How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
Companion Pass is the benefit that lets you choose one person to fly free (Does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way.) with you every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight. So from a consumer perspective it’s literally a pass that let’s you Buy One Get One (BOGO) on all Southwest Airline flights.
What are the qualifications for the Companion Pass?
In order to qualify for the companion pass you either need to fly 100 southwest flights or earn 110,000 points in a calendar year. Once you qualify you will earn the pass up to two calendar years (starting the current year). So for an example if I qualify for the companion pass this any month for the current year. I will only get it until December of next year. Since they count your current calendar year as part of your two years. My suggestion is to qualify as early as possible in the beginning of the calendar year.
How would I qualify? I don’t travel as much and I don’t spend enough to reach 110,000 points in a calendar year.
[Update 10/09/2017] Southwest offers three cards: two personal cards and one business card.
Personal Premier – 40,000 sign-up bonus points
Personal Plus – 40,000 sign-up bonus points
Business Premier – 60,000 sign-up bonus points
All offers are a limited time and require meeting a $2,000 minimum spending within 3 months.
You will need to apply for 2 southwest cards when they are offering at least 50,000 sign up bonus. The key to getting the Companion pass quickly as possible is applying for the most common route the business and personal credit cards or both personal cards at the same time. The reason why is because these bonus points actually count towards the 110,000 points of companion pass.
Now that I applied and earned my 104,000 points, what can I do to earn the extra 6,000 to complete my Companion Pass?
There are multiple ways to meet the extra 6,000 points this is the quickest to get 6,000 points:
- You transfer 15,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Hyatt then to Southwest Airlines. I understand that Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase. However, those points you directly transfer from Chase UR to Southwest do not qualify for the 110,000 companion pass. Additionally, the reason why you have to transfer 15,000 Chase UR points is because the transfer ratio from Hyatt to Southwest is poor, 25 to 12. So after the transfer you’re only getting 7,200 southwest points.
When can I expect to receive my companion pass?
Once your points post in your account you should receive an email notifying you that your your companion pass is activated. Congrats! Simply just designate your companion in your account then you can already start to enjoy the BOGO deal for the next two calendar years!
How do I get the best value out of my companion pass?
Obviously, the more expensive your flight ticket cost, the better value you receive in return. The reason why is because you’re essentially getting every flight ticket half off. So for an example one of the cheapest round-trip flight from San Jose to Las Vegas leaving Thursday and coming back Monday in February/March would cost $$173.20 for one person. However, with the companion pass your getting two flights for that same price of $173.20 + $11.20 (Taxes/fees on the 2nd ticket) bringing your cost down to $92.20 each for round-trip flights.
One other great perk about the companion pass is it also works for award bookings as well. So remember those 110,000 points you accumulated to qualify for the companion pass? Those are your points to keep and you can jump straight into redeeming those points and maximizing them to their potential.
Remember if you do decide to plan on getting the companion pass. Apply now but wait to hit the $2,000 minimum spending in January 2015. That way when your bank statement closes in January your points are qualified towards the new year’s companion pass requirements. Then, when you achieve your companion pass you get to keep it until December 2016.