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.  Note:  This no longer works.

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.

Note:   You can no longer transfer hotel points to Southwest to earn the Companion Pass.

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!

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

  1. I had cancelled my SW Plus Personal and Business cards a couple of weeks ago, and just applied for the SW Premier Personal and Business cards a week later. I got pending responses on both. I called into the reconsideration line for the Personal this week, and was told that they couldn’t approve me due to the number of requests for credit, and that they had approved my Business card app for the Premier. They also said that the British Airways card I had applied for and gotten was opened in May of this year. Should I just keep calling back and see if I can get a different answer for my app on the Personal Premier card?

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  3. I applied for SW personal card and Was approved instantly. However,a few minutes later I applied for business as sole prop. and received following response:

    thank you for applying. your application requires further review before making a decision.     here’s what you can expect: Our goal is to”otify youinwritingwithin 10 days,  however in Some Circumstances it, may take up to 30 days.If you are approved you will receive your Card and other important information in the mail

    Is this the point where I call reconsideration or should I wait for the response in mail?
    Has anyone had a similar experience with this card?

  4. @angel: Call the consideration line and sweet talk the guy/lady. Prepare to answer questions about your business: revenue, profit, sales etc. When I applied for both cards a few month ago, I was in your situation. The personal card was approved instantly and the business card was put under pending review. I called and had it approved. I applied both cards for my brother a week ago, and same thing happened. Called the reconsideration line and had the business card approved as well.

  5. Just a follow-up and a BIG thanks! Got approved right away for personal for hubby. The business card application got the “we need to do some additional checking….etc etc. We will mail you…” I waited a week, and then decided to call the reconsideration line today. I hadn’t realized what kind of checking they would do, so I foolishly abbreviated the name of the business and when they searched the Sec. of State records couldn’t find it. So, I gave the full business name and BAM! we got approved for the second card. So we should be all set for the 100K points. I aso applied for a new Plus Personal for me, that came today. I figured 50K points extra can’t hurt! I am forever in your debt – or at least until the end of 2014 when the companion pass expires. Now just have to cross fingers that the 100K point count!

  6. Following up as well with a HUGE thank you millionmilesecrets. Thank you @gocong for your reply. I went ahead and called in reconsideration line. Due to my past personal banking and CC history with Chase everything went through; after a few simple questions about business, card was approved.

    Now to start using cards as soon as they come in. 🙂

  7. Got approved for both the personal and business cards. My ultimate goal is to get the Companion Pass for 2013 and 2014. Is it best to wait to and spend in 2013 or can I start my spends in the statement cycle that will close after the 1st of the year. The personal is show an initial payment due date of 1/16/2013, meaning that a statement should close around 12/20*. So I should be able to be safe to hit the minimum spend after 12/20 or whenever the statement closes.

    • @Eric – Yes, I’d call back and offer to close/move credit from another card to get approved.

      @angel – What gocong says! Congrats on the approval, and be sure to either wait until next year to meet the spending or don’t cross $2,000 until 2013 so the points post to your account then.

      @Deb – Good luck! You can always use your points to book tickets in your husband’s name and add you as a companion for free.

      @CP! – To be 100% safe, I’d get as close as possible to $2K, but complete the final spend after Jan 1, 2013 to make sure that the points post in 2013. Also, those initial payments dates aren’t always accurate so call to find out when the statement actually closes.

  8. My thoughts exactly! 150000 points will go a really long way on it’s own, and if we truly get the companion pass….Wow!

  9. My personal card showed up on my chase acct right away… my business card has not showed up after one day of being approved on reconsideration line..

    is it supposed to show up on my acct or would it be a separate chase online acct?

  10. Hi ,
    Thank you for your post ..I applied for Personel and got rejected and I called chase reconsideration and they asked couple of questions and approved it. I applied for Business card (I have IT consulting company) it was approved after i called reconsideration. My question is how do I combine these 2 cards so that I can have 100,000 miles in one account ?

  11. Christine Pincince

    Your site is so very informative and helpful. Thank you for all of this. wow. i do have a request if u dont think it too bold. I would love to be able to down load a copy (blank naturally) of the way you keep all this crazy stuff organized. I would guess I could figure out myself a way to do it with excell or something but if you already have a good idea, that sure would be lovely. thank you..christine

  12. @Naveen: when you applied for both cards, did you put your Rapid Rewards account number on both application? If you did, then the bonus 100k points will post to your RR account. If you didn’t have a RR account number prior to applying for the cards, they will create one for you and it will be one Rapid Rewards account number for both cards.

