3 months to get to companion status for the remainder of 2015 and 2016. Think I got that right, hopefully.

  • When trying to get the final 6000 points, can I use the Target RedCard to get them if not able to truly “spend” the $6000 necessary?

    • @Paul- Sure can…will have to do it by buying gift cards at this point since you can’t load with a credit card anymore, but yes, you can.

  • I applied one week ago for both the premier and plus personal cards on the same day and was approved instantly. I just received both cards today (one week later).

  • Just wanted to clarify one thing, since the points reset at New Year, the cards wont be of any use once you get your companion pass the first time as accumulating 110k points again would be a huge task, right? Or am i missing something

    • @Ankit- Yes, the points reset each calendar year. So after you get it the first time and have it for that year and the whole next year, the third year, you have to get 110k again to get another Companion Pass. And yes, that is hard to do, but there are ways. Some companies will let you get the bonuses again for the same cards, if it’s 2 years from when you first got it. That’s how I plan on doing it.

  • Great information! Thanks!! Do you know if SWA will allow you to “pay” for hotels with FF “points?” I seem to be able to book flights with it, but then only cash values show up for hotels.

    • @Elizabeth- I’m not sure, but I don’t think you can book hotels with SW points. I think just SW flights. But then they offer hotel recommendations after you book that are paid by cash.

  • Data Point / Success Story:


    I am posting a small success story. Recently I applied for two Southwest personal credit cards (Premier and Plus) at the same time in order to get the 50K signup bonus towards the companion pass and received the pass recently. I got pending on both of them and called up the Chase recon desk after reading here. The first card was approved easily after giving some income details and such. The second card was not approved however, I called up recon and the rep was very unhelpful. After speaking for a few mins, I asked to transfer to a supervisor and she was very tough as well. She said she cannot approve this since there are too many new applications (got the Sapphire Preferred earlier in March). I suggested to move credit and she wouldn’t approve even after a lot of talking. I did a HUCA afternoon and got another agent. This rep was very fair and understanding, asked for income details and asked me to hold the line. He came back and said that he would have to move credit from an older Freedom card and approved it finally.

    Let that be an advice for people who are getting denials, HUCA a few times. Its worth the effort.

    This place has been a lot help with regards to the useful info without which this would not have been possible. Thank you all for that !

    In anyone is interested, I met the min spends using Simon mall vgc -> Redbird.

    Now, would appreciate any advice on how to make most of the Comp Pass! :)

    • @Sunny- Thanks for the data point, great to hear it worked. Can’t believe you were able to get both personal cards, that really is a tough thing to do.

      For anyone wondering, HUCA stands for Hang Up and Call Again. That definitely is the best strategy if you get an unhelpful rep.

      Best way to use your Companion Pass = Get on as many southwest flights as you possibly can! They even fly down to Costa Rica and the Caribbean now, so you can add that in!

  • This sounds like a great offer! Unfortunately, bought points cannot be allocated to the Companion Pass, so there goes my original plan. It states that transferred points cannot be used either, so if I opened up a new Business account (to coincide with my recently opened Personal account), could I get the Business 50k points on the same account? Are they not considered transferred? Are both the credit cards listed under my SW Rapid Rewards account number?

    Thanks for the great article! CP is where it’s at! :)

    • @Murphy- Yes, you can have both cards go to your SW account. Just make sure that you put in your SW account number when you open up the biz card so it goes to the same account that the personal cards are already in.

      • Hi Trav,
        Thank you, for all the info. I havn’t provided my SW account while opening the credit card accounts. Both the plus and premiere cards got approved for me., Is there a way I can link the SW account to the credit cards so that all the bonus point accumulates for the same SW account..?

        • @kumar- Yes, call up Southwest and make sure that the points are in the right account. You can tell them what account to put them in and they can switch it. But it’s very important they go in the right account.

  • I have a companion pass through 2016. If in 2016 I acquire 110,000 in SW points will I also be eligible for a companion pass in 2017 & 2018 or does South West only start counting when my companion pass expires in 2016?

    • @Jim- I believe that you’ll then get it for 2016 and 2017. Meaning, it’ll overlap in 2016, so you’ll only have it for one extra year, 2017, and not for 2018.

  • Trav,
    I was recently told about this whole idea of getting credit cards and points towards travel and it immediately caught my attention since my wife and I travel almost once a month!(adds up to a lot of money :( ) I am hoping SW brings back the 50k (and allows it to count towards CP) because i am waiting until the end of the year to hopefully make the most of the 2 years! and I’ve already got enough Best Western points to transfer over and complete the 6,000 points! And this would be a great place to start.

    Question- Once the 2 years is complete on the CP, how can we get it again? would we need to get 110k points again that count towards CP? Does that mean we should get 110k points within the calendar year and also NOT use them until we declare our CP? or as long as we get 110k points within the calendar year, using it or not does not matter? hope that made sense.

    Looking forward the hearing from you soon!


    • @Hassib- That’s the tough part, and I’m in that boat right now. Mine runs out at the end of 2015, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do for 2016/2017. I may try to get the Chase cards again, although that might not work.

      It doesn’t matter when you use them. It’s if you EARN 110k in a calendar year. So if you earn 110k in 2016, you have the CP for 2016 and 2017. But even if you just let the points sit there and didn’t use them, you wouldn’t get the CP again because you didn’t earn them. They were just “leftover” from years before.

  • If I sign up for a personal card today and earn 50,000 points, and then sign up for a business card in January 2016 to earn another 50,000 points will that make my companion pass good for a full 2 years? January 2016 – December 2017? I wasn’t sure if the time began when you signed up for the first card or when you earn the 110K points.

    • @Alexis- No, because you have to earn 110k in one CALENDAR year. So if you get 50k now, and then 50k in 2016, you won’t get the CP. You MUST get 110k in one calendar year. So if you are opening a card now to get 50k, make sure to get the other 50k before the year is over…and make sure those points post before December 31st!

  • I have referrals for the 50K bonus when you get a Southwest Airlines Plus Credit Card.


    You have to spend $2000 in 3 months.
    You receive 3000 bonus points on your CC anniversary

    This offer was sent to me to hand out to my friends and family.
    If you want to be my friend and use this offer
    Email me at

    Offer expires 09/30/2015

  • I currently have about 22000 RR points in my SW account, but don’t have the SW CC. I am wondering if those points count towards my 110000 or if they have to be all new points/purchases. Love your blog. THX!!

    • @Megan- How’d you get those 22k points? If you got them through flying, and you got them this year, then yes, they should definitely count. You can actually check on your SW account and they should have a thing that says “progress towards Companion Pass.”

  • I am planning to open the two credit cards tomorrow, one business and one personal. I have a personal referral for the 50k but don’t have one for the business one. Does anyone have a business referral for the 50,000. I want to earn the 110,000 points before December so I can earn the companion pass for 2016 and 2017. I’ve had also heard that these bonus points don’t count for companion pass is this true?

    • @Ruth- The points, as of right now, do count. That can change at any point, but as of right now, they count. You’ll have to find a 50k biz link too to make it work out though.

