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Southwest Companion Pass FAQ And Maximization Strategies

by on January 16, 2014 · 132 comments

in Maximize Monday, Southwest, TPG Contributors

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Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.

Offer expired March 9, 2014.

With the return of 50,000-point sign-up bonus offers on the Chase Southwest credit cards earlier this week, we’ve been getting tons of reader questions about the credit cards – how they can help you qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass and then once you do, what that means and how to maximize it.

So I wanted to repost this master FAQ piece by TPG contributor and Southwest Companion Pass holder Jason Steele from August 5, 2013, with the answers to all your questions and lots of great ideas to squeeze the most value out of your Southwest credit cards and the Companion Pass. The site has grown tremendously over the past year and though many of you already know this information, it’s new to a lot of readers, which is why I wanted to get it up here again. Feel free to comment and Tweet me with further questions.

The companion pass is valid for the remainder of the year plus the following year.

The companion pass is valid for the remainder of the year plus the following year.

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is one of the best airline benefits out there, and a key way I am able to save money while traveling domestically with my family. Since it is such a unique benefit, travelers have all sorts of questions about it, so I wanted to answer some of the most commonly asked ones as well as some ways in which you can pull the most value from it if you earn it.

How do you get it? Rapid Rewards members must accumulate 110,000 Companion Pass eligible points or 100 one-way flights within a single calendar year. TPG recently featured a great roundup of the Top 11 Ways To Top Up Your Account For The Southwest Companion Pass. But to sum it up, just about all Southwest Points are companion pass eligible – including those you earn with hotel, rental car and even energy company and bank partners. However, transferring points into your Southwest account from your Chase Ultimate Rewards account if you have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus does not count.

Can I earn more than one Companion Pass in a calendar year? No, you’re limited to earning a single Companion Pass per calendar year no matter how much you fly or how many points you rack up.

How long is it good for? The Companion Pass is valid from the day you earn it until December 31 of the following year. So if you earned the pass last year, it will be valid until the last day of 2014.

When is the best time to earn a Companion Pass? Because of the validity period, the earlier in the year you earn it, the more months you will have it. So if you qualified in December of last year, you would only get just over 12 months of use. If you qualified in January of this year, you would get nearly 24 months out of it. Unfortunately, your Companion Pass eligible points total doesn’t roll over; the tally resets to 0 on January 1, so you can’t just wait until next year to qualify using points you earned this year. You have to start from scratch each year.

How do you designate a companion? Once you reach Companion Pass status, it will be indicated online at this page. There, you can designate a companion online, or you can call and do so over the phone.

Getting the Companion Pass card itself is nice - even though you don't need it for much.

Getting the Companion Pass card itself is nice – even though you don’t need it for much.

Do you need the Companion Pass card for anything? Southwest will send you a very nice looking Companion Pass card in the mail. Feel free to frame it and hang it on your wall as it has no practical use. Southwest’s system will always show that you have a companion pass, and agents will easily be able to add your companion to bookings made online, over the phone, or at the airport without displaying your card.

How do you change your designated companion? Call Southwest customer service at 800-435-9792.

How many times can you change companions? You can choose a new companion three times before your companion pass expires.

The companion does not earn Rapid Rewards points when using a companion pass.

The companion does not earn Rapid Rewards points when using a companion pass.

Does the companion earn Rapid Rewards points when flying with me? No – if you use the Companion Pass on a reservation, the companion does not earn points.

What happens to my existing companion’s reservations when I change companions? They are lost. You can book a backup reservation with points if you intend to switch back to the first companion at a later date. Then, contact reservations to re-add your companion to your lost bookings and have the points refunded.

Does the Companion Pass work with award bookings?  Yes, that is one of the beauties of Companion Pass status. Once you have a confirmed booking with cash, points, or even the old Rapid Rewards standard awards you can add your companion, providing there is an unsold or available award seat on each flight.

Can you add a companion to a stand-by booking? No, I was told by Southwest that standby travel is the one time you cannot add a companion; it has to be a confirmed booking.

Can you use the Companion Pass when booking with your companion’s points or even someone else’s?  Yes. For example, if your spouse has points, but you have the companion pass, your spouse can issue an award booking in your name, and then you can add your spouse as your companion. The same is true of revenue bookings as well if someone else pays for your ticket and then you add them (or someone else) as a companion.

Can you use your Companion Pass on Airtran flights? Yes, but you must book your ticket from Southwest, not Airtran. Once the codeshare flight is booked, a companion can be added just like any Southwest-operated flights. As always, you will receive two reservation numbers, and you will have to check in each person separately.

Can my companion fly without me? No. This is a major no-no as there are reports of companions being deboarded when the original ticket holder is a no-show. If you book a companion ticket, you must travel with your companion.

