what are Southwest Airlines Credit Card Companion Pass

Southwest Airlines Credit Card Companion Pass

Category : Airlines / Posted on: January 16, 2023 / Author: Admin

what are Southwest Airlines Credit Card Companion Pass

Southwest Airlines Credit Card Companion Pass

Many perks available to frequent flyer members can be extremely rewarding and have an almost impossible-to-believe-true appeal. A credit card can earn you an automatic top-tier Hilton Diamond Status It is possible. 300 in travel credit that are posted automatically every year. Sign me up

One benefit is more important than the others and it's not difficult to get. The Southwest Companion Pass is what we're referring to. You could earn a Companion Pass by taking advantage of sign up bonus offers on three Southwest consumer cards.

These new offers are perfect timing, considering its already November. You could be able to enjoy the Companion Pass privileges for nearly two years if you time your spending carefully in order to earn the current sign-up bonus in early 2023.


Let's begin by giving you a brief overview of the Companion Pass and its value. You can bring a friend or family member along on any Southwest flight for almost free with the Companion Pass. The second ticket will require you to pay the taxes, fees, and charges as with an award ticket. However, your companion can fly for free.

The Southwest Companion Pass offers a unique benefit. It can be used to pay for and to award tickets.

TPG values Southwest Points at 1.5 Cents per. The Companion Pass is a way to double the value of your Southwest points or cash.

You don't have to fly within the 48 states. Southwest has added international short-haul flights to Hawaii over the past several years. You will still need to pay taxes and fees for your companion but you can use this perk on any Southwest-operated flight.

You can switch your designated Southwest companion at least three times per year. This means that you can have up to seven companions over the course of the Companion Pass. It is worth noting, however, that switching back to an old companion will still count towards your three allowed changes per calendar year.

Also, Southwest allows you to cancel or modify tickets without any fees. This could make it possible to lock in seats while you confirm your other plans, which could help you grab these seats before they are gone.

Qualification and timing

A benefit like this is not cheap. To earn Companion Pass, you will need to earn 125,000 points or fly 100 qualifying one-way flight in a calendar year. The Companion Pass point threshold will increase to 135,000 points beginning January 1, 2023. (More details in a moment).

Companion Pass holders will be able to use the pass for the remainder of the year they earned it, plus the whole year after that. If you meet the requirements by the start of 2023, the pass will be valid until the end of 2024. If you miss the deadline, you could miss the pass completely.

Here's what you should do in a nutshell:

  1. Your new credit card will be available in November. This is a great time to open it, especially with the new offers that we'll be discussing below.
  2. You should not exceed your minimum spending requirement until December's statement closes.
  3. Spend as soon as you receive your December statement.

This will allow you to ensure that all bonuses earned will be credited to your Rapid Rewards account by 2023, and count towards next year's qualification.

All of that being said, Rapid Rewards points do not count towards the standard qualification requirements. Here is how Southwest defines points that will be counted:

Qualifying points for the companion pass are earned by revenue flights booked through Southwest(r), points on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards and base points earned via Rapid Rewards(r).

As you can see all revenue flights booked by Southwest will count towards earning the Companion Pass. Also, points earned on Southwest cobranded credit cards will count (more details in a moment). The "base points earned through Rapid Rewards partners" verbiage is where things get more complicated. 

Does each partner count?

You can find examples of partner activity on Southwest's Companion Pass Page. These activities will count towards qualification

  • Sign-up bonuses for Rapid Rewards credit cards.
  • Shopping and dining partners, including Restaurant Rewards.
  • Partner in life and home.

You cannot earn the Companion Pass if you do not transfer from many places. First, any transfer from Chase ultimate Rewards. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve (r) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (r) Cards, and you want to transfer your points in order to earn Companion Pass, then you are out of luck. Purchased points, flight bonus points, and points from loyalty programs such as hotel and car hotels don't count.

Given all these restrictions, how can you quickly earn Companion Pass and keep it for nearly two years? Let's take a look at the three options.

Southwest credit cards

The Southwest Companion Pass is based on points earned with Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card. This includes any sign-up bonuses that you get from the cards at the time this is written. There are five Southwest cards available with different sign-up bonuses. These bonuses can be used by new applicants to help them accumulate a significant portion of the 135,000 points needed to earn the Companion Pass.

Additionally, Southwest cardholders receive an annual bonus of 10,000 points towards Companion Pass qualification each year. This bonus will be available within 30 days of your account opening and again at the start of each calendar year. Southwest will cover the 10,000-point increase Companion Pass qualification requirements cardholders.