  • OK–how does this sound?
    After January 1st and as soon as a 50K bonus shows up I’m going to open a business card and spend $5000 in the first 6 weeks or so. To meet the 110K for a companion pass I was planning on transferring the approximately 55K needed points from my Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards card. I know I’ll have to transfer those points into a hotel account before I transfer them into my SWA account.
    My question is: does it matter when those points were earned? They’re in my account right now and since they’re a transfer into my RR account SWA has no clue when they were actually earned, right? Does this sound like a pretty solid strategy?

    • @Art- Yep, you’ve got it down pat. That would work fine. As long as you transfer to a hotel first and then to Southwest, then it’ll work. However, you might need more than 55k Chase points to do that. Because it will transfer usually 1:1 from Chase to a hotel. So 55k Chase = 55k Hyatt. But Hyatt won’t transfer to Southwest at 1:1 usually. So just make sure to figure out the best conversion that way.

  • Hi Trav,

    This year I got the Chase SW Business and personal card. And then I got the Companion Pass! Woo hoo! Having a great time with it. I am thinking about applying for the Chase SW Plus card on my next Apporama. My question, is this: my companion pass expires Dec 31st 2016. I know I will want to get another one as soon as I can. Should I go ahead and cancel my first 2 (Chase SW Business & Personal cards) now? I read somewhere that you have to wait at least 24 months before being able to get the 50k points again with their credit card. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Hi there. I’d appreciate your thoughts. I’d like to open a personal Visa now to earn 50,000 points to take our family of 5 to Disney over Christmas. The points will fund 2 tickets, and we could not do the trip without it!

    In addition to this, I’d like to earn the Companion Pass. But with just a few months left in the year, that won’t be an option (ssince it starts over Jan 1).

    Disney at Christmas is a priority. But my husband says to wait to open any cards until January, then go for the Companion Pass. Is there any way to do both?

    • @Emily- Well, you could have yourself open up 2 cards now (1 biz 1 personal) under your name and get the points before Christmas, and also get 1 Companion Pass.

      Then, you could have your husband open 2 cards in January 2016 and he could earn a CP as well. That’d give you 2 CP’s, meaning you could each designate a child as your companion and 4 of you could fly for free.

      If you can both get cards, that’s the way I’d do it. Then you are still able to do Disney at Christmas, you have 2 CP’s, and you are loaded up with points!

  • Hi, I want to get a companion pass starting in 2016. Is it safe to apply for the 50,000 bonus now? You’re supposed to spend $2000 in 3 months and then the points are transferred after that billing cycle. So will they not be posted until January 2016? Or should I just wait until October 2015 to apply?


    • @Wesley- Getting it now is cutting it close. You’d have to wait until the very end of your 3 months to make the minimum spend (mid-December) and then hope that the points post in 2016.

      I think it’s safer to wait until October to apply, then wait until January 2016 to hit the minimum spend so you are sure it’s posting then.

  • So I applied for the credit card back in June of this year and received the 50,000 points and have spent another 10,000 already this year. So I saw that I can open another southwest credit card to get the other 50,000 points. I applied for the second one on 9/10 and got approved so if I spend the 2,000 by the end of 2015 I should get the companion pass for 2016, correct? I know sometimes it can take a few weeks for the points to update on my account and didn’t know if that would affect the companion pass status if my account didn’t update in time

    • Another question too… if I spend the 2,000 by the end of October for example do I get the 50K points right away or do I have to wait the 3 months before they will post the 50K points to my account?

      • @sam- They usually take about 3-6 weeks after you hit the minimum to post. So spend as quickly as possible, and keep checking to see when the points post.

    • @sam- Make sure that you are spending the $2k quick enough that your bonus points for the new card post by 2015. Then you’ll have the CP for the rest of 2015 and all of 2016. However, if your bonus points didn’t post until 2016, you’d be out of luck because you need to earn 110k in ONE CALENDAR YEAR. So once January 1st hits, everything resets.

  • Hi Trav,

    I signed up for the premier and the plus cards and they will be on the way soon. When I called customer service, the rep told me that only the premier 50K will count towards travel companion, the plus will not. Did you ever hear anything like this before?


    • @Evelyn- I’ve never heard anything like that. Both should count. I’d just make the spends and see what happens. I’ve always seen bonuses count towards the CP.

  • Please clarify the timing of the points….I am hoping to do 2 cards with 50k bonus for each and would like to time it so I have the companion pass for 2016 and 2017…..


    • @Mike- You need to make sure your points post in 2016 – which means you have to make sure to finish the minimum spend in early January 2016. Since you only have 3 months to make the minimum spend, you are cutting it close. So if you get the card now, you’ll need make sure not to spend the $2k on either card until very very late December or early January. Then you’ll get the points in 2016 and be good to go.

  • SWA fine print is: 1) no more than 50k points from credit cards within any two year period, and,2)have to accrue 110k points within a calendar year to score a CP. Catch 22.

    Appears now impossible to do so, unless there is some way to transfer hotel points within the Chase card family?

    Please advise.

    • @Pablo- It says 50k from credit cards, but the truth is, as of right now, all your credit card bonuses and points will count towards CP. That could change at any time, but right now, it counts.

      You can, of course, transfer hotel points to SW as well, but it will take a lot of hotels points to do that!

  • Hi – my companion pass expires at the end of this year. SW told me my companion has to physically travel in this year. However I booked a flight for January 2016 and I have the option to add a companion. Do you know if I can book flights into next year and add the companion now before I lose it? SW told me no but the website appears to let me. Thanks.

    • @DL- I honestly have no idea, but this would be something I’d also love to find out. Obviously, if you could still add a companion on and travel AFTER the CP expires, this opens up a whole extra year of free travel if you plan ahead.

      Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it will work. I’d say try it out and let us know, but…that could be risky. Anyone else know?

      • So I finally tried it. I booked a flight in February and it still gave me the option to add my companion. Went through the steps to book the companion ticket but it errored out at the end. So although I have the option to add, it didn’t let me. Booo

  • if i apply for 2 cards this month , as long as i dont meet the minimum(2000 each card) till after jan 2016, will the points count i earn in nov and dec 2015 as long as they are under 2000. once you apply for the card , you have 90 days to spend 2000?? its not the date you spend the money, its the month it shows up on your card? is applying now , good timing? thank you for all your advice and help

    • @selley- Yes, that would work. You want your points to post in 2016, so just make sure not to hit $2k on either of those cards before that. It’s when the points post, not when you start spending.

  • So I signed up for my personal southwest card in February only at 83,000 points so I recently applied for and received a south west business card. My question is do the reward points for both cards show up under the rapid rewards account you initially set up? Are the point automatically combined to count toward the 110,000 points?

    • @Shameka- You have to make sure that you tie the same account to the business card. What I would do is call up Southwest and tell them you got a business card and that you want to make sure the points go in to your account. Then give them the account number that already has 83k in it. Calling up will be the easiest.

  • Hi Trav! I’m close to the 110,000 points for a Southwest companion pass and wanted to know how to time it just right to get 2 years worth. The SW website states that “Points earned during a billing cycle on a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase are not available for redemption or qualification for Companion Pass status until they are posted on your billing statement and posted to your Rapid Rewards Account. Only points posted on your billing statements and posted to your Rapid Rewards Account during the same calendar year are available for qualification for Companion Pass status.” Did SW change their policy? Thought that I could make my last purchase end of December to post on my December 2015 billing cycle of 12/7/15 – 1/6/16, but it will post on 1/8/16, which is not in the same calendar year of 2015. Sounds like SW does not accept that anymore. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    • @Sue- You need to make sure they post before 2015 is up or else it won’t count. That means you need to make the spending now, pay off the card as soon as possible, and then go from there. Good luck…and don’t wait until last minute. Would hate to see you not get it again.

