Earning the Southwest Companion Pass for 2016 and 2017!!


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If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you are probably already aware that the Southwest Companion pass is my favorite benefit in the entire travel world! With this pass, a companion can fly with you an UNLIMITED number of times for the calendar year it is earned plus the following calendar year. While there are many ways to earn the pass, the easiest way is by signing up for their credit card (if you are okay with that).

**This bonus offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new Cardmember bonus for this product in the past 24 months.

Currently, two of the credit cards are offering a 50,000 point bonus after spending $2,000 on the card within the first three months. As of today, the 50,000 points DO COUNT towards the 110,000 points required to obtain the pass. Apply for two Southwest cards (yes, you are allowed to have two Southwest credit cards in your wallet) and that will give you 100,000 points. Now, if you call Southwest to inquire if the points count towards the companion pass they will most likely tell you no. Do not be discouraged, in my experience they have no idea what they are talking about (Sorry Southwest!).

So lets say you apply for the two cards now. Since you have 90 days to meet the minimum spend, you will want to wait until January 1, 2016 to actually spend that last dollar. The 50,000 points will not post to your account until a few days after your statement closes. You can still put spend on the card in 2015, but do not put more than $1,999 on it. I’d recommend waiting till 2016 though as the money spent will then count towards the points needed to meet the 110,000 points. Whatever hits a statement credit in 2015 will count towards the 2015 requirements of meeting the companion pass status and those points DO NOT carry over to 2016.

Other Ways to Earn the Required Points

As I mentioned above, you need 110,000 qualifying points to earn the companion pass. The Southwest credit card (assuming you apply with the current 50,000 point offer), will give you 50,000 points per card. If you apply for two cards that will give you a total of 100,000 points. All spend put on the card also counts. Every dollar equals one point. So if you wait to put $2,000 on each card in 2016, that will give you another 4,000 points for a total of 104,000 points. That means you only need another 6,000 points to get the pass. A few ways to earn these points:

  • Additional credit card spend
  • Flying Southwest Airlines
  • Transferring hotel points to Southwest (note: Hyatt is the best transfer ratio or Marriott’s Flights + Nights packages; and Chase Ultimate Reward transfers DO NOT count)
  • Southwest Airlines shopping portal
  • Earning Southwest points for travel partners (i.e., hotel stays, car rentals, supershuttle, etc.)

Personally, I find credit card spend, transferring hotel points, and the Southwest Airlines shopping portal to be the easiest.

Southwest Companion Pass FAQs

Flying limitations: With the companion pass there are no black out dates or seat restrictions – if there is a seat available for purchase, it is available for your companion. The companion pass can even be used if points were redeemed for a free flight. This can result in both passengers going FREE (plus the taxes/passenger)!

Number of times the companion pass can be used: Unlimited! There is no cap on the number of times the pass can be used.

Who can be a companion: Anyone can be your companion – friends, family, a complete stranger. However, the companion pass can only be switched up to three times during the validity of the pass. Since you need to allocate your companion when getting the pass, this allows you 4 people to use the pass (those people can be repeated and put back on as the companion as well but counts as one of your allowed changes). To change your companion pass, call Southwest Customer Service (1-800-IFLYSWA) and they will easily assist you on the spot.

Companion pass expiration: The companion pass is valid the remainder of the year it was earned plus the following calendar year. For example, if you earn the pass January 2016, you will have it for the rest of 2016, plus 2017.

My Experience with the Southwest Companion Pass

I’ve had the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for about 8 years now. I’ve used it for flights to Florida, Costa Rica, California, Aruba, Denver, Salt Lake City, etc. I probably use it on average 3-4 times a year. I also love that I can use the pass for my husband while redeeming points for my flight. And Southwest flights can be canceled with no fee!! If you use points, the points go straight back into your account. If you pay for the flight, you receive a voucher for the amount paid to be used within a year of the date purchased.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Note: This post DOES NOT contain affiliate links. I am pushing this because it is my favorite perk in the entire travel industry!!!

 

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Jake P
Jake P
5 years ago

Your link for the SW Plus card goes straight to the SW Premier. And, I can’t find the plus card listed anywhere on Southwest.com or Chase.com…. Thoughts?

SteveNewYork
SteveNewYork
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake P

Hi, I too have been looking for the Chase Southwest Air PLUS card with a 50000 point sign up bonus. It seemed like they stopped it back in October. This link takes you to the PLUS card with 25000 points. See- https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southwest/25KPlus?CELL=6PNF As far as I know this link is still working. I believe they will re-offer the 50000 point PLUS card after the first of the year, they have done this in the past years. If anyone knows where the PLUS card with 50000 point sign up offer is, please post the link here. Thanks!

