11 Vacations and ~$2,750 in Savings in 2017 Thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass!  

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11 Vacations and ~$2,750 in Savings in 2017 Thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass!  

Million Mile Secrets11 Vacations and ~$2,750 in Savings in 2017 Thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass!  Million Mile Secrets Team

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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.

11 Vacations And 2750 In Savings In 2017 Thanks To The Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass Is Almost Too Good to Be True! Getting 2-for-1 Deals on Flights Has Increased the Amount of Trips We Can Take During the Year!

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

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

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:

  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Denver (3 times!)
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Cabos
  • Orlando
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

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!

11 Vacations And 2750 In Savings In 2017 Thanks To The Southwest Companion Pass
Using the Southwest Companion Pass for Travel to Los Cabos Saved Us $455!

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?

11 Vacations And 2750 In Savings In 2017 Thanks To The Southwest Companion Pass
I Can’t Wait for Southwest to Begin Flying to Hawaii! Hopefully It’s Before 2018 Ends so I Can Make Use of the Companion Pass!

Southwest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses Can Help YOU Earn the Companion Pass!

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

 

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.

11 Vacations And 2750 In Savings In 2017 Thanks To The Southwest Companion Pass
Take Advantage of 2 Chase Southwest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses (1 Personal and 1 Small Business) and You’ll Earn Enough Points to Get the Companion Pass!

Or, consider getting 1 Southwest credit card and explore these other ways to earn eligible Companion Pass points:

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.

Bottom Line

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!

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My wife and I flew from Nashville to Salt Lake City, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, and New York City using companion pass in 2017. We already have booked Cancun, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale for 2018 and will add Boise and Boston when the dates become available.
Best part is we had never flown with Southwest before getting these credit cards, and we have enough points left that we haven’t used any cash and won’t have to use any cash except the $11 fee. No one believes us when we say we got to fly to all of these places for $11. Couple this with hotel credit cards and the CSR and we a have been using free nights as well.

That’s awesome Kyle! It’s such a great deal!

Could you share your Los Cabos trip details. Have been thinking of visiting there and am wondering what activities are there, which places are recommended to stay, and how long were you there for.

We spent 4 nights at the One & Only Palmilla, which was incredible, but also pricey. I booked through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts, which included a 4th night free.

My mom went to in October and used points to stay at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. She really enjoyed it.

Here are some previous posts that might help with planning activities and hotel stays.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/2017/11/13/all-inclusive-vacation-with-points/

https://millionmilesecrets.com/2017/12/07/cabo-instead-of-hawaii/

https://millionmilesecrets.com/2017/11/29/amex-platinum-versus-citi-prestige-for-booking-hotels/