Southwest-Companion Flies for Free!

Probably the most rewarding deal we have completed in the travel points world is getting the companion pass with Southwest Airlines. We cannot emphasize enough how many trips we have been able to take with both of us flying for free (me with points and Elizabeth with companion pass) that would never have been possible without this amazing deal. Please keep reading to find out more!Companion Pass

Companion pass is when a person can fly with you for free (except the 9/11 surcharge). This means you can fly to San Francisco for $600 round trip, and your companion would travel for free. So yes, 2 people could fly round trip for $600 instead of $1,200!!! As you can imagine, this is an incredible deal for couples, but it can be used with anyone you choose as your companion!

After getting companion pass you do have to choose who your companion will be, although you can change it. For example, if my wife is my companion for a Christmas trip then I can switch it to my brother for a weekend trip later in the year. Because of the way you qualify for companion pass you are likely to have lots of Southwest points to burn, and we haven’t paid a penny to Southwest except for the 9/11 surcharge.Jamaica

YES YES YES! The old thought of Southwest being a local, domestic carrier is no longer the truth! Cancun, Aruba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, and soon Hawaii are just some of the Caribbean/Pacific destinations. That does mean with companion pass that you could travel for free to Jamaica for only 50,000 Southwest rapid reward points!

Admittedly, if you are wanting to travel to Europe then this deal is not for you, but most people traveling to Europe at some point have likely flown closer to the U.S. in the past, so companion pass would benefit them as well! Use this link and look below for a map of Southwest destinations.Southwest destinations courtesy of Southwest

You have to be willing to think through this process, but it is completely doable if you follow specific directions. The first thing to note is that you must accrue 110,000 Southwest rapid reward points in a calendar year to get Companion pass.

Even though 110,000 points seems like a daunting task, it really isn’t if you sign up for the co-branded credit cards and time out your spend correctly.

***The goal is always to earn the companion pass early in the year, because it will be active for the remainder of that year plus the following year. So if you earn the companion pass in March of 2017, it will be good for the rest of 2017 plus 2018!!!***

Step 1: Apply for the Southwest plus credit card in December or January

You want all of your bonus points to fall into a single calendar year, so you won’t want to put any spend on the card until the billing statement of the new year. The current sign up bonus for the card is 40,000 Southwest rapid reward points. In order to get the 40,000 points you only need to spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $69 and is not waived the first year.

Step 2: Apply for the Southwest Premier credit card when the bonus is 50,000 or 60,000 points.

Typically Southwest and Chase will increase their bonus at several points in the year. Even though it is not the best card for accruing points on every day spend, you need to be using your Southwest plus card for everything you buy and then start using the Southwest Premier card after you get it. You will get 50,000 or 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

Step 3: Spend enough on the cards to get to 110,000 points

So you have both cards and you have a total of 104,000 points after your bonus and spend. That means you need to put $6,000 more spend on the cards to get the companion pass.

Step 4: Add your companion to your Southwest portal.

Once you have earned companion pass it is very straightforward for how to add a companion on the website. At that point you can book a flight for yourself (remember you have at least 110,000 Rapid rewards points now). After booking the flight for yourself, you will click to add a companion. The only thing you will be charged is the 9/11 security fee.Southwest website

If you have read about our trips and we mentioned that we flew there in the last year, it was using Southwest, and we flew for free. How did we get so many flights? By getting companion pass. We cannot emphasize enough the options this program opens up!

Remember to do your best to get companion pass early in the year. Also, you cannot get the credit cards if you have applied for 5 credit cards in the last 24 months. Always pay your credit card statement balance in full every month in order to make the points worth the money!