Increased bonus! Southwest’s current offer can help you fly for FREE for 18 months!

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If you’ve been yearning to earn the Southwest Companion Pass where someone can truly fly with you for free (plus taxes/fee) for an unlimited number of times, then right now is your best opportunity. Just recently, Southwest announced an increased welcome offer on their two business cards, which will ultimately allow you to earn the pass right away, once meeting the minimum spend requirement. And, if you time your credit card applications correctly, you can ultimately earn the pass through December 31, 2025 — thus allowing you to fly buy-one-get-one for about 18 months.

This is the highest offer we’ve seen on these two business cards in this year. With Southwest points being worth around 1.4 cents apiece, this means the increased 120,000 point offer on the business cards are worth approximately $1,680 towards travel on Southwest. And then on top of that, the points count towards earning the Companion pass as well.

So let’s go through the details on both the increased card offers and how you can earn the pass.

The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Deals We Like. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Southwest credit card welcome offers

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Currently, there are three Southwest personal cards and two business cards, allowing you to earn up to 120,000 points, depending on the card you apply for.

All three personal cards, including the Southwest PlusSouthwest Premier, Southwest Priority are offering welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months. We’ve seen significant better offers in the best, so if you aren’t in a rush to apply, you’ll want to hold off on these particular cards.

There’s then two business cards, the Southwest Premier Business and the Southwest Performance Business, which as aforementioned, are the highest offers we’ve seen. With these two offers, you’ll ultimately earn 135,000 qualifying points (120,000 points from the welcome offer and 15,000 points from meeting the minimum spend requirement), crossing you over the Companion Pass threshold immediately. Just remember though that qualifying points reset on January 1, so you’ll want to ensure that all points post within the 2024 calendar year.

With current bank rules, however, it’s important to note that you can’t have two Southwest personal credit cards open at the same time. But, you are allowed a personal and business credit card. Also, since the Southwest cards are Chase credit cards, you are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means that Chase will automatically deny you for a new card application if you’ve been approved for five or more credit cards in the past 24 months (across all banks).

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

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Fly 2-for-1 while being a Companion Pass holder.

The Southwest Companion Pass is truly an all-access buy-one-get-one opportunity, where any pass holder can have a companion fly with them for free (plus taxes/fee) on any single route Southwest flies. This pass can also be used an unlimited number of times during the life of the pass. There’s truly no restrictions — there just has to be a single seat for sale to book your companion your seat.

I’ve been a companion pass holder for 15 years and there’s absolutely no strings attached. You’re only on the hook for taxes and fees. Domestic routes are $5.60 and international routes can vary. Additionally, even if the first passenger uses points for a free flight, you can still add the companion. There are also no blackout dates for using your points or companion pass.

Having the Southwest Companion Pass can save you thousands and thousands of dollars (or points) depending on how many times you fly during the year. Traditionally, the pass is valid for the rest of the year it’s earned, plus the entire following year. This means, if you earn the pass now, you’ll have the pass through December 31, 2025 — giving you around 18 months as a pass holder.

Once you earn the pass, you’ll set an initial companion. You can then change your companion three more times each year. Changing your companion is incredibly easy and just requires a quick call to Southwest. You also don’t need to book your companion’s reservation at the same time. If you already have Southwest reservations prior to earning the pass, you can add your companion on at a future time once becoming a pass holder.

Earning the Southwest Companion Pass

southwest credit card

The Southwest Companion Pass requires you to earn 135,000 qualifying points in a single calendar year. While this is different than the redeemable points you earn, points earned from the credit card welcome offers count as qualifying points as well.

This means, with the five card offers, you’ll earn anywhere between 50,000 and 120,000 points (plus the points earned from meeting the minimum spend requirement), depending on the card.

This means if you apply for either the Southwest PlusSouthwest Premier or Southwest Priority, you’ll earn 50,000 qualifying points from the welcome offer, plus the points earned to meet the minimum spend requirement. Since you need to earn 135,000 points, that means you are more than one-thirds of the way there. These points can be earned from additional credit card spend, flying Southwest or partner activity (such as the Southwest shopping portal).