  • I called up Southwest to ask if I can sign up for the Premier and Plus to get 50k bonus points each, but they said there’s no such promotion. It’s now 25k bonus for just the premier and those points don’t even qualify for the Companion Pass. Did they end this whole promotion? Did someone have the same experience?

    • @Kathryn- They DO count towards the Companion Pass. They will tell you it doesn’t, but it does. AS far as the promotion, one of the cards has a 50k signup. The other one might not at the moment. But it could come back. Just keep your eyes open.

  • I am close to getting 110K this year, but when I read the Companion Pass rules, the fine print states: “points earned from program enrollment do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.” Are program enrollment points the same as the bonus points discussed above?

    • @Fred- It says that, but as of right now, the bonus points do count. So right now, you are safe. Of course that could change at any point, but yes, you’re safe for now. They will count.

  • Here’s a complicated question:

    I churned enough to get the companion pass. I registered my wife as my “companion”. We have two kids – one is 18months and the other is 3 months. We just flew to chicago and back (all four of us) for the price of one ticket because both children are lap seats

    Here’s my dilemma: My wife wants to go see her family in Colorado. I can’t go because of work. Can I still buy a ticket for myself, add my wife as a companion and just have my wife board with her and my ticket and have the 18month old baby sit in my seat? This way the three of them can still travel for the price of ONE ticket.

    Otherwise we would have to buy two tickets (one for my wife and one for the 18month old and the 3month old would sit on my wives lap)

    Any experience on this scenario would be greatly appreciated!!!


    • @Bowser- Great question. Technically, no, you have to be flying for the companion to be able to fly. I’m guessing they are smart enough to catch this, but…I can’t say for sure. But my guess would be that they would get to the airport, you wouldn’t check in, that would raise some flags, and they would see that you weren’t there. That might make them not let your family board the plane. It’d be risky to go about it that way.

  • I’m at 85,184 pts right now, can you think of some combo scenarios on what I can do to make the companion pass? I see certain promos 20pts per $ meaning can i do a certain promo 20pts per $ ($35,000 divided by 20pts) = $1,750 in merch? I cant see anywhere in the fine print issues about buying $1,750 from places that offer the 20pt per dollar.

    • @Tarek – Yes, that would work. Those bonus points from shopping portals will count, and are definitely your best bet towards getting the CP. Good luck man, 1.5 months left!

  • Thanks for the great write up, Trav, very helpful!

    Question for you on something I’d like to clarify and here’s an example scenario:

    I apply for and receive my personal and business cards in mid-November. I then spend $1500 towards the minimum spend in early December but this amount is posted in December 2015.

    Does this $1500 count towards the 110,000 points? Or would I have needed to spend the $2000 minimum (for each card) during 2016 so that the $4k I’m spending also counts as points for 2016 (for a total of 104,000 vs 100,000)?

    Hope I explained that properly and thanks in advance for your help!


    • @Kim- The 1500 points in this case wouldn’t count towards the 110k you need because it posted in December. Anything posted in December won’t count. The 50k signup bonuses will count (because they posted after December) but the points earned for the actual spending wouldn’t count unless they posted in January.

      Which means, yes, you’d have to spend the $2k in January to make sure that those 2k points post in January and then count towards the CP.

  • What do you recommend to the traveler who only needs approximately 10,000 points to earn the companion pass and only has 1 and 1/2 months to get it? The Marriott card says to earn the 50,000 bonus points you have to spend a certain amount within 3 months. Obviously 3 months from now is next year. See my dilemma? Will that work in my case?

    • @Jennifer- Oh man, thats tough. Can you spend $10k in that time period? If so, or if you know someone with a big purchase, have them use your credit card and then pay you back. That will get you 10k points, and you’ll have enough for the CP.

      The other option is to shop through the Southwest shopping portal. This will give you bonus points for everything you buy, sometimes in large chunks. Look for stuff you can buy there, get the SW points, and try to hit 10k.

  • If I am expecting to earn the companion pass around the end of December, can I book a flight now for myself (the flight will be in March), and add my companion in December when I earn the pass?

    • @Kylie- Yes, you can do that. But what I would recommend is that you hold off earning your CP until January. If you do that, you’ll have it for all of 2016 and 2017 instead of the end of December 2015 and 2016.

  • Do you know when this offer will be around again, or is it still currently going on? I know this offer cycles, but from what I can tell it is at 25,000 currently.

  • Say I were to apply for both a personal and business credit card today and earn my 100,000 by December of 2015. Am I able to cash them in in January 2016 for my companion pass, or do the points have to be earned in the same calendar year that you redeem them for the companion pass?

    I’m trying to find a way to get my companion pass as early as possible in the 2016 calendar year to use it for both 2016 and 2017 since I have a lot of trips planned!

    • @Jenna- Apply for them now, just don’t hit the minimum spend requirement until January. Then the points will post in January and you’ll have it for 2016 and 2017.

  • Hi Trav! I signed up for my chase southwest card this month to get the 50K bonus miles, I’ve spent the minimum so the points should post at the end of the month. Will these count next year towards earning the 110K points or do I have to try and hit 110K points this calendar year 2015?

    Also.. If you redeem the points, do they still count?

    Thanks so much!!

    • @Alyssa- You need to hit 110k in ONE CALENDAR YEAR. So if they post in December, they count for 2015. Which means if you already have 60k plus these 50k, you’ll get the Companion Pass. But if you don’t already have 60k, then you’re going to be in trouble.

      Yes, redeemed points count. It’s how many you EARN, not how many are actually in your account at that time.

  • Trav,
    Help! So as of Dec 3, I should have 104,000 in my soutwest account. I’m so, so close! I called southwest and pleaded with them to tell me some way to get the remaining 6000 in my account prior to next credit card statement posting date (Jan 3, 2016). They emphatically said NO. Furthermore, they said transfers (ie, from hotels), don’t work. I then stumbled upon your site after frantically googling this–wish I had seen it earlier!! So my question: could I possibly use the Marriott point transfer in this time crunch? I have a month left… The service agent said no, you say yes. I’m confused. Is there something I’m missing?

    • @Ray- You should be able to transfer Marriott points. Now, how long that will take is anyone’s guess. But…I think it’d be your best bet at this point. I mean, worst case scenario is you waste some Marriott points (and they would still be SW points, so they aren’t totally wasted). Best case – you get the CP. I’d make the transfer ASAP!

  • My boyfriend is very close to reaching companion pass status. When is the final date he can qualify? 12/31?

    I had no idea the pass was good for an entire year after! I thought it was only good for the year that you earned it (which seemed impossible.) Holy crap!

    • @Rochelle- He will have to get all the points posted in his account by 12/31, yes. So HURRY! Crazy that it’s good for both the year you earn it and the one after – it’s an insane perk!

  • I have two credit cards with cut off date of 2nd and 5th of the month respectively. I have $500 to spend on each card to make it minimum purchase of $2000 to earn the 50K points on each card.