Jake P
Jake P
5 years ago
Sherri
Sherri
5 years ago

How do you keep this going as supposedly you cannot cancel a credit card and apply for a new one within 24 months to receive the 50,000 miles?

Ellen
Ellen
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Great post! How do you actually generate 110000 points using their shopping portal and Target spend? Do you purchase things thru their portal instead of buying direct? Thanks for clarifying. Great range of ideas for getting CP.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years ago

A couple of additional items about the CP…
As mentioned. you can change your Companion 3 times. But that’s 3 times A YEAR. So if you get your CP in Feb or Mar of 2015, you can change it 3 times in 2015 and then 3 more times in 2016.

You don’t have to be flying on your points (or dollars) to use your CP. If I have a CP and no points, I could fly using someone else’s points (my wife for instance) and then take her along as my companion.

AMJ
AMJ
5 years ago

Any thoughts on how Chase has been cracking down on new applications? I’m considering going for the companion pass this round because I now have a legitimate small business to justify a business credit card, but the last couple of Chase cards that I have applied for (Fairmont and Ink) I have been given a hard time about the number of apps I’ve had. I only do 1-2 app-o-ramas a year with 2-4 cards each time. I’ve only had 3 apps in the last 10 months, but I’m still a little nervous to try.

AMJ
AMJ
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

I’ve taken it easy this year and I have had only 3 applications in the last year. For the 3 years previous to that I general had about 6-8 applications (with excellent credit, etc) each year. I generally included one Chase application per round in the past. I was approved for both the Fairmont and Ink Chase cards, but it was definitely a different experience with Chase with both of those cards. They sort of made me feel like a criminal for having applied for so many cards, but ultimately approved me after moving credit around. It definitely left a… Read more »

Brian Vogel
Brian Vogel
5 years ago

Does anyone have a the rapid rewards plus application link for 50,000 points? The chase website is only showing 25,000 for the plus card.

Steve
Steve
5 years ago

I’d like some advise if any one can help- I would like to get the Southwest Air Companion Pass (for 2016 and 2017)- I have right now the Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards Visa Signature card in good standing which I have had for three years. I’d like to get a Southwest Air Companion Card starting January of next year- 2016 so it would be good for almost two years- (2016 through 2017). As the Rapid Rewards miles (I would need 110000 miles to get the Companion Card) need to be collected in one calendar year- I would need to apply… Read more »

Angela
Angela
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Maybe you should try the Marriott hotel + flight trick that others use. You can apply for one Marriott card and if you are married your spouse can apply. You still have to come up with additional points but I’ve read that others transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott and/or purchase Marriott points.

Mann
Mann
5 years ago

Two questions:

1. What do you suggest as the optimal time to apply so that a) all spending is considered to be 2016 spending but b) getting the card as soon as possible so it is valid for a longer time?

2. If applying for 2 cards (either personal, business or a combination of the 2), what is the best timing for the applications? Same day, few days apart, etc.

Thanks for all of your great insights and your willingness to share your expertise!

Skip
Skip
5 years ago

I got my third SW credit card last month. First was two yrs ago, got bonus for second in Jan 2015 and just got my third in Sep to get another 50,000 to make companion status this calendar year. Have 800 credit scores. Had to call the morning following application and talk to a rep. I had to close a non Southwest Chase card that I wasn’t using anyway. Just want to put to bed the story that you can’t have three SW cards. ( Yes, one is a business card) Another heads up. Once you get your card, check… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
5 years ago

I successfully applied for the personal premier and plus cards, each with the 50K bonus, this month. I called Chase today to nail down the deadlines for the minimum spending, and they told me that I will receive the bonus for only one of these new accounts. Is this correct? If they are telling me the truth, then I might as well cancel one of the cards and pay only one annual fee. Thanks for any info you have on this!

Emily
Emily
5 years ago

1. Can someone please explain to me why on the website for both premium and plus south west credit cards, there are only 25k bonus points for new member? I thought we are supposed to get 50k bonus points for each card for the new member…

That’s what I’ve been seeing so far in this blog.

2. Also, do you have to have a business to apply for the business card? (I see that for this card, you will get 50k bonus points)

Thanks in advance,

Emily

Emily
Emily
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Thank you for your quick response.

I was looking up these cards and the southwest plus credit card offer has reduced from 50k to only 25k. The only 2 cards that have the 50k bonuses are the personal premier and the premier business. I do not have a business do you think I can still apply for the business one?

Thank you,

Emily

Parker B
Parker B
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

I am also interested in this. I see you can simply put your SSN instead of a company tax ID. But, what about annual business income they ask for? Will they probe any more questions? What do you put as your business type if you don’t have a business?