  13. @angel: The business card won’t show up in your personal Chase account. You have to create a different online Chase username for your business card. You can’t add the business card to your personal account when you get your card. I think Chase can add it for you, but you have to call them to do it. I created a different Chase username for my business card.

  14. I just applied for Premier Personal, and Plus Business. first one approved, and second one approved after calling the reconsideration hotline. questions.
    1. is it fine to have premier personal and plus business for the purpose of getting companion pass?
    2. both applications forms don’t mention anything about 50000 bonus points, they simply said “2 rountrip flights after spending 2000..”. Obviously, I am in this for the bonus points, then companion pass, not just 2 round trip flights.


  15. I applied for the business card (I have rental properties and got the card in the LLC name) last week and just applied for the personal card and got approved. I was hoping to have the $2000 in spending done in January some time. I will let you know how and if this works.

    Let me know if there is any other advice to make sure I do this right. I will be checking back regularly.

  16. THANK YOU Daraius for all you do on this blog. You are helping so many people achieve their dreams of travel. You are really making a difference in the lives of your readers. I can’t thank you enough. Got both cards! Lots of tricky questions from the business reconsideration department, but approved. So excited!

    • @angel – You usually have to set up a separate business account with Chase for a business card online.

      @Naveen Madisetty – As long as you entered the same Rapid Rewards number in your account, the points will go to the same account.

      @Christine Pincince – I’ll email you the spreadsheet which I use.

      @gocong – Thanks for helping out!

      @Aidan – The offer says “2 roundtrips” but you actually get 50K points per card. As of now, they count towards the Companion Pass, but that could change anytime.

      @El Hefe – You should be fine as long as you complete the spending before the 3 months is up and the points post to your account in 2013.

      @Wolf – Congrats and thanks for the kind words!

  17. Got approved for my personal card and getting ready to apply for the business one, my question is, I verified my first statement close date will be 12/14/12, so will I be safe to start charging towards the $2000 right after that? Thanks for your great blog btw.

  18. I had sw personnel card in august, and got approved for business card last week and my first statement date is last week of this month. i have 55k sw points now. I order to get another 55k points i need to spend 2k+ before the statement date in this month right? or in order to get the points do i need to pay back the spending immediately when i get the statement or it can wait ?
    Is my payments and points linked anywhere ?


    • @Simon – You should be fine charging after that, though I wouldn’t cross $2K until Jan 1, 2013 just in case the points post when you complete the minimum spending.

      @prawinready – The points will post a few days after the statement in which you complete the minimum spending requirements closes. That said, I’d make sure to complete the spending 8 to 10 days before the statement close date. And do note that sometimes the points could post in the next statement cycle. Payments and points aren’t linked.

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  20. Hi Darius – I just applied for the Personal Plus card and got approved and the Business Premier card and after calling the reconsideration line, I got approved for the Business! Thank you so much for the information and all the hard work you do. My question is after the points have posted in my account, and I get the extra 10,000 points, what do I need to do to get the companion pass? Will it show up on my SW account?

  21. Daraius –
    Thanks for writing back to me.

    This is a follow up to my original companion pass question from 11/25/12.
    I mentioned I already earned the 50k from the personal card by spending 1k.

    On 11/22/12, I completed the minimum spending on the business card of 1k.
    So I am waiting for the additional 50k to post.

    On 11/25/12, I was still shy 8,000 points to reach the 110,000 companion pass, so I used it on a specific purchase that I planned for.

    All that in total would put me slightly above 110,000 points all earned in 2012.

    The cycle date or statement period for my business card ends (today) 12/4/12 at midnight. As of now, DOES NOT REFLECT the 50k or the additional 8k spending on there website. It says I am 47% earned towards this year’s companion pass.

    Obviously there are 27 days left in the month for points to post, but the next statement period won’t post until January 5th, 2013. Making it next year…not this year.

