How to Fly (Almost) Free For Two Years on Southwest!

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Southwest Credit Cards

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Personal)

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Small Business)

Link:   Chase Southwest Plus (Personal)

Link:   How to Fill Out a Chase Business Credit Card Application

Southwest Companion Pass

About a month ago, I wrote that the Southwest Plus and later the Southwest Premier card were both offering a 50,000 point sign-up bonus.  Well, now all 4 versions of the Chase Southwest credit card are offering a 50,000 mile (~$710 in travel or $500 in gift cards) sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 within 3 months.

This is great news because it makes it easy to get almost all the 110,000 Southwest points needed to get the Southwest Companion Pass!

Our Southwest Companion Pass!

Emily and I have a Companion Pass and this is perhaps the best miles and points perk which we have.  Why?  Because it lets a companion travel with you for free whenever you travel on Southwest.  It doesn’t matter if your flight is booked with points or paid for with cash – your companion flies free!

We’ve used our Companion Pass much more than we intended including for 5 weekends in a row this summer.  From using it to take flights to our departure city when visiting Paris or Bora Bora, to meeting Travel by Points and Travel Whimsy in Las Vegas, to traveling to Ohio for our wedding!

Southwest Companion Pass-2

In Las Vegas!

Southwest flies to a lot of US cities, and will fly to Puerto Rico in 2013, and will eventually fly to a few international destinations as it absorbs Air Tran routes and Hawaii later on.

Some folks sneer at Southwest, but what’s not to like about them?  The flight attendants and ground crew are friendly, the boarding process is among the most efficient, they don’t fly small regional jets, you can check 2 bags for free, they have a lot more non-stop flights than other airlines, and they don’t file for bankruptcy.

The best way to get the Companion Pass is to apply for 1 Southwest personal card and 1 Southwest business card and then get the extra 6,000 points needed — after accounting for the $2,000 in minimum spending which earns points — to get the 110,000 points for the Southwest Companion Pass.

2 Southwest 50,000 point credit cards and 10,000 transferred points can get you at least ~$3,332 in free flights!

I’ve been getting a lot of comments and emails on the Southwest Companion Pass and what’s the best way to get the Companion Pass, so I’d thought I’d answer commonly asked questions here.  Please comment if you have more questions to add!

A)   What is the companion Pass?

1.   What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is the best airline perk because it lets a companion travel with you for free whenever you travel on Southwest.  It doesn’t matter if your flight is booked with points or paid for with cash – your companion flies free as long as Southwest is selling seats on that flight (even if they are business select seats).

2.   Can My Companion Travel For Free if I Book My Ticket Using Points?

Yes, your companion can still travel free.  You only have to pay a very small amount (~$10) for taxes and there is no limit to the amount of times your companion can fly with you.

3.  What Is This Worth?

Getting the Companion Pass means that the 50,000 points  credit card sign-up bonus is not worth ~$710, but twice that or $1,420.  So 2 credit cards can get you $2,840 worth of flights on Southwest?  I earned my Companion Pass last year and have used it a lot!

4.  How Can I Get a  Companion Pass?

You need to fly 100 1-way flights (within a calendar year) on Southwest to qualify for the companion pass.


You need to earn 110,000 points (within a calendar year) to qualify for the Companion Pass.  And points from the Southwest credit card currently count towards the Companion Pass.

5.   When Do I Need To Earn the 110,000 Points By?

You have to earn the 110,000 points within ONE calendar year (January to December).  Your Companion Pass is valid from the date you earn 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points up to the end of the next calendar year.

For example, if you earn the companion pass on November 14, 2012 it is valid up to the end of 2013.

If you earn the Companion Pass on January 1, 2013, it is valid up to the end of 2014.  So earning the Companion Pass in early 2013 can get you close to 2 years of free flying on Southwest.

6.  Can I Still Redeem 110,000 Points For Flights Once I Earn The Companion Pass?

You don’t lose your 110,000 Southwest points when you earn the Companion Pass.  You can still use the 110,000 Southwest points to book flights, and your companion flies for free if you have the Companion Pass.

7.   Can My Companion Use Points From Her Account To Book My Flight And Then Fly For Free?

Yes.  As long as you have a Southwest ticket in your name (either via cash, using your points, or using points from someone else’s account), you can add your companion to the flight.

8.  Can My Partner And I Each Earn The Companion Pass & Fly the Kids For Free?

Yes, you and your partner can each earn the Companion Pass and add your kids, parents or friends as companions.  However, 1 person cannot earn more than 1 Companion Pass.

9.   How Many Times Can I Change My Companion?

You can change your designated companion up to 3 times per calendar year.  So if you have the Companion Pass for 2 calendar years, you’ll get 6 changes TOTAL (3 each year).