    Since the cutoff date have already passed, I now spend the required minimum now and should get my 100K points (50K points on each card) to be posted in Jan 2016. Is this true or will I get the 100K points in 2015?

  • Hi,

    I just transfer point from my husband Southwest Card to my Account to reach 110,000 point. But I wonder when they give me the companion pass ? Or how is it work?


  • This is a great forum! I have a couple of questions/points for clarification: 1) Where do I find the 50k pts link for new card (either card); 2) Just to clarify Chase points DO NOT count towards 110k CP rqmt, but going through a hotel would (at a discounted rate); and 3) Is Int’l travel (i.e. Costa Rica) part of the CP travel desitnations? Thank you!

    • @Mike – Thanks, here are your answers:

      1) 50k links can be found by just googling or by checking this Flyertalk forum, which is updated all the time.

      2) Right. Chase points DON’T count if they are directly transferred, but hotel points that are transferred to SW do count.

      3) All destinations are part of the companion pass, including international ones.

  • I really goofed. I’m hoping there is some way to fix it, but I’m doubtful When RR Visa had their 50,000 pt bonus sign up in September, I was able to get both the personal premiere and the regular one. Problem is, while I was charging away on one card, I hit $2000 in NOVEMBER, which means it will appear on my December 2015 RR Statement; thus splitting my $100,000 points – one card will be awarded the bonus $50,000 on the Dec 2015 statment, and the other card will get the bonus on the Jan 2016 RR statement.
    I’m sick about it. totally sick. Do I have any recourse?…I doubt it. Should I bother trying to get the additional 10,000 pts in before the end of the year?
    Any ideas? I even tried to get the Business RR Visa card just now – called the reconsideration line over the phone, but was turned down flat. The rep said I too recently opened up 2 personal Chase cards. ARRGGGHHHH!
    Any advice would be aprreciated.
    PS Another question: Since I’d like to try for the CP again in 2 years, should I go and cancel these accounts out, so I will be eligible for 2 new accounts in 24 months?

    • @Debra- Ugh…yeah, there isn’t much you can do unfortunately. What I would do is this:

      Try to get the business version of the card in 2016 sometime. Yes, they denied you this time, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get it later, maybe in March. If that happens, you’ll have 50k that will post in Jan 2016 and you’ll have 50k from the business. That’s your only real option at this point.

      I would not cancel those two accounts out. It won’t help. I’d try to get it for 2016 and 2017.

      • Thanks so much for your input. I’ll try again in March, as you suggested. All the hits on the credit checks don’t help my credit score though. I’ve had excellent credit right along so I don’t want to mess with that either.
        Thanks again

  • I just recently reached Companion Pass status. I reached A-List a few weeks before that. I can verify that the credit card points do still go toward the CP but NOT A-List. I reached A-List with the number of flights and not points. I have a question. I just booked a my first flight using the CP. I am A-List. Does my companion fly A-List as well? Or will she get a later boarding position? I ask because it is giving me the option to add the Early Bird to her part of the reservation. I hope she gets automatically checked in with me.

    • @MikeL- I’m not sure if your Companion gets A-list or not. I’m not A-list, so I have no experience with that unfortunately. If you find out, please let us know though. That’d be great to know for future reference.

      • I emailed Southwest to ask. I was told that even though my companion has to fly the exact same itinerary, her check in is totally separate. So, I am automatically checked in 36 hours ahead of time. She will have to manually check in or buy the Early Bird (24 hour auto check-in). Then, if I want to board with her, I have to go back to her position. Our flight is next Friday. If it ends up any different, I will reply again.

  • I’m about 8k points short of a companion pass this year. If I buy Marriott points today and transfer them asap, think they’ll post by EOY?

    • @Andrew- Eeeeek…doubtful. They usually take a little while to post. Can’t hurt, and is probably your best bet, but I wouldn’t count on it. Good luck!

  • Thanks for keeping up on replies to this post! I just spoke with them on the phone and they claimed that applying for two cards would *not* allow me to get 50K points x2 in one account…is this just their standard answer, and it works anyways? I have been trying to find evidence of it working *recently* and I can’t…

    • @Shauna- As long as you use the same SW Rapid Rewards number when you apply, it will be credited to the same account. I’ve never heard of this not working.

    • @Stasi- I’m not sure if Hilton transfers to SW, and if they do, you have to check the ratio. If it’s 4-1 or better, than yes, that would work.

      • HEADS UP! I went ahead and went this route – got over 100,000 points with the Hilton Honors Card. only to find that do NOT transfer to SW. The two companies stopped cooperating in 2012. Thought you all should not.

        • @Debra – Yeah, some of the airline/hotel partnerships shift and change over time, so definitely check before you get points JUST to transfer to Southwest. Thanks for letting us know about Hilton.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your help. have been reading your blog everyday to make my travel plans.. you are amazing. After reading your article about Southwest companion pass – I decided to get 2 southwest credit cards in october 2015 and made purchases exactly as you had suggested. Somehow I messed up with my statement dates (I had called chase to change my statement dates but the change never went through) and all statement POINTS posted on 17th december 2015. That means I was awarded 106009 points on December 2015 and starting January 2016, I have ZERO qualifying points for Companion pass. I wanted to know if you know if theres a any way around this.

    I dont want my 106009 points to go anywhere and find someway to earn the companion pass.

    • @NPBarry- You can TRY to call them and plead your case (call Southwest that is) but my guess is that they won’t budge. Which means that you’ll have to earn 110k SW points this year (2016) in order to get it. That really, really stinks.

  • I have invites for the 50,000 bonus points for the Chase Southwest PREMIER credit card. Please email me at mari. king. 55@gmail. com (no spaces obviously, trying to avoid spam). Once you email me I’ll send you an invite via email. Now that I’ve sent a few I’ve received feedback that it can take up to 7 days to receive the invite link, so don’t panic if you don’t receive it right away. Don’t forget to check your junk mail!

  • Hello!

    I’ve been reading up on this SW CP and I’m super interested in it. Both my wife and I are in line for our next card and so I’d love to do this deal. What I can’t find any info on though is this… Can I sign up for a card under my name, get the 50k spending AND my wife sign up under her name separately, get the 50k and both of them apply to the same Rewards account? If so, sounds like a no brainer, but if not i’d be more nervous to have to do both cards under either my name or hers. Does anyone have experience with this?

    • @Chris – No, you can’t apply them to the same account unfortunately. You’d have to get 2 or your she’d have to get 2. They won’t let you combine points in to the same account if the card is in different names.

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  • Hi Trav,

    I was recently approved for both premier and plus personal card, each with the 50,000 point bonus after $2,000 spending. If I purchase Marriott points, will the amount I charge for those points count towards my overall $2,000 spending? Trying to plan this perfectly and get the CP as quickly as possible. Also, how quickly do points post after statement closing? I’ve read different time lengths depending on if you meet the spending limit mid-statement (points post almost immediately after statement closing). Thanks!

    • @Beth – Yes, buying Marriott points should definitely count towards your minimum spend because it’s a purchase. Points usually post 2-4 weeks after your statement closes, although they say it can be up to 6-8 weeks.

      Congrats on getting all that and getting the SW companion pass. It rocks!