    I sensed that you felt I needed to see the 50,000 post on this Chase statement period (that closes tonight) otherwise those miles won’t count for THIS YEAR, and will be applied till next years total. (which would mean I would lose 60,000 points from this year towards the Companion Pass)

    I obviously was shooting for completing it in 2012 for use in 2013.
    Can I call Chase or Southwest and push this request thru?

    Thanks as always…jp

    • @JP – Southwest won’t reflect the point earned until a few days after your statement closes. I’d look at your Chase statement online (the PDF version) when it closes and see if the bonus points and points from spending are reflected in it. If so, the points will hit your Southwest account in the next few days. Yes, you need to see the points in your account in 2012 for it to count towards the Companion Pass in 2012 since you already earned 50K this year. Good luck!

  22. This will be the first time I apply for Credit cards I don’t need. I also have no companion and never travel with one [sob].
    So I’m still doing good if I apply tonite for both personal and business and get 100,000 points? I can start using up the $2k starting January, 2013. I need several flights after 2013, NY and LA. My house payment plus a few other things will cover $2k in January, February at the latest.
    John Davis
    Gresham, OR

    • @John A Davis – Even if you don’t have a companion, you still get ~$1667 worth of Southwest flights. That said, I’d still cross the $2K spending in January 2013 to get the Companion Pass in 2013, because it is valid until the end of 2014, and things could change in 2 years! 🙂

  23. ha! I love that you got back to me so quick. Just pulled the trigger on the Premier and was accepted. Heading off for the biz card.
    Now that $2k is for both cards for the month of January?

    • @John A Davis – You’re welcome! You have to spend $2K within 3 months on each card (from when you were approved) to get the 50 K points. So that is until the beginning of March 2013. However, you don’t want the points to post to your account in 2012, because then they won’t count towards the Companion Pass in 2013. So you can start spending if you know that your 1st statement will close in January 2013 and not December 2012. You can call to find out when your statement will close. Or if you start spending in December, make sure that you don’t cross $2K in spending in December.

  24. I don’t think I can spend $4k in January if that is what is required for the personal and business. I will wait for the biz to see what you say.

  25. The website I reached from your link says this:
    “Apply for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card, and we’ll get you started with 50,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account.”

    Is this correct? It implies I don’t need to spend $2k in January. Is there some other reason? Kinda confused. . . and thank you!

  26. Got no more money to spend in December. So looks like I can get the business one too! Thanks a bunch. This should pay for my annual trip to visit daughter in NY city. And my crazy friends in Los Angeles.
    And maybe I’ll go to Waikiki and learn to surf (serious). Thanks again to you and your wife.

  27. Do you think if I transfer Chase Sapphire UR points to my SW account, they will count towards the 110k?

  28. D- sorry for not digging back in the old comments, but do the bonus points earned through shopping via the Southwest Portal count towards companion pass? You mention buying flowers, but I was hoping the Rapid Rewards Mall would count

  29. Nevermind, found it. Someone in the comments say that they count

    • @John A Davis – You’re welcome! Southwest doesn’t fly to Hawaii currently, but they may fly there in 2014 or 2015.

      @Anjum – Unfortunately, they do not count directly, but do count if you transfer them via Marriott or Hyatt.

      @Nick – No worries. They do currently count.

  30. I just clicked on your link to apply for the SW Plus Personal card…and then the Premier…then the Business Plus, and Premier – ALL OFFERS FROM ALL LINKS FOR THE 50,000 POINTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE…..I AM SO BUMMED OUT!!! I was so grateful to find your site as I trolled for info/links before applying, and spent a couple of hours reading everything before I decided on my strategy – only to find that I seemed quite literally “a day late and 25,000 points short” of the best offer! I quickly searched sites and links for another way to access to the 50,000 point offer – everything was a dead end. Any ideas?? I don’t want to apply for a 25,000 when I know there’s a chance for something better.

  31. If I opened two cards for 50k points each, one personal and one business, each one under a different Rapid Reward number (I was worried that using the same RR number for both cards would allow them to deny me one of the sign-up bonuses) , will merging them into one account work towards the 110k total for free companion pass?

  32. Hey Darius,

    I too managed to be late to the party and only see the 25k offers for all the cards now. Unfortunately based on your post and TPGs I didn’t think they were dropping the bonus of all 4 cards down to 25k. I did manage to use a link from a Southwest email to me to sign up for the Premier personal card for 50k, and got automatic approval. At this point, do you think I should try to apply for one of the Biz cards and get the 25k, then apply for the other in a few months? Or do you think the 50k offer will come back, and if so, when? Thanks for the help, your site is the best.