The terms say: “…The Member may, however, change his/her designated Companion and request issuance of a new Companion Pass card up to three (3) times each calendar year that the Member maintains Companion Pass status.”

So choose wisely!

However, you have to designate a companion when you 1st get the Companion Pass, so this means that up to 7 separate persons can be designated as your companion (if you have the pass for 2 calendar years).

You can switch back to an earlier companion, but it would count as a “switch” and eat into the 6 changes permitted.

10.   Can I Use my Southwest Companion Pass on Air Tran?

No.  You can’t use your Southwest Companion Pass for flights on Air Tran.  However, Southwest is gradually absorbing Air Tran routes and flights into Southwest and you can use your Companion Pass for any flight on Southwest.

11.  How to Activate Your Southwest Companion Pass

See this post on how to activate your Southwest Companion pass.

12.  How to Use Your Southwest Companion Pass

See this post on how to add a companion to your Southwest reservation.

B)   Southwest Credit Card

1.   Does The Credit Card Sign-up Bonus Count Towards The Companion Pass?

The terms and conditions say that “Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.”  But they also say that “points issued on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards” count towards the Companion Pass.  So it is a bit ambiguous.

In practice, the credit card sign-up bonuses currently count towards Companion Pass status.  But it could change anytime.

Even if the points don’t count towards the Companion Pass, you can still redeem them for regular flights on Southwest – 50,000 will get you ~$710 worth of flights.

2.   Is The Annual Fee Waived For First Year?

The $69 annual fee for the Plus card and $99 annual fee for the Premier card is NOT waived for the 1st year.

However, you get 3,000 Southwest points worth ~$43 (3,000 points X 1.43 cents per Southwest point) with the Plus cards & 6,000 Southwest points worth ~$86 (6,000 points X 1.43 cents per Southwest point) with the Premier cards for renewing the card each year.

3.   Can I Get The Sign-on Bonus If I Had The Earlier Southwest Cards From Rapid Rewards 1 Which Offered Credits & Gift Cards?

If you had earlier Southwest credit cards which offered 16 or 32 credits or gift cards, you can still apply for the new Plus or Premier cards and get the bonus.

For example, if you had the Southwest Plus card with 16 credits and cancelled it, you should still get the 50,000 points if you reapply.

4.   Can You Get The Bonus For The Business & Personal Version?

Yes, you can get the bonus for 1 personal (either the Plus or Premier version) & 1 business Southwest card (either the Plus or Premier version).  In my opinion, this is the best route to take if you want to apply for 2 Southwest credit cards.  I’d apply for the personal card first and then the business version.

You could also get the bonus for 2 personal cards, but I don’t have experience with this and it could be harder to explain why you need 2 personal cards.

5.  But I Don’t Have A Business?

As I’ve written before, many folks may qualify for this card even if they don’t currently have a business, but are thinking of starting one.  Or if you’ve dabbled with a business (sold something on ebay, had a garage sale, sold crafts or cookies etc.), but now want to concentrate a bit more on it.

Or you could want a business card to keep your reimbursable business expenses at work separate from your personal expenses.

You usually have to enter your social security number on the application form and the credit inquiry will appear on your personal credit report, but the credit line will not appear on your personal credit report.

This means that the average age of your credit history should not decrease because the business credit line doesn’t sit on your personal credit report.

When applying for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, I enter my social security number as the Tax ID in the application form and enter my name as the business name.

If you don’t get approved call the business reconsideration telephone line.

6.   Should I Apply For 1 Personal & 1 Business Card At The Same Time or 1 After The Other?

If you apply for 1 Chase card, your 2nd application almost always will be declined online.  But if you call the Chase reconsideration line you can usually negotiate an approval for the card.

I’d apply for the personal card first and then the business version.

7.   What Are The Personal & Business Reconsideration Telephone Numbers?

More details in this MilePoint thread.

See this post for tips on how to negotiate an approval after calling the reconsideration department.

8.   What Questions Does The Business Reconsideration Department Ask?

The questions have got more detailed over the years.  Expect to be asked when you started your business, how long it has been established, what your business does, your revenue, sales, and profits from the last 2 or 3 years.

What are your future projections for revenue, sales, & profits?

9.  Can You Get The Bonus For The Plus & Premier Personal Cards or Plus & Premier Business Cards?

Usually you can get the bonus for different card types (Plus vs. Premier) with Chase.  I’ve personally got the bonus on the Plus personal card, cancelled it and got the bonus on the Premier card and so have other readers.

But I haven’t had the Plus AND the Premier at the SAME time.  But you can eventually get the bonus for all 4 cards.

10.   Can 2 People Apply For The Cards Separately, But Put In The Same Southwest Rapid Reward Account Number?  Or Do We Have To Put In Our Individual Rapid Rewards Numbers.

