Southwest Companion Pass with Two Credit Cards – SW Bonuses Rise Again [Expires June 10, 2019]
[These offers expired June 10th, 2019. Since Companion Pass is valid for the calendar year you earn it in plus the following year, this is the latest in a year I would advise using this strategy]
Southwest Companion Pass with Two Credit Cards
The personal Southwest cards have raised their bonus offers from 40,000 Rapid Rewards points with $1,000 in spend to 60,000 with $2,000 in spend. And that means Companion Pass is yours just by meeting the minim spend requirements on two cards.
For those of you that love Southwest, there is NO REASON for you not to have a Companion Pass.
A Companion Pass allows you to designate a companion that flies free with you (only paying taxes) for the year.
You can easily save THOUSANDS in a year with this.
Once earned, you’ll have the status for the rest of the year and the next calendar year as well, so if you do it at the start of a calendar year, you can get two full years! The *strategy* we have previously talked about means hitting your bonuses on two Southwest credit cards next January. For most, that means getting the cards now and hitting the bonuses in January.
Let’s talk timing:
When you qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, you earn it for that calendar year AND the following calendar year. Meaning that if you earned it in October 2018, you’d have it for 15 months (Oct-Dec 2018 and all of 2019). But if you qualify in January 2019, you would have it for 24 months, as it would be valid all the way through December 2020.
The way you earn this pass is 100 flights or 110,000 Rapid Rewards points earned in a calendar year.
Yes, that’s a lot. BUT, what if you could just sign up for 2 credit cards, spend $2k-$3k on each (within 3 months), and get the pass right then and there?
That’s a lot more doable, isn’t it?
To make this strategy work, you must get both the business credit card and one of the personal cards.
Southwest Credit Cards
Right now the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card has a signup offer for 60,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months. ($99 annual fee)
There are then three varieties of personal Southwest branded credit cards. Pick the one that suits your needs the best:
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card (
60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months, $69 annual fee, earns 3,000 rewards points at each anniversary)
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card (
60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months, $99 annual fee, earns 6,000 rewards points at each anniversary)
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card (
60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months, $149 annual fee, 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary, $75 Southwest travel credit each year, 4 upgraded boardings per year when available.)
Updated June 11, 2019: All three personal cards now offer 40,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months
That gives you 127,000 points (bonus + spend) and instant Companion Pass!
Best Time to Apply for these Cards to Get Companion Pass
The best time to apply was end of last year, early this year, since you get Companion Pass for all of the current year and all of the following year. At this point you’ll get 1.5 years instead of two. However, early in the year the bonus on the personal cards was just 40,000 – requiring more spend. So for many, this is even easier.
The only way to do this is with one business card and one personal card. It’s no longer possible to get two personal Southwest credit cards as it was in the past.
If you qualify for a Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (and remember, you can have a small home business with almost no revenue and you can qualify for this card) which comes with 60,0000 points, you just need the two cards – the business card and one of the above personal cards. When you hit your minimum spend, you get the Companion Pass.
Chase 5/24 and Application Order Considerations
Note that if you do this, apply for the Business card first and then the Personal card – just in case you are at 4/24 (of 5/24) with Chase already as the Business card won’t count against you. Remember to do this at all, you do have to be under your 5/24 limit.
If you need more points: Beyond flights, things like car rentals, Rewards Network dining, flowers, etc (just make sure you use the associated links (i.e Southwest shopping portal) to earn your Rapids Rewards points!) count. That Rewards Network dining portal, by the way, is giving 1,000 bonus points for your first $25 dine… but be aware that the portal bonuses won’t count – only points earned from actual dining and shopping. Southwest specifies only “base” points from partners like shopping and dining count.
New to all of this? My new “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available now.