Do you travel often within the U.S.? And are most of these trips with a spouse, family member, friend or significant other? If so, you should probably consider reading about the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass to save some serious cash!
The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is pretty simple; it allows a companion to fly free with you when you fly on Southwest! This companion can be a spouse, family member, child, or even a friend! The rules dictate that upon earning the pass, you must designate your companion, but you can change the companion up to three times throughout the term of the pass. Then, when booking flights on Southwest.com, there’s an option to choose the companion pass so that your companion can fly for free!
Earning the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass:
- To earn the companion pass, in a calendar year you’ll either have to take 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,00 Southwest points. The more attainable choice is to earn 110,000 points, which can be accomplished in part by opening Chase Southwest credit cards. (The opening bonus for these cards is 50,000 Southwest points!) More details on the Southwest credit cards are below.
- Once you earn it, the Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year that you earn it, plus another full calendar year. The ideal situation would be to earn the Companion Pass as early as possible in the calendar year to get the most of your free flights.
- There is no limit to the number of times you use the Companion Pass (!!)
- The Companion pass does not waive the government-mandated September 11th security fee (which is a maximum of $10 roundtrip).
- You can use the Companion Pass on any Southwest flight- even if it’s a flight booked on points!
Southwest Credit Cards
Currently, there are four Chase Southwest credit cards available. You can choose between a personal or business account, and between the Plus or the Premier account.
- The Plus has an annual fee of $69 and rewards 3,000 bonus Southwest points for every year you keep it open.
- The Premier has an annual fee of $99, has an Anniversary bonus of 6,000 Southwest points and has no foreign transaction fees. The Premier is great for travelers who are planning both domestic and international travel.
- All cards have a $2,000 minimum spend, which you must meet within the first 90 days of opening the card.
- For every dollar you spend, you’ll earn 1 Southwest point…
- And you’ll earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Southwest and AirTran flights.
- You can redeem your points for flights, car rentals, products, gift cards, and more!
Most travel hackers suggest opening both personal and business credit cards, which will get you to 100,000 points. You’ll also have to spend $4,000 in the first three months for both cards, which will help you accumulate 4,000 additional points. The final 6,000 points is up to you. We recommend checking out Wallet Hacks, The Points Guy, and The Travel Sisters, who all offer suggestions on how to get those remaining 6,000 points. These blogs also offer more in-depth details on this travel hack and what you need to know before you dive in.