A List benefits are not extended to the companion.

A List benefits are not extended to the companion.

Do my A-List benefits extend to my companion? Unfortunately, also a no. For A-List and A-List Preferred Members who are also Companion Pass Holders, reserved boarding privileges will not be provided for the Member’s designated Companion unless he/she is also an A-List or A-List Preferred Member.

My spouse and I both have Companion Passes, can my spouse be my companion and add a third person to the reservation? No, this status is not stackable. Those traveling as companions cannot add a companion of their own.

What is a Companion Pass worth? The value of your pass is equal to the total of the value of dollars and points that you will spend on Southwest flights during the validity of your pass. So if you are only planning one or two trips through the end of next year, you will get limited value from your pass. On the other hand, if you and your companion travel extensively or commute between cities, the value of this pass could be thousands of dollars.

For example, it would take $18,333 worth of flights in the “Wanna Get Away” fare class to earn the 110,000 points necessary for the companion pass. If one were to pay for those tickets with cash, it would cost an additional $18,333 to add a companion (or more if there is not always another seat available at the same fare class). Therefore, the traveler would save at least $18,333 by starting off with a Companion Pass beforehand. If one were to earn the 110,000 points needed for the Companion Pass, and use all of those points to fly with a companion on Wanna Get Away fares – where your points are worth about 1.8 cents each – then the pass would be worth about $1,800 in free travel.

What happens if you book your ticket and a companion and the companion doesn’t fly? At the moment, you are able to use the taxes paid on your companion’s ticket as a credit towards a future purchase. However, Southwest requires that travelers cancel their reservations in advance now.

How do you get the most out of your Companion Pass? This is the big question. First, these passes are great when traveling on reimbursed company expenses, such as last-minute business trips. Southwest is considered a low fare airline, but last-minute tickets can still cost $500 or more. The more expensive your ticket, the more value you receive from adding a companion for free (after taxes). So you can take a colleague along for free or bring your companion along on a work trip if your company is okay with it.

Southwest flies to most cities, so can be great for positioning flights for mileage runs.

Southwest flies to most cities, so can be great for positioning flights for awards or mileage runs.

Also – and this may go without saying – you want to utilize the Companion Pass as often as possible since it equates to half-price tickets whether you’re using cash or points to pay for it. One great way to do this is to use Southwest for positioning flights to gateway cities in the US if you have international awards booked on other airlines but can’t rope in a leg from your point of origin or if you want to go on a mileage run from a city other than yours. Thanks to Southwest’s extensive domestic route network, you can fly it to pretty much any major gateway, and if you have the Companion Pass, you can do so for half price.

In terms of comparison to other airlines, two domestic roundtrip award tickets in economy class on United would require 50,000 miles. Before you transfer enough Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United miles for two tickets, however, you could probably find a ticket on Southwest, another Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, for far fewer points.

Award tickets on Southwest often require far fewer points than using traditional mileage programs.

Award tickets on Southwest often require far fewer points than using traditional mileage programs.

The break-even point would be Wanna Get Away fares that cost under $450 – the cost of a ticket that would require 25,000 Rapid Rewards points. However, if you have the Companion Pass and use 25,000 points to book one $450 ticket, you can book another $450 ticket for free – giving you $900 in value. If you were to get the same per-point value from United, your tickets would have to cost $900 each since you’d still need 25,000 points to book each United award ticket.

For a comparable award on United, you'd need 25,000 miles per ticket.

For a comparable award on United, you’d need 25,000 miles per ticket.

The other big thing to keep in mind is that in terms of using the Companion Pass when redeeming Rapid Rewards points, its value really comes with booking Wanna Get Away fares, Southwest’s lowest fare class, where you are getting two cheap tickets for the price of one.

Get the

Get the most value by using your companion pass when booking Wanna Get Away fares.

The airline’s other fare classes, Anytime, and Business Select, provide far less value in cents per point than the Wanna Get Away fares, which are usually widely available in advance, but scarce at the last moment. If you must book a flight in Anytime or Business Select, you might as well use cash instead of points and use your Companion Pass for the second ticket that way rather than going the points route.

Furthermore, Southwest occasionally offers discount codes that are only usable with cash, not points. In these situations, those with limited points balances are better off paying cash to take advantage of the discounts, which are often 20% off of select fares, and then using the Companion Pass to book the second ticket since you can do so even on promo and discount fares.

Because of its tremendous potential value and the versatility of being able to use it on either cash or points reservations, the Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most unique and valuable airline benefits out there – and thanks to the current 50,000-point Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses, it’s within easy reach right now.