You should always put in your Rapid Rewards number in the application.  However, some readers have entered in a different Rapid Rewards number in the application (mistakes happen), but have got the points credited to a different Rapid Rewards account.

But this could be a big pain to sort out if the Southwest points don’t post to your account, so do this at your own risk.

11.  How Do I Know If I Have Already Have the Plus or Premier Version?

a.   You could call the number at the back of the card to ask.

b.  The Premier cards have a $99 fee, but the Plus cards have a $69 fee.  You can check your statements online and the 1st or 2nd statement will have the annual fee.

c.  The Premier cards are blackish in color and the Plus cards are bluish in color.  See the image of the cards on the Airline Credit Card tab and compare them to the cards you have.

C)   Timing

1.   Any Idea When These 50,000 Point Offers End?

I don’t know, but I expect them to last for at least ~1 month.  The 50,000 point offers have come and gone every 2 or 3 months for the last 2 years so I wouldn’t worry about missing it, because they will likely happen again.

2.  When’s The Best Time To Apply For These Cards? Now Or Wait For Some Time?

In my opinion, you should apply for the cards in the last few months of 2012.  Start spending on the card, but don’t spend more than $2,000 in your 1st billing cycle.

3.  Why Should I Not Spend $2,000 In My 1st Billing Cycle If I Want The Companion Pass Up To 2014?

If you spend $2,000 in your 1st billing cycle, the 50,000 points credit-card sign-up bonus *may* hit your Southwest account in 2012.  In that case, you will have to earn the remaining points for the Companion Pass in 2012 (the points you earned toward the Companion Pass will reset to 0 in 2013).

And your Companion Pass will be valid only up to the end of 2013…instead of up to the end of 2014.

4.  What Should I Do To Get A Companion Pass Valid Up To The End Of 2014?

If you apply for the cards now, you should get them in ~10 days or by the 3rd week of November.  You have 3 months or up to the 3rd week of February 2013 to complete the $2,000 minimum spending requirements on each card.

You can start spending on the card, but BE SURE (this is important!) not to spend more than $2,000 in the 1st billing cycle which ends in December 2012.

Note that whatever amount you spend in your 1st billing cycle, say $500, will NOT count towards the Companion Pass in 2012, because the Companion Pass counter resets to 0 on January 1, 2013.  However, this could be worth not having to rush to complete the minimum spending in a shorter period of time.

By putting off the minimum spending you ensure that the points don’t post to your Southwest Rapid Rewards until 2013, which means that you have the whole of 2013 to earn the 110,000 points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass.

If you earn 110,000 Companion Pass points in 2013, your Companion Pass is valid from when you cross 110,000 points up to the end of 2014.

5.   What If I’ve Already Got 50,000 Southwest Points Earlier This Year?

If you’ve already got 50,000 Southwest points from earlier this year, you don’t have much time to earn the remaining points needed for the Companion Pass.  Log into your account to see how many Companion Pass qualifying points you have.

You could get another credit card for 50,000 points and spend $2,000 as soon as possible and ideally ~8 days before your statement closes to ensure that the points post in 2012 and help get you to 110,000 points for the Companion Pass.  But it will be very close.

D)   Other Ways to Earn Companion Pass Qualifying Points

1.   How To Check How Many Companion Pass Qualifying Points You Have?

You can check how many points you have towards the Companion Pass by clicking this link and signing into your Southwest account.

2.   How To Get Extra  Points For The Southwest Companion Pass?

If you apply for 2 Southwest credit cards and spend $2,000 on each of them and the points post post to your account in 2013, you will have earned 104,000 points out of the 110,000 points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass.  That’s 100,000 points from 2 credit card sign-up bonuses & 2,000 points on each card by meeting the minimum spending requirements.

So you need an extra 6,000 Companion Pass qualifying points to earn the Companion Pass.  Of course, you can spend $6,000 on your credit cards, but there are easier and cheaper ways.  Here are 3 possible ways (not necessarily the best ways for you):

a)   Transfer Choice Hotel Points.   Buy 18,000 Choice hotel points for $198 and transfer them to 5,400 Southwest points.  Thanks to mike fien for suggesting this because it is cheaper than buying Marriott points.  5,400 Southwest points are worth ~$90, so your net cost is $108.

b)  Buy Flowers.  Teleflora offers 1,000 Southwest points for buying flowers.  So you could buy flowers for  $45 per 1,000 Southwest points (~$30 for the flowers + $15 delivery charge).  So you’d spend ~$270 for flowers and earn 6,000 Southwest points (worth ~$100).

Update:  Adam K posted a link to a Teleflora offer with up to 2,000 Southwest points per purchase (depending on the purchase amount)

c)   Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  For example, you can transfer 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and from Hyatt transfer them to 6,000 Southwest points.

