Last chance to earn a Companion Pass with these Southwest credit card sign-up bonuses

Mar 12, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


One of the most valuable airline benefits out there is the Southwest Companion Pass, which allows benefit holders to bring along a companion for (almost) free on Southwest flights — you’ll just pay taxes and fees starting at $5.60 each way.

You can earn a Companion Pass by accumulating qualifying Rapid Rewards points or flying a certain number of qualifying flights in a calendar year, but right now, you could also score a Companion Pass through the sign-up bonuses offered by all three of Southwest’s cobranded personal credit cards: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.

However, this bonus is slated to end March 14, 2022 — so you have just a couple of days left to jump on these offers.

If you apply before that date, you can earn a Companion Pass that’s valid through Feb. 28, 2023 — plus 30,000 points — after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Here’s what else you need to know to take advantage of these offers.

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In This Post

Earn a Southwest Companion Pass plus 30,000 points with these offers

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

No matter which of the three cards you opt for, these welcome offers are a unique opportunity for Southwest fans to earn the coveted Southwest Companion Pass — one of the most valuable airline benefits out there.

This pass allows the benefit holder to bring along a companion for (almost) free on Southwest flights booked with cash or points. Book the first ticket and then just pay taxes and fees that start at $5.60 one-way to bring your companion.

If you hit the spending requirements for these cards, the Companion Pass you earn will be good through Feb. 28, 2023. You can also earn 30,000 bonus Southwest Rapid Rewards points, which should get you roughly $450 worth of travel based on TPG’s valuations. While this is an incredible bonus for Southwest credit cards, it is set to end on March 14.

Typically, you can earn a Companion Pass by flying 100 one-way flights or earning 125,000 qualifying points in one calendar year, so although a spending requirement of $5,000 within three months is substantial, it might be a lot easier for some folks to achieve than all that flying. However, it’s important to note that if you earn a Companion Pass through flying and spending in 2022, it would be good for the rest of this year and then all through 2023. So there’s a reason to look beyond these sign-up bonuses.

But if you’re a frequent Southwest flyer, you might still want to get in on these offers to have the Companion Pass in hand for 2022 as you work toward earning it for 2023. Plus, those 30,000 bonus points that come as part of the welcome offer qualify toward earning the Companion Pass, so you’ll have a small head start.

Related: How to quickly earn the Southwest Companion Pass 

Southwest card details

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Here are the rest of the details on each of these cards and their individual perks.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

  • Best for: Beginners and infrequent travelers.
  • Annual fee: $69.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn a Companion Pass that’s valid through Feb. 28, 2023 — plus 30,000 points — after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This offer ends March 14, 2022.
  • Earning rates: 
    • New: 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting purchases, including ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.
    • New: 2 points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming service purchases.
    • 2 points per dollar on Southwest flights.
    • 2 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
    • 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • Primary perks:

Check out the full card review.


Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.


Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

  • Best for: Regular Southwest flyers.
  • Annual fee: $99.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn a Companion Pass that’s valid through Feb. 28, 2023 — plus 30,000 points — after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This offer ends March 14, 2022.
  • Earning rates:
    • New: 3 points per dollar on Southwest flights (previously 2 per dollar).
    • New: 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting purchases, including ride-hailing services.
    • New: 2 points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming service purchases.
    • 2 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
    • 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • Primary perks:
    • New: 2 EarlyBird check-ins every card anniversary.
    • 6,000-point anniversary bonus.
    • New: Unlimited TQP earning: 1,500 for each $10,000 spent (previously only up to 15,000 TQPs per year).
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Check out the full card review.


Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.


Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

  • Best for: Southwest loyalists who can take advantage of day-of-travel perks.
  • Annual fee: $149.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn a Companion Pass that’s valid through Feb. 28, 2023 — plus 30,000 points — after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This offer ends March 14, 2022.
  • Earning rates:
    • New: 3 points per dollar on Southwest flights (previously 2 per dollar).
    • New: 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting purchases, including ride-hailing services.
    • New: 2 points per dollar on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming service purchases.
    • 2 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
    • 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • Primary perks:
    • New: Unlimited TQP earning: 1,500 for each $10,000 spent (previously only up to 15,000 TQPs per year).
    • $75 annual Southwest credit.
    • 7,500-point anniversary bonus.
    • Four upgraded boardings per year.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Check out the full card review.


Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.


Who should take advantage of these offers?

(Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy)

You may be wondering whether it’s worth it to take advantage of these offers or wait for something that offers more Rapid Rewards points instead of a Companion Pass.

After all, the Companion Pass benefit as part of the sign-up bonus is a spectacular offer for those who will use it to its full potential, but it’s not necessarily the best option for everyone. Here is who will likely get the most out of this current sign-up bonus:

Family travelers

If you frequently travel with a partner and/or children, you know how expensive tickets for an entire family can get. The Companion Pass can help you save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on flight tickets for your designated companion since all they will have to pay is taxes and fees, starting at $5.60 per flight.

You can even change your companion up to three times in a calendar year — which can provide valuable flexibility if you have different individuals with whom you’re traveling.

Those who may not qualify for a Companion Pass otherwise

Earning a Companion Pass outright the old-fashioned way means your pass will be good for the rest of 2022 and the entire 2023 calendar year. This may be more valuable if you are someone who flies frequently enough with Southwest to rack up enough points to easily qualify without this offer.

However, if you’re not sure you’ll be able to earn a Companion Pass outright this year, these offers are a great, simple option.

Related: 13 lessons from 13 years’ worth of Southwest Companion Passes

Southwest business cards

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

If you already have a personal Southwest card, or are looking for alternatives to these welcome offers, don’t forget that the airline also fields two cobranded business credit cards. Here are the details on those.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

  • Best for: Business owners who fly Southwest regularly.
  • Annual fee: $99.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Earning rates:
    • New: 3 points per dollar on Southwest flights (previously 2 per dollar).
    • New: 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting purchases, including ride-hailing services.
    • 2 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
    • 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • Primary perks:
    • New: 2 EarlyBird check-ins every card anniversary.
    • New: $500 fee credit for Rapid Rewards points transfers to another Rapid Rewards member.
    • 6,000-point anniversary bonus.
    • Earn tier qualifying points toward A-List elite status.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.


Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

  • Best for: Business owners who are loyal Southwest flyers.
  • Annual fee: $199.
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
  • Earning rate: 
    • New: 4 points per dollar on Southwest flights (previously 3 per dollar).
    • New: 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting purchases, including ride-hailing services.
    • 3 points per dollar on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
    • 2 points per dollar on social media and paid search advertising, internet, cable and phone services.
    • 1 point per dollar on everything else.
  • Primary perk(s):
    • New: Unlimited TQP earning: 1,500 for each $10,000 spent (previously only up to 15,000 TQPs per year).
    • New: $500 fee credit for Rapid Rewards points transfers to another Rapid Rewards member.
    • 9,000-point anniversary bonus.
    • Four upgraded boardings per year.
    • Up-to-$100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.
    • Up to 365 inflight Wi-Fi credits per year.
    • No foreign transaction fees.

Check out the full card review.


Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card.


Bottom line

Even if you only fly Southwest a few times a year, earning a Companion Pass right off the bat with a new credit card can be a huge benefit. It amounts to nearly 2-for-1 travel, which means tremendous potential savings. However, this incredible sign-up bonus is set to end in just a couple of days — on March 14, 2022.

The airline has been steadily building its route network throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Hawaii, meaning it’s great for leisure and business travelers alike. It also leads the pack in terms of customer-friendly policies such as two free checked bags for every passenger plus booking flexibility (a policy Southwest was known for even before the pandemic).

The number of Southwest Rapid Rewards points required to book a flight is directly tied to the flight’s current fare, and you often get good deals if you know when and where to look for redemptions. Also, because of Southwest’s policy of no cancellation or change fees on its flights, you can actually re-price a Southwest flight if you book a trip and then find the same itinerary at a lower price before departure.

So if you’ve been considering applying for a Southwest credit card and want the opportunity to earn a Companion Pass as you start your travels up again, this is your chance to jump on board with some of the most incredible sign-up bonuses we’ve seen on these personal cards.

But don’t wait — these offers are only available through March 14.

Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.
Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.
Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card.
Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
Official application link: Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor, Eric Rosen and Christina Ly.

Featured photo by Alan Schein Photography/Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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