Disclaimer: 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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  • Ben Clark

    You said that the Companion Pass can be used on Airtran flights if they are booked with Southwest. Is this possible for all Airtran flights? When I try to search for a flight from BWI to NAS on Southwest’s website, it redirects me to Airtran’s website. Is this a problem for all of Airtran’s international routes?

  • Jasmine

    I can’t seem to use the passes for international flights. It doesn’t seem to work even though air tran flies international. Is this a new rule with the companion pass. I tried through southwest site and get redirected. Called southwest and they said unless its southwest it’s a no go. As for positioning flights international I don’t like this idea since if the southwest plane is delayed and you miss the international flight you don’t have much recourse with the intl flight. You also have to leave the terminal grab luggage and start the full arrival process all over again.

  • Jason Steele

    Southwest is only able to codeshare Airtran’s domestic flights at this time.. That is expected to change by the end of 2014; either SW will codeshare international flights, or they will become SW flights. By the end of 2014, the Airtran brand is expected to disappear.

  • Mark

    Can you change your companion 3 times after you select your initial companion? Wasn’t 100% clear if your initial selection at the time you first get your companion pass counts as 1 of the 3.

  • Jason Steele

    It can work. Last year, I flew to FLL with my family before the holidays. It was a very expensive flight, but I saved a ton of pts with the CP pass. We spent some time in Florida before continuing to South America. Needless to say, there were no other award flights to Florida available. I would recommend overnighting before continuing on to avoid misconnecting. Not the best, but it can save you points/dollars while allowing you to grab some great award seats. Sadly, domestic legs of awards are sometimes harder to get than international ones.

  • flbronc

    not going to make a run for this now… how often do they offer the 50K mile bonus offer? i know we can’t predict the future, but it seems that they run this promo with some regularity.

  • Sam

    Can it a One Way trip or does it have to be on a Round Trip reservations only?

  • Mark

    One way is fine.

  • Diane

    My question as well…

  • Holly Spencer

    amazing value here–we have had the companion pass for years–mostly from spending from our business and occasionally from a sign up bonus (never from paid tickets)–when you watch for fare sale and you have the CP–we went from Nashville to Chicago with our family of 4 for roughly 15,000 pts round trip and this June got to Panama City for even less than that!!

  • Jason Steele

    In the past, this offer seems to appear every 3-4 months. I can’t say what will happen going forward.

  • Jason Steele

    Their documentation says 3 times, and my interpretation is that the original choice is not counted as one of those.

  • jack

    I’m sure this will be over soon. It seems at least 3 bloggers today have nothing to write about except the companion pass. It was good while it lasted.

  • Muna

    Nice Post! I hope I’m getting closer to the CP status. I’ve recently applied and been approved for Southwest Premier card. When
    I called to activate the card, I was told that I’ll receive 50000 RR
    points after the first purchase (although I applied for the version with
    $2000 spend requirement). I don’t know whether I should still go ahead
    and put $2000 in spend. If the offer is indeed for – after the 1st
    purchase, when do you think the points will post?

  • Greg

    Are we ever going to be able to book Airtran international flights using companion pass?

  • flbronc

    thanks Jason. i won’t hold you to it. i’d rather make a run on it closer to the beginning of a calendar year. i don’t have any travel on the horizon, since it’s mostly summer travel for me… if it pops up again early next yer, i’ll be all over it.

  • thepointsguy

    Once they are finally all merged and have Southwest flight numbers..could be a while still, but one day Airtran will cease operating and it’ll just be Southwest

  • thepointsguy

    I wouldn’t worry about it.. I’ve been writing about this for year ;-)

  • Ryan

    Can you apply for both the personal and business cards to get 100k points? If so, you would be very close to 115K points required… thoughts on this strategy would be appreciated. In the fine print it reads ” Note: the bonus may be earned on one first-time personal and one first-time business Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card new account.”

  • Ashker

    Can my companion also fly free, when I’m using Southwest credits transferred from Airtran?

  • Jason Steele

    Points post from the card shortly after the statement closing date. I would do the spend, just in case. I haven’t heard of a first purchase offer in a while.

  • Jason Steele

    Yes, that is how everyone I know got the status, and btw, it is 110k pts. Also, the first time thing doesn’t seem to matter if you haven’t applied in the last 18 months. Good luck!

  • Jason Steele

    Yes!

  • Pingback: Last-Minute Round of Applications – Maximizing Southwest 50,000 Ending, Starwood Amex 30,000 Launch and British Airways Visa Annual Fee Waived | The Points Guy

  • Pingback: Why Can’t I Use My Southwest Companion Pass On An Airtran Flight? | The Points Guy

  • stacis

    Can you add a companion to an existing reservation after you earn the pass? i.e., I don’t have a CP now but expect to earn one this fall. If I make a reservation now for myself in 2014, can I go back and add a companion after I earn the pass?

