Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Lyn blogs about Southwest at Go To Travel Gal. So I’ve asked her write about ways to earn more Southwest points that qualify for the Companion Pass. Because hotel points transfers to Southwest won’t count towards the Southwest Companion Pass after March 31, 2017.
Lyn: Thanks to some timely deals to earn Southwest points through Rapid Rewards Shopping, you can earn nearly 5,000 Southwest points relatively cheaply. And most will qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
For a step-by-step process of how to easily earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you can download my free guide.
6 Ways to Earn Companion Pass Qualifying Southwest Points
To qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.
When you have the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member flies with you for nearly free on paid and award tickets for up to 2 years!
So by applying for Chase Southwest Premier Business and a personal Southwest card with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus, you’ll have enough Southwest points to earn the Southwest Companion pass without additional spending.
That said, many folks have applied for 2 Southwest cards with a 50,000 point bonus. In that case, you’ll earn 104,000 Southwest points after meeting the minimum spending requirements. So you’ll be 6,000 Southwest points short of qualifying for the Companion Pass.
When you purchase these products through the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal, you can easily earn nearly 4,000 of the 6,000 remaining Southwest points you need.
I’ll show you the best deals, what they cost, and how many points you can earn for each.
1. Subscribe to Barron’s for $12 for 700 Southwest Points
Enjoy business news or know someone who does? Right now, you can subscribe to Barron’s for just $12 for 12 weeks and earn an easy 700 Southwest points.
Even if you could care less about business news, $12 is a steal for 700 Southwest points. The subscription must be active for 30 days and only 1 subscription is allowed per household.
2. Subscribe to the Wall Street Journal for $12 for 700 Southwest Points
You can earn another 700 Southwest points toward both free flights and the Southwest Companion Pass with a $12 subscription to the Wall Street Journal for 12 weeks.
The Wall Street Journal is no longer just business news, but also includes general news and lifestyle articles. The subscription must be active for 30 days and only 1 subscription is allowed per household
3. Subscribe to USA Today for ~$20 for 550 Southwest Points
With broader topic coverage including money, lifestyle, and sports, USA Today may interest a bigger audience. You’ll earn 550 Southwest points for a 3-month, ~$20 subscription.
While it’s not as great a deal as Barron’s or the Wall Street Journal, if you think you might enjoy USA Today, ~$20 is a good price for a 3-month subscription.
To earn the points, the subscription must be new, active for at least 90 days, and only 1 subscription is allowed per household.
4. Subscribe to a Meredith Magazine for ~$6 for 650 Southwest Points
Choose from magazines like Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Eating Well, and Shape for just ~$6 for a one-year subscription and secure another 650 Southwest points.
Even if none of these are magazines you would enjoy, at only ~$6, this would be a great gift for a friend or family member, a retiree, or even a nursing home for a quick 650 Southwest points.
Enter coupon code “SAVE7” in the appropriate field when checking out to get the discounted price. These subscriptions automatically renew at a higher price, but Meredith says it will send you an email 1 month ahead of the renewal date allowing you to cancel.
5. Get a Texture Digital Subscription for $10 for 700 Southwest Points
If you like to read your news online, Texture is an app that gives you access to more than 200 magazines like TIME, Sports Illustrated, Consumer Reports, Parents, and Rolling Stone.
Right now, you can get a 3-month subscription for $10 and earn 700 Southwest points. To earn your points, the subscription must be active for at least 90 days and only 1 subscription is allowed per household.
I think $10 is a great price for 700 Southwest points, so this may be worth the spend whether you use the app or not.
6. Subscribe to WeightWatchers.com for 3 Months for 550 Southwest Points
With the New Year, everyone’s talking about how to get healthier, and WeightWatchers.com is an option to help you manage your weight.
You can choose the least expensive offering, OnlinePlus, which uses an app to track points based on what you eat to help you reach your weight loss goal.
This is pricier than the newspaper and magazine subscriptions and is an offer I would only recommend if you or a family member are truly going to use the tool.
The current offer is ~$50 for the 3-month app plan and nets you 550 Southwest points.
Bonus: File Your Taxes With TurboTax for 1,000 Southwest Points (NOT Companion Pass Qualifying)
TurboTax can get expensive fast, depending on which features of the software you need, so you may want to compare pricing for the software elsewhere to see if it is worth paying more to earn 1,000 Southwest points.
Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed editions all qualify for the points offer.
Note: These are considered “bonus” points by Southwest so they do NOT count toward the Companion Pass but DO count toward free travel on Southwest.
And with all of the subscription offers, be sure to make yourself a note to call and cancel the subscription after the promotional period so you don’t end up paying a higher price.
How to Grab These Deals
In order to take advantage of these deals, you’ll need to visit the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal and type the name of the offer in the Search Box on the top right.
Select the offer and then click through to the retailer website to complete your purchase. Be sure to finish the purchase within a couple hours to ensure it counts as a Rapid Rewards referral.
The points typically appear in your Rapid Rewards account within a week, but Southwest says it may take up to 8 weeks.
With these terrific deals, you can earn almost 5,000 Southwest points toward Big Travel with Small Money.
These points count toward free travel on Southwest and most count toward the 110,000 points needed to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
If you know of any other good deals to earn extra Southwest points, please share in the comments!