The Ultimate Guide to the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass

Southwest Airlines Las Vegas

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The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is one of the best deals available in the travel world.

Though it might not fit with everyone’s travel habits, if it works for you, the value you can get out of a Companion Pass is limited only by your vacation time.

Let’s take a look and see what exactly this amazing deal is, how you can get one, and what you should do with it once you have it.

It’s time to learn all about the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

What Is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is the top-tier status or highest-level award that a member of the Rapid Rewards loyalty program can achieve.

It is fairly simple to understand and is one of the best elite-level benefits available for any hotel or airline loyalty program.

The Companion Pass allows its holder to book an additional ticket (their Companion) for every flight that they book with Southwest through the end of the term of the pass. All you pay for are the taxes and fees for the second ticket.

In effect, the member can use their pass to get 2-for-1 flights anytime they fly with Southwest Airlines. There is no limit to the number of flights you can use the Companion Pass on.

A pass holder can book their flight with either cash or points; once it’s ticketed, they can add a second passenger on for the same flight either via or by phone.

Hot Tip: Families can do even better with the Companion Pass. Need to travel with 2 parents and a lap infant? All 3 of you fly for the price of 1. What about 4 people in your family? With 2 Companion Passes, you only pay for half of your flights. Every little bit you save when traveling with a family is great, and the Southwest Companion Pass can really help you out.

Why You Want the Companion Pass

Think about it: someone flies with you every time you fly — FOR FREE!

All you need to pay is Southwest’s taxes. Within the United States, that’s just $5.60 per flight segment. This means even with a connection, your Companion can fly across the country with you for just $11.20.

Once you start booking your flights during the many fare sales that Southwest Airlines has throughout the year, your trips get even cheaper. Their flights can be as low as $59, and points redemptions drop to 3,000 points (or lower) during a sale.

Not only are you getting to fly for that price, but your Companion gets to come along with you. Using just 3,000 points to fly 2 people anywhere is an amazing deal! Once you take a look at some of the destinations Southwest flies to, you’ll be even more excited.

Where Southwest Flies

Southwest Airlines Destination Map
Having established a great network throughout the United States, Southwest Airlines has been gradually expanding their coverage area over the past few years. Image Credit:

Southwest Airlines has always had a limited route network. For many years, in fact, they were an airline that operated only within the United States.

They are, however, constantly growing. Although Southwest began by servicing just a few cities, they have expanded over time to more than 80 U.S. destinations. You definitely can’t get everywhere within the United States with Southwest Airlines, but you can come close.

In addition to flying within the U.S., Southwest now serves several destinations in Central America and the Caribbean.

Want to lie on the beach in Aruba? Southwest can get you there. How about cave tubing in Belize? Southwest can you get there too. Hawaii is also a destination you can get to on Southwest!

From sun and fun spots in the South to fantastic ski destinations in the North, Southwest has this region of the world pretty well covered.

It is important to note that Southwest Airlines does not partner with any of the major airline alliances. If you want to travel beyond their route network, it will have to be on a separate ticket.

Hot Tip: For a complete list of all of Southwest’s international destinations check out this guide: Southwest’s International Destinations.

What to Watch Out For

Southwest Airlines isn’t for everyone.

They have a limited route network, and there are no fancy business or first class seats on their planes. They only fly Boeing 737 aircraft, and you don’t get to select your seats before boarding.

Boarding pass numbers are assigned according to the order of check-in, so passengers need to check in exactly 24 hours before their flight to get a low number. Otherwise, they could easily be stuck in a middle seat in the back of the plane.

Because checking in right at the 24-hour mark is not always possible, you can pay $15 for EarlyBird Check-In. With this service, Southwest will automatically check you in 36 hours before your flight, and you will get a great boarding number.

If you don’t mind dealing with these few items, then you should be fine flying with Southwest. To find more information about the airline, dig into our in-depth review of Southwest.

Now that we have the basics down for traveling on Southwest, let’s learn more about how you can take someone with you for free when you do.

How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass

airport couple holding hands
Once you’ve earned your Companion Pass, that one person you love to travel with can come along every time. They just have to pay the taxes and fees for the flight. Image Credit:

A Rapid Rewards member can qualify for a Companion Pass in either of 2 ways:

  • Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights, OR
  • Earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year (new points requirement as of 1/1/20)

Once you qualify for the Companion Pass, it is valid for the remainder of that calendar year and for the entire next year.

That means if you can earn 125,000 points in January, you will get to keep your companion pass for almost 2 full years. If you earn your pass in December, you only get to keep it for about a year.

As you can see, timing is critical when earning a Companion Pass. The earlier in the year you can earn it, the longer the pass is good for. Who wouldn’t want a Companion Pass for 2 years instead of just 1?

Let’s see how we can make that happen.

Fast Track Earning With Credit Cards

Let’s be honest: it is possible to fly 100 flights to earn the Companion Pass, but that is probably not going to happen in the first month of the year.

It is realistic, however, to earn 125,000 points in a very short time — and the easiest way to do this is with credit cards.

Chase offers the following Southwest Airlines co-branded credit cards:

With sign-up bonuses typically in the range of 30,000-65,000 points each, signing up for one of these personal cards and the business card, and completing the required minimum spend for the bonuses will put you very close to (if not over) what you need for a Companion Pass.

New Chase Southwest Credit Card Rules

On April 5, 2018, Chase instituted a new rule on the personal Southwest credit cards.

Now you cannot get a second personal Southwest card if either:

  1. You are a current Southwest consumer credit cardholder; or
  2. You have earned a new cardmember bonus on a Southwest consumer credit card in the last 24 months

This means the companion pass shortcut is no longer possible by getting two Southwest personal cards.

However, one personal card and one business card are possible to get at the same time!