  • Pingback: Southwest 50,000 Point Offer Is Back- But Why You Should Wait Until October to Apply | The Points Guy

  • kono

    so.. companion pass means my companion flies free?? im about 4k points away from one

  • izatnice

    Looks like Southwest has changed the Companion Pass. You must re qualify every year starting 2014.

    Companion Pass qualification will be based on a calendar year. A
    Companion Pass Member will maintain his/her Companion Pass for the
    remainder of the calendar year in which status is earned, and the entire
    calendar year immediately following. To continue their Companion Pass
    privileges, Members must re-qualify each year. (For example, a Member
    who earns a Companion Pass on July 15, 2013 will maintain the Companion
    Pass for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014. Beginning January
    1, 2014, the Member must complete 100 qualifying one-way flights or
    accrue 110,000 Qualifying Points by December 31, 2014, and upon doing
    so, the Companion Pass will be extended to December 31, 2015.)

  • thepointsguy

    This is how it has always worked

  • izatnice

    Awesome had me concerned sorry for the confusion. Thanks for the great website.

  • Kristin Sandberg Hansen

    I noticed at the top it says this expires on Aug 6th? Is this something I can apply for in Jan or Dec and try to accrue points right away?

  • Scott vonCannon

    If I book a flight in November 2013 (while I have companion status) for a flight in February 2014 (companion pass has expired), will this work?

  • Michael

    I opened up a credit card last month and apparently the points don’t qualify…

  • thepointsguy

    I’m not sure who told you that, but the good news is, those points certainly do count, so you should check again.

  • Oregonstate

    2 questions.

    1) I have the companion pass, but the person I will be travelling with often gets flights reimbursed – is there a way to make the paid flight appear with the companion’s name on a receipt, or would it always be the companion’s flight that is free?

    2) Is there a way to speed up the process of getting the companion pass to activate? I have already spent the $2k on my second card.

  • Richard Catterall

    Ok we’re in Oct. I can request business and personal cards now and get the two bonuses for total of 100k miles and then do the spend such that posting to the account occurs sometime after Jan 1st ?

  • thepointsguy

    Correct

  • Christine

    I contacted them just yesterday and told me the same thing. Where did you read that those points do count?

  • Joanna

    So on the SW RR website (http://rapidrewards101.com/#/tiers), the fine print reads:

    **Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights, points issued on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.

    Maybe I’m paranoid, but opening a credit card account wouldn’t count as “program enrollment”, right? Because I already have a RR account… getting the 50k points would be considered as points “issued on [SW RR] Credit Cards”?

  • Set

    I would like to know the answer to this question also. thanks

  • kunal

    yes

  • Kyle

    Can anyone confirm that they received the bonus from both personal cards in the same year? I don’t have my own business and don’t think I am eligible for the business card…

  • Man

    If i got 110,000 points, it that mean i need to give up 110,000 point for a companion pass? or i would get the companion pass and still have my 110,000 pts?

    Also, can i transfer my pt from Airtran to make up the 110,000 pts?
    Thanks.

  • Richard Catterall

    I will do my two spends on the Jan statement so then the spend plus the bonus’s post and I will get the 2K, 2k + 50K + 50K and look for best way to get the other 6,000 miles (ideas to do it quickly ?)

    I want to do a 3 leg trip say starting Feb 14th and would like to use the companion pass at wanna get away fares.

    What is possible ?

  • Mike

    I just signed up for the business and personal card and I do not own a business. I was approved for the business card, but denied on the other because of too many inquiries. I just called them up and they approved it on the spot.

  • Mark

    can a companion pass go through the priority TSA with the A Lister

  • LIGANG

    Can I apply for a personal premier and a personal plus? Should I apply them at the same day or apply one and then wait for a period of time and then apply? BTW, I received an email offer me to apply for the premier. Thanks.

  • Mike

    If I book a companion seat alongside me, and they don’t show, do I have claim to two seats on the plane giving me an empty seat next to me?

  • LMP

    My husband was approved for a business and personal card both with the 50k bonus at 2k spending. I want to be sure the bonus is hit in January. The 90th day from approval will be January 27 for both. Question, do I need to just spend 2k by January 27 (with the final dollar spent between January 1 and January 27) or do I need to have the credit card statement close and payment also made between January 1 and January 27? Basically what is the date of the trigger of the 2k – the date charged, statement closing date or payment date or some combination?

  • Sharon

    I am interested in this answer as well, thanks in advance!

  • Christine

    Scott I am interested in the same question my pass expires in December. Did you try it?