Also, from posts above: it looks like you CAN open three cards? My wife and I each already have the Plus card (for many years now).

Thanks!

AMy
AMy
5 years ago

The SW terms state:

Points purchased for personal use or as a gift, transferred points, points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and Partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.

So wouldn’t the 50,000 points fall under this? Did they just change the terms?

JenniferTX
JenniferTX
5 years ago
Reply to  AMy

Doesn’t the text you quoted say that the RR credit cards are an exception? I’m hoping so, but I’ve also adopted the idea that I’ll believe it when I see it, and I’ll still have a lot of RR points that I can use, even if I don’t get the companion pass.

Janis A
Janis A
5 years ago

So if my offer (for the 50,000 points) expires 12/16/15 and I apply for the card through this deal, will the 50,000 points be applied to 2015 instead of 2016? Thanks

RKade
RKade
5 years ago

I just spoke to Southwest Customer Service on the phone and they said that if I open a personal + business card, the accounts will be separate and the points will not be combined. So my question is, how do you apply for 2 cards and combine the points?

Thanks!

RKade
RKade
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Thanks for the response! So if you get 2 credit cards, is the only current option to do 1 personal + business?

Skip
Skip
5 years ago
Reply to  RKade

No, you can have the Plus and the Premier personal cards. You can also have a business card. You can apply for the business card with your Business Name and your SSAN and personal credit. You can list your Southwest Rapid Rewards number on all the cards. Plus ($69) and Premier ($99) cards used to be available in both personal and business cards. The main difference is no foreign transaction fees with the Premier. The key is to find 50,000 point bonus referrals for the card that you want to get. Search the Internet, you can find 50,000 point referral… Read more »

RKADE32
RKADE32
5 years ago

I just spoke to Southwest customer service on the phone and they told me that if I get a personal + business card, they are under separate accounts and I will not be able to combine the points. Is there way around this? How do combine points on separate cards?

Thanks!

ResearchWarrior
ResearchWarrior
5 years ago

How were you able to use Amex MR points for RR? All the Amex>hotel program>RR transfer rates seem pretty dismal. What’s the most efficient method? Thanks!

William
William
5 years ago

I can’t find an active link for the Plus card 50,000 point bonus. Is the offer still available?

Brad
Brad
5 years ago

I did a dual browser application and did both the premier personal and business – I have about 8 new cards in the last 2 years, closed my SW premier personal earlier this year.

I got account under review for both of them, so kinda bummed, but I will wait it out and hopefully get them both!

FYI – For the business card, I put my SSN as the tax ID, and since I own a rental property, I put Real Estate Services, Other. I put 20k in annual revenue, which is what my rent is.

TimmyD
TimmyD
5 years ago

Is there any reason to renew the SW cards at the end of the first year, when the next annual fee is due? I am assuming canceling will not impact our second year of companion pass awesomeness?

Mann
Mann
5 years ago

Curious whether most people are experiencing application reviews–no immediate answer. The automated line to check status says that you should hear in approximately 2 weeks via mail but when you talk to a rep, they state that it can take a month. Any feedback based on your experiences?

Ellen w
Ellen w
5 years ago
Reply to  Mann

After a week or so call and request the reconsideration line. They may tell you it is still under review and to call back the following week. When you do, again speak to reconsideration team. They may propose you share the credit limit between both cards or ask a few more questions. If you don’t call it will sit in a black hole and likely get rejected.

Wazzu
Wazzu
5 years ago

Thank you for posting this! I have been reading about it for some time. It’s now almost January 2016. Wouldn’t I still be able to get the 2016 and 2017 Companion Pass benefit if I apply in January for the two cards and meet the requirements soon thereafter? I’m not sure I understand why it’s beneficial to apply a couple months before the end of a year then completing the requirements in the first month of the following year. Why can’t it all be applied, approved and completed in January? Thanks so much for any help on this. A little… Read more »

Wazzu
Wazzu
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Awesome. Thank you very much! That helps a lot. 🙂

Susan
Susan
5 years ago

I am a bit confused about the SW cards. Our companion pass is ending this week and we did not plan well. My husband has a premier card with a $76k earned points and I have a premier card with about the same balance. We have no major spending to do before the end of the year. We do have 10k gold passport points with Hyatt we could transfer but no other thoughts. I understand that transferring and purchasing points doesn’t count toward companion pass. I currently have 70k rr points and my husband has 34.9k rr points. So, I… Read more »

susan
susan
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Thank you. He will apply for the two cards with two different browsers as soon as I find two difference 50k point offers.

susan
susan
5 years ago
Reply to  dealswelike

Sorry to keep asking questions but . . . would we be better off to wait until both cards have the 50k offer at the same time or does it matter if we get one now and try to get the other later–even though he already has the premier? Thanks.

