How Long Does It Take to Get the Southwest Companion Pass Once You’ve Earned the Points?

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Million Mile Secrets readers, marshall, commented:

Thanks to your tips WE JUST HIT OUR SOUTHWEST COMPANION PASS, YAY!  We got in on the action a little late and are college students so it took a little clever work but we did it nonetheless.

My question is how long do we have to wait until Southwest issues the pass or gives some notification?  We are at 116,000 Southwest points right now but haven’t been able to click on anything or sign up.

Congratulations on earning the Southwest Companion Pass, marshall!  This is 1 of my top 10 best deals in travel, so I hope you can get as much value out of it as Emily and I have over the years!

How Long Does It Take To Get The Southwest Companion Pass Once You've Earned The Points

When You Have the Southwest Companion Pass, Your Best Friend Can Fly With You for (Almost) Free for Up to 2 Years!

Find out what you can expect once you earn the points required to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!

Once you’ve earned the 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year for the Southwest Companion Pass, you’ll see the status added to your account within a few days.

What’s the Southwest Companion Pass?

Link:   How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass in 8 Easy Steps

Link:   Chase Southwest Plus

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier Small Business

With the Southwest Companion Pass a friend or family member can fly with you for (almost) free anytime you fly Southwest for up to 2 years!

To achieve this status, earn 110,000 Southwest points within 1 calendar year.  What makes this easy is the sign-up bonuses you get with the Chase Southwest Plus, Premier, and Premier Small Business cards count towards this goal.

And these cards frequently offer a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Southwest points when you complete the minimum spending.

So by signing-up for 2 cards (the easiest is 1 business and 1 personal, but folks have also been able to get 2 personal cards), you’ll get most of the way to earning the Southwest Companion Pass!

Here’s a look at how many points you’ll currently earn with each card:

Emily and I don’t earn a commission on these cards, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!

With 2 of these cards, you’ll get most of the points you need.  You can earn the remaining points by doing a bit more spending on your Chase Southwest cards or using these tricks!

The Southwest Companion Pass has saved Emily and me lots of money over the years!  And more importantly, it’s given us the opportunity to visit with friends and family across the country more often!

We also love Southwest because everyone gets 2 free checked bags and you can cancel your flight without penalty.

How Long Does It Take To Get The Southwest Companion Pass Once You've Earned The Points

Southwest Is Still Our Favorite Airline When We Fly Within the US, Because a Friend or Family Member Can Join Us for Free!

When you reach the 110,000 Southwest points you need for the Southwest Companion Pass, the status should automatically credit to your account within a few days.  As long as the status is listed in your online account, you can begin enjoying the savings.

You’ll receive a card in the mail with 1 to 2 weeks of earning the Companion Pass.  But you don’t need the card to make a Companion Pass booking.

Read this post to see how to add a companion to your reservation!

Watch Out for These Common Mistakes!

Link:   3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You the Southwest Companion Pass

There are a few mistakes folks tend to make on the road to the Southwest Companion Pass.

How Long Does It Take To Get The Southwest Companion Pass Once You've Earned The Points

A Misstep Could Cost You Big Savings!

So marshall should be sure he’s avoided these pitfalls:

  • Moving points from 1 Southwest account to another does NOT count
  • Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest also will NOT count towards the Companion Pass
  • Applying for 1 Chase Southwest card in your name and 1 Chase Southwest card in your friend’s or partner’s name will NOT count

If you’ve met all the requirements and don’t see the Southwest Companion Pass status credited to your account within a few days, give Southwest a call at 800-435-9792.

Bottom Line

When you earn the Southwest Companion Pass a friend or family member can fly with you for free anytime you fly Southwest (paid or award flights) for up to 2 years!

This is 1 of my favorite travel deals.  And it can save you thousands of dollars.

To achieve Southwest Companion Pass status, earn 110,000 Southwest points within 1 calendar year.  It’s easy to quickly get most of the way there by signing-up for 2 Chase Southwest cards when they are offering 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonuses.

Emily and I don’t receive a commission for these cards, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!

Once you’ve earned the necessary points, the Southwest Companion Pass should be credited to your account within a few days.  If not, give Southwest a call at 800-435-9792.

I’ve gotten lots of value out of the Southwest Companion Pass over the years.  It’s enabled Emily and I to visit friends and family across the country we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.   So congrats on earning this terrific perk!

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15 responses to “How Long Does It Take to Get the Southwest Companion Pass Once You’ve Earned the Points?

  1. Quick question, do they “take” the points when you get the CP or do you get to keep them to use for award travel?

  2. I note that Marshall wrote “We are at 116,000 Southwest points right now but haven’t been able to click on anything or sign up.” What’s not clear from the question is whether Marshall
    a) Earned 116,000 Southwest Points in Calendar Year 2016 (this assumes the question was posted in in 2016)
    or
    b) Has a Current Balance of 116,000 Southwest Points (and it could be both)

    I hope its a) but I am worried he could have meant b).
    If its a) Marshall qualifies for the companion pass for the rest of 2016 and 2017. Also very impressive as college students that pulled that off earning all 116,000 points in January as that that makes for some tricky timing, but possible.