Three personals Southwest credit card have just been launched with new offers. These offers will get you close to the qualifying threshold if you meet the minimum spend requirements. The following cards offer 75,000 points to new cardholders. They can earn this number if they spend $3,000 within the first three months of account opening.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards(r) Plus Credit Card.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards(r) Premier Credit Card.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards (r) Priority Credit Card.

You'll need to meet the minimum spending threshold (excluding annual fees) before you can receive bonus points. Timing is crucial.

As mentioned above, you should not exceed the $3,000 limit until your December statement closes. Spend some money on the card but not enough to reach the $3,000 threshold.

It is possible to delay spending on your new card until your December statement closes. This will ensure that all points earned on your new card count towards a Companion Pass, which is valid until the end of 2023. This is an example of how it might look:

You're now eligible to earn at least 88,000 points towards the Companion Pass if you add the 10,000-point boost available to cardholders. You're almost at the end of your journey to earn the Companion Pass for 2023 and all of 2024, since they all hit your Rapid Rewards account back in 2023. It's early January.

You can also speed up your qualifying process by applying for a Southwest card that is specifically designed for small businesses. Combining one of these cards with a personal card and timing your spending carefully could help you qualify for Companion Passes without additional activity.

  • Southwest(r), Rapid Rewards(r), Premier Business Credit Card - Earn 60,000 Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
  • Southwest(r), Rapid Rewards(r), Performance Business Credit Card: Get 80,000 Rapid Rewards points for every $5,000 you spend in the first three months of your account being open.

Be aware that Chase has restrictions regarding Southwest credit cards sign-up bonuses. This is the text that appears on the application pages of the Priority, Premier, and Plus cards.

This does not apply to Cardmembers who have received a bonus in the last 24 month. This does not apply for Cardmembers of Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card or Employee Credit Card products em>

If you have a Southwest personal card or received a sign-up bonus for one, you cannot open one. You should also be familiar with Chase’s general application restrictions. This includes the notorious 5/24 rule as well as the general rule that one personal and one business card can be opened every 90 days.

The Southwest small business credit cards don't have the same language. The business cards instead note:

"This new cardmember bonus offer isn't available to either (i), current Cardmembers (business credit card) or (ii), previous Cardmembers (business credit card) who have received a new cardmember bonus (business credit card) within the past 24 months."

All points earned from Southwest cards can be used to earn the Companion Pass. You could also spend on your card in order to earn the Companion Pass. Two other options that I will discuss are also available to make it easier.


Another way to earn Companion Pass is by actually flying. If you don’t have a credit card and want to earn Companion Pass by flying in 2023 you will need to either earn 135,000 points or fly 100 qualifying one-way. The following expenses can be made on base fares

  • $22,500 on Wanna Get Away.
  • $16,875 on Wanna Get Away Plus.
  • $13,500 for Anytime
  • Select Business: $11,250

Book with Southwest if you are planning to travel in the early part of next year. You will earn Companion Pass points. To earn enough Companion Pass points, you will need to fly a lot on Southwest flights, as you can see.

Combination of credit cards with flying

The best choice will probably be a combination of these options -- and the new personal cards offer it extremely easy.

Let's assume you open the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority credit card and follow the steps above to earn the full sign-up bonus in 2023. Let's also assume that you spend $10,000 and part of that is $2,000 on Wanna Get Away base tickets. These are flights taken in January or February 2023. You would receive:

  • Sign up bonus for reaching $3,000
  • Flying: 12,000 Points ($2,000 x 6 Points per Dollar on Wanna Get Away base airfares).
  • Southwest airfare purchases with the card: 6,000 Points ($2,000 x 3, points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases).
  • Additional purchases: 8,000 points x 1 point for every dollar spent

You would earn 101,000 Companion Pass-qualifying Points. If you add the 10,000 points boost for Southwest cardholders, you are now only 24,000 points away. You could easily make up the difference if you leverage other earning opportunities, such as Rapid Rewards Shopping and a Southwest car rental.

These points will all be credited to your Rapid Rewards account by 2023. Your Companion Pass will remain valid until December 31, 2024. This is a lot of flying (or almost free).

Your credit card points will not appear in your account for a few more days after your monthly statement closes. However, any points earned from flying won’t show up until a few weeks after you return from your trip. It is important to use the Companion Pass as soon as possible.

Bottom line

If you are able to earn the Southwest Companion Pass early enough in a calendar year, you will be able to enjoy nearly two years of complimentary companion travel.

If you are eligible, you can get a nice Bonus from Southwest Credit Card. This includes new bonuses up to 75,000 Points. It makes it much easier to score the Companion Pass than flying solo.

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