  33. Daraius,

    I should have just been patient. Points posted next morning after cycle date. Bonus points plus the additional purchases. Also woke up to a nice surprise from Southwest this morning with an email entitled “You’ve earned the Southwest Companion Pass!” As always, you and Emily are rockstars. Thanks brotha….

    @JP – Southwest won’t reflect the point earned until a few days after your statement closes. I’d look at your Chase statement online (the PDF version) when it closes and see if the bonus points and points from spending are reflected in it. If so, the points will hit your Southwest account in the next few days. Yes, you need to see the points in your account in 2012 for it to count towards the Companion Pass in 2012 since you already earned 50K this year. Good luck!

    • @NB – I found links to the Plus personal and business and to the Premier personal and business and updated them on the blog. You won’t find these on the Chase or Southwest site so take a screenshot before applying. I wouldn’t apply for the 25K versions.

      – I’ve never tried that, but I do know that they currently count towards the Companion Pass when you apply for 1 personal and 1 business and have the points go to the same account.

      @Aurelien W.
      – I’ve updated the links on the blog and all but the Premier Business currently have the 50K bonus. I wouldn’t apply for the 25K version.

      @JP – Glad it worked out and thanks for letting me know!

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  35. Hi Darius,
    I got the s w personal and 50k. Got the business and only 25k. I did what you mentioned and called and sent a secure message. Thanks , It worked! 50 coming. Raised my spend to 2k. Decided to drag the spend on this til jan 13 and go for companion pass. So applied for. a second business. Was denied. Called and was approved in 15 mins. The csr actually had a sense of humor. Got a pass coming soon. Thanks s w for 150,000 pts in 3 months. All 3 premier.
    Thanks much for all the great tips.

  36. Well, I phoned the business reconsideration line for Chase SW biz card I applied for on December 5th. I was told to apply in a couple months once I had shown some activity on the other card. Main reason was a 7,750 balance on a credit union card I have that I owe. I mentioned that I would no longer get the 50,000 signing bonus and the guy said that it would be back in several months.
    Only fair, I guess. Not sure if I will be able to get the companion thing if I have to wait 3 months or so.

    • @Jeff – Was this for a separate business? Good luck and please let us know if you get the bonus on both the business cards.

      @John A Davis – If the points post in 2013, you have until the end of 2013 to earn the Companion Pass, so it should be possible. If you really want the card now, you can try calling the reconsideration again and see if they will approve you for the card.

  37. Will HHilton miles converted to Southwest RR work towards a companion pass?

  38. do the bonus pts post after u reach the theshlod amount or do the post after the statment drops?

    • @vu – It usually posts a few days after your statement closes in which you complete the minimum spending requirements. But I’d wait to complete the threshold amount of $2K in 2013, just in case it posts earlier.

  39. I am about 16,000 pts short of the companion pass for 2012. I moved my AMEX pts to Choice pts and then tried to redeem for SW pts,but they are saying it takes 4-6 weeks to convert. Is there anything I can do? I saw that I could purchase some Marriott pts and then redeem, but won’t I be in the same boat? HELP!

  40. Choice Hotels is offering a 10% bonus when buying points [to convert to SW pts] before December 31st, 2012!!

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  42. If I open a Chase Southwest card today with the 50,000 points & spend the $2,000 as soon as teh card comes figure a week –

    How fast will the Southwest points post?

  43. Just to clarify once again, if my next statement closes in January, then can I start using my card to fulfill the minimum requirements now? Will the points count for the 2013 calendar year as long as it posts in 2013? or does the spending have to be in 2013? Thanks!

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  45. if i use southwest card to buy amex gift card on, will it count towards the 2000 requirement? if yes, then any reason not to do it?

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  47. What a great site! I just wish I would have found it (and acted ) a few days earlier. Yesterday, I decided to call Chase and finally apply for a new SW card in my name (already have one in hubbys name and earned companion pass but I travel a little more than him so could make better use of cp). Well, they said all 50K offers are gone! I just used your links (for the Plus Indivdual) and it worked. It said that I was instantly approved an that I’d get my card soon. But the approval did not list my name or anything and I have not yet gotten a confirmation email. Now when i try to go to that link (from your site), it’s dead. Same thing with the business one, which I’d like to apply for my husband. Do you think I really have been approved????? Unfortunately, i took no screenshots but then again, nothing about the approval screen had my name on it.