  • another man

    You get to keep the 110,000 points, so in addition to getting a companion pass, you get to spend 110,000 points on flights.

  • a man

    I was an RR member already, but still got the 50k points, so it’s all good.

  • man

    Yes!

  • ben

    HI, can I use the points I have now to apply them to the fare ticket price that I paid last month> ie last month I did not have enough points so I paid with cash about $500 now I have enough points. Can I ask them to credit my account with $500 which I can use later and just subtract an equivalent points from my Rapid Rewards account? I travel on that ticket next month

  • Travis Watson

    I can confirm this. Just got my CP today using two personals (one Plus, one Premier).

  • alaisa

    Question: I currently have a lowly 14,000 points with southwest, but applied for two cards, so I should unlock 100,000 by the end of January. Ummm does that qualify for the companion fare? Or do I have to earn 10,000 more points in the 2014 calendar year (so my previous 14,000 don’t count, mostly earned in 2013?)

  • Jay A Richardson

    Was accepted for SW Premier for 50k bonus offer but declined for SW Platinum Plus. Received a letter from Chase saying I was over max credit extended by them. Thanks to TPG blogs, I called the reconsideration line and asked to have some excess credit lines from my Chase Hyatt card transferred to the new second SW Plus card. I was instantly approved and they confirmed that the 50k bonus would apply to second card. So, I look forward to spending the RMS of $2k x 2 in Dec/Jan and receiving 100k miles after December/January billing statement. With 4k actual spending, I will work to get final 6k spending in Jan for companion pass to last 2014-2015 hopefully!
    Thanks, TPG for all you advice,
    JR

  • Bill

    Other points you already have count towards companion status as long as they were earned in the same calendar year

  • Marilyn

    Love your website. I just came across your article about maximizing the benefit of the companion pass, and I checked my account that I opened in November. With my gross spending, I am over the $2000. However, my net spending (ie minus returns/refunds) brings me below $2000. The terms and conditions of the CC do indicate that points are based on “net purchases”. From your experience, will my points be reduced so that I collect the remainder of my points in January and maximize my benefit? If not, what would be your advice to me? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  • Dorothy Bowelman

    Are Dec 2013 points good for 2014 companion if those transactions close in 2014 ?

  • thepointsguy

    No- they count when the purchases are made

  • thepointsguy

    If you return goods your total spend will drop, but there’s a chance it would still trigger the bonus so I would not recommend getting close if you want the points to post in 2014

  • Dorothy Bowelman

    So January 1, 2, & 3 , 2014 purchases that close on January 4 ? On other card Jan 1, thru 5,2014 closes Jan 6 would all count for Companion in 2014 ? Statement period will be Dec 5-Jan 4 , 2014 & December 7 thru Jan 6,2014

    I can’t afford to mess this up. Thanks

  • Vince

    yes. I do this all the time.

  • brian

    if my companion pass is set to expire at the end of 2013, can I still book my companion today on a future flight that does not occur until 2014?

  • Marko Tanninen

    Hey! I have like 36000 points, but I recently moved to Europe and good luck getting a Chase credit card while living in Europe. So my problem is that I cannot redeem my points for anything other than flights in the US. Anyone know how I can redeem these points without getting the credit card? There is a sweet Philips baby monitor for 30,000 points and I have my first little one on the way :)

  • Okan Oguz

    so the answer to my question is actually listed above but I just got off the phone with a southwest rep and they told me the opposite of what it says above…

    I have a companion pass and my girl friend has miles. Can she get me my ticket with her miles and then can I add her as my companion?

    I know above it says “yes” but has anyone actually done this before?

  • Carolyn Andrews

    Do you have to fly from the same airport? For example: can I fly from So Cal and my companion fly from No Cal and we meet in Arizona?

  • Jason Steele

    No, you have to both be flying on the same itinerary. Basically, you add your companion to your reservation, so everything has to be identical

  • thepointsguy

    Yes- the companion needs to be on the same exact fligjts

  • Whitey

    As of today, December 27th, I have 100850 points (short 1500) for the companion pass..One person at SW customer service said if I can’t take a flight in the next 4 days, then I could rent a car with one of their preferred partners and earn points from that. When booking the car it says points will be put into my account in 6 to 8 weeks. Will this apply toward 2013 since that is when I rented the car?

  • Robert

    I got a Business credit card and a personal credit card, about a month apart, each with 50k bonus points, around the middle of 2013. With my existing travels, I immediately qualified for the Companion Pass for the remainder of 2013, plus the entire year of 2014. I’ve heard that Chase only allows 2 Southwest cards per person, at any given time and within 6 months. Now that I’ve had my personal card for 7 or 8 months, I plan to close the account and wait a few months and reapply… hopefully when they’re offering the 50k points again. Adding that to the Sapphire points I plan to get in a month or two, I should qualify for the Companion Pass again for the year 2015… hopefully :)

  • zc

    I just got the 50000 points (in 2014) with my 2000th dollar hitting first week of December (right after the December statement closed).

