Secret Way to Companion Pass With NOTHING More Than Card Sign-Ups

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You’ve probably heard the Southwest Companion Pass will soon be harder to earn.

After March 31, 2017, you will no longer be able to earn the Companion Pass with hotel and car rental points transfers.  But there’s another easy way to qualify for this amazing travel perk!

It’s possible to earn the Southwest Companion Pass without putting any more than $4,000 in minimum spending on your cards (the amount necessary to earn 2 Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses).

Southwest Companion Pass Credit Cards

Take a Friend to Belize for Nearly Free With the Southwest Companion Pass by Following These Easy Steps

I’ll show you how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass with credit card sign-ups alone!

Earn the Southwest Companion Pass With Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses & Referrals

Link:   Chase Refer-A-Friend

Link:   Southwest Companion Pass

2017 has not been kind to the Southwest Companion Pass.  Southwest will soon make it more difficult to earn the 110,000 Southwest points required in a calendar year to qualify for the Companion Pass.

Recently, Southwest announced without warning that points transfers from hotel and car rental loyalty programs would no longer count toward the Companion Pass.  Then, they changed their minds, allowing hotel and car rental points transfers to count through March 31, 2017.

I’m glad Southwest extended their previous deadline by ~3 months, to give their customers a grace period of the upcoming changes.  But the changes are a heavy blow to the strategy lots of of folks had to earning the Southwest Companion Pass.

Fortunately, it’s still possible to get the Companion Pass with nothing more than credit card sign-ups!

How to Get 110,000 Southwest Points With Credit Card Sign-Ups

You don’t have to collect thousands of hotel points to score the best deal in travel.  Here’s another way you can easily earn the Southwest Companion Pass.  And even help a friend earn it, too!

Step 1.   Sign-Up for 2 Chase Southwest Credit Cards

The Chase Southwest Plus, Chase Southwest Premier, and Chase Southwest Premier small business cards are all currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account.  And these sign-up bonuses DO count towards the 110,000 Southwest points you need to qualify for the Companion Pass!

Southwest Companion Pass Credit Cards

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While some folks do have success applying for more than 1 Chase personal credit card in 1 day, I recommend applying for 1 personal credit card and 1 small business credit card (for example, the Chase Southwest Plus and Chase Southwest Premier small business card).

By signing-up for 2 Southwest credit cards, you’ll have 104,000 Companion Pass-qualifying Southwest points (50,000 point personal card sign-up bonus + 50,000 point small business card sign-up bonus + 4,000 points for meeting minimum spending on both cards = 104,000 Southwest points).  You’re just 6,000 Southwest points away from qualifying for the Companion Pass!

So how do you earn the remaining Southwest points without spending $6,000?

Step 2.   Refer-A-Friend

Link:   Chase Refer-A-Friend

You’ll earn 5,000 Southwest points for every friend you refer to your Southwest credit card.  Your friend must apply through your link AND be approved to receive the bonus points.  Once they’re approved, your bonus Southwest points will be deposited into your account in 8 weeks or less.

Here is the link to refer a friend to the Chase Southwest Plus.  And here is the link to refer a friend to the Chase Southwest Premier.

Southwest Companion Pass Credit Cards

Earn 5,000 Southwest Points, Which Count Toward the Companion Pass, When You Refer a Friend Who’s Approved for a New Chase Southwest Card

You can refer up to 25 friends in a 24-hour period.  But you’ll only receive bonus Southwest points for up to 10 friends.  So the most points you can earn from referring folks to your card is 50,000 Southwest points per calendar year.

And data points show these referral points count towards the Southwest Companion Pass!

So if you’ve signed-up for 2 Southwest credit cards and completed the minimum spending on each, you have 104,000 Southwest points.  You can refer 1 friend, receive 5,000 Southwest points, and be just 1,000 Southwest points away from the Southwest Companion Pass.  Or refer 2 friends and have more than enough points to qualify!

Note:   It may take a while for Chase to generate a referral link for your new Southwest card.  You won’t be able to refer friends immediately.

Bottom Line

The bad news is points transfers from hotel and car rental loyalty programs will NO LONGER count toward the Southwest Companion Pass after March 31, 2017.