See this post on 10 ways to get extra Companion Pass qualifying points by crediting car rentals, transferring hotel points etc.

3.  Can I Transfer Points From Chase Ultimate Rewards Towards Companion Pass Requirement?

You can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest in a 1:1 ratio, but those points do NOT count towards the Companion Pass.

But you CAN first transfer points from Chase Ultimate rewards to either Hyatt or Marriott hotels, and then you can transfer Hyatt or Marriott points to Southwest Airlines.   However, the transfer ratio is NOT 1:1, so you will “lose” some Ultimate Rewards points, but this is totally worth it to get a companion to fly with you for free for close to 2 years!

For example, you can transfer 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and from Hyatt transfer them to 6,000 Southwest points.

4.  Can I Transfer Points From American Express Membership Rewards Towards Companion Pass Requirement?

American Express Membership Rewards points (the loyalty program of certain American Express credit cards) CANNOT be transferred directly to Southwest Airlines.

But you can transfer 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 20,000 Choice hotel points and then transfer 20,000 Choice hotel points to 6,000 Southwest points.

Bottom Line

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best miles and points deals for domestic travel.  And if timed correctly, you can have a companion fly with you for free for almost 2 years!

As always, there is no guarantee that the points earned from the credit cards will count towards the Companion Pass, but here’s hoping they continue to count!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 7,500+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another Southwest Companion Pass update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

895 responses to “How to Fly (Almost) Free For Two Years on Southwest!

  1. @Srini – Thanks!

    @S – You should get the points ASAP. If you get them in 2015, you will lose the 109K points already in your account since it resets on Jan 1 2014.

  2. Just wanted to pass along that shopping in the SW portal’s bonus points do count towards the companion pass

  3. The 50,000 mile credit card deal is still available in Southwest airport terminals. I saw Southwest employees pushing it last week at Chicago Midway Airport!

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  5. Just wanted to thank you for all the free travel! After reading your blog in late 2011, I got the cards in early 2012 and am on my 3rd year of free companion pass travel! That’s a lot of free travel! About to cross the threshold to get next year’s pass too. Now I book Southwest for business travel and my wife can use the companion pass for free. Definitely the best perk in the business.

  6. Hi there,
    I’m just getting on the Southwest bandwagon after years of loyalty to American Airlines and Hilton!
    I’m trying to be smart about getting my companion pass. I recently signed up for the Personal Premier card and am trying to time when I earn the “50,000” points. Because it’ll happen in December…does this mean that it will not count towards 2015 points? If so, I messed up!

    Also, I’ve been looking everywhere trying to figure out how to transfer nearly 400,000 Hilton Points into Southwest Points…to no avail. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  7. I see the 50,000 point deal is still valid. My wife and I are taking the 3 kids on a trip at the end of October. If I sign up for 1 card now, I would get 50,000 points. If I use that card to buy the tickets (about $2500) right away, that would put me around 55,000 points.
    If I…
    1) Sign up for a second (business) card say in November 2014.
    2) Wait until Early January of 2015 to spend $2000 and get the additional 50,000 points in early 2015.
    3) Get an additional 5000 points in early 2015.

    Will I get the Companion pass for the remainder of 2015 and then also 2016?

  8. @CJR – In that case, you’d get no points! You have to earn the full 110K points in 1 calendar year i.e. before December 31. And the points have to post to your account by then.

  9. CJR – Just wondering, where do you see the 50,000 point deal that is valid? Can you post a link? I’m hoping to sign up, but only see 25,000 pts available on the offers online. Thanks!

  10. Will the 3 months start when the card is activated? I just signed up for the personal card, but I want the 50,000 points to hit in January of 2015. If I activate the card when it comes in a week or so (say October 10th) that would put the end date at January 10th which is very little time to get that spending in during 2015. If I activate the card at the end of October, will the 3 months start from that time? Thank you!

  11. @Brady Bluhm – The 3 months times starts from when you are approved (not from when you activate the card). So I’d try to get a statement which closes as far off as possible.

  12. I just got approved last night for the 50K premier… How do I “try to get a statement which closes as far off as possible”? Do I need to call them? As long as the 3 months ends in January, I can spend $ now just not the $2000th dollar until after Jan 1, right?

  13. I got approved for plus card 10/2. what are the chances that chase will allow another personal card (premier card) or should I wait until I get bonus in January, convert this to freedom or cancel this and apply for premier card?

  14. The application terms states: This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months

    So does this mean 24 months from when the card was cancelled or 24 months from date last bonus was applied?

  15. Is the 50k offer still good? The link as up to Oct. 1, 2014.

  16. I have received the mail-in offer for 50K bonus miles for SW Peronal Premier card. However, for Business premier (or plus) there is only 25K bonus miles offer.
    Is 50K bonus offer still available for Business card? please email me at if someone has a referral link.