  • Question. I just opened up the rapid rewards business card and was approved instantly. However, I was denied the personal card. I then had my wife sign up for the personal card and had her card tied to my rapid rewards account. Does it matter that the two cards are in two different names? As long as they are tied to the same rapid rewards account I should receive the points from both cards correct? Im just worried that since its two different individuals I might not get credit for the points. Thanks for the help.

    • @Austin – Typically, they won’t let someone with a different name tie their card to a different southwest account. I would DEFINITELY call Chase and check to see which account they plan on putting your wife’s points in. Usually, they won’t put it in your account, they will create a different account for her. I’ll cross my fingers that you are able to make it work.

  • Do the 110K points have to be in the account to receive the CP? Or is it just an accumulation of points? For instance, can we use points while trying to hit 110K points (does Southwest keep track of that)?

    • @Lindsey- No, the 110k doesn’t have to be in the account at one time. You can use the points while trying to hit it. You just have to earn a total of 110k in one calendar year.

  • Question- I just applied and got approved for my personal (filled out apps for both). When I called to get my business one approved/verified they said since I just got approved for personal I would have to wait for 30 days.

    So disappointed! Have you heard of this happening? Should I just call back?

    • @Kate – I would definitely call back. Usually you don’t have to wait 30 days. Call back, and try to get another representative who will get you approved immediately. I always try 3x. If after the third time I don’t get the answer I want, then I give up.

  • Also keep in mind that shopping online via Southwest Shopping Rewards at
    will also earn you points that count toward your companion pass – and much faster. Many stores have specials for 2x – 10x per dollar. I buy from Home Depot and Nordstrom a lot – both have the option to buy online and pick up in store. And I earned 289,000 points last year for buying what I would normally buy. I always go there first – even when standing in the store – I go online, buy it, and pick up at the counter.

    • @Kena- Very, very good point. That is a great suggestion. Wow, 289k points – that is a HAUL! And I love the idea of you going online and shopping while in the store – classic!

      I’m going to be doing this to get to 110k myself this year since I don’t think I’ll be able to score the SW cards again (since I’ve gotten them before). Thanks!

  • I successfully got the 50,000 point bonus from both the Personal Plus and Personal Premiere Cards and now I’m just a few days away from getting my Companion Pass, so be hopeful! I was cautious and waited until January to hit my spending threshold for both cards just to be sure I got the points this year, but I can confirm that the points arrived as soon as the date for that statement month ended.

    I do have referrals for the Premiere card 50,000 sign-up if anyone needs one (email @

    I’m curious for those that have referrals for the Plus card how you got them? I’ve only got the option for the Premiere card through Chase.

    I can’t wait to start using our Pass!

    • @Matt – Awesome, huge congratulations. The CP is amazing, as you’ll find out! How’d you get referrals for the Premier card?

  • Hi! I have a question. I just booked myself and my daughter for an August flight on a WGA fare. I want to try to earn the companion pass. here are my questions. If I cancel that flight (after earning the CP), I will get Southwest credit for both of us. Can I rebook myself using that credit , and put my daughter on as the companion? (Everyhting says you can book with cash or points, but doesn’t mention using SW credit.) Also, will her credit be available for ME to use, or will they only be available for HER to use in the future.

    • @Vicki – Interesting questions. I’ve never experienced it before, but here is that I THINK (emphasis on think) will happen:

      1) Yes, you could book her as your companion with SW credit.
      2) I’m guessing the credit will go to her account and her name.

      I’d call and ask though.

  • Hi Trav, I always appreciate the info you post. Very helpful. I already have a business card with Southwest with 34K points and I made the mistake of calling regarding the personal card and transferring the points and they said I couldn’t do that. I did get an application from Marriott rewards card to earn $80,000 points. I just don’t understand how to transfer them directly to southwest without going through chase..? Would this work to get my Companion pass?

    • @Carrie Wolf – Yes, transferring from Marriott to SW will count towards the companion pass. To do this, all you have to do is go to, go in to your account, and then find where it allows you to transfer to a partner. From there, pick Southwest, put in your SW number, and it should work fine.

      One word of warning though- 80k Marriott will not equal 80k SW. I’m not sure of the exchange rate at the moment, but last time I checked 70k Marriott got you 25k Southwest. So I would only make the transfer if then you could get the additional SW points some other way and get the CP.

  • If anyone needs a referral for the 50,000 point referral for the SOUTHWEST PLUS card, please email me at phu_anny at

  • Can I make myself the Companion, thus freeing the middle seat everywhere I fly? I’ve tried to find this answer and can’t. I could call Southwest I suppose.

  • Referral for the 50,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

    Since I was able to get to the companion pass through a referral, I thought I’d offer the same to anyone who needs a referral for the southwest promotion! Feel free to respond to this comment with your email address and name so I can send you an invite! Thanks :)

  • I have 10 e-mail invites to share with others that would like 50,000 miles on a SW Premier credit card. Once approved, simply spend $2,000 on the card in three months and get 50,000 SW miles.

    Send me your first name and e-mail address and I can generate the referral. Currently, the most miles that you can obtain outside of a referral is 25,000. Send e-mail to doug56788 at hotmail dot com

    Thank you

  • Can you combine the 50k points from Personal and 50k points from business to get 100k points that will count towards the companion pass?

    • @Mark L – Yep, sure can. Just make sure that you put the same Southwest frequent flyer number in for both when you apply for the cards.

  • This sounds too good to be true. I just applied for a SW card to get 50K points. Could I (after we spend the minimum and get those point) have my wife then sign up for her own SW card, get her 50K points, and then have her transfer her points to me?

    • @AdamS – No, if she transfer the points to you, it won’t count. The 110k points have to all be earned in the same account, which is why most people get 1 business and 1 personal card. That way, you can tie the same southwest account to both cards and earn 100k quickly.

  • I have 10 e-mail invites to share with others that would like 50,000 miles on a SW Premier credit card. Once approved, simply spend $2,000 on the card in three months and get 50,000 SW miles.

    Send me your first name and e-mail address and I can generate the referral. Currently, the most miles that you can obtain outside of a referral is 25,000. Send e-mail to darrellsgallegos at gmail dot com (

    Thank you

  • Question. If I spend $110,000 a year, every year, on the SWA card, does the companion ticket perk continue each and every year or is there a limitation just for the initial time period (balance of year plus the following year).

    • @Dave – As of right now, you’ll continue to get it, year after year. No limitation. That can change at any moment, obviously, but right now, you’re good.

  • I have CODES for the PLUS and PREMIER cards for 50K points! Email me your first name and e-mail address and I can generate the referral. Email is:, and the link will be sent from Southwest in 3 business days!

  • I have 10 e-mail referrals for each of the PLUS and PREMIER cards for 50K points! Email me your first name and e-mail address and I can generate the referral. my e-mail is:, and the link will be sent from Southwest/Chase in 3-5 business days!

  • I have referrals for the SW PREMIER CARD for 50,000 bonus points. Please send me your first name and email address to . I’d be happy to share tips for getting the extra 6,000 points after both credit card bonuses.

  • I have referrals for both the Premier and Plus card available! Spend 2,000 in the first 3 months and receive 50,000 points. I was quickly able to get the companion pass by signing up for both of these cards with this bonus. E-mail me at if you would like a referral and let me know for which card!

