There’s an incredible deal out this week for California residents that allows you to earn the Southwest Companion Pass by making just 1 purchase! But hurry, this offer is only available until 11/30/2017.
About the Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is potentially one of the most valuable perks in travel. When you earn a Companion Pass (which is valid until December of the year after you earn it), you can designate 1 “companion” to travel with you virtually for free anytime you fly on Southwest.
Better yet, the Companion Pass is valid when you book an award ticket using Southwest Rapid Rewards points, in addition to tickets purchased with cash!
All that person will have to pay is taxes and fees, which amount to $5.60 each way on domestic flights in the U.S.
Normally, to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, you have to earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points within a single calendar year (check out our complete guide to Southwest Rapid Rewards points).
Keep in mind that these points must be eligible Rapid Rewards points. Fortunately, that includes points earned from flying, spending on Rapids Rewards credit cards, and earning a sign-up bonus on a new Rapid Rewards card, as well as those earned through the Southwest Dining Program, the shopping portal, or certain partners.
One thing that doesn’t count: transferring points from a credit card program, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, to Southwest Rapid Rewards. Similarly, purchased points, flight bonus points, tier bonus points, points earned from taking surveys, and most partner bonus points don’t count.
The 1-Purchase Promotion
The current promotion is only valid for California residents. While Southwest hasn’t disclosed the reason for the promotion, it’s likely because the airline is trying to increase its market share in that state as the Alaska Airlines-Virgin America merger creates strong West Coast competition.
The offer is targeted, meaning it was only sent to specific Rapid Rewards members and can’t be redeemed by anyone but the intended recipient.
If you received one of those e-mails, all you need to do is open a new Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card and make 1 purchase by 11/30/17. You’ll earn the Companion Pass right away, and it will be valid through December 31, 2018.
As if the offer wasn’t good enough…you’ll also earn 40,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points if you spend $1,000 within 3 months of opening your account.
There are 2 specific terms to be aware of (aside from the California residency requirement):
- This product is not available to current cardmembers of a Rapid Rewards Credit Card, nor any previous cardmembers of any Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a sign-up bonus for a Rapid Rewards Credit Card within the last 24 months.
- Only the Rapid Rewards Member who received the offer from Southwest Airlines is eligible for this promotion. The offer is nontransferable.
That means that even if you received the targeted e-mail, you won’t be eligible for this promotion if you currently have any kind of Rapid Rewards Credit Card, or if you’ve received a sign-up bonus for a Rapid Rewards card within the past 2 years.
Additionally, this credit card falls under Chase’s “5/24” rule, meaning that if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved.
Other Ways to Earn Rapid Rewards Points For a Companion Pass
If you weren’t targeted, you can still earn up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points toward a Companion Pass by signing up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card and its business version: the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
The personal version comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Rapid Rewards points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership — even if you weren’t targeted. The business version offers 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
After that, you’ll just need to earn 10,000 more points to qualify for the Companion Pass. Remember that these bonuses are subject to terms, including having not received the bonus from that card in the past 2 years.
This is an incredible promotion, and if you were lucky enough to be targeted, you should consider jumping on the offer! If you weren’t targeted, there are still great ways to qualify for the Companion Pass.