If you haven’t heard of the Southwest Companion Pass, you’re about to be enlightened on what I would consider to be the best deal in the airline industry. A Southwest Companion Pass is achieved by earning 110,000 Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards miles in one calendar year. While that may sound impossible for the regular traveler, it’s not. The 110,000 Southwest miles do not have to be earned solely through flying. They can be earned through the Chase Rapid Rewards credit cards as well. This means that both the credit card introductory bonuses and the money spent on the cards will earn points towards the Southwest Companion Pass!
Southwest Companion Pass – What it’s Worth?
When you achieve Southwest Companion Pass status, you’re essentially getting a card that gives you BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE, for every flight for the year you earn it and the next year. Yes, you heard that right. If earned in January 2018, you’d have it for all of 2018 and 2019. Even better, the free companion is valid on paid flights and reward flights. That means that those 110,000 miles you just earned are now basically worth 220,000 miles! Hell to the yeah!!! It doesn’t get much better than that. If you decide to travel a lot on Southwest while you have the companion pass, you can save thousands upon thousands of dollars.
I almost forgot to mention that Southwest has grown their flight routes over the past few years. They now fly to Mexico, Central America, and much of the Caribbean. Also, they plan to begin flights to Hawaii in late 2018 or early 2019. I’m guessing you can see why this is my favorite deal in the airline industry. Although Southwest doesn’t fly all over the world, if you’re looking to travel within the U.S.A. and our southern neighboring countries, it’s an amazing deal.
Credit Cards that can Earn a Southwest Companion Pass
Chase currently offers three Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards and they all typically have a introductory bonus of 50,000 miles each (lately, some of them even have a bonus up to 60,000 miles). Out of the three Southwest credit cards, you can get approved for two of them, meet the minimum spends for both, and you’ll instantly earn a Southwest Companion Pass. Chase offers two personal credit cards (Plus & Premier) and one business credit card (Business Premier). Yes, you must have your own business to qualify for a business credit card. However, a sole proprietorship is valid. That means if you have any kind of “side hustle” you have a business. Do you sell things on Ebay or Craigslist? That’s a business. Maybe you have garage sales… Get creative! If you need inspiration, check out these two blogs: Smart Passive Income & Side Hustle School.
Getting approved for two cards at the same time is absolutely possible, and probable if you try. I’ve done it on multiple occasions, my wife has done it, and many travel bloggers have done it as well. Call the reconsideration line If you’re not approved for one of the cards. You can ask if they’ll manually review your application. For instance, you may want two personal cards to separate your spending from two categories. Or, you may want a personal card and a business card to keep expenses separate. Two Southwest credit card approvals at once is possible.
Places to Fly with Your Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
As of September 2018, Southwest Airlines flies to 99 destinations across the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America and the Caribbean. Also, they will be adding four new destinations come this winter. Southwest will begin flying it’s announced routes of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii. That means, you will have over 100 destinations to use your Southwest Companion Pass on.
I have a running list of places I want to visit that Southwest flies to, and here they are:
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Charleston, South Carolina
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Diego, California
Salt Lake City, Utah
Niagara Falls, New York
Find Your Companion and Start Traveling More
If you’re looking to do a lot of traveling in the upcoming years. And, if you’ve got a companion to do it with. This deal is absolutely worth attempting to achieve, especially well for couples. Remember, to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, that one account must earn all the points. Transferring points won’t help. After my wife completes her second minimum spend, we’ll have Companion Pass status for the third straight year (and 4th next year).
UPDATE: WE EARNED THE SW COMPANION PASS!
Allison applied for both the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business credit cards at the same time. The personal card was automatically approved, but the business credit card received a pending status. After about a week, they approved her business card as well (patience is a virtue). At the time, the introductory bonuses for those two credit cards were 50,000 Rapid Rewards & 60,000 Rapid Rewards respectively. After meeting the minimum spends on both southwest credit cards, she earned around 115,000 Southwest miles and one SW Companion Pass! Now we have a free companion on every flight we take for the rest of 2018 and the entirety of 2019. Even better is that those 115,000 miles are now worth double (230,000 miles). That’s a lot of Southwest Airlines destinations we’ll be able to fulfill without spending money (besides taxes & fees).
If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll help you out!