The good news is Southwest points you earn from Chase Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses and Chase Refer-A-Friend bonuses DO count towards the Companion Pass!  This means you can earn the Companion Pass simply by meeting the minimum spending on 2 Chase Southwest cards, and then referring 2 friends to a Southwest card.

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15 responses to “Secret Way to Companion Pass With NOTHING More Than Card Sign-Ups

  1. Can you refer a spouse if they don’t have a card in their name?

  2. Realistically, getting someone other than a spouse, to sign up for a credit card is next to impossible. Just an FYI, I had 1,000 Emile’s transfer to Southwest early this year, and my dashboard does show them counting towards the companion pass.

  3. I booked a hotel room through that had a 5,000 point bonus. That only leaves an extra 1,000 which I can easily spend organically.

  4. If I am running up against the 5/24, can my wife list my Rapid Rewards number when signing up for a card? This was accidentally done on the 100,000 bonus AAdvantage Executive a few years ago and the miles came into my account fine.

  5. I am a Chase private client, and recently got rejected for the southwest airlines business card. And my husband got rejected from both the business and the personal card. As Chase private client I thought the five cards and 24 months role did not apply. Do you recommend us going into the local Chase branch to discuss it? Over the phone they seem to be able to do nothing about it

  6. I already have both a personal and a business Chase Southwest Premier credit cards.
    I opened them in December, 2014, to take advantage of exactly the promotion you are describing, and have enjoyed the Companion Pass for 2015 and 2016. However, Southwest stopped accepting credit card points from both cards around June of 2016 towards A List status or Companion Pass. Even the annual bonus miles no longer count. Only Elite Qualifying Points count towards either status. If you find this information to be incorrect, I’d love to know. I’ve spoken with both Southwest and with Chase, and I lost both Companion Pass status and A List status because of this new policy.

  7. If you have a Southwest Premier card, can you get the 5000 points by referring a friend to the Southwest Plus card? Or do you have to refer to the same type of Southwest card that you have? Do you think there’s any rule against referring your spouse? I have a Southwest Premier card, and would like to have my husband get a Southwest card too, but I’d rather have him get the Plus card first, then later in the year, get the Premier card. I know that you don’t have to cancel one to get the other, but he already has several Chase credit cards so I don’t think Chase would allow him to be approved for one without getting rid of the other.

  8. Do the 5000 points for adding an authorized user count toward the 110,000?

  9. Points from CC never counted towards A List but did and do count towards Companion Pass
    You can refer your spouse and get the bonus on Chase cards
    You can only refer that product Plus to Plus, Premier to Premier
    Chase has really tightened the rules for getting the business card in the last 1-2 years

  10. Doi these count in the number of credit cards that Chase looks at to determine whether they are going to give you the card?

  11. Hi! Love your site. I am finally getting brave enough to try this. I applied and was accepted for a SW personal card, but my business app was rejected. I was anticipating that, since I think you said that could happen. Should I wait for the reject letter and then call to ask, or is there another option? Is there a way to apply for a Marriott card and somehow get those points to go towards companion pass? That’s my goal, I really want to do it this year…. been sitting looking at it for the past several years and finally ready to try! I am thinking maybe a Marriott personal card would be easier to get since I don’t think it’s Chase? Thanks for your help! 🙂

  12. Will it hurt or improve my chances to wait 7 days before applying for the personal card? I just got approved for the business and wanted to use a family members referral link, however, it says I’ll get an e-mail referral within 7 days. Is it wise to wait for their referral link? or better to just apply for the personal same day?

  13. Before applying for the Premier, I called Chase to close my 11.5 month old Saphire account, before the annual fee hit.

    The CSR offered to “consolidate my credit line from the Sapphire to another Chase credit card, so that the Sapphire card account doesn’t get marked as closed, it gets marked as Consolidated instead”.

    I declined, since I didn’t want my outstanding credit line to be so high that I might not get my next Chase card.

    Should I have take the CSR’s offer? Would that have been gentler on a credit report or Chase computer system?

  14. Could I transfer points from Hilton to Southwest Airlines card being that it is still before 3/31/17? If so, does Hilton points even transfer?

  15. It looks like Darius is not answering at all to any of the Questions