  • Hey Travis! Great article – it finally convinced me to make the leap and go for it, after I’ve kept an eye on the companion pass for a while.
    Sadly, I went with the personal card and business card option, and I just got off the phone with the reconsideration line. They declined my application. Oddly, I do have a side business doing marketing and business development consulting (about a year now) in addition to my main gig at an investment firm. I told the woman twice that my estimated revenue was between 7-10k for the year (which is definitely a rough estimate but I’m confident that’s about what I’ll generate). When she later came back she told me they could not extend the card to me because the business was too ‘new’ and they were too blind to if it would do well.

    Now, to be totally transparent, I carry about a 40% balance of my total credit line on my personal Chase credit card. She mentioned it, but said it had little to no baring on their decision, and it was mostly because the business is ‘new’ and with revenue of about $7k they could not extend the card to me as it had a minimum limit of $5k.

    Lastly, she mentioned that if I started to make more than anticipated, I could re-apply in a month or two and they might reconsider. Is this her way of telling me that my estimate is too low? I have an excellent credit score, and they just approved me for the personal Chase/Southwest card. I’m just curious what I did wrong, as I’d read your tips for calling the business reconsideration line and followed them closely. I don’t want to negatively impact my credit score by having too many inquiries, and I’m not sure how credit requests being denied affect it (if at all), but without the additional business credit card I’ve got absolutely no shot at making it to 110,000 points.

    Any recommendations for what to do? I believe the current 50,000 promotion ends the first week of June.

    Would love your help!

    Thanks, and happy travels.

    • @Charlotte – yeah, I’d definitely reapply with a higher estimated income amount. Then, you’ll also have more motivation to grow your side business even more! But a higher estimated amount will give you a much better chance of getting the card.

  • When you get to the 110,000 points, are all those points used to “purchase” the companion pass?
    Also, do balance transfers count for anything?

    • @Angela413- Once you hit 110k points, you’ll have the option to pick a companion. That means you have the companion pass. It will show up in your Southwest members account area. So you don’t have to purchase anything. You just get it for hitting 110k points.

  • Hi. I just go approved for the premiere card and I’ve been waiting with bated breath for it to arrive. I thought I was being clever but darn I think I made a calculation error! I was thinking if I hit the 110,000 points by DDecember 31st, I’d get the companion pass in early January thus taking advantage of the 2 year loophole. Upon further investigation it seems I may have outsmarted myself-I.e. if I hit it December 31 does that mean I will only have the co for exactly one year? Do the statement close dates make any difference? Thought I was clearer than I am! Please advise :) Thanks!

    • @Denise – It depends when your points post. Whenever your points post, that’s when it counts for that year. So if you hit it exactly on December 31st, you’d have it for the rest of that year (basically 1 day) and then the next year. If you hit it on January 1st, you’d have it for that year (365 days) and the next year (another 365 days).

      So you want to hit it as close to the beginning of the year as possible. But it’s always really risky to play it too close with those dates. I’d try to get it mid-January so you make sure it doesn’t post in late December and screw you.

  • Hi Trav, thanks so much for all the great information on this topic. I hadn’t ever heard of doing this until today. I am very interested in getting 2 cards to get the initial 100k in RR points after I spend the $2000 in 3 months on each card.

    I found out today on the phone that you get additional RR points for applying over the phone with the Visa department instead of applying online. Not sure how many additional RR points you will get, but a SW CSR advised me of this.
    I am curious though, I currently have about 3700 RR points before the credit cards, what is the best/fastest way to earn the additional 6300 RR points if I don’t have any points to transfer from another Chase credit card or hotel points? I would love to utilize this opportunity since it is still fairly early in the year, but don’t want to get 6000 RR points away and not be able to make it by year end.

    Thanks for your help in advance!!

    • One other thing, if I apply for a business card along with the personal, but I don’t have a business can I still apply for the business card? If so, how?

    • @Rachel – You can either spend $6300 to get the points, you could shop through the Southwest shopping portal to get bonus points, or you could transfer hotel points over and they will count as well. Just depends on what is easiest for you.

  • I am my husband’s ‘Companion’ :) My question is this: we don’t necessarily need to go on a round-trip together, right? Example: I plan to fly to see my parents, but husband has work. He will meet me there a few days later and then we will fly back together on Southwest. He should be able to just add me onto the return trip home, right?

    • @Affifa- Yeah, that will work because you can book each one way ticket separately. So have him book his trip there first, then have him book the way back separately and add you to that.

      • As of today I have earned 59,000 SW points during 2016. Assuming the 50K offer holds true, you advise me when to apply for the next credit card and when to spend? My points post on the 6th of each month.

        Thank you!

  • I have referrals for both the Plus and Premier Southwest Visa. 50,000 points on either card after $2000 spend. Just click on the links below.



    Using either of these links will give me 5,000 bonus points and you will be on your way to getting the companion pass. It’s a win win situation for both of us.

    enjoy :)

  • I have 50,000 bonus point referrals for both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier and Plus cards and waived annual fee for the first year. I used the 50,000 points to help get my companion pass a few years back and its been amazing for travel to places we normally would not get to visit. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions (kbw3261 at

    Receive an offer for 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $99 annual fee applied to your first billing statement.

    Receive an offer for 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $69 annual fee applied to your first billing statement.

    • @Alex Velluto- Other airlines have companion passes, but they aren’t any good. They are usually just good for one flight and have a lot of stipulations. The Southwest one is BY FAR the best.

  • Thanks for the great post! Can you give an idea of how long it takes to get the companion pass after you spend the 2k on the card. We currently have 79,000 miles from air travel and opening the personal card this year- business card arrives tomorrow and we will spend the minimum same day. Hoping for companion pass ASAP- lots of trips this fall! Thank you!

  • I recently received a SW Premier card. I have earned 59,000 points in 2016. I am trying to earn a companion pass and need to strategize.. If the 50KSW offer holds true, when should I apply for my second card and when should I have the points post? Should I do it ASAP so I have until December 2016 for year one and all of 2017 for year two?

  • I got the personal premier card last October, and the business premier in May of this year not knowing that I needed both cards minimum sons in the same year. So me I need to apply for the plus card.
    My first question is, if it’s hard to get 3 cards from SW, what are my chances? I have excellent credit..
    And should I apply in October of this year?
    Also, I need to clarify. In order to maximize getting Companion pass, do I need to spend the 2k in by the end of 2016? Or do the points have to be in my Acct by by the end of 2016 or Jan 2017 to have the companion pass for almost 2 years? Or what date do I need to make the minimum spend by? Hope this makes sense!

  • I just earned my CP this month. Do I have to keep 110K points in order for it to carry over to 2017? Also, if I want to have it in 2018, do I have to earn another 110K or will I stay in CP status so long as I have 110K points “banked”?

    • @Danielle – Congrats! No, you don’t have to keep 110k in for it to carry over. You automatically have it for 2017 once you’ve earned it for 2016.

      You will have to earn it again for 2018, though.

    • I have a referral link for the SOuthwest PLUS & PREMIER 50,000 bonus point. Please email me at phu_anny at Thank you!