Katelyn
Katelyn
5 years ago

I have referrals for both the Premier & Plus cards if anyone is looking to get the 50,000 bonus pts on each.

Here’s the Premier application link: https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?PID=CFFD2&SPID=FFNL&CELL=6RLH&MSC=1503953492

And the Plus referral is a physical card, so please email lynelle@q.com to get the referral info.

Good luck to everyone trying for the Companion Pass! I got mine early in 2015 and I’m loving it!

Conor F
Conor F
5 years ago

You can still get the 50,000 point offer for the plus card, but you have to do so over the phone as a referral. I just was approved today. E-mail me at cpfitz14 [at] gmail [dot] com for the referral info.

Susan Solomon
Susan Solomon
5 years ago
Reply to  Conor F

We are getting ready to apply for 2 SW cards and already have the premier card. Does anyone know if we have to thaw/unfreeze our credit before applying or does the fact that we already have a chase card make ok to apply without first unfreezing our credit? Thanks.

SteveNewYork
SteveNewYork
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Solomon

I have my credit frozen and just applied for the Chase- Southwest Air Premier Business Card (in December). After I applied, they sent me a letter (in about 7 days) that said to call them (there was a reference number in the letter) and that I would have to unfreeze my credit for them to make a decision. I did a 24 hour unfrozen on Experian (which was mentioned in the letter) just before I called them, they make a decision during the phone call. They were very polite and helpful and I got the card right away. Hope this… Read more »

Susan Solomon
Susan Solomon
5 years ago
Reply to  SteveNewYork

Thanks for the information about unfreezing credit. Curious if you already had a chase card when you applied in December. My husband seems to think that since he already has a couple chase card that they may not need to run a credit report. Thoughts??

SteveNewYork
SteveNewYork
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Solomon

I do have one other Chase card, as far as I know, each Chase card application is separate and is reveiw as a new item. I may be wrong but I don’t think so. I just applied for the Chase SWA Plus card with 40000 pt. bonus. I got the same form letter (with a different reference number) as I got with the Premier Business card I applied for in December. I have not call them yet (I am waiting to see if they up the bonus from 40000 to 50000 points in the next few days- there are other… Read more »

Wonder
Wonder
5 years ago

If i apply the 2 SW credit cards (personal & business) today 1/12/2016 and meet the requirement in 3 months – do i have the Companion Pass benefit for both years 2016 & 2017?
Thanks!

cj
cj
5 years ago

Thanks for all the info on the Companion Pass! I got both biz and personal cards and did all my minimum spend in March 2016. If I wait until January 2017 to reach the 110k points required for the companion pass, then will my pass be effective for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018?

JenniferTX
JenniferTX
5 years ago
Reply to  cj

It is my understanding that you must earn the 110K points all in one calendar year, so since you already have the bonus points in 2016, you need to complete the rest in 2016 as well.

Mary
5 years ago

Got an offer this week for the swa premier card with the 50,000 rapid rewards bonus . Called and got approved so it will be afew days till it arrives. I will need to spend 2,000 in 3 months . What counts as spend that will add points to getting my companion pass. I only have 7,000 marriott points so buying 3,000 will be required to only get 2,000 swa rr points transferred if I read correctly . I only have just over 3,000 flight points at the moment so I am trying to figure the best plan of attack… Read more »

Roger
Roger
5 years ago

Hi, probably a couple dumb questions here but I’m very new to this so any help would be great! I just applied and received my SW card through the website (with a 25,000 point promotion, not 50,000 although the ads I’ve received in the mail have been 50,000). Now for the questions: 1) I DID sign up for this online through the 25,000 point promotion without thinking first, as due to my existing RR account I had received mail promotions for 50. Is it worth calling and trying to get the 50,000 point bonus and say I signed up because… Read more »

Benjamin
5 years ago

Feel free to email me ( bswffmiles@gmail.com ) to get a referral notify me you used my referral or with questions! Happy to help.

Kevin
Kevin
4 years ago

When I have received the companion pass for, say, this year 2016 after the deal. It will be good for the rest of 2017. Now my question is, I will most likely fly another 110,000 miles before this years’ end, so does that give me another CP until the end of 2018?

anne chabel
anne chabel
4 years ago

Does this strategy still work for 2017/2018 or have they made changes?

TEE
TEE
4 years ago

If anyone needs a referal for the southwest premier card here it is and good luck!

https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/renderApp.do?SPID=FHV5&CELL=63HL&MSC=1536530035 #sponsored

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