    If its b) and I am worried based on the wording that might be the case. If Marshall’s current point balance is 116,000 but if not at least 110,000 was earned in one calendar year, he would not qualify. As the 110,000 points must be earned in one calendar year to qualify.

    Now if he earned 110,000 points in 2015 (instead of 2016) he would earn a pass good for the remained of 2015 (which can’t be used now) and 2016. While not as ideal as it lasting thru 2017 would not be awful.

    Or if Marshall didn’t 110,000 in 2016 but most his points are from 2016 (e.g. 105,000 and 11,000 from 2015) he could still later qualify by earning the remaining points needed to hit 110,000.

    My biggest worry is that a large chunk of those points (but less than 110,000) could be from 2015 and the rest in 2016. For example if one or both sign up bonuses posted in 2015, he could have been short in 2015 but now would have start fresh in 2016.

    This is one of the other common mistakes and I am surprised that Darius didn’t highlight this as possible mistake (though he did note the point had to be earned in a calendar year, some people confuse points earned with point balance).

    Hopefully, its was a) but perhaps Marshall will see this post and comment to clarify.

  3. Doreen – they don’t take any points for the CP you just have earned the privilege to book a companion with you when you fly

  4. mine took about a week. Earned 110K points on 1/6/16 (statement closed 1/4/16) and received the status on 1/13/16.

  5. Got both the Southwest personal and business cards January 2014 and earned the companion pass through 2015. I paid annual fees January 2015 but cancelled both cards December 2015. It will be 24 months very soon since i have received the bonuses on both cards and hope to reapply for the cards again once that requirement has been me in order to get the companion pass through 2017. My question is… Will I be able to get approved for another Southwest personal and business card even though I just cancelled them a little almost two months ago or will my applications be declined due such a short span since i cancelled them. If too short of a span, how long should i wait to reapply.

    Thank you for all your valuable information that has allowed me to earn almost 2,000,000 miles since 2014. – Jay

  6. FWIW, I had the points post to my account and the next day it showed I had earned a companion pass but there was nowhere online to enter the name and information for the person I chose. The day after that there was a link to enter the info next when I logged into my account, and I did so. The actual card came about a week later.

  7. 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!

  8. Question for those who have earned. If I am trying to maximize the amount of time I have it and earn all the points by statement closing date in Dec 2016, does that mean I will earn the pass in Jan 2017 thereby making it valid for the rest of 2017 and rest of 2018? Or will they give it to me in Dec 2016 thereby causing me to only have it for 2017?

  9. @Hiro, all of the points have to post in the same calendar year. So, if the points post in 2016, then the companion pass will be valid till the end of 2017. Good luck!

  10. I earned a Companion Pass in mid-2014 and enjoyed about a year and a half of travel with my partner. Now I see they are offering the 50k bonuses again. Here’s my questions: the rules say you cannot earn another bonus until 204 months have passed since your last bonus…is it 24 months from the last bonus to when you apply for the card(s) or 24 months from bonus to bonus?

    Thanks for all your great tips

  11. Just want to make sure about something… It is not possible for me to sign up for the personal card and my wife to sign up for personal card as well and have both bonuses count towards the same rewards account? I’m super interested in going for this but am nervous about either trying to open 2 personal cards or 1 personal and 1 business myself considering I don’t have a business. I’ve read other places that as long as both applications between you and your partner have the same Southwest Rewards Acct # that the bonuses will both apply but this article suggests otherwise.

    Could anyone shed light on this who has experience? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Had 111,600 points post on 1/13/16. Companion Pass awarded the next day. Southwest website shows CP good through 12/31/2017. In the mail I received the CP card showing the CP is good through 12/31/2016! I assume I should trust the website expiration.

  13. I had over 110,000 qualifying points on January 9; Companion Pass awarded 13-Jan. I think WN performs RR account computer “sweeps” periodically (weekly?) to award Companion passes to those who have earned the required number of points. (If you need it sooner, you may be able to call Customer Relations to get it issued manually.)

    (I transferred Choice Privileges points to WN on January 1; they posted on January 9 – took 8 days. Also took 8 days when I transferred points two years ago.)

  14. I have enough Marriott points to do the Hotel/Air package deal which will give me the CP. My problem is I don’t want to use this until next year but I have a SW flight wife/I want to take from Jan 2 to Jan 7th return. Since this takes a day or two or longer I am wondering if it is possible to get this done and time it so I have the CP starting in 2017 and still be able to utilize it on 1/2/17.

  15. Flying Boat – Very unlikely you will have CP status by 2 January, probably not even by 7 January. Doing the Marriott transfer 1 Jan usually takes 3-5 days to process and post at SWA. Then 1-3 days for SWA to cycle through. Of course, things change, but that was my experience.