  48. I talked to Chase last night and I was approved for both. But I had trouble with one of the links – in order to get it to work I had to use a different brower, so I downloaded FireFox and it worked once! I’d try that or try on a different machine and see if it will go thru!

    I also did not get confirmation emails on either app!

  49. Watch your spending and cycle dates CLOSELY my friends. I have goofed and spent over $2k on my personal version that posted in 2012. The cycle ended on Dec. 3rd but payment is not due until Jan. 3rd 2013…..I wrongly assumed the points would post after paying up in 2013. No companion pass for me : (

    Darius> Ever heard of one calling SW to ask that points be removed for a few days and then reapplied? HA!

  50. Aha! Your blog never fails me….just a little navigating and a lot of reading. I’ve found that I only need to get approved for the other version of the same card with a 50k sign on bonus to go with my 50k’s that will post in 2013!

  51. Hello! I wanted to get your advice on what I should do. Me and my girlfriend each signed up for this card about 6 months ago and had used up the points for flights. I didn’t realize at the time about the potential for companion pass. I can still sign us both up for business Southwest cards. At this point though it is probably too difficult to get the Companion passes requirements with just the business card bonus. Should I just cancel our current personal Southwest cards and sign up for both the business and personal cards a few months later? Or should I just sign us up for business cards now….cancel both cards in a few months….then repeat the process of getting both personal and business cards later on? Also cancelling these cards is not like AMEX where they keep your Years of Membership if you sign back up right? Sorry I didn’t plan to make this so long. I love this blog by the way!

    • @Aidan – Yes, it should count towards the minimum spending requirement.

      @Linda – You can call the Chase reconsideration line to check if you’re approved. Chase doesn’t usually send out approval emails. BTW, the links in the Hot Deals tab still work for the Southwest 50K offer.

      @Jacki – You have to earn 110K Companion Pass Qualifying points in 1 calendar year. So if 50K posts in 2013 you have to earn the remaining points in 2013. The points usually post a few days after your statement in which you complete the minimum spending closes.

      – You’re right that Chase does not backdate the card to when you first got a Chase card. You could cancel the personal card now and get the business card now so that 50K points post in 2013. And then get a different version for the personal card sometime in 2013 for the remaining points.

  52. Pingback: Chase Business Credit Card Application | Million Mile Secrets |

  53. Points will post to your rewards account before the end of your statement, at least points on general purchases. I made the mistake of spending over 10,000 on the cards already, and they posted. If the bonus points post in January, I’ll have to spend another 10K to get the companion pass. If the bonus points post in December, I guess I’ll get the companion pass for 2013 instead. I’m hoping for the first possibility.

    My advice to everyone. . . don’t spend “anything” on the cards until January. The purchases you make before then could post to your account in December, before they count for the 2014 companion pass, and thus you’ll have to “re-spend and re-earn” those points again in January.

  54. My statement closing date was Dec 16. By that date I had spent $898 dollars on my Premiere card. I logged in to chase today, Dec 17 and my statement was ready – showing 898 miles. I also logged in to my RRewards acct and saw the points posted as of today.

    So my next closing date would be jan 16. Am I okay to assume I can do spending towards the 2000 needed and it wont post until jan 17 like it did this time? What are your experiences?


  55. On the SW site it says, “Companion Pass status is based on taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 Qualifying Points in a calendar year. ”
    Key word or confusion for me is the word “earning”. I’ll play the devil’s advocate,

    Let’s say I use the credit card in Dec 2012 and spend $400. The points for this “post” say in early 2013. Could SW argue that the points earned from that $400 in spending would not qualify towards the companion pass in 2013 because you “earned” those points in 2012 (earning date = purchase date)

    I was approved for both the SW premier personal and business card. I just received the personal card last week (and confirmed the 50k promotion applies). If my concerns are valid I should just wait until 2013 to start spending but I’d rather not. I need to meet the spend requirement of $2,000 per card and don’t want to wait around till 2013 if I can help it. I can spend a bit in the last 12 days of Dec and have already spent some since I received the card a week ago.