Getting Over the 125,000 Hump

If you aren’t quite to 125,000 points, put some household charges on the card: Christmas presents, home appliances, a new gym membership… anything will work. As long as you hit that 125,000 point total, the Companion Pass will be yours.

For some more ideas on how to earn the points you need, check out our guide to earning lots of Rapid Rewards points. It’s also important to say that transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards (or from anywhere else) will not count toward earning the Companion Pass. This used to be the case, but not anymore, unfortunately!

How to Time the Companion Pass for Maximum Usage

You may notice that we have been talking about earning your Companion Pass in January, but also mentioned Christmas presents in the ways to meet spending that we listed above.

There’s a reason for that…and no, we are not telling you to buy presents 12 months early for next year!

The key here is that you need the points to post in January; you do not necessarily need to do all of the spending in January.

For example, if the minimum spending you need for the sign-up bonus on a card is $3,000, you can spend $2,900 of that in December after your December statement has closed. Those points won’t post until your January statement closes.

Once January begins, spend that last $100, and your sign-up bonus will post too. That way all your points will post in January, and you’ll be well on your way to earning the Companion Pass.

So in a nutshell, your spending would look like this:

  • Apply for one personal and one business card in November or December
  • Complete most of the spending after your December statement closes (so all points post in January)
  • Finish up your minimum spending the first week of January
  • …earn a shiny new Companion Pass to go along with the New Year!

What better way to celebrate? Maybe your resolution could even be to travel more with your favorite friend or family member!

Hot Tip: It is crucial that you do not complete the entire minimum spending requirement for your new card in December. If you do, that sign-up bonus will post in December, and you will be out of luck for earning your Companion Pass in January. Even though the points earned for purchases don’t post until your next statement closes, the bonus points post as soon as you meet the minimum spending threshold. Be careful!

Once You Have a Companion Pass


You have successfully used the methods discussed above and earned enough points to get your very own Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

Now what?

Well, now it’s time to take advantage of that pass and get some free flights. Let’s take a look at what you need to do.

Selecting and Changing Your Companion

Once you’ve earned your Companion Pass, the first thing you need to do before booking any flights is to choose your official Companion.

Southwest allows you to select any 1 person to be your Companion at any given time. You can change that person up to 3 times a year, for a maximum of 4 Companions over the course of the year.

Here’s how it works:

Selecting Companion 1 is the easiest part. This can be done online, simply by clicking on “Enter Companion Info” in your profile and entering the person’s information.

You can now book flights and add Companion 1 for only the cost of the taxes.

Changing to Companion 2 requires a little bit more work. First, you need to cancel Companion 1’s ticket for any future Companion Pass flights where they’re scheduled to fly with you.

Next, you need to call Southwest Airlines at 1-800-248-4377 to change your Companion. This is a fairly easy process and takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Once the change has been processed, you can begin booking flights with Companion 2.

If you want to change your Companion again, just repeat the same process. Cancel future Companion Pass flights, call Southwest, and make the change. Now you are ready to book flights with Companion 3.

To select Companion 4, simply repeat the process of making a change.

Hot Tip: We should note that Companion 3 can be the same person as Companion 1. If your spouse is Companion 1, you can change to your best friend as Companion 2 for a couple of quick trips over the summer, then change back to your spouse as Companion 3 for your next flight. It is important to be strategic with your Companion changes since you only get to make a change 3 times per year.

Using Your Pass

Rainbow Falls Hawaii
Now that Southwest flies to Hawaii, you’ll be able to use your Companion Pass to see the beautiful Rainbow Falls in person. Image Credit:

Using your new Companion Pass is fairly easy.

First, you need to book your flight. Remember, this can be done with either cash or points and at any available price.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking for redemption ideas, we wrote about the 5 best ways to use the Companion Pass for maximum value!
Once your ticket is booked, you can add your companion either through or via phone.

On the website, you will see a place to click that says “Add Companion.” This is located just below your flight information, next to the links to cancel or change your flight. Simply click there and enter the required information to add your companion.

To add a companion over the phone, just call reservations and let the representative know you will be using your Companion Pass to add another passenger to your flight.

Your Companion can be added up until the time of the flight, as long as there are still seats for sale. This is true even if the price has gone up since you bought your ticket; if there is a seat for sale, you can add your companion for just the price of taxes and fees.

The following rules apply to Companion Pass travel:

  • Your Companion must be ticketed and travel on the same flight as you
  • If you change your flight, you must also change your Companion’s flight
  • If you cancel your flight, your Companion’s flight will also be canceled
  • The Companion ticket is not considered to be a paid ticket, and therefore cannot have another Companion added

Bottom Line: Remember that you can now use those 125,000 points you earned to book award flights, with some as low as 3,000 points one-way. With your Companion Pass, you get 2 tickets for each award flight you book!

Final Thoughts

If you are a single flyer who always travels solo, the Companion Pass probably isn’t for you.

If you primarily like to travel to Europe, Asia, and Africa in business or first class, the Companion Pass likely isn’t for you either.

However, if you love traveling throughout the United States and to nearby countries, you have someone who regularly travels with you, and you don’t mind flying in economy class, the Southwest Companion Pass may very well be the best deal you will find in travel.

You’ll get 2 flights for the price of 1, every single time.

No matter whether you pay cash or use points for your flight, your companion always comes along for just the cost of taxes.

If you have the ability to earn the Companion Pass and your travel patterns match up with what Southwest offers, this is absolutely something you should strive to get.

Who knows…maybe we’ll even run into each other on one of Southwest’s 737s someday!

Frequently asked questions

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is a pass that allows a Rapid Rewards member to add a second person (Companion) free of charge to any flight that they book with Southwest, as long as there is another seat available for purchase. The member only needs to pay the taxes and fees for the Companion.

How do you earn a Southwest Companion Pass?

A Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is earned by either completing 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 qualifying Rapid Rewards points in a single calendar year.

How long is the Southwest Companion Pass good for?

The Southwest Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it was earned and the entire following calendar year.

How do I change my Companion Pass on Southwest?

Once you have earned your Companion Pass, you must designate a Companion to fly with you. You can then change your Companion up to 3 times per year that you hold a Companion Pass.

To change your Companion, you need to call Southwest at 1-800-435-9792 and provide your new Companion’s information.

Do I earn points on flights taken with the Southwest Companion Pass?

When a Companion Pass is used, only one of the two passengers will earn points for the flight. The member who holds the Companion Pass and buys the original ticket will earn points. The Companion is not considered to have purchased a ticket, so no points will be awarded for the Companion’s flight.

What is the value of the Southwest Companion Pass?

There is no set value for the Southwest Companion Pass. The pass becomes more valuable the more you use it.

If you were to use the pass only once for a flight that cost $250, then the value of your pass would be $250.

However, if you were to use the pass 100 times for flights that average $250, then the value of your pass would be $25,000.

The Southwest Companion Pass is not limited to a specific number of flights, so it is really as valuable as you want to make it.

Can I change my flight on a Companion Pass booking?

Yes, you can change your flight on a Companion Pass booking, but your Companion’s flight must also be changed to the same new flight as you, or otherwise, be canceled.

Jeff Brownson

About Jeff Brownson

Since discovering miles and points in 2010, Jeff has traveled to over 35 countries, flying in first class, business class, and sometimes even in coach. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star hotel, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. If I book a flight with my companion pass and decide later that I would like to change my companion that will be traveling with me on that flight, do I have to cancel both flights and rebook or will they just update the new companion information on the existing reservation.


    • Hi Marilee

      I would call Southwest to confirm but you should be able to simply remove the existing companion on the ticket and replace that companion with a new companion. Southwest has a restriction on the number of times you can replace your companion in a calendar year, which is important to keep in mind.


  2. If my business points bonus post in November but my personal points don’t post in January will that still work?


    • Hi Shane

      Nope! You need the points to post in the same calendar year to earn the CP in that year.

      I earned the companion pass by having the required number of points all post in January so that I’d have 2 full years of the CP.


  3. Mauricio Garcia August 28, 2018

    I was told by Southwest multiple times that the 40,000 or whatever the sign up bonus points is at the time for a new credit card those points DO NOT count towards the 110,000 companion pass points….


  4. I applied for Southwest Chase Credit card in Oct 2017 and eligible for Companion Pass for whole 2018. I have booked for a trip for Nov -2018. But before this trip my one year to Southwest Chase Credit card is up and I have to pay an annual fee again. Now, question is “Can I cancel my Chase Credit card and still be able to use companion pass advantage for rest of 2018”?


  5. Hi there! Thanks for explaining this so clearly! Best article about this I have read. Quick question/clarification. Did I understand correctly that if I were to be eligible for a business card and opened a business card and a personal card (at the same time, and never having had a southwest cc before), it is the total combined points between the two cards that gets me to the 110,000 for companion pass status? In other words, southwest looks at both accounts and combines those to meet the requirement — it doesn’t have to be all under the same card/account? Thanks!


    • Hi Deanna – we appreciate the kind comments, glad you found the article useful! Southwest are adding up all the miles generated within ONE Southwest loyalty account. So, if you’re signing up to multiple cards under your name and they are being “credited” into 1 loyalty account, then you’re good…and “just” need to get to 110k. Let us know if you get the Companion Pass!


  6. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for this, its very insightful. I had a question on this part:

    “When a Companion Pass is used, only one of the two passengers will earn points for the flight.”

    Say if you spend your Rapid Rewards points on a flight instead of purchasing with cash/credit card, do I get points for booking the second flight or since I didnt purchase the flight with cash/credit card, I receive nothing?


    • Hi Jeff,
      If you use Rapid Rewards points to book your flight, you won’t earn any points for that flight or the companion ticket. If you purchase a flight with a credit card then add a companion, you would earn Rapid Rewards points on the original ticket. No matter how you pay for the first flight, you will not earn Rapid Rewards points on a companion ticket. Hope this helps!


  7. PRATIK SHAH October 26, 2018

    I applied for Southwest Chase Credit card in Oct 2017 and eligible for Companion Pass for whole 2018. Now say in Oct-2018, can I book a flight for 2019 and still be able to use companion pass?


    • Hi Pratik,
      No, your Companion Pass would only be valid for travel that occurs by Dec 31, 2018. You won’t be able to book travel using the CP for 2019 (although I wish that was possible!!!)


  8. Very helpful article! Quick question… we are trying to earn the companion pass in January for a flight we have planned at the end of January. I understand about earning the points in the billing cycle, however with the bonuses you said to wait and finish meeting the requirements in January? On the terms and conditions it says that it could take up to 8 weeks for the bonuses to post to your account. In the past when we earned points thru a card under my husbands name I noticed the bonus was just added on with the billing cycle. I just wanted to be absolutely sure on this one because we have a large purchase we were wanting to make in December (but would fall with in the billing cycle that ends January 7) but it would put us over the $3,000 required to earn the bonus. I don’t want to mess it up and earn the bonus too early or too late! Would love some more advice on that part. Does that all make sense??


    • Hi Kellie,
      We usually suggest waiting until January to make the last of the required spend just as an extra precaution. Although we have not heard of Chase awarding the bonus miles when spending is hit instead of at the end of the billing cycle, they could theoretically do it. Most likely, you would be fine making your large purchase in December as long as the statement doesn’t close until January. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that this will work as time goes on, but it is the way things have typically worked up until this point.

      As far as the terms saying up to 8 weeks, that would be the maximum time they have to award you the bonus miles. Chase almost always awards them within a few days of the statement closing, but if they weren’t awarded that quickly, you would have no real recourse until it passed the 8-month mark stated in the terms.