  • Jeremy

    I just transferred 10,000 points from my Choice Hotels account, but they didn’t count toward the companion pass. Their rules say that transferred points don’t count toward the companion pass. Did they just change the rules? Has anyone else transferred hotel points into their Southwest account in January and it counted toward companion pass status?

  • Jason

    I earned a CP in 2013, which is good until Dec 31st 2014. If I earn a CP in 2014, will I be able to have 2 companions fly with me on the same booking since I will have 2 separate Companion Passes?

  • Curiousone

    In Oct 2012 I transferred 120,000 Marriott Reward points into SWA, not knowing about Companion Passes and I was very surprised to learn that I qualified for CP. Used my 120,000 points to schedule a bunch of pleasure trips in 2013 and took my wife along for free! I used Marriott Reward points and Hilton points to cover hotel costs. When at Marriott properties I used the now discontinued Marriott Cheques to pay for meals and drinks. 2013 was a sweet year for us. Hopefully the Marriott/SWA relationship will continue, because I want to do it again in Jan 2015 and get 2 years of free companion travel.

  • mergencyexitrow

    I earned the CP last year and it runs through end of 2014. If I cancel my Chase Southwest card, does that impact the CP at all this year? My thinking is I have more RR than I need (plus UR if I choose to) and don’t spend on it, so I’d rather cancel now and have the opportunity for 50,000 bonus miles on signup a year + down the line

  • Rob W

    Yes, I have. It works!

  • Okan Oguz

    Yeah since my question I tried and saw that it works :)

  • Paul

    Fwiw…ive had a sw plus card since 2012, and just today signed up and was approved for a premier personal and business. So no 2 card limit. Now…to see if I get the bonuses is another story…

  • John Hill

    You just need to have the 2k spent by the 103rd day after the account is opened. Any easy way to check that date and confirm your spend is to call the # on the back of the card. Customer Service is very helpful in this regard. They know you want the points! :)

  • UAPhil

    So, de facto, you only need to earn CP once every 2 years, if you’re willing to have a short “gap”. For example, my CP expired at the end of 2013; I earned another one in early 2014 that is good through the end of 2015.

  • UAPhil

    Jeremy, did you transfer the points in late 2013? If so, they count toward 2013 CP, even if they don’t post until 2014.

  • UAPhil

    One of the great things about CP is that you can add your companion last minute, even if you bought an advance purchase fare. For example, if you purchased a coast to coast WGA fare a month in advance for $250, you can add your companion a day (or even a few hours) before flight time, with no blackout dates or capacity controls. (This is a savings of about $1,000, compared with buying a last minute revenue or points ticket.)

  • All American Amy

    lol funny. I was amazed when I called cust svc last week to check the EXACT date I needed to have my spend in by on my new biz and personal card. They declined to answer – even when pushed on the issue. Simply kept stating “90 days from when you opened it”. Maybe a lousy agent, I dunno. No worires, I easily made my spend on both cards – just was looking for peace of mind. I’m sure 100 others have positive report on this subject, just my experience. :)

  • gregelizondo

    Do I need to have 110,000 points in my account or just reach 110,000 points within one calendar year? For example, what if I earn 100k points, spend 30k, and then earn 10k. Will I still qualify for the companion pass even though my account total will be at 80k despite earning 110k in the calendar year?

  • Hbp

    Hello, I’m looking for some advise. I opened 2 SW Chase cards. I made my first purchase with Chase Southwest on Dec 2 after Chase and SW told me I would receive a bill for Jan 2014 and the points would post in 2014 but they posted Dec 24. These 50k points are all lost for companion fare accumulation. My other CC 50k points posted Jan 2014. How can I try to correct this for Dec points to post Jan 2014.

  • Haley Bach

    I want to confirm the how often can I change my designated companion question.
    Is that I can name person A
    Change it to person B
    Change to person C
    And then change to person D? Or are we counting the first designation as one of your three?

    Asked another way, is it 3 designations total, or 3 changes which would be 4 total designations.

    My three kids really want to know :)

  • RoofinReality

    Can you “buy into it?” Say you have 75,000 points, short of 110,000. Can you “:buy” the additional 35,000 points to get the Companion Pass?
    Or, can you use AMEX points to get the pass?

