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How to earn Southwest points in 2020

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How to earn Southwest points in 2020

Meghan HunterHow to earn Southwest points in 2020Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

There’s a good reason why we rank the Southwest Companion Pass as the best deal in travel. The Companion Pass allows you to add a companion to your paid or award flights for nearly free (just the cost of taxes and fees). You and your companion can travel anywhere that Southwest flies (even to Hawaii) an unlimited number of times while your pass is valid.

Earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass requires a bit of planning because you need to earn 125,000 Southwest points or take 100 qualifying one-way flights in a single calendar year to qualify. For most people, it’s easier to earn 125,000 Southwest points in a calendar year, so let’s take a look at how to do that.

The good news is it’s easy to rack up Southwest points with any of these Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses:

Any points you earn with these offers will count toward the Companion Pass.

The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business cards has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

How to earn Southwest points for a Companion Pass

When you earn the Southwest Companion Pass you’ll enjoy its benefits for the remainder of the year you earned it in through the end of the following year. So at this point in the year, it makes the most sense to wait to earn your Companion Pass in early 2020 so you can use your pass through the end of 2021.

Southwest counts any of the following points as qualifying towards the Companion Pass:

  • Points earned from paid flights on Southwest
  • Points earned from Southwest credit cards
  • Base points earned from Southwest Rapid Rewards partners (hotels and rental cars)

Here are some more ideas for how to earn qualifying Southwest Companion Pass points.

You can check your progress towards earning enough Southwest points by logging in to your Southwest account at any time. This makes it easy to see how close you are to a Companion Pass.

Southwest credit card strategy: Double up

The easiest way to earn a large number of points that count toward the Southwest Companion Pass is by earning welcome bonuses from both one personal and one small business Southwest card. Note that you’re no longer able to have two personal cards at one time.

When you apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardSouthwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, or Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, you’ll earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

With the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, you’ll earn 60,000 Southwest points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. And with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card you’ll earn up to 100,000 points: Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.

With a bonus from one of the personal cards and one business card, you’ll have 100,000 or 200,000 Southwest points (40,000 points + 60,000 points or 100,000 points). So you’ll be well on your way to earning the Companion Pass.

Just remember, The Southwest credit cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, where they will not approve you for their cards if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank (not counting Chase business cards and most other business cards) in the past 24 months.

While the business credit cards also requires you to be within the 5/24 requirement, opening one will not increase your total. For this reason, if you have four credit card opens in the last 24 months, I recommend applying for a business card first. This way you would still be within Chase’s 5/24 rule (with just four opens). After you apply for the business card, you can apply for a personal card.

Timing your welcome bonuses

Before you start working towards meeting the minimum spending requirements on the Southwest cards, it is important to have a plan. Chase’s terms of service state that you should allow up to eight weeks after completing your spending requirements to receive the Southwest points in your account. In reality, these points usually post shortly after the close of your statement in which you met the minimum spending requirement.

If you can complete the spending requirements early in the year, you should be well on your way to having the miles needed for the Companion Pass. The earlier in the year you earn the 125,000 points required, the longer you’ll have unlimited use of your Companion Pass.

Enjoying your Southwest Companion Pass

Once you have the Southwest Companion Pass, you can use it an unlimited number of times while it is active. The Companion Pass holder must purchase a ticket for him- or herself with either cash or points and then simply add a designated companion to their reservation. Check out this detailed guide for more on how to use the Southwest Companion Pass.

You can still redeem your points earned from the Southwest credit cards for free flights after earning the Companion Pass.

Because Southwest is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, you can indirectly earn Southwest points with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, then move your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest if you need more Southwest points for an award flight. Just note, the points you transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest will not count toward earning the Companion Pass.

Also, don’t forget that you can only have one Companion Pass at a time per person, but you and a partner could both earn Companion Passes — which could make family travel extremely cheap.

Bottom line

The easiest way to earn Southwest points (and in turn, the Southwest Companion Pass) is to earn bonuses from the Southwest credit cards. If you earn the welcome offer from one of the personal cards, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, and the bonus from a business card, like the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, you’ll earn more than enough of the points required for the Companion Pass.

Even better, if you earn your Companion Pass in early 2020,  you can use the Companion Pass through the end of 2021. So now is a great time to lay out your strategy.

Featured image by Fominayaphoto/Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Accounting to me by getting a credit card you can easily get reward points. I used to be recommended this website via my cousin that was Digitized Logos. Southwest Airlines Partners are offering unique offers everytime. I am no longer sure whether or not this submit is written by means of him as nobody else know such specified approximately my trouble. You are wonderful! Thanks!

If I currently hold a Southwest card and close it, how long do I have to wait to open a different Southwest card and get another bonus?/

Just to make sure I understand, I can have two SW Chase cards (one personal, one business) and earn enough for the companion pass? I have the personal one just need to know if I should apply for the business one. Thanks!

I have the Rapid Rewards Plus and Premier cards and got the bonus for about 3 years ago. Can I close the account and re-open and get the bonus?

Looking for some direction concerning the Companion Pass.

Once you add your companion ticket to an already booked ticket you end up with 2 booking numbers. Has anyone had success combining those booking numbers to make check-in more convenient

You cannot combine the booking numbers. You have to check in separately. This also means boarding separately. But the first person to board can save a seat. We are usually only a few numbers apart, but we checking as early as possible.

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