  9. Hi,

    Thank you for this article! Just to clarify, if I apply for a card in early December, I will receive the sign up bonus (usually 40,000 pts) and I will earn additional bonus points (typically 40,000 to 60,000) when I spend a specified amount. When I get the card in December, I can immediately start spending and the points from what I spend, the sign up bonus and spending bonus should all be posted on my first statement. Is that correct? So, I will then know how much more I need to spend in early January.

    Thank you!


    • Hi Pam, I think you are misunderstanding the terms of the credit card offers. When we mention a sign-up bonus or a bonus for hitting a certain spend on a particular card, those are the same thing. You will not get a large bonus for simply signing up for the card and then another large bonus when you hit the required spend. You will only receive a single bonus (60,000 or whatever the offer is for) after the statement during which you meet the minimum spending closes. We just want to be clear that you shouldn’t expect to earn 80,000 to 100,000 points from a single card. Chase does not offer any points bonuses just for signing up for a card. They only offer them for signing up for a new card and hitting a required minimum spend.

      As far as your spending in December, miles earned from that spending and any earned bonus should count for next year’s Companion Pass earning as long as your first statement doesn’t close until January.


  10. I was notified today by Southwest Airlines that I was at 76 percent of the way to a companion pass. They were asking me to reach the goal of 110000 points by December in order tiara a 2019 companion pass. I signed up for a new personal card that should arrive in 7 days. The 40000 -pints will apply to my account as long as they post by December 31st per the website. Will I have to spend the $1000.00 on my November statement to get the points to post in time?


    • Hey Chris, the exact timing will depend on when your statement closes. As long as your December statement closes with enough time for the bonus points to post before 12/31, you should be ok to earn the pass this year even if you haven’t finished the spending by your November statement date. Chase typically posts bonus points within a few days on the statement closing, but you should know that their terms state that they have up to 8 weeks to post the points. If for some reason your bonus points take a long time to post, you would not earn the Companion Pass this year. That being said, if you can, get the spending done as early as possible to give the points more time to post in case there is a problem.

      Also, I’m guessing you already know this, but for the benefit of others reading the comments, this Companion Pass will only be good through the end of 2019 because it is being earned in December of 2018. The Southwest Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year you earn it and the full year following that year. That is why most people try to earn their Companion Passes with credit card bonuses in January. That way they get almost two full years of validity.


      • Hi, can I apply for both SW biz cards and get sign up bonuses for each? (As long as i apply at least 30 days apart and I’m still under 5/24.) I just want to be sure since I keep get conflicting answers. Thanks in advance.


        • Hi Marie,
          You’ve probably gotten conflicting answers because there’s not an “official” answer to your question. According to Southwest, “This new Cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of this business credit card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of this business credit card who received a new Cardmember bonus for this business credit card within the last 24 months.”

          If you go by that, you should be able to get a bonus on both SW business credit cards. However, when you look at crowdsourced data, there are examples of people on both sides – some got the 2nd bonus, some were denied.

          If you happen to have 2 separate businesses, you shouldn’t have a problem getting the bonus on each card if you sign up for each with a different business. If you don’t have 2 businesses, you could potentially get both bonuses.

          If you do happen to go for it, please let us know if you were successful in getting both bonuses! Good Luck!


  11. How on earth do I find out where I am at this month with points? I have 96,900 points as of the closing of my last statement. I think that is as of November 3rd. I want to find out how many points I have so far for the month of November that is going to count toward my Companion Pass. Also, my closing date is the 3rd, so does that mean I would have to have all of my charges done and my balance paid by December 3rd to have for those points to post, or does your balance count without the payments? I hope that makes sense 🙁


    • Hi Ginger, the best way to figure out how many points you have earned so far this statement is to call Chase and ask them. Even then though, they may not be able to see that information until your statement closes. If that is the case, you can calculate the points earned by taking the dollar amounts for each charge you have made and multiplying them by the number of points per dollar for that category for your specific card. Add all of those up and remember to subtract any returns. That should give you a good idea of what you will earn.

      As of now, you will need to complete any spending by your December 3rd closing date, but the bill does not have to be paid by then. Points are awarded shortly after the statement closes, not when it has been paid. If you need more time to complete the necessary spend, you can call Chase and have them move your statement date. I’m not sure if it takes them more than one billing cycle to do that or not, but it is worth checking. Just ask to change your statement date to the 20th of the month and as long as that will be processed right away, you will then have a few weeks of December to finish up your spend.


  12. Bruce Hollinger November 21, 2018

    My CP expires Dec 31, 2018. Have had the SWRR-Plus for years which I think makes me ineligible for credit card bonus points. What suggestions do you have for getting CP points other than credit card charges?


  13. HI
    I opened the credit card on Dec 25,2016 and got the bonus in February 2017. When would I be eligible for the bonus again Dec 2018 or February 2019


    • Hey John,

      It would be February 2019, or 2 years after you received your cardmember bonus.


      • A follow up to this question,
        I’m in a similar scenario, my signup bonus posted on 2/18/2017, so I should be eligible for another signup bonus after 2/18/2019. However, the current Southwest Companion Pass promotion ends 2/11/2019. Would I be eligible to apply for a new card before 2/11, and wait until after 2/18 before spending and receiving any signup bonus?


        • Hi Tiffany,
          Unfortunately I think you are out of luck.

          According to Southwest’s terms you aren’t eligible for another sign up bonus if you have received a bonus in the previous 24 months (from the date of applying for the card). So, since you would be applying for the card within 24 months you wouldn’t be eligible for a bonus.


  14. My companion pass will expire this year. Are there any restrictions for my companion to earn the companion pass for next year and use me as a companion once that happens?


  15. Hi there,

    My companion is in a different state. Can we fly from different airports to our destination or must we fly out of the Same airport?