  • tassoku

    Can I do the following to earn my Companion status sooner than later:
    1. I have about 45K SW points I have earned so far this year (2014) – My BF has earned 54K SW points so far this year (2014)
    2. I have approximately 55K Marriott Rewards points that could be transferred to my SW Account toward Companion status
    Question with possible options (work-arounds)
    1.
    Can I transfer his SW points to my account and they count toward my
    Companion status (need it to be on my account because I travel for
    business and my airfare is reimbursed)
    2. Can I transfer his SW
    points to my Marriott Rewards then transfer them all to my SW account
    and they count toward my SW Companion status?
    Hope this makes sense – I have to be the Companion status holder (I cannot get a Chase SW CC).

  • klaus

    Thanks for all the great info! My wife recently applied for and received both of the personal cards (plus and premier). After meeting the spend requirement, will she get the 50k bonus for both cards? I’ve seen that it’s possible to get 2 bonus for a personal and business card, but it’s not clear to me if 2 personal cards will get it done. Any advice?

  • Jae

    Yes, it’s possible with 2 personal cards

  • Jae

    There’s no points partnership with AMEX and SW. You could use a go-between partnership, such as Choice Hotels to transfer your points from Amex to SW for a companion pass

  • Jae

    Yes.

  • Jae

    I transferred points from choice hotels to Southwest account and it counted towards CP

  • Mike

    My companion pass ends Dec 2015. In 2015, if I spend 110,000 on my chase card, does my pass extend until Dec 2016? Basically if I spend 110,000 on my card a year, I will keep getting a pass for the following year?

  • Ashly

    Hey Paul – just wondering if you ever got the bonus for signing up again? My husband had a person SW Card a year or two ago and I am debating having him re-apply next time they do the bonus if it’s possible to get it twice.

  • Patrick Saffarian

    Do you need to sign up for both cards at the same tume?

  • Travis Watson

    No. I got a Companion Pass by signing up during two entirely different promotion periods, months apart. My wife got one by signing up for both cards at the same time. The only mistake we made: you cannot point the same type of card to the same RR account. We tried just pushing her 50k points to my RR account (which had already received a Premier card bonus) and it denied us. The uniqueness relationship is: Card Type >> RR#. The Card Holder/RR# Holder does not appear to matter.

  • Patrick Saffarian

    Thank you this is a relief.

  • Okan Oguz

    Has anyone gotten the same card (for example southwest plus) multiple times in a certain amount of time and gotten the bonus miles multiple times? I know the fine print says it’s only for first time applicants and people who have had the card in the past will not get bonus miles again but I’m wondering if anyone has actually done it and gotten the bonus miles again. I had both plus and premier cards last year and I closed both of them early this year. I am wondering if I can get the cards again early next year and get whatever the bonus mile promotion is at the time…

  • Ken

    Yes. It will extend through the next year

  • Ken

    You are basically screwed. I did the same thing with some bonus holiday points through SW shopping portal and my 18K miles posted in December instead of January even though it said 4-6 weeks. It took 2. Once they post they are posted. Let me know if you found differently.

  • Ken

    Cancel it. Once you have the miles they are yours. Cancel the card and have some time in between until your next round of applications (like around December 2014?)

  • Laura Stewart Gabel

    We currently have a CP through the remainder of 2014, and now have accumulated enough points to increase it through 2015. My question is if we accumulate another 100 flights/110K points before 12-31-14, will that extension increase through 2016 as well?

  • thepointsguy

    No- jan 1 2015 or after will extend to 12/31/16. If you qualify anytime this year it’s only good til 12-15

  • maria

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  • Mike

    I just received my companion pass for the remainder of 2014 and all of 2015.

    I want to try to get to the 110k level again next year, so I can also have the companion pass again for 2016.

    I recently a lot of Choice Hotel points through daily getaways, some to cap off my Companion Pass point, but with enough leftover so that I can transfer Choice Hotels points that add up to almost 20k in Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points. My thought is to NOT transfer them until January, and thus get a 20k boost towards the 110k I need early on in 2015. Then I have the rest of 2015 to earn 90k Rapid Rewards points thru various methods.

    Does this make sense?

  • Clint

    Do you need the Companion Pass card for anything?

    I have been stopped a few times trying to use the Express lanes with my wife which is ridiculous. They said that I need the companion pass card for her to travel in those lanes with me. I talked my way into the line each time, but still just wanted to advise people that like to avoid confrontation that it doesn’t hurt to travel with the card.

  • Venus.Tracy

    Can you board together? 2 adults

  • Michael Sinn

    Brian,
    I am just 5000 points from getting the CP from your post you would suggest I get it now and not wait…Then it will expire when? My partner has a pass that ends dec 2014. Can you advise? I earned the points in the last 3 months from the bonus with SW Visa. :)

  • thepointsguy

    If you get it now it will be good until dec 2015!