    Otherwise, is there any faster way to get 110K qualified points for SW Companion pass? I was hoping to plan my minimum spend of $2k by early 2015, so I can get the companion pass for most of 2015 and 2016.

  17. I just received a email today (10/10/14) from Southwest for the consumer Visa card for 50,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months. This must be a targeted offer because I cannot find any offers over 25,000 points. I have never had a Southwest card yet and would like to get the companion pass in January for 2015 to 2016. I looked all over this email and cannot find how long this offer is good for. Anyone know how long a targeted offer is good for?

  18. I just signed up for the Marriott Rewards Premier card and will receive 50,000 bonus Marriott points. I know I can transfer 30,000 Marriott Rewards Points for 10,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points. Are those 10k points considered ‘qualifying points’ toward the Companion Pass?

  19. Hi,

    If I got 2 Southwest cards in Jan of 2014. Is the companion pass valid until December 2015?

  20. I see the 50k link for the Premier does anyone have the link for th Business card?

  21. I meant to say the link for a 50 k Businss card?

  22. Is there still an offer for the plus card with 50,000 pints ?

  23. If you don’t find the chase 50k points offer online, I have a referral
    offer that I received from southwest, I can give you the details if you
    can send an email at

  24. JoJo
    Go here to see how to convert points

  25. @MillionMilesSecrets (and others) – Do you have to accumulate the points and NOT use them before you get the companion pass? That is, if I get 50,000 bonus points with a new credit card and then turn around and book rewards flights, do those count? Or do I need to hit the 110,000 threshold BEFORE redeeming any points in order to receive the companion pass?

    Thanks! Maybe you’ve covered this and I missed it.

  26. Hey, If you don’t find the chase 50k premier or plus persoanl versions, I have a referral
    offer that I received from southwest, I can give you the details if you
    can send an email at

  27. Jim McKibbens

    @MillionMilesSecrets – My companion pass is about to expire end of this year. I got mine with the Plus Personal/Business cards following your awesome articles on the subject. However, it will be a loss to see it go. I am wondering if it’s smart for me to play this game again with the Premier card combo and hit the spends early 2015 and get the Companion Pass for another ~2 years. The caveat is that we may be buying/selling a house early/mid 2015 and I’m wondering if the 2 hard credit inquiries are a good idea (haven’t opened new other cards since Feb 2014 which was a Chase Ink business card).

    On the other hand, my wife’s credit score according to Credit Karma is 695. She has no cards in her name and is only an authorized user on some of mine and I’ve been building up her credit over the last 2 years she’s been the country. Could I use her credit and get the cards for her or do I need to build it up further?

  28. Do you know if purchasing gift cards (like for a grocery store) will count for purchase requirements to get to the $2000 limit? I already got my 50000 from one card and need to spend $2000 in about 5 days (!!) (I just got approved for the 2nd card but didn’t realize the points reset in Dec) to make the cut off for this year or I will miss out on making it by the posting date and basically just have 100000 southwest miles over 2 years and no companion points.

  29. Good luck getting a grocery store to take a credit card for a gift card but if you did it would count toward the spend.

  30. I got QUALIFYING POINTS companion pass

    I have 50k points after spending 2k coming from chase they said on dec 4th but I have till the DEC 31st to get the additional 2425 to complete the 110k. What do you suggest I do? I don’t want to leave it to chance.

    BTW I did a 1800 flowers that offered 1500 points hope it counts then I will need less. I also did a sams club membership that offered 500 pts hopes it comes through before. Do you know if I could do another 1800 flowers order to get 1500?

  31. Do bonus points from referrals count towards the pass?

  32. @A.J. M – From who?

    @Joe – I suggest spending the $2k (does NOT include the annual fee) 10 days before the 4th (if that is when your statement closes). The 1800 Flowers should post within 7 days of delivery. You can do multiple 1-800 Flowers orders. Good luck!

  33. I noticed the offer says you can’t get the bonus if you have received the bonus within the last 24 months. I had the Premier version in early 2012.

  34. Will closing chase sw card cause me to lose points that I already have on my rapid rewards account?

  35. 1. Can I apply for 2 SW business cards now? As I had done 2 SW personal last year.
    2. As I understand spending this year will reset, so should I need to spend almost 10k in January or spending this year will count in January.
    3. If I apply now, my 3 months is Feb end but could I get 50k bonus and compainion if I get all in January? can early 50k within 2 months work if $2k is spend by then?

  36. I will (hopefully) be receiving a companion pass in 2015. Unfortunately, my partner is the one who is frequently reimbursed for travel expenses through his university. Is there any loophole where one of us can still fly free when he must pay for the ticket? They are very strict about the receipts, etc. so I wouldn’t want to ‘fudge’ anything…but the pass will be on my account, not his.