    Thank you,


  16. Stacy Sokol December 8, 2018

    My husband obtained the SW Airlines credit card in August 2018. We understood that our 110,00 points needed to be posted and paid for by the end of this calendar year. We earned the 110,000 points in December. Is there any way at this point to change our credit card (or get a new one) in January, so that we will have almost 2 years to use the free companion ticket in future years, instead of having just 1 calendar year? (It seems unfair that some people get 1 year and some get 2 years, based on when they received their credit card.)


    • Hi Stacy,

      Unfortunately, there is no way to change the date your Companion Pass expires.

      I know it’s a bummer that you will only get a little over a year of benefit from it, but you can still get a ton of value in one year! Congratulations on earning the Companion Pass and have a great year of traveling!


  17. My companion pass expires 12/31/18. If I BOOK the flight now for 2019, can I add a companion or do I have to travel before year end to be able to add a companion?


    • Hi Ari,

      Unfortunately, you would need to travel by 12/31/18 to use the Companion Pass.

      Hopefully you can earn the Companion Pass again soon so you can keep getting those 2 for 1 deals! Good Luck!


  18. Hello – The above article only mentions the Chase SWA RR credit cards. Do the points from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program cards also count towards a Companion Pass earnings?
    I assume you’d earn Ultimate Rewards and then transfer them to SWRR?
    Would love to know, as we are already SWA RR Visa holders so those bonus points aren’t help to us.
    thank you!


    • Hi Jen,

      Unfortunately, points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest DO NOT count towards Companion Pass.
      Since you already have a Southwest personal credit card, you could look into getting a Southwest biz card if you have any type of small business – those bonus points do count towards the CP.


  19. My companion lives in another state. If I select flights that have a layover in her state can I pick her up as a companion on the layover?


  20. Great article! I currently have a companion pass that will expire 12/19. What is the best strategy going forward to earn another one? In other words, am I looking at having to accumulate 110,000 points every year going forward? Or is there a way to get 2 full years again like the first time? Thanks!


  21. Good morning.

    Great overview; thanks!!! Quick question. I am about 80% of the way to my 2019-2020 CP and I have booked several trips for my wife and I (via Southwest) for this summer. When I earn the CP, can I get my credits or money back for the flights my wife will be taking with me (since she will be my designated CP traveler)?

    I’m theory, wouldn’t I just cancel her flights and then call SW to add her to my flights (even if the price has gone up, so long as there is still room?).



    • Hey Chris, as long as there is still space on the flights, you should be able to cancel and add her on as your companion as you suggested, no matter what the price has gone up to. If there is no space an a flight, some people have had luck calling Southwest and having them switch a ticketed passenger over to a companion and issue a refund without canceling the person’s ticket. That way, the place on the plane is maintained and you aren’t in danger of losing the seat. If you aren’t sure about space, it may be easiest for you to call once you have the pass and have the agent process all of the flights at once.


  22. Mayank Joshi February 3, 2019

    Hi Jeff,
    Very helpful article and amazing continuous guidance from you!!
    If i book my ticket now to add up the $4000/3 month requirement will i be able to add companion later to the same flight once i meet requirement, am issued a companion pass and have designated a companion say after about 3 months. Provided seats are still available or do i have to book my ticket and my companions at the same time?


    • Hi Mayank,
      When you have the companion pass, you will always book a ticket first, then add the companion after the first ticket purchase is complete. So, in theory, this should work. I am actually going to test this out as soon as I am issued my new Companion Pass which should happen sometime this week. I’ll report back once I have confirmed if this is possible. Thanks for the question.


  23. Same as the previous post – I want to travel to Long Beach from San Jose in May. I noticed that there are 3 “wanna get away” seats left. If I buy them, and those seats are “sold out”, it still shows “anytime” seats are available. Once I receive my companion pass, will I be able to get my companion on that flight regardless of “wanna get away” being sold out?


    • Hi Johnny,
      I think that will work, however I am not 100%. I am actually in the same boat. I should be getting my CP soon and will be trying this very thing, so I will report back once I know for sure this works or not.


      • Hi Johnny,
        I just got off the phone with SW customer service. You will still be able to add a companion to a flight even if the Wanna Get Away fares are sold out. The rep I spoke with says it only becomes an issue if there are 5 or less seats available on the flight.


  24. Can a companion add a companion?

    If person A has a companion pass and has named person B as their companion BUT person B also has a companion pass and has listed person C as the companion, can person B book a companion ticket for person C?

    I’ve looked high and low for the answer and can’t find it on any of the blogs…


    • Hi Andrew,
      You could technically do that but you would still end up paying for 2 out of the 3 tickets. A companion can only be added to a paid ticket (either with points or cash) so, person A could add person B. But for person B to add person C, person B would have to purchase a ticket (since the original ticket person B has was not paid for with cash or points). In short, no, a companion can’t add a companion. (although wouldn’t that be great!!)


  25. I opened a personal credit card, spent the required $4000, and received the companion pass for 2019. Opened a business card and am almost done spending the $3000 to get 60000 points. From there I am spending my normal money on either credit card to reach 110000 points for the companion pass valid through 2020.. should be no problem.

    My question is this: As I earn my points on my way to 110000, if I spend points on my way there by booking a flight of my own and paying with points (for myself) are those points deducted from my current points for the purpose of reaching 110000?


    • Hi Henry,
      No, they should not get deducted from your Companion Pass requirement. You can always double check by going into your account, clicking My Account then look in My Rapid Rewards Snapshot. You will see a tracker that shows the number of points you currently have towards the CP. Hope that helps!


