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Lyn writes about how to fly free on Southwest and has a free guide that shows you step-by-step how to earn their coveted Southwest Companion Pass. The pass lets 1 person fly nearly free with you for up to 2 years. The Million Mile Secrets team agrees it’s THE best deal in travel.
We’ve asked Lyn to share ALL the ways you can earn Southwest points that actually qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
Lyn: When it comes to Southwest points, not all points are created equal. In fact, some Southwest points qualify you for the 110,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, while other points DO NOT.
I’ve put together the definitive guide for which points count and which don’t!
Points That Qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass
It can be a real bummer to earn a bunch of Southwest points, only to realize none of them counted toward your Companion Pass. While, of course, you can always use your Southwest points for free travel, it certainly is nice if they can help you earn your way toward a friend or loved one always flying free with you!
Here are the different types of Southwest points that DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass. These include points earned through:
1. Spending on a Southwest Credit Card
Any spending you do on a Southwest credit card, either the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus or Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier personal cards, or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, will qualify. The downside to spending on these cards is that for most purchases — outside of those with Southwest or Southwest partners — you only earn 1 point per $1 spent.
There are plenty of other great cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve, that earn even more bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points for certain purchases (that can be transferred to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio). But those points do NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
2. Rapid Rewards Shopping
MOST purchases you make through Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Shopping portal, which allows you to earn Southwest points by starting your online purchases at the portal, DO count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. However, look for any language that uses the term “bonus” points.
Anything marked as a “bonus” points WILL NOT count toward your Companion Pass.
A great offer on the portal right now a 2-month subscription to Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor email newsletter for $19 per month. That earns you 3,600 Southwest points, which DO qualify for the Companion Pass. Check out my weekly round-up of the best Rapid Rewards Shopping deals, which I share at the beginning of each week.
3. Rapid Rewards Dining
Rapid Rewards Dining allows you to earn Southwest points every time you dine at a participating restaurant and pay with a credit or debit card that you have registered with the program.
Everyday points earned by dining at a restaurant and writing a restaurant review DO qualify for the Companion Pass, but BONUS points for being a new member or completing other bonus tasks WILL NOT.
4. Booking a Hotel on SouthwestHotels.com
This is 1 of my FAVORITE ways to earn a bundle of Southwest Companion Pass qualifying points. By booking a hotel through SouthwestHotels.com, you can earn up to 10,000 Southwest points per night, which DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.
I shared some insider tips to make sure you’re getting the most points through this website, and I used it to finish up my 110,000 points in 2017 to earn my Companion Pass good through 2018. Here’s the breakdown of exactly how I earned my 2017-2018 Companion Pass.
You can also earn Southwest points when staying at select hotel partners like Best Western, Marriott, and Hyatt instead of earning the hotel brand’s loyalty points. But I like to use SouthwestHotels.com to get a lot more points!
5. Paid Flights on Southwest
Of course, if you’re going to pay for a Southwest flight, instead of booking it with points (which is always my goal, but every now then I will pay if it’s cheap or I can write it off as a business expense), you can earn points both for booking the flight and paying for it with your Southwest credit card.
You’ll earn 6X points per $1 spent on Wanna Get Away fares, 10X points per $1 for Anytime fares, and 12X points per $1 for Business Select fares. Southwest even recently ran a promotion doubling these points for any flight paid and completed by June 30, 2018.
Plus, you’ll earn another 2X Southwest points per $1 when you pay for your flight using your Southwest credit card!
6. BONUS Points on Southwest Credit Cards
Yes, most of the time points described as “bonus” points DON’T count toward the Companion Pass, but there is 1 exception: bonus points earned for meeting the minimum spend on a personal or business Southwest credit card.
7. Renting a Car Through Southwest.com
If you book your car rental through Southwest.com, any “base” points will help you earn your 110,000 points to get you the Companion Pass. Keep an eye out for anything marked “bonus” however, as again, they won’t count.
8. Anniversary Points on a Southwest Credit Card
The points I earn for holding my Southwest credit cards every year are always a big help in getting me to my 110,000 qualifying points.
I get 6,000 points on both the business card and personal Premier card, all of which count toward the Companion Pass!
9. Purchasing Gas at Marathon
I recently shared with you 2 new ways to earn Southwest points. One of the ways is to earn points when you pump gas at Marathon by signing up for the MakeItCount program. It’s not a bunch of points at 1 point per gallon pumped, but better than none!
The other new way, buying Community Coffee, earns you “bonus” points, so they DO NOT count, unfortunately.
10. Paying Your Electric Bill in Certain States
As I’ve discussed in a previous post about unusual ways to earn Southwest points, you CAN earn Southwest points just by paying your electric bill if you live in select states and use select companies.
The points you earn for signing up for a new plan are considered “bonus,” but your regular monthly bill points are not. So they will count.
11. Booking Ground Transportation Through ExecuCar
You can earn 150 Southwest points per way when you book ground transportation through http://rapidrewards.supershuttle.com/ and include your Rapid Rewards number.
12. Buying Flowers at 1800Flowers.com
Start your flower order at http://www.1800flowers.com/rapidrewards, use promo code RR22, and include your Rapid Rewards number when checking out to earn 1,000 points for each order of $29.99.
Keep in mind delivery fees apply here, as well!
Southwest Points That DO NOT Qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass
Here are the points you can be sure will NOT qualify for the Companion Pass:
- Anything marked as a “bonus” points
- Points you buy
- Points transferred from another Southwest Rapid Rewards account or from another program like Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Points earned via e-Rewards, e-Miles and Valued Opinions (these earn points by answering surveys)
- Points earned via Diners Club
- Tier bonus points (extra points earned by holding elite status with Southwest)
There are LOTS of great ways to earn points that qualify for the 110,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, including:
- Purchases on your Southwest credit cards
- Shopping through the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal
- Booking a hotel through Southwesthotels.com
- Paying your electric bill
- and more!
Now, get to work earning your next pass! 🙂