  37. I was declined for the business card, and called the reconsideration line twice and still declined. No problem with our credit or anything like that. The reason was “our business was not yet establised enough and we weren’t generating enough revenue”. Is there anything else I can do?

  38. Daraius, can I transfer 110,000 membership rewards to Choice and then Choice to Southwest? I don’t want to add any more credit cards right now and I have boatloads of MR but I don’t want to get stuck with Choice points. Thank you!

  39. I just signed up for three 50,000 point SW cards and they were all approved. I’ll spend the necessary 6,000 early January as recommended. When I called SW to confirm that the sign up points would count towards the companion pass they said they would not. They said only $ spent count towards the pass. Are they mistaken or just misinformed? I’ll be heartbroken if the sign up points don’t qualify towards the companion pass. Can anyone confirm that this still works?

  40. I’ve been searching for hours now and can’t find a live link to the Southwest Business 50,000 points offer (the link posted here under Hot Deals goes to a dead thread on an outside website) — is it still live? (the personal Southwest Premier is still good for 50000, but not sure about the business). Thanks!!

  41. @Angel Carreon – No.

    @Mehul Shah – Yes to all since the points will post to your account in January 2015 if you apply now.

    @ Christine – Not really, unless he gets the pass and then adds you as a companion.

    @ Diane – Sorry to hear that.

    @ Liz – That should work.

    @ Tim – The sign-up bonus does count!

    @Sam Desai – I believe the offer is still working.

  42. I’ve applied for personal plus and premier cards yesterday and both the cards were approved. When I applied I did not have rapid rewards account. So I’m assuming I would get two rapid rewards account numbers. Is it good to have two rapid rewards accounts or one for earning COMPANION PASS?

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  44. While traveling this week, I noticed that they are still offering the 50k point bonus in the airports when signing up for a card. I assume this would count towards the companion pass and just wanted to mention it on this thread. Thanks!

  45. Jason Mittermaier

    Hi Daraius,

    I enjoy your site, and came across it just in time to take advantage of the SW Companion Pass!

    A couple of questions…
    I was approved for both the premier and plus cards and haven’t previously held them. I hit 2k in spending on each card for my 1/1/15 statement closing date. I transferred 30,000 Marriott points for 10,000 SW Rapid Rewards points.

    So far my Rapid Rewards account shows:
    01/03/2015 Credit Card Rapid Rewards Credit Card 01/01/2015 +2,680
    01/03/2015 Hotel Marriott 01/01/2015 +10,000
    01/03/2015 Credit Card Rapid Rewards Credit Card 01/01/2015 +2,233

    What sort of timeframe should I expect both of the 50,000 credit card bonuses to hit my account? I have flights on Southwest booked at the end of January and it would be nice to use the companion pass.


  46. Hello,

    My statement closed on 1/2/15 and I paid it off that day, then I checked my SWA rewards and it shows 107,000 points posted to my account on 1/4/15, but when I look at my companion pass to see how many points are earned for that it shows 0% earned, and same for the tier A list. Have you heard of this happening to others? I’m assuming with it showing 0% earned I have no chance of earning the companion pass right?

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  48. I found this:
    Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, points issued on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Points purchased for personal use or as a gift, transferred points, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Rapid Rewards Partner bonuses (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not count toward Companion Pass status.

    So does this mean the 50,000 can’t be used for the companion pass status?? Has something changed?

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  50. “So does this mean the 50,000 can’t be used for the companion pass status?? Has something changed?”

    It specifically mentions that “bonuses…with the exception of RR CC from Chase….do not count”, so the 50,000 can be used for CP.

    The real question is:
    Any idea how much longer the 50k bonus will last? I want to wait to apply until mid-Feb. Will there be warning before it goes away?

  51. I own a business and can put 3-4 hundred k on my RR card a year. we would like to extend the companion pass perk to our children and their spouses. can we change the rr number designee from the cc car several times a year?

  52. Hi, Question please! I signed up for the sw cards this month and hustled to spend 2k on them and my first card statement just posted and i met the minimum spending but the 50k points is not on the statement! Are they waiting longer now to give you the bonus points?? In the past they’d be on the statement that you hit the minimum spending. Thanks for any insight you can give.

  53. Something even weirder is the annual fee wasn’t in my first starement either. I recieived the card Jan 16th, met the min spending that day. Statement closed today- no annual fee posted nor did the 50k points. Not sure if i should just wait for my next statement or inquire.

  54. They advised that the fee and points would post on my 2/24 statement.

  55. My wife and I both opened SW credit cards (her a plus and me the premier) and received a the bonus back in October of 2013. We both obtained points from the card in the months afterward. My wife closed her account in June of 2014 and my account is still open. We want to open 2 more cards to try to get the companion pass. Does the 24 month wait period to obtain the bonus points again start when we first received the initial bonus, when the last time we obtained any SW points from the card or when we closed the account? Thanks.