  26. Thanks guys for the post.
    Well explained and beautifully written.

    If I want my son to be able to use the CP while he takes a friend with him can I have him added as an AU and then allow him to use the CP or something to that effect where I can have my wife or kids use the pass and allow a companion to come with them?
    Booking three people and adding the CP and then canceling the card holder? Will that effect all the tickets or only mine and allow the other two to stay active? Curios if there’s a way? Thanks guys.


    • Hi Myi,
      Unfortunately there is no way to allow anyone else to use the pass. Only the CP holder can add a companion. If you, as the Companion Pass holder, book a flight then add a companion, you must fly on the itinerary. If you cancel your ticket, the companion ticket will be canceled as well.


  27. My husband booked a flight to visit my parents and booked me as the companion many months ago via points. He is now sick and unable to fly. Can I switch my companion pass to his point paid ticket and just not use the companion? Or, do I need to rebook for hundreds of dollars more?


    • Hi Enna,
      Unfortunately, you can’t switch yourself to the points paid ticket. You would need to cancel the original ticket (the points will be refunded) and book yourself a new ticket. However, it might be worth a call to Southwest to see if there is anything they can do to help you out in this situation. I hope it works out for you!


  28. Brian Dakin March 4, 2019

    I have a round trip schedule to Denver. I am meeting my daughter in Denver (different flights), but would like to book her on my CP for the return only. How can that be done? When I try to add her it only lets me do round trip. I’m afraid if I do round trip and she doesn’t show for the first leg, her return will be cancelled.


    • Hi Brian,
      Unfortunately, you won’t be able to add your daughter to your ticket as a companion unless she flies the entire route with you. A companion can only be added for a round trip ticket. And yes, you are correct, if you added her but she didn’t fly the first leg, the rest of her ticket would be canceled. The only other thing I could think of would be calling Southwest to see if they can add her manually to the 2nd part of the ticket. I would be surprised if they would do that but it might be worth a phone call. Good Luck.


    • Why the need to book a RT ticket? Why not book two one ways and have her added to the 2nd OW ticket?


  29. I am trying to find the best way to obtain travel reward points to help offset cost of flying. We plan to fly Southwest to Hawaii in March 2020. I currently have a SW Rapid Rewards but like you stated it is difficult to gain points unless you FLY. We recently applied for a SW Rapid Rewards Business account hoping to obtain 60,000 sign on bonus points but now I am thinking that might not be a great idea (we haven’t heard back from back as to approval as of yet). Anyways, my question is, if we sign up and are approved (I see no problem with approval) for a different travel reward credit card other then SW RR will I be able house those earned rewards to fly SW? If so, how would I go about purchasing flights using those rewards from SW? I hope you understand my question. I am not sure if I am asking it clearly? If this is possible what credit card travel rewards would you recommend. Thank you!


    • Hi Wanda! I think I may have answered your revised question, but in answer tenths one, you can certainly transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest Rapid Rewards, and then use those Southwest points to purchase your flight o


  30. Sorry, I had quite a few typos. Basically I am asking: Can I use another travel rewards credit card (Like Chase Sapphire, Chase Ink, etc) to purchase a Southwest Flight? Or am I restricted to using Southwest Rapid Reward points only to purchase flights? (I do know I can use the “dollar” option to purchase flights), Thank you!


    • Hi Wanda! You can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards to purchase Southwest flights through the Chase travel portal, if that is what you are asking. Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be transferred from Chase, however when using these points, your flights will be an “award” and won’t earn miles, nor earn any credit towards status, so if you value these two things, I recommend going through the Chase travel portal.


  31. Hi,
    Im in the nightmare scenario , i hit my minimum spend in December. So my 40k points no longer apply to 110k points now. Should I even attempt to do the business card bonus or just forget it and wait 24 months to try again? Is there any other advice you can give to try and recover from this mistake.


    • Hi Tony – I’m sorry to hear about that :/ Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to apply those 40k points to 2019, so you are indeed starting again at 0. I’m not sure of your situation in terms of regular spend, how much you fly, 5/24 etc but it sounds like it would be best to wait and re-strategize.


  32. Hey There,

    Thank you for the article. Very helpful. My primary question is, once I reach 110,000 points to achieve the companion pass, do the 110,000 points still remain eligible for me to use in tandem with my companion. Or…am I back to 0 points with the companion pass?

    Kind Regards,


    • Hi Grant,
      Good news – once you hit the 110,000 point mark and earn the Companion Pass, those points are still there in your account for you to use!


  33. Thank you for this very helpful post. I want to make sure I understand how to ensure when my companion pass renews that it will renewed for 2 years. My companion pass will expire on 12/31/19. My chase bill posts on the 24th if each month. If I make sure to cross the 110000 threshold after 12/24 but before 12/31 this year will my companion pass be renewed through 12/31/21?


    • Hi Ben,
      In theory that would work. However, it’s probably smart to wait and not cross the 110,000 point mark until after Jan 1, 2020. I’ve heard too many stories about people miscalculating their billing cycle or just a glitch in the Southwest system that causes the bonus to be awarded too soon. If you hit the 110,000 mark in January 2020 you will have the Companion Pass through 12/31/21.


      • Thank you for your quick reply. Based on the fact that my companion pass expires on 12/31/19 won’t I have to get to 110,000 before then to obtain the companion pass for 2020? Starting Jan 1st don’t I start with zero points as related to reaching the 110,000 threshold to be eligible for companion pass renewal?

        Also if I apply for the business rapid rewards card do my points earned on the business card (including the 60,000 point bonus) automatically carry over to my rapid rewards account?


        • Hi Ben,
          Sorry if I wasn’t clear. If you earn 110,000 points in 2019 (during a billing cycle that ends in 2019), then your pass would be extended through Dec 31, 2020. If you want the pass through Dec 31, 2021, you would need to earn 110,000 starting in January 2020. The pass is valid for the rest of the year that you earned it in plus the entire next year.
          If you apply for the Southwest business credit card, the 60K point bonus would count towards the Companion Pass.
          Let me know if you have any more questions.


