How does buy 1 flight, get 1 flight free sound? If you’re about that kind of life, keep reading.
Southwest Airline is one of my top airlines to fly with Mr. O. One of the many great perks Southwest has to offer is the Southwest Companion Pass.
What Is the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is a top-tier status that a member of the Rapid Rewards loyalty program can achieve. The Southwest Companion Pass is the best airline perk currently on the market. It allows for the owner of the companion pass to designate a friend or family member to travel with you for free whenever you travel on Southwest. It doesn’t matter if your flight is booked with points, travel voucher, or paid for with cash. All you have to pay for are the taxes and fees for both tickets.
To repeat, if you fly on Southwest and pay with cash, points, or a voucher, your designated family, friend, or partner can travel for FREE.
This is great if you travel often with a best friend, partner, or family member.
Where Can You Go?
Southwest flies to a lot of popular
U.S. destinations, including New Orleans, NYC, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, Chicago, and soon Hawaii.
Top international destinations include Aruba, Jamaica, Mexico and Grand Cayman.
The best part is all Southwest taxes in the U.S. are $5.60 per segment. If you fly Charlotte-Chicago-Las Vegas, you’ll pay $11.20 in taxes + the cost of the flight in cash or points.
How Can You Get the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Hard Way
You’ll need to fly 100 one-way flights within a calendar year on Southwest.---NO THANK YOU!
The Easy Way
You need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points within a calendar year. This can be achieved by applying for both the Southwest Business credit card and Southwest Personal credit card at the same time.
Southwest Premier Business Card - You’ll earn 80,000 Rapid Reward points after $5,000 spend.
Southwest Plus Personal Card - You’ll earn 40,000 Rapid Reward points after $1,000 spend.
Don’t worry if you don't have an official business for the business credit card. You can qualify if you sell on Craigslist, tutor, buy/resell textbooks, rent out a room on Airbnb, etc. Just get creative. You’ll apply as a sole proprietor and use your social security number on the application. There is no need for an EIN (Employer Identification Number). Also, since business credit cards don’t appear on your personal credit report, it makes it easier to apply for both cards at the same time.
After hitting the minimum spend on these (2) credit cards and receiving your bonuses, you’ll have 126,000 Rapid Reward miles to spend on travel! These points will easily allow you to get the companion pass.
When to Apply For the Credit Cards?
Chase has the strict 5/24 rule. You can’t apply for more than 5 cards with any bank in the last 24 months. If you’ve applied for the same card product, you won’t get approved. If these rules don’t apply to you, apply away at the right month.
Your Companion Pass is valid from the date you earn 110,000 points up to the end of the next calendar year.
Example: If you apply for the card September 2, 2019 and make the $6,000 minimum spend (for both cards) by December 2, 2019. Your Companion Pass will be valid from December 2019 to December 31, 2020.
Example: If you apply for the card October 2, 2019, make the $6,000 minimum spend (for both cards) by January 2, 2019. Your Companion Pass will be valid from January 2, 2020 to December 31, 2021. The key is to have your points post in January. By doing this, you’ll have the pass for close to two years of free flying on Southwest.
What if You Break Up With Your Companion?
If you need to replace your companion on your account for whatever reason, Southwest allows you to change your designated companion three times per year. You can also switch back to your original companion.
I had the Southwest Companion pass 2 years ago via the 2 credit cards. Once my pass expired Mr. O applied for the 2 cards to receive the pass. Just this year alone, we’ve traveled to Cabo San Lucas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cancun, Boston, D.C., Chicago and New York both a few times.
Now the question is, will you or your companion apply for the business and personal credit cards first?