  • I wanted to add a note saying I successfully got both personal cards through Southwest in the past month. After having gotten the first one, I decided there was no reason not to go for the CP (even though I wish I had done it at the beginning of the year, I figure might as well go for it). At first I was declined from the Plus (personal card) but I called the reconsideration line and was super friendly and was accepted! I shifted some credit around but that was no big deal to me, as I am not a big spender. It’s possible, people…just be nice to your Chase customer service reps

  • Just a quick FYI on the Southwest credit cards for the companion pass, in case this might apply to anyone – Chase (the company that does the Southwest credit cards) has started enforcing a rule for credit card approvals where they won’t approve any new cards from someone who has more than 5 new credit card applications in the last 24 months. So if you’ve been getting some new cards in the past couple of years, beware that this might not work out. Here’s a blog post with some more details:

    Additional FYI – you may get denied even if you are an AUTHORIZED USER on another person’s cards (this happened to my husband). They can count this as another application. However, we called and got this waived for my husband, so if that applies to you then just give them a call and explain what’s up.

  • I have referrals for both the Chase Southwest Premier and Plus Visa Credit Card.

    Southwest Premier Visa Credit Card- (individual card / non-business)
    Bonus: 50,000 rapid rewards points after spending $2000 in 3 months. $99 Annual Fee.

    Southwest Plus Visa Credit Card- (individual card / non-business)
    Bonus: 50,000 rapid rewards points after spending $2000 in 3 months. $69 Annual Fee.

    Email me first name and email address and I will send referral.

    Great for earning companion pass!

    Offer I believe ends September 30, 2016.

    adrpibgal at gmail

  • I have a referral link for the SOuthwest PLUS & PREMIER 50,000 bonus point. Please email me at phu_anny at Thank you!

  • If you’re short as the year comes to a close, just use your Chase Southwest card to buy gift cards to your frequent stores. Costco (which now accepts VISA), Target, Walmart, Whole Foods, SOUTHWEST, Marriott, etc. etc. Well worth the small interest if you have to pay it in order to get the pass.

    Great article even four years later.

  • Thanks for sharing the information. Gosh, I feel like I’m so late to the game. If only I knew about this a few years ago :( Question though: we are now a family of 4, so traveling costs a bit more than it used to before the arrival of the twins. I just received the reserve. Would you wait until next year to attempt the Southwest awards/companion fare, or do it this year? We’ve been trying to do about 3 trips a year with the twins.

    • @kristi – I would wait until next year, and I would get it as early as possible next year so you had the Companion Pass for all of 2017 and 2018 (almost 24 whole months)!

      And don’t worry about being late to the game – the best time to start is now! And 3 years from now, your friends will say “I wish I had started when Kristi did”.

  • What are peoples experiences with changing companions? Can I have a reservation with on person 6 months out and make the change and make a new reservation 1 month out with a different person?

    • @Greg- According the rules, and what I’ve been told, the person has to be the companion of yours at the time they are flying with you. I don’t, however, know any way they could enforce this. So you probably could book a ticket for someone, change the companion, and still have the first person fly with you even when they aren’t the companion.

  • Hey Trav, this is a fantastic article.

    Hey Jim, great post!

    Do you know how quickly you can get the points from the business card once you meet the minimum required spend?

    I already have a Premier card and I’m at 80k miles. Would love to earn CP status before these points vanish at the end of the year… If I get the card and spend 2k in November, would it be possible to get the 50k points before the end of the year, or do I need to wait 3 months?

    Am I better off just letting those 80k points go and starting fresh next year?

    Thanks in advance!

    • @John – It’s possible, yes. But you do run the risk of just missing it. Usually points post 2-3 weeks after statement closes, although they say it can take up to 6-8 weeks. So you’ll be close. But why not try it? If you do miss it, you’re starting next year with 50k anyway.

  • Now is the perfect time to try to get the Southwest Companion Pass. If you time it correctly you can have the bonuses post in January and have the pass for nearly 2 years. Right now Chase is only offering 40,000 points but with these referrals you can earn 50,000 per card. After meeting the minimum spend this will have about 104,000 points and will be only 6,000 points shy of hitting the 110,000 needed.

    For the Southwest Plus card: #sponsored

    For the Southwest Premier card: #sponsored

    Yes I will get a referral bonus but you will get the companion pass. Win win for both of us. Enjoy :)

  • I also have referrals for Southwest Premier and Plus cards, each gives 50K Bonus Points after $2k spent in 3 months. All I need is your first name and email address and Chase will send you the offer.

  • I have referrals for both the Southwest Plus and the Southwest Premier card. Both of these come with a 50,000 point sign up bonus after hitting the $2000 minimum spend. This is an easy way to get the Southwest companion pass and after hitting the minimum spend on both cards you will have 104,000 of the 110,000 points needed. The current offer at Southwest is 40,000 points per card. Without the referral you would be missing out on an additional 20,000 points which will make it that much harder to get the companion pass.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    And this is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    Yes I will get a referral bonus if you use my link. If you time it out right and have the points post to your account in January, you can have the companion pass for nearly 2 years. If you like to travel on the cheap, there is no better way to do it.


  • Another idea… if you need to buy some points at the end of the year, pre-pay your federal taxes in December (, 1.87% fee). You can get 10000 pts for $187, and the IRS will give you back any overpayment when you file.

  • So I’m wondering if our companion pass expires in dec. 31, 2016, if i make the reservation before that date, can we still fly in 2017?

  • I have a few referrals left for the Southwest PLUS and PREMIER credit card w, 50,000 sign on bonus. Please email me at phu_anny at

  • I got both the personal and business premier cards, and plan to get the bonuses in January.

    Is there any reason why I couldn’t apply for the Plus card, either the business or personal version, to get an additional 40-50k points which will more than cover the remaining points I need to get the CB? Has anyone ever done this?

    • @Garrett – 3 different Chase SW cards might be tough. It’s technically feasible, but might be hard to convince them to give you the 3rd one. I’d recommend getting the other 10k another way.

      • You are right, they didn’t approve me. The reason they gave was “too many requests”.

        I ended up getting my wife to apply for a Marriott rewards card with an 80k point bonus. I will transfer the points from her Marriott account to mine, and then to my Southwest account to get the rest of the points needed for the Companion Pass.

  • Great article. Been a fan of the website for a while. I just applied for the Southwest Plus personal card through a 50K bonus offer referral link a friend sent me. I got approved!!! Now I’m wondering when I should apply for the Personal Premier card? Right now the bonus on the Premier is only 40K but a friend has a referral link for the 50K bonus offer. Any tips on how long I should wait before applying for the Premier card? Thank you!

    • @Carlos Delgado – I would wait at least 90 days, as you stand the best chance of getting approved. So MAKE SURE that you don’t get the 50k from the Plus personal card until the beginning of 2017. Then apply for the personal Premier in late Jan/early Feb, get those 50k, and you’ve got the companion pass.

  • I understand the 110,000 have to be earned within the same calendar year. Heres my question. If I reach my $2000 spending limit for one of the cards on 12/15/16 but they dont apply the 50,000 points until 1/15/17, will those points count for 2016 or 2017? Is it when I spend the money, or when the points are applied to my account?

    • @Laura Callahan – The points will count when they are applied to your account. So in the above example, they would count towards 2017 because that’s when they went in to your account.

  • I have referrals for both Southwest Personal cards. The Southwest Plus and The Southwest Premier. Both cards have a 50,000 point bonus after meeting the minimum spend. Click on the links for the details.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    And this is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    With the new year approaching this is the perfect time to apply. After meeting the minimum spend you will have 104,000 of the 110,000 points needed for getting the companion pass. And the best part is the pass is good for the rest of the year you earn it plus all of the following.