  34. Ok so basically my only hope of earning a companion pass through 2021 and not have to start from scratch points wise in 2020 would be to reach my 110,000 point threshold after my last billing cycle posts in 2019 but before Jan 1, 2020.
    Is that correct?


    • Hi Ben,
      Not exactly. You basically always have to start from scratch as far as points go. You need to earn the entire 110K points in one calendar year to earn the Companion Pass. So, to earn the pass through Dec 2021, you would need to have 110K points post to your account in 2020. You can’t look at the total points in your account – you have to look at how many points were earned and posted in the calendar year.


      • Sorry last response on this thread I just want to make sure I understand. The initial post mentioned that if you make sure that you reach 110000 points in the very beginning of January 2020 then you would be able to have the companion pass last not just till the end of 2020 but for all of 2021, but it sounds like from your response you would need to earn 110,000 points before the end of 2019 to renew the companion pass for 2020 and then accrue another 110,000 points in January 2020 to have the pass renew for 2021. If that’s the case I don’t understand the benefit of making sure to reach your 110,000 threshold in the end of 2019 vs the middle of the year.


        • Hi Ben,
          If you earned 110K points in 2019, you would earn the Companion Pass through 2020. But if you earned all those points in early 2020, you would have the pass through 2021.

          It really just comes down to the fact that the earlier in the year you hit that 110K points mark, the longer you will be able to use the CP. Hope that makes sense!


  35. “What about 4 people in your family? With 2 Companion Passes, you only pay for half of your flights.”

    I have a question about this. My wife and I share a Rapid Rewards account with each of our cards, but only my name is on the Southwest account.

    Would we each get a companion pass to take our 2 kids, so half your flights (are free) like you say, or would it just be one companion pass for me, with only 1 free flight for the 4 of us? We can only get to 110K by sharing the account. I can’t tell if the statement suggests we each have our own account or if a family account would give use a true 2 for 1.


    • Hi Aaron,

      To get 2 Companion Passes you and your wife would both need to hit the 110K points in separate accounts. You can only earn 1 Companion Pass per account. So, if the Southwest account is yours only you could earn a Companion Pass.


  36. Hi Katie…question: how soon after I post 110,000 points to my RR account do I actually “get” the Companion Pass? Is it possible to book with it even if the actual letter/coupon hasn’t arrived? In other words if I reach 110K points on July 1st, can I call SW on July 2nd and assume that I’ll be able to book using Companion Pass privileges, or do I have to wait until the Pass shows up in (ugh) snail mail? I have some flights coming up in August this year and I’d like to book them using the CP.
    Thanks in advance!


    • Hi Rob,
      I have earned the Companion Pass twice now and both times the pass showed up in my online account within a week of earning the points (click on My Account in the upper right hand corner and you will be able to see the Companion Pass tracker). As soon as you see it in your online account you can use it – there is no need to wait for the physical card to show up in the mail. Enjoy your Companion Pass!


  37. Best ways to use/get points for a son to come home from college?

    Right now, we have a working college child in Dallas area and would like to find way(s) for us to earn points for him to come home to Houston. Working and school leaves him too tired to drive 4.5 hrs home.

    We have SW RR points but use them for family vacation once/3-5 yrs if we can. And this doesn’t work here since it’s just one person flying.

    SW is preferred because they have multiple flights Dallas-Houston out of Hobby Airport. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    PS. Chase Ultimate Rewards quick check shows 19,000 pts required on Delta one-way Dallas-Houston and takes 8-10 hrs. Is this correct?


    • Hello David. I am not an expert on Southwest but I do have a suggestion. Delta is not the best airline to use for flights between Dallas and Houston because it would be a connecting flight. A direct flight would make more sense. If you purchase in advance, you can find direct flights for $180 – $220 on Southwest, American, and United (although not all to Houston Hobby). I just tried a bunch of sample dates on and on to confirm. You could use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book these flights. To book with Southwest points I found flights for 6942 points each way. Someone who is more familiar with that market might have more suggestions but I did want to mention these options.


  38. Christine Vinton April 1, 2019

    If you gift your points to another cardholder, does it count toward the 110000 point requirement of the other cardholder?


    • Hi Christine and thanks for your question. Unfortunately transferred points do not count. According to the Southwest website: “Purchased points, transferred points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass qualifying points.”


  39. LaShonda Nero April 3, 2019

    I purchased 2 southwest flights via my travel agent for my wedding last November. In January my fiance’ applied for the southwest card to get the companion pass promotion that Southwest was having, would we be able to cancel our flight and re-book take advantage of the companion pass?


    • Hi LaShonda.
      Yes, if you have gotten the Companion Pass you can adjust any upcoming flights. I would suggest calling to have them manually add the companion to an existing flight. I have done this with no problem.


  40. We have four children at home, so I’d love both my husband and me to earn companion passes. At this point in the year, is it already better to wait for 2020/2021? Or what if one of us applied for the SW cards now, hoping to have the CP in hand by say, July, and the other staggered and earned for 20/21…your opinion? Also, could you clarify…if I were to earn a CP in January 2020, what is it that I am not able to do for 24 months…apply for the SW cards? Or actually earn another CP?


    • Hi Heidi,

      The only benefit to waiting until early 2020 to earn the CP is that you would be able to have it for longer (almost 2 full years vs 1.5 years if you earn it now). Do you have trips planned later this year that you would use the CP on? I would suggest looking at your travel schedule to decide whether to go for it now or to wait till 2020.

      The 24 months I mentioned relates to the credit card welcome bonus. Once you earn the a new cardmember bonus, you can’t earn one again for 24 months.