    So bottom line, is the year I spend to earn the points irrevelant if the points are posted in the following year. Thanks for the help.

  56. Great website, great post!

    Somehow the whole companion pass thing went right over my head, and I didn’t plan for this.

    My business credit card gave me 50,000 points earlier this year. I’ve earned about 1,000 other points.

    I signed up for a personal card late in the year, but my statement won’t close until early January. I can easily meet the spending limit well before the end of the year, but I’m guessing that I won’t be credited until 2013. Does that sound right? Or should I pull out all stops to try to make this happen?

  57. Hi. My statement closes on January 4th, 2013. You have said multiple times that just to be safe, do not cross the minimum spend until after the end of the year; however, I have also read your advice on spending 8-10 days prior of your statement closing so that the points may have time to process and post. I want to get the companion pass when my statement closes in January and not have to wait until February. Any advice on what I should do? Cross the minimum spend now, or wait?

  58. Hello!

    I practiced credit card churning on my own until I discovered it was a “thing” and found your website. Unfortunately I just received 25,000 point today from SW. I want to get the companion pass between 2013-2014 so I will get the two 50,000 point cards. I called and asked if they could award me the 25,000 in January and they said no.

    Do you think that if I book a flight and then cancel it, the refunded points will count towards my companion pass? Any ideas on how I can transfer my 25,000 points awarded in 2012 to 2013?

  59. Hi Darius, if you can help with my recent comment, that would be great.

    “Hi. My statement closes on January 4th, 2013. You have said multiple times that just to be safe, do not cross the minimum spend until after the end of the year; however, I have also read your advice on spending 8-10 days prior of your statement closing so that the points may have time to process and post. I want to get the companion pass when my statement closes in January and not have to wait until February. Any advice on what I should do? Cross the minimum spend now, or wait?”

  60. its the 24th of december, is worth it for me to sign up now for both cards, pros and cons please, thanks

  61. hi
    My statement closed today, I already had sw personal card, got business card in 1st week of dec, done around 3k spending.when will the points show up in my sw account ?

    • @Jay – You’re right that the points will count towards the Companion Pass in 2013, so you could try to earn the remaining 60K points by the end of 2013.

      @Lil – I suspect you will be fine if you complete the minimum spending now.

      @Bryan – Welcome! You can’t transfer the points earned in 2012 towards the companion pass in 2013, but you can start over in 2013 for the Companion pass.

      @mike – The points you earn will count towards the Companion Pass in 2013, so you could get close to 2 years of free travel with a companion.

      @prawinready – The points should post to your account a few days after the statement in which you complete the minimum spending requirements closes.

  62. woww, awesome it still works got the statement 2 days ago and showed up in my sw account today., I got companion pass status achived.

    Thanks alot to MillionMiles secrets.

  63. Hi

    I am 9800 points shy of companion pass on Southwest. On Dec. 21st I transferred 14,000 points from Choice Hotels to reach it. My question is, do you think these points will be posted in time or should I buy enough points from Hyatt. They seem to post in 24 to 48 hours. Just don’t want to miss out. Any help would be GREAT

  64. @dave I bought 5k points from marriot they reflected in my sw account in 48 hrs.

  65. If one’s companion pass expires on Dec31, 2012 and a flight is booked now but takes place in 2013, could a companion be added to the flight? That is, add a companion while still in companion status for a flight that departs after the companion pass has expired.

    Thank you

  66. Hi: I read your comment “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.” We currently have a Southwest card that is not plus or premier. So do we appy for a “transfer” to a Plus card? Or do we cancel the card? And then start over with a new application for a Plus card? Same question for switching from the Plus to the Premier. And how long did you wait after getting the Plus before applying for the Premier? We’ve had a Companion Pass off and on for many years but since my husband doesn’t do as much business travel any more, we need extra hints for getting it in early 2013. Ours current 2-year pass expires in 2 days but we only have 65,000 points so we need to get the entire 110,000 as early as possible in 2013. So happy to have found your fantastic blog. A million thanks!!!