    If you have any questions you can email me at: (hotdogs are good @ Yahoo. com.) without the spaces and I will get back to you ASAP.

    I will get a referral bonus if you use my link.

    Thank you

  • I have a few referrals for both the Southwest PLUS and PREMIER w/ 50,000 Rapid Rewards point. The chase website is only offering 40,000 points. Please email me at phu_anny at for the referral link or you have any questions!

  • I have 10 referrals available for this awesome Southwest mileage card … Please help me earn points by using my referral codes and earn the max amount of points for yourself!! Email me at atashiawittwer @ yahoo . com I will be alerted immediately and will be able to send you the referral email immediately so you can start earning your points right away.

  • Hi, I’m a business owner and frequent traveler fed up with the new American and switching over to Southwest in 2017. I’ve been looking into this and it appears to be a super offer. I will get both a Premier personal and business card, and would like to get the referral bonus.If you have those, please email me at bbqguy1 at hotmail dot com Thanks!

  • Hello,

    So I currently have the Premier card with roughly 62k points accrued this year. I was looking to apply for the Plus card in order to get the CP but since the points wouldn’t be earned in the same calendar year is there any way I could still get the CP?


  • I don’t have a business but want to sign up for the card to get the points. How should I fill out the form? I’m sure not everyone who signs up has a business…

  • I have referral links for both Southwest Premier and Plus credit cards with 50k bonus below. Thanks in advance for using my referral link

    Earn 50,000 bonus points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Learn more at.

    Earn 50,000 bonus points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Learn more at.

  • I have 50,000 point referrals for both the Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier cards. Apply for both and you will and you will have at least 104,000 points after meeting the minimum spend. It’s an easy way to get the companion pass.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    and here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    I will get a referral if you use my referral.


  • I have referrals for both the Southwest Plus and the Southwest Premier card. Both of these come with a 50,000 point sign up bonus after hitting the $2000 minimum spend. This is an easy way to get the Southwest companion pass and after hitting the minimum spend on both cards you will have 104,000 of the 110,000 points needed. The current offer at Southwest is 40,000 points per card. Without the referral you would be missing out on an additional 20,000 points which will make it that much harder to get the companion pass.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    And this is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    Yes I will get a referral bonus if you use my link. If you time it out right and have the points post to your account in January, you can have the companion pass for nearly 2 years. If you like to travel on the cheap, there is no better way to do it.

  • I have referrals for both Southwest Personal cards. The Southwest Plus and The Southwest Premier. Both cards have a 50,000 point bonus after meeting the minimum spend. Please e-mail me your first name and e-mail address at

  • Once you earn the 110,000 points, and the companion pass. Do you have to keep both of your Southwest credit card active? Or can you cancel them? Either one or both of them?
    Do you need to have a Southwest credit card to use a companion pass? Do you need to have a Southwest credit card to use your miles?

  • If anybody is looking to earn the companion pass, I have the referrals you need. Both the Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier cards with the 50,000 point bonus. Click on the links below for details.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    and here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    I will get a referral bonus if you apply through my link. Thanks and good luck.

  • Email kap20k4 at hotmail dot com for referrals to both the southwest personal plus card as well as the personal premier card.

  • If anybody is looking to earn the companion pass, I have the referral for the Southwest Premier card with the 50,000 point bonus (Spend 2K in 3 months). Click on the links below for details.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    I will post the link to the Southwest Plus card later this week or you can email and I will send you a link. Let me know if you have any questions about the companion pass!

  • I have a friend who accidentally applied for the Plus card a month ago through a 40k link even though plenty of 50k offers are available. Is there any chance to reach out to chase and see if they would honor the 50k bonus?

  • We are trying for our first Companion Pass and could use some help by applying with our links. This is a Great time (first of the year) and way (100,000 points for both card bonuses) to start working towards your own companion pass. Just follow these links…..
    Thank You!!

    SW Premier Card
    Earn 50,000 bonus points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Learn more at.

    SW Plus Card
    Earn 50,000 bonus points with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Learn more at.

    Chase Freedom Card
    Earn $150 cash back with Chase Freedom®. Apply at:

  • Hi Trav,

    First, I want to say I love your podcast. You, Heather, and Jason have made my day for weeks now as I have binge-listened to EPOP podcasts. To make a recommendation, updated lists are always appreciated.

    As a data point, moments ago, I applied for both personal Southwest cards via referral links and was approved for both. I was concerned because I have several cards with Chase already, so I figured I was destined for the reconsideration line, but no, I was approved for both, albeit with low-ish limits, but that’s okay with me. Companion Pass, here I come! Thank you for everything.

    • @Josh – Awesome, congrats on getting approved. The CP rules! And glad we can make your day – you made mine with those awesome words of encouragement. Cheers buddy!

  • If anybody needs referrals, I have them for both Southwest personal cards. The signup bonus is 50,000 points each.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    and here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    I will get 5,000 point referral bonus if you apply and are approved through my link .


  • I have a few referral links left for each of the credit cards (PLUS and PREMIER) with 50,000 bonus points. Spend $2,000 within the first three months to get 50,000 points.



    The offer expires on February 9, 2017 so hurry and apply and get your companion pass early on in the year!!

  • Question: We got 100K points for applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If I understand correctly — if transferred to Marriot, this equates to only 60K points that can be used towards the companion pass status. In order to get the remaining amount, can I just create a Marriott rewards account and purchase 50K of marriot reward points for $625? Would that get me the companion pass????

    • @Hailey S – I didn’t check your numbers, but the process you mentioned would work. HOWEVER, hotel points will not count towards after March 31, 2017.

      So all the transfers would have to be completely finished before that date. So if you started now, you should be ok.

      I will say that transferring all those Chase Sapphire Reserve points to Marriott and then to SW does lose you a ton of value. Yes, you get the companion pass, but you are losing some very valuable Chase points.

  • This is from the terms and based on that nothing in this article is true:

    Companion Pass

    A Member who earns 110,000 Companion Pass Qualifying Points or who flies 100 qualifying one-way flights booked through Southwest Airlines per calendar year will qualify for Companion Pass. Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, points earned on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and base points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points, transferred points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points. Points earned during a billing cycle on a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase are not available for redemption or qualification for Companion Pass status until they are posted on your billing statement and posted to your Rapid Rewards Account. Only points posted on your billing statements and posted to your Rapid Rewards Account during the same calendar year are available for qualification for Companion Pass status. No points or Companion Pass Qualifying Points will be awarded for flights taken by the Companion using the Companion Pass.

    Please let me know if this route has worked for anyone recently.

    • @Brian – Yes, it still works as of today, February 3, 2017. In March, you won’t be allowed to transfer hotel points to earn it, but you can right now. And points earned through SW credit cards do count.

  • If anyone is interested in applying for the Southwest Premier or Southwest Plus, I have referrals. Both cards come with a 50,000 point bonus after meeting the minimum spend. It’s an easy way to earn the Southwest companion pass. If interested click on the links below.

    Here is the link for the Southwest Premier:

    and here is the link for the Southwest Plus:

    I will receive a 5,000 point referral bonus for each card approved through my links. Thanks!!