Southwest’s Best Airline Credit Card Offer Gives You an Easy Companion Pass, but It’s Only HALF as Good as a Regular Companion Pass. Here’s Why I Plan to Get It Anyway

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Southwest officially has the best airline credit card on the market.  Actually, they have the top three.

They’re practically giving away the absolute best deal in travel, (the Southwest Companion Pass) when you open one of these cards:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – Lowest annual fee of the group
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card – Comes with the most solid Southwest benefits.  But it also has the highest annual fee

The Companion Pass allows you to take a buddy with you for free every single time you fly Southwest.  Even if you fly 1,000 times!  In other words, you get practically unlimited free flights for a travel companion.

However, this Companion Pass is different than the normal one, and expires 1 year earlier.  I’ll tell you why I’m going for it anyway.  And why it’s a no-brainer for you, too!

You Can Use the Southwest Companion Pass to Bring a Friend to Mexico for Free and Swim in Cenote Ik Kil in the Yucatan!  It’s Literally the Best

The New Best Airline Credit Card Perk – Southwest Companion Pass

Normally, to earn the Southwest Companion Pass you need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year.  The Companion Pass will be valid for the rest of the year in which you earn it, as well as the following year.

For example, if you earn 110,000 points between now and February, you’ll be able to bring a travel buddy with you every time you fly Southwest through December 2020.  You can often earn all the points you need by opening 1 personal and 1 small business Southwest credit card during certain times when Chase raises the sign-up bonuses.

This Promotional Companion Pass Is Way Easier to Earn

This new bonus makes earning the Companion Pass crazy simple.  Just open any Chase Southwest personal credit card and meet the card’s spending requirements.  You’ll also get 30,000 Southwest points.

But there’s a reason this Companion Pass is so easy to earn.  There’s a catch.

The promotional Companion Pass is only valid through December 31, 2019, instead of December 31, 2020.  That’s right, it expires a whole year earlier than a regular Companion Pass!

Because of that, some are calling this deal weak.  Chase has lots of application restrictions, so when you open a Chase card, you want to apply for cards when they are the absolute most valuable.

For example, you are NOT eligible for any Chase personal Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses if you:

Most folks would rather earn the 110,000 points by opening 2 cards (1 personal & 1 business) and get the Companion Pass for 2 years instead one.

So Who in Their Right Mind Wants a Companion Pass That Expires in Half the Time??

Me.  And probably you.

Anyone interested in a Companion Pass likely has a travel buddy.  If you’ve got a partner in the travel hobby, you absolutely should take advantage of this card.


  • If you apply for a Chase Southwest personal card, you’ll effortlessly earn the Companion Pass through 2019.
  • At the end of 2019, your Companion Pass will expire, and this promotion will be long gone.
  • Your partner can then earn the Companion Pass the old fashioned way (earning 110,000 Southwest points by opening 1 personal and 1 small business Southwest card, if the bonus offers are high enough at that time).
  • Then you’d have the Companion Pass through 2021.  AKA, the next 3 years.

I had a Chase Southwest credit card years ago, but I’ve since canceled it.  And I now intend to open another one.

Bottom Line

Anyone involved in the miles & points hobby with a partner should totally be interested in earning a promotional Companion Pass with the following cards:

That’s because:

  • You can earn the Companion Pass quickly and retain it through 2019
  • After your Companion Pass expires in January 2020, your partner might be able earn the Companion Pass by signing-up for 1 personal and 1 small business Southwest card (depending on the offer at that time)
  • By the time their Companion Pass expires, you’ll have had time to evaluate your Chase Southwest card and decide if you’d rather have a different one (like me)
  • Enough time will have passed that you’re once again eligible to open Chase Southwest cards (as long as you are under Chase’s 5/24 limit)

Let me know if you plan to apply for this deal.  And let me know if you’re NOT.  I’d love to hear the reason!

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

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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