The Southwest Companion Pass is the holy grail of travel hacking. It’s a free ticket for a companion of your choosing on any Southwest flight for at least 1 year. All you need to do is purchase your own ticket with cash or points and your companion will fly with you for free. It is essentially a buy 1 get 1 free ticket. Southwest's footprint continues to grow, even offering several International Destinations now! My wife and I have gotten so much value by having this over the past year. We’ve flown to Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Tucson, Austin, and New York all by using the Companion Pass! It has saved us thousands of dollars.
(Banger's in Austin. We had way too much fun hanging out on Rainey Street)
How do you earn it?
Fly 100 flights in a calendar year or... earn 110,000 points in a calendar year.
The way we did it, is by earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in one calendar year. Points can primarily be earned by flying Southwest or by spending on any of the Southwest credit cards. The best part is that sign up bonuses also qualify towards the 110,000 points required. Currently there are increased sign up bonuses for all of the Southwest cards at 60,000 points each. If you were to get 2 of these, then you’ll have your Companion Pass! You can see these on my best offers page. If you do it now, you'll have the pass for the rest of the year and the following next year.
(Laying on the beach in Cancun was so relaxing)
(The Columbia river gorge was stunning)
If you’re relatively new to the credit card points game, then there is no better time to qualify for the Companion Pass. Remember that Chase will reject your application on most cards, if you have opened 5 or more personal credit cards in the last 24 months. I recommend that you read my Credit Card Strategy for Newbies guide first, but starting with 2 Southwest Cards would be a great strategy!
I feel like Southwest will eventually tighten this up at some point and this perk may change or disappear, so jump on this while you can!
You are only able to change you companion 3 times per year.
The companion only typically only pays the September 11th fee, $5.60 each way.
You must accompany the companion
You can add a companion to a points or paid flight
You can add your companion as a long as there are seats available on the plane