  • Michael Sinn

    So If I waited till Dec 14 it would still be good till Dec 15?
    Thank you Brian for all your help. Love your Dog!

  • thepointsguy

    No- if you get it anytime in 2014 it is good until dec 2015 so the longer you wait in the year to get it, the less time you have to use it

  • greengyrl26

    I’m late to the party on this one, but hopefully you can help me! I see that the 50k signup bonus is still active on the SW website. Is the companion pass perk still available as well? If I sign up for the card now, Is there anything special that I need to do to earn the companion pass (other than accumulate 110k points)? I mean…is there a certain link that you have to signup through or anything like that? Thanks in advance!

  • greengyrl26

    hello. I’m late to the party on this one. But I see that the 50k signup bonus is still active on the SW website. Is the companion pass award still active as well? If I signup for the card now on the SW website, is there anything special that I need to do to earn the companion pass (other than accumulate 110k points)? Thanks in advance!

  • grem82

    Once you amass 110k (whether it be the dual credit card offers) or otherwise, the companion pass should be granted to you in less than 24 hours. Once I hit my 110k (which was recent), the pass showed up on southwest.com first, then I received an email about another 24 hours after that inviting me to add a companion. I can confirm I did the dual credit card offers (@50000 points / card)

  • Pat Smith

    Now that the Southwest Bonus points have been reduced to 25k if somebody still needs the 50K I have a promo that was mailed to me from Southwest to pass out to my friends and family.

    Anybody can use it. Email me at [email protected]
    and I will email you the details.

    I
    have an offer from Southwest for the Plus Credit Card. You will get 50000 bonus
    points. The annual fee is $69.00. There is no blackout dates and you can use
    the points to book someone else a flight if you want. This offer is good till
    Sept 30, 2014.

  • Kyle

    Can I use my wife’s Marriott/choice hotels rewards accounts to order/redeem miles to be put into my Rapid Rewards account? Do the names on both rewards accounts need to be the same in order to transfer? She does more traveling than I do, but the account that we are using to get the companion pass is in my name. any clarification with this is greatly appreciated.

  • kmc

    I have misplaced my companion pass card
    How do I get a replacement?

  • VO Plasm

    Just emailed you, hoping your offer still stands! 25k is a lot of points to forfeit!

  • Courtney

    I do not think it works this way. It says that you can only qualify once in a year.

  • Nathan

    Can I transfer Saphire UR points to a different program, and then transfer them to SW RR to add up to the companion pass.

  • Allen

    Is it 110,000 net miles? Or earned miles? I’ve earned some miles this year but I’ve already redeemed some as well. I want to know what my remaining target would be. Thanks.

  • vicky

    I recently transferred marriott points to SW – was told that the transfer from Marriott to SW has to be the same name on the account. Best thing to do is open a marriott rewards acct, do a transfer from your wife to your marriott rewards acct and then to SW. Hope this helps!

  • vicky

    There is a Southwest inflight credit card offer valid until 9/30/2014 for 50K points :) southwest.com/inflight

  • Pat Smith

    Two different credit cards. Yours is a Premier with a annual fee of $99. The one mentioned above is the Plus Credit card with a annual fee of $69.

  • matterickson23

    It’s EARNED POINTS, Allen. In other words, you don’t have to build up to 110,000 points and then “buy” the Companion Pass. Instead, as soon as you hit the 110,000 plateau, you’re automatically in the club. I hit it for 2014 at the end of June and I got my card in the mail a couple weeks later, and got my email notice just a few days later.

    I should also add that I fly pretty frequently on Southwest, but not nearly the 100 flights you’d need to do to hit the CP that way. Instead, I took advantage of the 50,000 Visa deal in January to get 45 percent of the way there. Then I utilize the RR Dining program, and Southwest Shopping, as well. Many places you’re going to shop at anyway are there, and you might as well get the points.

    And let me just say that RocketMiles might not offer 4-star accommodations, and I would recommend finding hotels there and then vetting them through TripAdvisor … but the points you can accrue form staying at hotels through Rocketmiles are just INSANE. I’ve earned 16,000 points this year in just three total stays. Even though I’ve already reached CP status, I still want to keep as many points flowing into my account as possible through things like RocketMiles, the Dining program, the Shopping site, etc., because those points turn into MY free flights so my wife can tag along with the CP.

  • Parla

    My husband and I each have a companion pass. We have a three year old. Can my husband make me his companion… book me a ticket… then I can book my three year old as my companion? Anyone have an answer? Thanks!

  • Hillary

    Do the points earned through the A-List preferred 100% points bonus count toward the companion pass 110,000? Thanks!

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