Why Now Is a Great Time to Get the Southwest Companion Pass (2 for 1 Flights!)

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Why Now Is a Great Time to Get the Southwest Companion Pass (2 for 1 Flights!)

Million Mile SecretsWhy Now Is a Great Time to Get the Southwest Companion Pass (2 for 1 Flights!)Million Mile Secrets Team

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:   After March 31, 2017, transferring hotel points to Southwest no longer counts towards the Companion Pass.  But here’s how to earn Companion Pass points when booking paid nights at hotels.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

The Southwest Companion Pass is my #1 favorite deal in travel!  Because a friend or family member can fly with you for almost free on paid and award tickets for up to 2 years!

Now’s a perfect time to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass because if you earn the Companion Pass in 2016, it’s valid for the rest of this year and all of 2017. 

And it’s easy to earn the Companion Pass now, because there are increased sign-up bonuses on all 3 Chase Southwest cards!

Why Now Is A Great Time To Get The Southwest Companion Pass 2 For 1 Flights
Share the LUV by Flying 2-for-1 With the Southwest Companion Pass!

I’ll remind you how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.  And show you how to make the most of it!

What’s the Deal?

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

Link:   8 Easy Steps to Big Travel With the Southwest Companion Pass

With the Southwest Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free (just the cost of taxes and fees) on both paid and award tickets.

This has saved Emily and me thousands of dollars!  We’ve used the Southwest Companion Pass almost exclusively for domestic travel for the past several years.

Why Now Is A Great Time To Get The Southwest Companion Pass 2 For 1 Flights
Visiting Family Is the Best! And Even Sweeter With the Southwest Companion Pass!

To get the Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.

Once you’ve earned the points and qualified for the pass, it’s valid until the end of the following year.

So if you earn the Companion Pass early in 2016, it’s valid through December 31, 2017.  That’s almost 2 years of nearly free travel!

The Easy Way to Qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass!

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Personal)

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Small Business)

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

It may seem like a lot, but it’s actually quite easy to earn the 110,000 Southwest points required in a calendar year to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.

That’s because the sign-up bonuses from the Chase Southwest Premier (personal and small business) and Chase Southwest Plus cards count toward the total 110,000 point requirement.

Why Now Is A Great Time To Get The Southwest Companion Pass 2 For 1 Flights
Use Your Southwest Points and Companion Pass to Escape to Balmy Florida

With either the Chase Southwest Premier (personal) or Chase Southwest Premier (small business) cards, you’ll earn 50,000 Southwest points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account..

We don’t earn a commission for these offers, but Emily and I will always tell you about the best deals!

Why Now Is A Great Time To Get The Southwest Companion Pass 2 For 1 Flights
Two Chase Southwest Cards Will Get You Most of the Way to the Southwest Companion Pass

So by signing-up for 2 of these cards and completing the minimum spending, you’ll be most of the way to earning the points required for the Southwest Companion Pass.  Here’s a post that explains the differences between the cards.

In the past, folks have had most success by signing-up for 1 personal and 1 small business card at (or around) the same time.  If you’re not immediately approved, it’s worth calling Chase to see if they need more information.

And there are lots of ways to earn the remaining points for the Companion Pass!  Just be sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes.

You’ve Earned the Southwest Companion Pass – Now What?

Link:   Folks in These 10 Cities Get an Especially Great Deal With the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   Southwest Starts Flying International – but It’s Not All Good News (Yet!)

Link:   These New Routes Make Your Southwest Companion Pass More Valuable

Even if you’re still working on qualifying for the Southwest Companion Pass, you can start planning how you’ll use it!

In fact, you can make an award (or paid) booking now, then activate and add your companion to the trip once you’ve qualified for the Companion Pass!

You can use the points you’ve already earned this year towards an award ticket.  They’ll still count towards the Companion Pass, even if you use them for flights!

Why Now Is A Great Time To Get The Southwest Companion Pass 2 For 1 Flights
Start Planning Now for Companion Pass Travel – You Can Add Your Friend or Family Member to a Reservation Later!

And Southwest is terrific because you won’t pay fees if you need to change or cancel your flights later.  Plus, everyone gets 2 free checked bags!

Note:   You can change your companion up to 3 times per calendar year (6 times total, if you hold the pass for 2 years).

