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. Receiving 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 signup bonuses and the money spent on the cards will earn points towards the Southwest Companion Pass!
What is the Southwest Companion Pass 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.
More about the Southwest Credit Cards
There are currently three Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards offered by Chase and they typically have a signup bonus of 50,000 miles each (lately, some of them even have a bonus up to 60,000 miles). With three cards available, that means if you can get approved for two of them, and meet the minimum spends for both, 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. I’ve done it on multiple occasions, my wife has done it, and many travel bloggers have done it as well. If you don’t get automatically approved for one of them, call the reconsideration line and see if they’ll manually approve you. 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 for your business out of your personal finances. Either way, it’s possible to get them both approved.
Find Your Companion and Start Traveling More
If you’re looking to do a lot of traveling in the upcoming years, and you’ve got a companion to do it with, this deal is absolutely worth attempting to achieve. It works especially well for couples, but remember that the points must all be earned on one account to earn the Southwest Companion Pass and 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).
If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll help you out!