Tip: Earn the Southwest Companion Pass Without Even Flying
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
These days, perks for frequent flyers are highly coveted, and it's for a good reason. Once you become loyal to an airline, you'll (hopefully) be treated in a special way, with benefits coming your way. Southwest Airlines is just one carrier that offers some nice perks, especially if you can earn a Companion Pass.
Obtaining the coveted Southwest perk is no easy task if you do it the traditional way, but there are ways around it. Instead of needing to meet the normal requirement of 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or 100 qualifying one-way flights, you can earn the pass two other, simpler ways. First is via credit cards — by earning points while making everyday purchases with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. With the 40,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months, you'll need about 70,000 more points.
After securing the personal card, you can also sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card, which will earn you another 60,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. Now you'll only be 10,000 points from the pass, which can be earned from spending and any flights with the carrier.
Another option is to transfer hotel points to Southwest. A particularly attractive deal is to transfer 90,000 Starpoints to Marriott, which will convert to 120,000 Rapid Reward points. Not only will you receive the Companion Pass, but you'll also get a seven-night hotel stay at select Marriott hotels.
Once you've decided which option is best for you, a guest of your choice (which can be changed up to three times a year) can fly with you to any Southwest destination all the time — for free. For more on how to get the Companion Pass for almost two years, check out this post from TPG's Nick Ewen.