  56. Does anyone know when the current two 50k Southwestern Credit Card signup bonuses expire?

    This is the card I’d like to get the most, but just did an AOR at the beginning of January and not sure if it’s too soon to do one again.

    Many thanks,


  57. Is this still available?

  58. if we * originally * applied and then closed the account,

    are we eligible for bonus points ?

    thx darius for being on top of this !

  59. My annaual fees and my bonus points were on my 2nd statements. Companion pass, here I come! (and it hasnt been a full 24 months since i last received the bonus points for these cards)

  60. Pablo Escobar

    I applied for a Chase SWA affinity card during a points promotion. When I received it, there was nothing in the envelope even mentioning this. I called and was told by a Chase rep that they didn’t usually mail out the details. I asked for a letter, so that I could prove my status, which I got about a week later. I had a 90 day period, from 10/17-1/17 to spend $2,500. Waiting until AFTER I received the December statement, I then charged $2,500 on 1-13-2015. Looking back, neither the January nor February statements indicated that 50k points had been posted. I also called during this period to ask when they would appear, and was told by March. Indeed, when I got the March statement, the points were listed. However, my online Rapid Rewards account showed that the 50k had been posted much earlier, on 12-18-14.

    Feels like ‘double dealing, since by posting my points in the year BEFORE I earned them, and also applying the caveat that you must get to 110k points within a calendar year, they stymied any ability I had to earn a companion pass in 2015. I have filed a complaint with SWAir, but they have every reason not to play fair.

    Possible class action suit against such practices filed in Dallas; check it out.

  61. I have a Southwest Card that has 56,000 points already on it. Can my wife apply for a Southwest Card, put my frequent flyer number on it, and then when approved, we would have 104,000 points? And all we would have to do is gain an additional 6,000 points in order to to get the companion pass? Does this sound right?

    How would we use the companion pass?

  62. Can you transfer all of the needed points for the companion pass? I have over 250,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points, if I transfer to my Marriot account and then transfer the points to Southwest rewards, would that give me the pass? If so, if I did the transfers about the first week in Jan 2016 would that give me the pass for all of 2016 AND 2017?

  63. In order to get the companion pass, does it matter whether I apply for the Southwest Personal
    “Premier” or ” Rewards” card? Thanks.

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  68. I messed up really bad. I didn’t see your post details about accruing points during a calendar year. I just applied for the 50k personal premier card. the 50k will for sure post in dec 2015. I wanted the companion pass for 2016-2017. I just got the card and have not made any purchases on it yet. Is there any way you can think of for those 50k to post in jan 2016? or could i apply for the plus personal for 50k and one of the sw business cards for 50k in 2016(provided that i find 50k bonus for both of those)?

  69. So — as a guy that has done the CP twice now (so, about 4 years worth — once with me getting a personal and business card and then two years later doing the same thing with my wife)… Anyone have any insight on doing the cards over again after a certain period and getting the bonuses again?

    I believe that Chase has an “18 months” thing where you can earn the same bonus for the same card again as long as it has been 18 months since you originally got it. I’ve already cancelled my old Southwest cards (because we use my wife’s cards now).

    So — can I sign up again and re-earn the 50,000 point bonuses with a new personal and business card (or possibly do the two different personal cards)? Again, it has been well over 18 months since I earned it before.

    Looking for any insights there or data points from someone that has done it? Anyone earned the 50,000 point bonus again for signing up for the SAME Southwest card a second time years later?

    – John…

  70. wesley stewart

    So I just got approved for personal and business card- (OCT 2nd) – My thought is to wait until mid Dec (within 90 day window) to spend the $2k on each card with plan on having the 50k points (x2) hit my account in January 2016 to receive two years of companion pass (still need to acquire extra 6k points). Am I on point? I even called Southwest to get confirmation, they said I was right, however the lady did not seem totally aware of what I’m trying to do. Any suggestions/input?

  71. Good stuff! I’m going to apply now October 2, 2015 and am I correct that if I wait till late December to complete the $2000 spend then my bonus miles won’t post till Jan 2016?

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  73. @Wesley and @Ed – I am trying to do the same thing. My first billing cycle ends 10/26. I applied Oct. 4 so I have until Jan. 4 to meet the min spend, but I want to make sure the points from the sign up bonus AND from the $4k in spending go towards 2016 status. Since the points take 6-8 weeks to post (according to SW), does that mean I could technically meet my min spend in the billing cycle that ends 12/26??

