The Southwest Companion Pass
When I first heard about the Southwest Companion Pass I knew I wanted one. I needed one. I am a cosmopolitan and traveling is what I do. Or at least, it is what I used to do. In another lifetime, before I had kids, an airplane was like taking the bus. A trip to London, Paris, New York, Barcelona, Lisbon, Munich, Pisa, Florence, Milan or Rome. It was not foreign to me.
A lot changed when we had kids. Taking a quick flight wasn’t that easy anymore. And trips by plane got traded for roadtrips. Still fun, but different. The most tricky part with traveling was that all our kids have special needs. It meant more preparations, front-loading expectations and practicing a lot of patience. I do have to say that I don’t know what normal looks like anymore, having four kids with special needs. This is my world now.
Disclosure: This post about the Southwest Companion Pass may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, Eat.Pure.Love.Lifestyle makes a small commission at no extra charge to you. This post was first published January 27, 2019 and updated on January 17, 2020.
Heartfelt Wish of Traveling Places
We moved from The Netherlands to the United States of America and started exploring the state we lived in. But still that idea of taking a flight out… Going places.
So you can understand why I felt I NEEDED this Southwest Companion Pass. Even though you have still no idea what it is and what makes it special. Keep on reading, I will tell you!
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Southwest Companion Pass is the must have pass if you love flying together. Because you can bring one designated person with you FOR FREE on any Southwest flight that you purchase with cash or saved points. You can change your designated person up to three times per year.
Well, there is a catch, they do have to pay taxes and fees. Which is $5.60.- one way. And that’s it. Luggage is included. And there are no blackout dates and no restrictions. Yay!
And it gets even better. If you get the pass this year, it is valid for the rest of this year AND the whole of next year. Which means, the rest of 2020 and all of 2021.
I want that Companion Pass. I need that Companion Pass.
Yess! I GOT that Companion Pass
So last year, 2019, I wrote that I needed that pass, right? Do you remember? So, I worked my butt off. Meaning, I applied for the Southwest Credit Card during the action period, which is now!! It is the best time to apply for it because you will receive a ton of bonus points. I started using it for all my spending, until I received all the points and BAMM I got the Southwest Companion Pass! You can read more about how to qualify for the pass this year below.
After I received the Companion Pass status I couldn’t wait to start traveling again. Since I accumulated the needed rapid rewards to get the Companion Pass, I used those exact same rapid rewards to buy my first ticket and I chose to go to New York City with my husband. Our first trip together since I can’t even remember. The only thing I had to pay out of pocket were taxes for me and my husband, which was a total of 4 * $5.60 = $22,40. My husband’s ticket was free and I paid with my accumulated rapid rewards. Awesome right! And the trip was amazing!
Realizing Travel Dreams
This year I have a couple of trips planned and they are all paid for with points I have earned. So again, nothing is paid out of pocket except taxes.
The first trip of this year will take me and my oldest son to Naples, Florida. The second trip will take my and my 8 year old to San Francisco, California, the third trip will take me and my 6 year old to Washington DC and we are contemplating if we will take a trip to Aruba as a family this year.
What makes me happy is that the Companion pass makes it easy to realize my traveling dreams. And my experience with Southwest regarding families and traveling with Special Needs have been really pleasant up till now.
How can you get this pass?
There are two ways to get a Southwest Companion Pass.
1. If you are a frequent flyer you might be able to make 100 qualifying flights in a year.
2. For the rest of us there is another way to get this pass, by saving 125,000 Rapid Rewards points. You need a Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card (referral link, this is currently the best deal I could find) to save those points.
Personal Southwest Plus Credit Card
With the personal Southwest Plus Credit Card you can earn up to 75,000 points. After you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first month you earn 40,000 points and you earn another 35,000 points when you spend $5,000 within your first 6 months of account opening. This card cost $69.- p/yr. But there are more options available.
Offers will change and it’s always wise to check the offers out there. I do my best to keep it up-to-date and find the best sign-up deal available.
Preferably you apply for the card in November / December. You will have the card just in time for all your Holiday shopping! But make sure the total points are not posted on your statement before January of the new year. Otherwise they count towards the past year. The sooner you have all your points in the new year, the longer you can benefit from your Companion Pass.
Business Southwest Premier Credit Card
You can apply for a business Southwest Premier Credit Card as well. After spending $3,000.- in the first 3 months you’ve earned 60,000 points. This card cost $99.- p/yr. Those 60,000 Rapid Rewards point will count towards your total. Which means, with those two cards combined you already have a total of 135,000 Rapid Reward Points and qualify for the Companion Pass.
Remember that Chase handles the 5/24 rule. Which means they don’t approve your credit card if you applied for more than 5 credit cards in the past 24 months.
Everything you spend on the card will help you save for that Companion Pass. Plus you can use the 135,000 Rapid Rewards points you saved, to buy tickets.
Some tips on using a Credit Card!
Even though it is common sense, I still wanted to highlight sensible Credit Card use. Plus it will also benefit your credit score!
- Always pay off your balance in full and on time each month.
- Only put bills on a credit card you can afford.
How to get the pass multiple years!
If you are a planner like me, you can have a continuous Companion Pass. In 2019 I saved for the Companion Pass and in November / December 2020 my husband will go for it. That way we’ll get the most out of it!
When you are not using your Southwest Credit Card anymore, make sure to do the following! Do NOT cancel your credit card. That will negatively impact your credit score. Switch your card to the Chase Freedom card, which is a free credit card from Chase.
Where will you go?
Southwest flies to over 200 Southwest Destinations. They even fly to Hawaii! Can you imagine using your rapid rewards to fly there with you designated companion.
I’m already making dreams come through and using my rapid rewards and my Companion Pass and have great plans for 2020. Where would you like to go? What is on your bucket list? In the meantime I’ll be fantasizing about our next trip.