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Do Redeemed Points Count Toward the Southwest Companion Pass?

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TPG reader Cara sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning the Southwest Companion Pass:

“Do I need to have 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in my account to qualify for the Companion Pass, or do they still count even if I redeem them.”

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most valuable travel rewards out there, and I often get questions like this from readers who are anxious about spoiling their chances to earn it. Fortunately, while attaining the Companion Pass does take some effort, what matters is the number of points you’ve earned, not how many are currently in your account.

To get the Companion Pass, you need to earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, but once you’ve earned those points, they count toward the pass whether you use them or not. Theoretically, you could completely zero out your Rapid Rewards account and still have the pass (though that would be a crying shame). Another common misconception about the Companion Pass is that you have to redeem 110,000 points to purchase it, but that’s also not the case. You get it by virtue of earning those points in the first place; how you spend them is irrelevant.

Keep in mind that not all Rapid Rewards points count toward the Companion Pass. Aside from actual flights, you can earn qualifying points from spending and bonuses on co-branded credit cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card, from other partner activity like shopping portals and dining programs, by transferring points from select hotel programs and more. You need 110,000 points total, but they can come from any combination of those sources.

Hyatt has made it even harder to secure a price match through their own website. Image courtesy of the Grand Hyatt New York
You can earn qualifying points by transferring from select hotel partners like Hyatt. Image courtesy of the Grand Hyatt New York.

While you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest, those points do not count toward earning the Companion Pass. The same goes for points that are purchased or transferred from another Rapid Rewards account, so don’t include those in your calculations. If you’re unsure about whether you earned qualifying points for a certain transaction, you can check your progress with the Companion Pass meter in your Rapid Rewards account online.

Check out these posts for more information about earning and maximizing the Southwest Companion Pass:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Apply Now
  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Chip-enabled cards with 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Points Don't Expire as long as your card account is open, No Blackout Dates, Bags Fly Free®
  • 6,000 points after your cardmember anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® purchases and participating Hotel and Car Rental partners
  • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 16.24%-23.24% Variable $99 0% Excellent Credit