  67. We are in big trouble. Everything could go wrong, it went the wrong all the way.
    My husband overspend $2,000, then called the dealer to switch the charges to another credit card. But the credit went in as a “return”, So chase transfer the 50,000 points right way in 2012. My husband hurryied up to spend $2,000 on his buz SW card. Guess what, he got credit card spending bonus(2,100 points), but the Chase said they are going to transfer 50,000 in the next statement. He called the Chase rep. and talked to his superviser and they can’t do nothing. I never heard the Chase post the $50,000 on next cycle. This is happening to us. Be careful with your timing on the buz. SW card.

  68. Happy New Year! Will have my $2000 spendings completed today on both my Personal and Business cards today! Can’t wait to see those 104,000 hit show. I know Southwest is updating/resettings Companion Miles but wonder how long it will take for the points to show up?

    I read that the sign up points sometimes generate 1099’s – any insight on whether Chase does this?

    Thanks for making this possible!

  69. Happy New Year!

    I am also wondering after $110000 spending met, how long will the companion pass be produced? Will I receive a mailed certificate? Or it will be generated in my account automatically? We are kind of in a hurry to use it for a trip in late Jan. But may not make it if the companion production is slow.

    Thanks for any suggestion!

  70. @wing- as soon as points POST in your southwest account you can set it up online and book a ticket for the “primary” account holder and then add companion online.

  71. Thanks, Mike!

  72. FUTURE POST??? On my target offer letter for the 50K Premier card it reads:
    “REDEEM FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL on 50+ global carriers to over 800 destinations worldwide.”
    Do you know how to do that?? And just as important…would that work with my companion pass too? Would love to see you blog about how to redeem for international (besides AirTran to Puerto Rico).
    Much appreciation!!

    • @prawinready – Congrats!

      @Paul – I don’t believe it would work.

      @Joan – If you have an older Southwest card which is neither the Plus or Premier, you may be able to get the sign up bonus on the Plus or Premier version. If you’re switching from the Plus to the Permier, I’d cancel the Plus and then reapply for the Premier. If you just call Chase to convert the Plus to the Premier you don’t get the sign on bonus.

      @Deb – Happy New Year to you as well! Chase doesn’t issue 1099s for miles earned from credit card sign-up bonuses.

      @Barbara – Redeeming Southwest points for international flights is a poor value and you can’t use the Companion Pass. You can only use the Companion Pass to destinations where Southwest flies.

  73. Is this deal still on? Any clue as to how much longer?

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  75. Wow! I’m thrilled by this. I applied through the links above last week, and just as you instructed, I followed up each application with a phone call to Chase. They approved.

    I received my cards today. I do not see anything in writing about the 50,000 point bonus in the literature that came with my cards. Should I be concerned about that and follow up?

    Thanks again for the advice!

    • @DaveO – The Plus version still has a 50K sign-on bonus, but I don’t know for how much longer it will last.

      @Chris P. Jones – You can confirm the bonus when you call to activate the cards, but the materials with the cards almost never mention the sign-on bonus.

  76. Has anyone received their Companion Pass yet for minimum spend met after January 1? Hoping the 50k bonuses are still being applied to the Pass..

  77. I have the same question as James… Thanks!

  78. I am also waiting for the 50,000 points to post on 2 different accounts. On one, the $2000 plus spending has posted but nothing else. It had a 1/1/13 payment date. The other is paid today. Waiting is unnerving; kind of like waiting for a baby to be born!

  79. My statements both closed on the 4th, and points were posted on the 6th, all of it applying towards a companion pass eligibility, yippee! However, my choice hotel points still have not transferred :[.

  80. check your status here after yearly maintenance is complete. please be patient and do not call or email to inquire, because I’m still waiting on mine too.

  81. For some reason the people that collect my mortgage won’t take credit card payments. Only checks, or withdrawals from a bank account.

    I heard something about being able to buy fillable cards at a drugstore or something like that which would allow me to write a check from that card.
    Not sure, but is there a way? I hate to give up that $837 payment to my checking if I can somehow use my new Chase SW (50k thanks to you) Credit Card?

  82. How do the rapid reward points post? I paid my annual fee and it doesn’t show up on my southwest account or my chase account.

  83. Got the first card’s 50,000 points posted today! One down and one to go!

  84. Hi, according to the Terms and Conditions of the Southwest Companion Pass site it states:

    Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights, points issued on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.
    (Southwest Companion Pass Terms & Conditions)

    This would make it seem that the 50,000 points earned after reaching the minimum spend would NOT count towards the 110,000 points needed to achieve the companion pass because it is a “program enrollment” bonus. Can anyone confirm if this offer is still active even with this condition?