Or, you can apply for a business credit card and those welcome points will easily put you over the required threshold.

Or, if you’re not able to meet the full minimum spend requirement on the business card, you can apply for a personal and business card, and just meet the first tier of the business card minimum spend requirement. Let’s say you apply for the Southwest Plus and the Southwest Performance Business, you’ll end up with at least 136,000 qualifying points in total (50,000 points from the Southwest Plus card, 60,000 points from the Southwest Performance Business (first tier bonus), plus 6,000 points total from combined minimum spend). That alone will put you over the threshold of earning the pass, meaning the pass will be yours in no time.

The qualifying points earned from the welcome offers will typically hit your account within 2-5 business days after the statement close date from when you hit the minimum spend on the card. But since qualifying points don’t carry over to a new calendar year, you’ll want to apply for both the personal and business card now, to ensure all points count in 2024.

Differences between the three Southwest personal credit cards

a group of credit cards on a beach

With three different personal Southwest credit cards, there are bound to be some differences. The Southwest Plus card is your least expensive card at just $69 annually. The card has very minimal benefits, but if your main goal is to earn the points from the welcome bonus, then this is a great card for you.

The Southwest Premier card comes with a $99 annual fee. It awards twice the amount of Rapid Reward points than the Southwest Plus card on your cardmember anniversary year — making it a better option if you foresee yourself holding onto the card for the long term. Aside from that, the cards are very similar, where you’ll receive 25% back on in-flight purchases and two EarlyBird Check-In credits per year.

The Southwest Priority card offers the most benefits, although it does carry a $149 annual fee. However, you’ll find that the fee pays for itself. On an annual basis, you’ll receive 7,500 bonus points at your cardmember anniversary, a $75 Southwest credit and four upgraded boarding certificates.


The Southwest Companion Pass is truly one of my favorite ways to travel for free. If you live near an airport that services Southwest, this is definitely the time to look into applying for one — or two — of the Southwest credit cards. As aforementioned, I’ve been a pass holder for 15 years and it has saved my family tens of thousands of dollars over the year. I’ve used the pass to fly to Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Detroit, Birmingham, Washington, DC, Bahamas, Cancun, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Nashville, Aruba and much more.

Learn more about Southwest Companion Pass

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As always, thank you for supporting Deals We Like and enjoy traveling on a deal!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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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8 years ago

can for example I get one card and my wife another and pool the points into my account? Or just one person would have to get both cards?

4 years ago
Reply to  Frank

You can’t pool accounts with different individuals, but can pool together a personal and business card with same Rapid Rewards account. Apply for both a personal and business meeting meet your name this year, and then in January 2021 apply for a personal and business under wife’s name.

8 years ago

I was unable to access the personal premier card. When I clicked on it, there was a message that said offer unavailable. I already applied for the plus and would like to apply for premier to maximize points. Thanks so much!

8 years ago

I have referral links for the PREMIER card 50,000 bonus points offer. I will need your first name and email. It may take a week to get the signup link from Southwest but, yes, you will get it. Again, this is for the PREMIER card ($99 per year). Email drew(dot)bignall(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Get your 100,000 miles for the Companion pass
Get your 100,000 miles for the Companion pass
7 years ago

You want to get your 100k as soon as possible because the companion pass is good for the rest of the year it’s earned and the following year.

Please email PHILLIPL* AT to get links to both the Premier and Plus cards. You can get 50k miles on each of them. I will respond immediately to your emails.


4 years ago

That’s not really true (and a bit self serving to offer your referral links). As the article clearly explains, it the CP is early in Jan 2020, it is good for all of 2020 and 2021. Earning it now actually dilutes the amount of time you would have the CP for.

3 years ago


3 years ago

In this sentence, “You can earn this amount by flying Southwest, additional credit card spend, using their online shopping portal (which is what I suggest) or crediting partner programs to your Southwest account.” what do you mean by “crediting partner programs to your SWA account”?

2 years ago

Thanks for the Tips. Can I have more than 1 Southwest card at the same time? If not what is the best way to transition from current card to take advantage of the 100K Bonus?

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