Arguably called the ‘best deal in travel’, my wife and I each held the CP for 6 years running with each of us designating one of our two children as our companions. That meant both our kids flew FREE when we booked a Southwest flight.
But Southwest’s Companion Pass (CP) will be harder to get after Wednesday October 16th, let me explain.
What IS IT?
Never heard of the Southwest Companion Pass? Basically the CP lets a companion of yours (a friend, spouse, daughter, anybody . . .) fly for free with you on ANY Southwest flight.
Just a book a flight on Southwest with cash or using your Southwest points and you can add your companion to that flight for almost free (you still have to pay the flight taxes which are usually just $5.60).
In order to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you have to earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. Once you hit 110,000 points, the companion pass is yours for the rest of the year along with the entire following year so it’s best to earn it as early as possible in the year.
And points earned from Chase’s Southwest credit cards COUNT towards the 110,000 point requirement. The typical welcome offer for signing up for a new Chase Southwest credit card (which there are 5) is usually 40,000 or 50,000 points.
Step 1 of my plan is to apply for the Southwest Performance Business card now which is currently offering an 80,000 point bonus but only until October 16th! [This offer is expired, please click here to see the current offer]
(Yes you need to own a business to apply for it, but don’t forget owning a rental property, mowing lawns, tutoring, selling items on ebay, or being an uber driver are sole proprietor businesses!)
Step 2 is to wait to hit the $5,000 spending requirement (you have 3 months to meet the requirement) until January 1st, 2020. I’ll use the card for everyday purchases but will keep track to make sure I don’t go over $5000 before January 1st.
Once January comes, I’ll spend the remaining amount on the card to put me over the $5000 threshold to earn the 80,000 point welcome offer bonus in January 2020.
Step 3 in early December I’ll apply for one of Chase’s 3 personal Southwest credit cards which should have a welcome offer of approximately 40,000 points after spending $1000 in 3 months
Step 4 – in January after completing Business card’s remaining $5000 spending requirement, I’ll spend the personal card’s $1000 requirement. I should be able to complete this by the end of January to collect an additional 41,000 Southwest points which will put me over the 110,000 points threshold to get the Southwest Companion Pass!
*Don’t forget in April 2018, Chase tightened up the rules on getting both personal cards at the same time. Specifically you won’t be allowed to get one of the personal cards (Premier, Plus, or Priority) if you already have one of the others or if you have earned the sign-up bonus any of the cards within the last 24 months. So you will have to get one of the Southwest Business cards.
If you follow the steps above, you will earn the 110,000 Southwest points very early in the year (~February 2020). Then your Southwest Companion Pass will be good for the rest of 2020 along with the entire 2021 year!
Don’t forget to apply for the Southwest Performance Business card before the 80,000 point offer ends on 10/16/2019. [This offer is expired, please click here to see the current offer]
And don’t forget Southwest now flies to Hawaii and many Caribbean destinations which your companion can also fly to for FREE (less taxes).
My Results So Far
I just applied for Step 1’s: Southwest Performance Business card yesterday and unfortunately did not get instantly approved, but got the ‘we need more time to review your application’ notice.
BUT when I logged into my Chase account today, I was happy to see the new Southwest Performance Business card already listed in my account – I got APPROVED!
Have you ever held the companion pass? Are you going to try to get it again with the steps above?