We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Keith: My wife Liz and I are huge fans of the Southwest Companion Pass! This top travel deal helped us save thousands of dollars on flights in 2017, including trips to popular destinations in the US and beyond. Like Chicago, Denver, Los Cabos, and many more!
It’s really easy to use, too! I just book a Southwest flight with cash or points for myself. Then, add Liz to the itinerary for the cost of taxes & fees, which is usually just ~$11 for round-trip flights within the US.
While I love using miles for Business Class flights on other airlines, the Companion Pass is more rewarding in my opinion. Because Liz and I use it frequently, which means we’re able to check off more destinations on our travel bucket list!
Plus, making use of the the Companion Pass results in actual savings, which is not the case when booking fancy Business Class or First Class award tickets. For example, I would never pay ~$7,500 out-of-pocket for a Business Class flight. Whereas, without the Companion Pass, I’d be forced to pay full price for a 2nd ticket.
The best part is, anyone can earn the Companion Pass without even stepping foot on a Southwest flight.
Highlights of My 2017 Southwest Companion Pass Travel
The savings and many fantastic Southwest travel destinations are the main reasons I think the Companion Pass is such an amazing deal!
In 2017, my wife and I used the Companion Pass for trips to:
- Denver (3 times!)
- Las Vegas
- Los Cabos
- Salt Lake City
- San Francisco
I earned the Companion Pass in January 2017, which means it’s valid until December 31, 2018. So Liz and I are looking forward to using it even more this year!
I paid cash for certain flights and redeemed points for others. When I book a Southwest award flight, I typically transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my Southwest account.
I kept a spreadsheet (yes, I’m a miles & points nerd) to track the cash cost of my 2017 Southwest flights. That’s how I know I saved ~$2,750 in 2017 with the Companion Pass!
The Companion Pass isn’t the only reason I love Southwest. With the airline:
- There are no blackout dates on award flights
- Award flight prices are based on the cash cost of the flight
- You get 2 free checked bags on every flight
- You don’t pay change or cancel fees on paid or award flights
And you can find fantastic deals on flights (as little as $40 one-way!) when you book during a fare sale.
Did I mention how excited I am for Southwest to begin flying to Hawaii?
Southwest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses Can Help YOU Earn the Companion Pass!
You must earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points or take 100 qualifying one-way Southwest flights to get the Companion Pass. But it’s possible to earn enough points just by signing up for 2 of the Chase Southwest cards (1 personal and 1 small business) and meeting the minimum spending requirements!
When you open a Chase Southwest personal card (Premier or Plus), you’ll earn 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account.
And the Chase Southwest Premier Business card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Southwest points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
Once you earn the required number of points, the Companion Pass will automatically appear in your account. Then, you’ll have the option to designate a friend or loved one as your companion.
Or, consider getting 1 Southwest credit card and explore these other ways to earn eligible Companion Pass points:
- 10 Unusual Ways to Earn Southwest Points
- Earn Companion Pass Points Through SouthwestHotels.com
- Earn Southwest Companion Pass Points With These Products
Just remember, if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase business cards and these other business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for these Southwest cards.
In 2017, my wife and I saved ~$2,750 thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass! We made amazing memories traveling to fun Southwest destinations, including Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Cabos!
I love how simple it is to make use of the Companion Pass. I just book a Southwest flight with cash or points for myself. Then, add my wife to the reservation for the just the cost of taxes & fees (usually only ~$11!)
The best part is you do NOT have to be a miles & points expert or frequent flyer to earn the Companion Pass. You can earn the required number of points to get the Companion Pass with the sign-up bonuses from 2 Chase Southwest credit cards (1 personal and 1 small business).
If you had the Companion Pass in 2017, I’d love to hear how much you saved or how many trips you took! Leave a note in the comments below!