When Does the Clock Start for Earning Southwest Companion Pass?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Annie, commented:

I understand I must earn 110,000 Southwest points in one year to earn the Companion Pass.  So if I start earning points in April 2017, do I have until April 2018 or December 2017 to earn the required points?

Great question, Annie.

To get the Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.  So you have from January to December.

And the Companion Pass is valid through the last day in the following year in which it’s earned.  So if you earn the Companion Pass now, it’s good through December 31, 2018.

That’s why I typically recommend folks earn the Companion Pass as early in the year as possible.  Because you can take advantage of the BEST deal in travel for nearly two full years!

Southwest Companion Pass Timing

Emily and I Think the Companion Pass Is the Best Deal in Travel!

I’ll remind y’all how you can earn the Companion Pass!

The Southwest Companion Pass Is the Best Deal In Travel

Link:   How to Fly (Almost) Free for 2 Years on Southwest

With the Southwest Companion Pass, your designated companion flies with you for almost free!

Whether your flight is booked with points or cash, your companion flies for only the cost of taxes & fees.  And if you earn the Companion Pass in 2017, it’s valid through December 31, 2018!

This fantastic travel perk has saved Emily and me thousands of dollars on airfare.

Southwest Companion Pass Timing

Southwest Is a Terrific Airline Because of Their Flexible Cancellation Policies and 2 Free Checked Bags

Plus, I love flying Southwest because:

How to Earn the Companion Pass

As reader Annie pointed out, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to get the Companion Pass.  

Here are posts with different ways to earn points toward the Companion Pass:

Southwest Companion Pass Timing

After Earning the Companion Pass, You’ll Have a Lucky Friend or Family Member Who Will Travel for Almost Free

Unfortunately, there’s now one less way to earn the Companion Pass now that transferring hotel points from Choice, Hyatt, and Marriott no longer qualify.

This means the easiest way to quickly earn points toward the Companion Pass is with 2 Chase Southwest card sign-up bonuses.

With limited-time improved offers for the Chase Southwest Premier Personal and Chase Southwest Plus cards, you’ll earn 60,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

And with the Chase Southwest Premier Small Business Card, you’ll earn 60,000 Southwest points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

So with 1 personal Southwest card and the Southwest small business card you’ll have at least 120,000 Southwest points – more than enough to earn the Companion Pass!

Southwest Companion Pass Timing

Purchasing Flowers With 1-800-Flowers Earns Points That Count Toward the Southwest Companion Pass

But remember, if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months (except these business cards), it’s very unlikely that you’ll be approved for any Southwest cards.  Depending on your current “5/24” status, you might consider pausing your credit card applications to get the Southwest cards in the future.

Keep in mind, you’ll also earn eligible Southwest Companion Pass points with paid flights on the airline.

Bottom Line

To get the Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 points in a calendar year (January to December).

I’ve written why I think the Companion Pass is the best deal in travel.  Because you can save lots of money when a companion joins you on paid or award flights for only the cost of taxes and fees.

This means the easiest way to quickly earn points toward the Companion Pass is with 2 Chase Southwest card sign-up bonuses.

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9 responses to “When Does the Clock Start for Earning Southwest Companion Pass?

  1. Hello! I just received an invitation from Southwest for the Companion Pass. I want to maximize the time I have it by waiting to activate the invitation in January 2018. The idea is that I will then have all of 2018 and 2019 to use the pass. Will want I want to do work? Thanks!

    • Hi Jeff – I haven’t heard of this invitation before, so it sounds like it might be a targeted offer. I would check the fine print to see if there’s an expiration date or if you have to meet certain requirements to get the Companion Pass. Let me know what you find out!

  2. Randy Sawtelle

    I have been trying to get clarification from Southwest, but there answers still do not answer my questions. When using the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal, do the points earned count toward the companion pass? Meaning I shopped at X company for 4 points per dollar and I spent 100 dollars for 400 points, do those points count toward the companion pass requirement?

    Thank you

  3. Because of the 5/24 rule, I am waiting to apply for this amazing deal. Once I am ready to apply, do I need to wait for them to mail me an offer or should I clickable link work?

  4. Should i time my minimum spend in such a way that I get the 110,000 points sometime in January to get companion pass for 2018 and 2019?