Should You Get The Southwest Companion Pass Now…Or at The End of The Year?

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Should You Get The Southwest Companion Pass Now…Or at The End of The Year?

Million Mile SecretsShould You Get The Southwest Companion Pass Now…Or at The End of The Year?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Link:  Southwest Credit Cards

Link:  How to Get the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest credit cards have a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 within 3 months up to August 6, 2013.

Emily and I have a Companion Pass and this is perhaps the best miles and points perk which we have.  

Why?  Because it lets a companion travel with you for free whenever you travel on Southwest.  It doesn’t matter if your flight is booked with points or paid for with cash – your companion flies free (~$10 in taxes and fees)!

The Southwest Companion Pass Got Us Here!
The Southwest Companion Pass Got Us Here!

Currently the 50,000 point sign-up bonus from the Southwest credit cards count towards the 110,000 points needed within 1 calendar year (January to December) to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.  So 2 Southwest cards will get you almost all the way to the 110,000 points needed!

Here’s a post on everything you need to know about the Southwest Companion Pass.

Even if you don’t want the Southwest Companion Pass, 50,000 Southwest points will get you ~$850 in travel on Southwest!

The downside of the Southwest Companion Pass is that you will travel more than you expect because you only have to pay for one ticket.

Should You Get The Southwest Companion Pass Now…Or at The End of The Year?

I’ve done it both ways.

1.   Companion Pass For One Year

I once earned the Southwest Companion Pass in December 2011, so Emily would get to fly for free (~$10 in fees) with me for one year – up to December 2012.

The Companion Pass is valid for the year in which you earn it AND up to the end of the next year.

Sure, I could have timed it better and earned the Companion Pass earlier in 2011, but for whatever reason, I didn’t do that.

It was better for me to earn the Companion Pass in 2011 and have Emily fly as my companion for 1 whole year than to waste the ~50,000 Companion Pass qualifying points which I had already earned in 2011.  I have no regrets in earning the pass for only 1 year instead of 2 years.

2.   Companion Pass For Two Years

I’ve also earned the Southwest Companion Pass on January 22, 2013 which means that Emily is my companion up to the end of December 2014 – or for close to 2 years!

The Companion Pass is valid for the year in which you earn it AND up to the end of the next year.

This was perfect timing, because I’d get maximum use from my Southwest Companion Pass – almost 2 full years!

How to Decide What to Do?

1.   Already have Companion Pass Points 

If you already have 50,000 Companion Pass qualifying points, you’re better of earning the Companion Pass in 2013.  Your companion will get to fly with you until the end of 2014.

Sure, it would have been better to earn the pass earlier, but 1 year and ~3 months of free flying is nothing to scoff at!  And there is no point in letting the Companion Pass points which you’ve already earned go to waste.

2.  Have No Companion Pass Points

If you have no companion pass points in your account, you could either apply for the cards now and get ~ 1 year and 3 months of free flying for your companion (up to the end of 2014).

So you can apply for the cards at the end of 2013, but complete the spending in 2014 so that the points post to your account in 2014 (and not 2015).

The only drawback with waiting is that it isn’t clear if points from the credit card will continue to count towards the Companion Pass.

If you have heavy travel coming up in 2013 or if you want to lock in the Companion Pass sooner rather than later, you could apply for the cards now.  I can’t tell you what makes sense for you.  You’ve got to do what is most comfortable for you.

I once earned my companion pass in December so Emily could fly free for only 1 year.  But 1 year of free flying was much better than NO free flying with Emily!

Bottom Line

The Southwest 50,000 point cards ends on August 6, 2013.  But they almost certainly will come back towards the Holidays at the end of the year.

If you’ve already got companion pass qualifying points with 1 card, you’re better off earning your Companion Pass in 2013.

If you don’t have any Companion Pass points, it could be better to wait until later this year to get the Southwest credit card (assuming the points still count towards the Companion Pass!)


But let’s have a survey to see what you think!



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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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Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and

come with almost all significant infos. I would like to per extra posts

like this .

Thanks D.. Unfortunately my husband can’t apply for cards right now.. The CP has been a lifesaver for getting back to California to help my mother after my dad passed away 6 months ago… I really need it again. So I think I will cancel 2 SWA cards I have and hope I can get the other two next January.

Please D… Could you please, please answer my question above on closing my 3 cards??

Thank you

Million Mile Secrets

@readytofly – I can’t comment specifically, but best to have your partner apply for the cards to get the CP for another 2 years.

I signed up for both SW business and personal in Mar. this year. I have met the min. spend for both accounts (50,000 points each giving me 100,000 in total)

1st question – In order for me to qualify for the CP, I would need to spend another $10k. Right?

2nd Q – How long do I have? Since I signed up in Mar., would I have until end of the calendar year or next Mar. to earn the CP?

3rd Q. – Can that $10k be accomplished via transfer?

Thank you for your advice!

Million Mile Secrets

@Lily Marshall – You can spend $10K on the cards or use these ways to get the extra 10K points without spending that much #2 – Your pass will be valid until end of 2015 if you earn it in 2014.

please help D! .I applied for ( on MMS link:) and received the US Airways MasterCard, the Sapphire card, an ink Plus Card from Chase 2weeks ago. I did have to call the reconsideration line about the ink plus but did get it. Do I now cancel both Southwest cards and the Fairmont chase so I can reapply January 2015 to get the CP again with 2 diff SW cc? My current CP expires this December 2014.

What are my chances since I will still have 2 chase cc? ( sapphire and ink) The CP is really important to me since I moved across country. ANY tips to make it happen and increase my chances? THANKs…MMS has changed my life! ( I understand things can change too..and MMV)

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