  74. @Wesley and @Ed – I am trying to do the same thing. My first billing cycle ends 10/26. I applied Oct. 4 so I have until Jan. 4 to meet the min spend, but I want to make sure the points from the sign up bonus AND from the $4k in spending go towards 2016 status. Since the points take 6-8 weeks to post (according to SW), does that mean I could technically meet my min spend in the billing cycle that ends 12/26??

    Darius, can you lend a hand and answer this technical question? 🙂

  75. I have a 50k premier offer good til 12/15/15 if anyone is interested. I would also get 5K points for referring you!

    Tip: dont hit the 2K until jan 1st if you plan on going for companion pass!

  76. Hi,

    I have a 50K SW premier referral link if anyone is interested good til 12/15/15.

    Let me know!!

  77. chris bassford

    Any chance this 2012 article could be updated as a lot has changed?

    What is the best way a person without a business can get the companion pass?

  78. Where can I find the 50k sw premier referral link that chris bassford knows & posted on Oct.18.2015 ???
    I need a 50k personal & 50k business.


  79. I have the companion pass (it’s good until the end of 2016). However, my annual fee for the Southwest credit card is due in January of 2016. I don’t want to pay the fee. If I cancel the credit card, will my companion pass still be good until the end of 2016?

  80. Has anyone found where the Plus card (not business) is offering the 50,000 bonus points? I see the Premier card is but would like to get both to help with the CP.

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  82. January 2014 I got both the Southwest personal and business cards with the 50,000 offers and received the companion pass in February of that year which i had till then end of 2015. I kept both cards and paid the annual fee in January of 2015 but cancelled December of 2015. It has almost been 24 months since i received the sign up bonuses and will be eligible soon and at that time would like to get these cards again to get the companion pass through 2017.

    Will I be able to successfully reapply for these cards in February or will I possibly be decline due to having cancelled the cards just a few months ago. Thanks!

  83. Received the SWA companion pass in mid January of 16 thanks to the help of
    Daraius & Emily. Couldn’t have done it without your wonderful instructions. Will now have it for almost a full two years. Looking for the best hotel bonuses now. We fly in the US only for now so this pass is awesome. Thanks again to Daraius & Emily

  84. What other card offers 50,000 bonus points aside from the Premier card that you would be able to apply to the companion pass?

  85. The other SWA cards are the SWA Plus, SWA Premier Business, or SWA Plus Business, all which offer the 50k offer. You can get more than one.

  86. Hi, Thanks so much for the information. I am in a quandry. It is now May and I was needing to purchase tickets and thinking of taking advantage of the 50K points deal. Trying to figure out the best strategy to get the companion tickets….Should I get one card now, and hope that there is another 50K deal towards the end of the year and wait to get the second one then? Or just lose the half year and sign up for both cards now? Am I understanding that if you earn a companion pass, that it is good for 2 years(remainder of one and the following?)
    Thanks again, you guys are great and will definately use your link to do it. Also, does it take 10 days to get approved? I need to buy tickets as in yesterday.

  87. I was just on a very lengthy phone call with Chase and was told that you could not get the bonus miles from both the personal sign up and business sign up bonus. I got the personal card with plans of the business card for the companion pass but with not allowing me the signup bonus for the business card that really puts a damper on things. Any advise on this? Thanks

  88. @Lynne Both my wife and I have been able to do this in the past. The only change I’m aware of since is that they make it more difficult to obtain the business card. I can tell you that just this year I was able to get the bonus from both the Plus and Premier personal cards to get my Companion Pass.

  89. Roger, how long did you wait between applying for premiere and plus personal cards? Did u get approved for both same day or did you wait a day? I’m planning on applying for both towards earning the companion pass this year. Help appreciated.

  90. @Angel There was about 3 months between applying for both cards. The main reason is the bonus for the Plus card was not available until that far after. I didn’t need the points or Companion Pass until later this year so it didn’t hurt me to wait that long. I would suggest applying for at least one card ASAP and hit the spending limit to get the bonus. Just make sure you hit the spending limit for the bonus on both cards so they post to your RR account during the same calendar year.

  91. Louloubelle

    I have a companion that expires on December 2016, I applied for one SW credit card and got the 50K sign up bonus and I am actually short 48K points. I was planning to wait towards the end of this year around December 2016 to purchase a Marriott travel miles and hotel package to complete my companion. How do I time it to get the companion for 2017-18? As always, thanks for your help!

  92. Louloubelle
    It is my understanding that points earned in one year do not transfer to the next year for the companion pass so if you are trying to get the companion pass it is best to get it all 110k at one time in order to get the pass. So if you now have the 50k you best bet is to transfer your Marriott points now. SWA customer service will confirm this. They were very helpful. I got the pass by getting the Premier Business and Personal credit cards in November of 2015 completed the spend requirements for both in January of 2016 and now have the pass till December of 2017.

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