Southwest has been introducing lots of new routes, including to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.  And if you’re lucky enough to live near 1 of Southwest’s busiest airports, you’ll have even more ways to use your Southwest Companion Pass.

Check out my posts on hotels to book with points in Southwest’s new Mexican, Caribbean, and Central American destinations.

Why Now Is A Great Time To Get The Southwest Companion Pass 2 For 1 Flights
Enjoy the Great Outdoors With a Pal in Central America With the Southwest Companion Pass

You might end up traveling so much that you’ll need more Southwest points!

Remember, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) at a 1:1 ratio to Southwest.

And if you have 1 of these cards, you can combine the points you earn from the Chase Freedom and Chase Ink Cash and transfer them to Southwest, too.

But remember, Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Southwest do NOT count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass!

This is a terrific way to earn more Southwest points for award flights.  And your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are almost twice as valuable when you have the Southwest Companion Pass (because you’re flying almost 2-for-1).

Note:   Chase has tightened their rules for approving new applications for Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred  (although there are exceptions).  If you’ve received ~5+ cards (from any bank) in the previous 24 months, you may not be approved.

So if you’re interested in cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom, it’s best to apply for them first.  Especially if you’re new to our hobby and haven’t applied for a lot of cards yet!

Then, wait ~3 months and apply for the Chase Southwest cards.

Bottom Line

It’s a great time to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!

Because if you qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass early in the year, you’ll get almost 2 years of nearly-free travel for a friend or family member who flies with you.

And it’s easy to earn the Southwest Companion Pass now because all 3 Chase Southwest cards have an improved sign-up bonus.  Two cards can get you most of the points you’ll need to qualify for the Companion Pass.

Emily and I don’t earn a commission for these cards, but we’ll always share the best deals with you!

Remember, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to earn the Companion Pass.  There are lots of easy ways to earn the remaining points!  Just be sure to avoid these 3 common mistakes.

Let me know if you’ve earned the Southwest Companion Pass and your favorite ways to use it!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

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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Three questions and two learning regarding earning the SWA companion pass (lessons I’m learning the hard way.). First the learnings. 1) The 3 month window,to meet the minimum spending requirements on a new SWA Chase Card, begins the day Chase opens the account (which could be 2 + weeks before the card arrives in your mail box.). 2) The annual fee, applied immediately to your bill, does not count towards your spending requirements.

These things may not sound like a big deal, but it makes a difference when you’re trying to hit the right dates and spending requirements, as I was, trying to make sure to hit the spending requirements in 2017 and not 2016.

Now the questions: 1) does the 3 month window, for meeting minimum spending requirements, really mean 3 billing cycles rather than 90 days/three months? In my case, Chase says my billing cycle ends 2 week before I expected it to do so (meaning I just lost 2 more weeks in the amount of time to meet minimum spending requirements.) 2) Does Chase count the date of purchase or posting date (could be a difference of 2-4 days) in determine what is within the 3 months/90 day spending window? 3) Finally, is there a number to call to argue my case, if I get caught in any of this fine print?

Again, this may not sound like a big deal, but I got caught in it. I opened two new accounts in October (assuming the cards would arrive late October and I would, therefore, have until late January 2017 to hit the minimum spending requirements.) Little did I know, Chase opened the accounts, and started the 90 day window, the day I open the account (nearly 3 weeks before the card arrived and I could start spending on it.) Therefore I needed to hit the minimum spending requirements on 3 January and not before. These little details, therefore, make a big difference to me.

Do points earned from referrals count toward the Companion Pass?

I read in the comments that people have applied for both Premiere and Plus cards to earn the bonues points towards the Companion pass. I would like to do the same.

Should I apply for both the same day, or one today and the next tomorrow? Or should I do a personal and a business? What is the recommended route.

Thanks so much for this blog!

I read somewhere and I cant find it anymore. Have you heard of people using companion pass on companion pass? For example, a family of 3 can travel for the price of 1? Thanks.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Phil – No personal experience, and yet I’ve heard of folks who’ve done that in their family.

Thanks so much for the great article and it was your site that help me obtained my free companion pass!

Hi everyone,

I also received family and friends referral for the Chase SW Premier and Chase SW Plus cards. If you are interested, please send your first name and e-mail address to buyaola@yahoo.com. I’ll submit to Chase (they’ll send you all the information need to apply for card(s) that offers 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 within the first three months). email: buyaola at yahoo dot com

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