  85. bummer! I tested the telefloral method in Nov and the purchase counted towards the companion pass. However it looks like my purchases in Jan did not. Any recent feedback on the choice points? If not I guess I will be doing VR/BB for the rest of the needed points.

  86. @Darius and @Kim the same thing happened with me; my Choice points posted but did not count towards the Companion Pass (Marriott points did but not Choice).

  87. Looks like a cheap alternative (if not the cheapest) to get the rest of the 6000 miles towards CP is just to buy more VR at CVS…you will be out of pocket around $48 dollars by buying 12 more reload cards 🙂 This way, you are not cashing out other miles which, one day, may be worth even more. CVS VRs may not be around forever..ya know.

  88. Anyone have an idea how long it takes for Southwest to update Tier/Companion status? 2 weeks already and still nothing showing on either of or RR accounts.

  89. Quick update … my wife got the two southwest card at the end of OCT, did 1K purchase in December on both card. But now when i log on to the southwest website looks like that 1K purchase does not count toward the CP, as it was last yr, because the tier bar for companion pass shows 0 for 2013…

  90. Another follow-up. I bought points on Choice Hotels and it took just 7 days for the points to show up in my SW account. I cannot tell if they counted towards Companion Pass as it is still saying that they are updating the tier status points/info. I can’t believe it takes 2+ weeks to do this. Has anyone gotten their Tier Status updated yet??

  91. I just checked mine today and the tier status was updated, points from both personal and business cards and hyatt points transfer posted and shows at 100% companion pass status. My wife’s account still shows the updating tier status and I am just waiting for the points from the personal card to post on hers. Be patient and I’m sure it will all come through.

  92. So if I got the card in October and met the min spending on 1/11 and my statement closed on 1/14. I would have to wait until next statement on 2/14 to get the 50K points? But by Feb, won’t it be pass the 3 month period?

  93. The bonus is still counting towards the companion pass status! My 50,000 point bonus from the personal card has posted and is being counted towards companion pass status, today. So everything is still working! I was worried that they might “close the loop-hole” in 2013, but apparently not!

  94. I was wondering if anyone would know how come my southwest business card did not go through at my local CVS when trying to purchase a Vanilla Reload card. I tried twice but it didnt work, however my hilton amex did…

    • @Jon @Wolf – Congrats and thanks for letting us know that it still works! I’m waiting for my points to post.

      @WL – You have to complete the spending within 3 months, so you should be fine as long as you completed the minimum spending since you have the full 2013 to earn the 110K points needed for the Companion Pass.

      @Jason – There could be a fraud alert on it. Call the number at the back of the card and ask why they declined that transaction.

  95. does dining reward points count toward companion status? how long does it take to post to your account after actually dining?

  96. Update – Finally got update on Companion Status! The 50,000 sign up bonus worked, as did the Choice Hotel transfer points, and RR Dining points along with my regular spending. Feeling super good this morning, just waiting for the business card points to go in and we are good to go!

  97. Hi,

    Just for your and everyone’s records I wanted to update you on my status!

    Received Chase United card October 2012
    Received Chase Southwest Premier Personal (25k) November 2012
    Canceled Chase Southwest Premier Personal (25k) December 2012
    Applied for Chase Southwest Plus Personal (50k) January 2013
    Called reconsideration line, they said I was declined because I have applied for so many Chase cards in a 6 month period, they moved $5,000 of my credit line from my United card and accepted me for Plus Personal.

    On track to have 75k Southwest points with these cards.

    I wasn’t trying to have it happen like this, I just discovered your website. My next step is to get a Chase Southwest Plus Business and shoot for the companion pass. I wanted to share to show how quickly I was able cancel my Premier Personal and get a Plus Personal by calling the reconsideration line. The call lasted 5 minutes. Thanks! & will keep you updated.

  98. How can this work if this is posted on the Southwest website? Maybe I missed something already posted?
    ****Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights, points issued on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.

  99. @losha- Sounds like a case of “dont confuse me with the facts”. It most certainly “works” regardless of whether the tech guy who writes language of the Sw website would think it should