  41. Before changing your companion, I know that you are SUPPOSED to cancel all upcoming reservations with your current companion. Well lets just say I forgot to cancel my current companion’s ticket. I now have a new companion and I have booked a trip with that new companion and the ticket for my old companion has not been cancelled. I guess southwest is now allowing you to keep future reservations of the previous companion.


    • Hi Angel,
      If you switch your companion, all reservations you had with the old companion will be automatically cancelled. So there is no way to double up on companions.


  42. Charles Neal May 18, 2019

    My child is my companion. He has not received his CP package yet, and we are flying soon. Does he need the pass itself to show southwest to board the plane? The reservations are fine, reflecting him as companion.


    • Hi Charles. Chances are he will not need it at all. You could take a screenshot with your phone just as precautionary measure in case you’re asked for it when boarding together. Have a great trip.


  43. Hi! We’re a family of four. Both my spouse and I have companion passes. How should we go about booking flights? We’ll it be okay if I book a flight for he and I under my account using my rapid rewards points, then both of us logging in to add each of our companions (2 kids total) to the flight? Or would it be best if we booked each of our tickets under our individual accounts, and then add our companions? Thanks for any help!


    • Hey Peace,

      Yes, since you have 2 companion passes, you’ll want to book 1 child per adult as the companion. That way, you don’t have to pay except for taxes and fees.


  44. Hello, I am close to completing my companion pass for this year 2019. My question is can I change my companion 4 times in 2019 and then in 2020 will I also be able to change my companion 4 more times or do I only get to change it 4 times for the 18 months I will have the pass?


    • Hey Lynne,

      You may change your companion 3 times per calendar year. Please allow also 21 days for processing on Southwest’s end.


  45. I currently have the 1-year companion pass offer from the credit card sign up earlier this year in January, expires 12/31/19. I currently have 50,000 Southwest points and 80,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points. Since the majority of my Southwest points (as well as Chase UR points) were accrued in 2019, will that deter me from getting the Companion Pass in 2020? In other words, if I wanted to get another Companion Pass in Jan 2020, does Southwest consider points accrued during 2019 invalid towards the pass?

    I’m trying to decide if it makes sense to wait until Jan 2020 to transfer my UR points over to my southwest account, or if I am holding out for no reason – and should rather use my Southwest points now while I have companion pass.


    • Hi Sara!

      Southwest does consider point earned in 2019 towards a companion pass in 2020. Traditionally, you need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in the calendar year, or fly 100 qualifying one-way flights, to earn the companion pass for the rest of the year, as well as the following year.

      Qualifying points towards the Companion Pass include: revenue flights on Southwest, credit card points/sign-up bonuses, and base points earned through Southwest partners.

      Qualifying points towards the Companion Pass do not include: purchased points, points transferred from other members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, e-rewards, e-miles, Valued Opinions, Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points and partner bonus points.

      So transferring your Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Southwest will not qualify towards the Companion Pass. If the 50,000 points you’ve earned this year were all qualifying points, then you will need to earn another 60,000 by 12/31/19 in order to extend your companion pass into 2020.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!


  46. Robin Simons June 3, 2019

    I have earned a companion pass for this year. However, all of our airplane travel has been bought as of now. Is it transferable to next year and how?


    • Hi Robin,

      Did you earn the companion pass by earning 110,000 Southwest points in this calendar year? If so then you will have the companion pass for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020.

      In regards to getting your companion added to flights you’ve already purchased, is it not showing an option to add your companion onto those flights via your account portal with Southwest? If not, I would contact Southwest directly and see if they can manually do it on their end.


  47. If I earned a companion pass midway through 2018 and it’s good through 2019, what happens if I reach the 110,000-mile threshold again by July of 2019?


    • Hi Justine,

      If you earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest miles this year, your companion pass will be extended for all of 2020 as well.


  48. Serena Norsworthy June 10, 2019

    So am I getting this right? You need to earn 110,000 points. You get 60,000 bonus and then points for the $2,000 spend. So you only need to spend like $48,000 for a companion pass? If I had a business, Could I get another 60,000 bonus? It is impossible for me to spend that much money.


    • Hi Serena,

      You’re correct that you could earn an additional welcome bonus by signing up for the business version of the card. That would certainly help you get the 110,000 points needed. If you cannot meet the point requirements through spend on your credit card, another option is to fly 100 flight segments in a single calendar year to qualify for the Companion Pass.


  49. Vanessa Rodriguez June 11, 2019

    I have my husband as my companion on our personal account and he added our daughter as his companion on his business account. It allows me to add a flight for my daughter on my husbands companion ticket, but will it cancel it later because of the following?

    *The Companion ticket is not considered to be a paid ticket, and therefore cannot have another Companion added


    • Hi Vanessa,

      Yes, that is correct. If your husband is flying on a companion ticket, he cannot bring his companion (your daughter) as well. Southwest will only allow for one companion per paid ticket.


  50. Janet H Rice June 16, 2019

    I’m am on my way to earning my Southwest Companion Pass with points earned on my SW Premier card plus bonus points I will be getting from my new SW Business card. Should I now cancel my Southwest Premier card so that in 24 months I can apply for the Southwest Prority card and earn bonus points again?

    I do have to cancel one card and wait 24 months to apply for another, correct?


    • Hi Janet,

      That is correct that you would need to cancel one card and wait 24 months to apply for another. However, how long have you currently had your Southwest Premier card open? If you have not had the card open for at least one year I would not recommend canceling it.

      Banks do not look favorably on customers who open a card, receive the bonus, and immediately cancel. In fact, they could take your points back for doing so.


  51. Steve Aigner July 23, 2019

    Just so I am straight on this, if I apply for a SW business card in October of 2019 I only have until December of 2019 to earn the other point required to earn the companion pass. All points earned toward the pass reset at the end of every year. So it is better to apply in January of 2020 and get to the threshold quickly to get the remaining of 2020 and all of 2021. Correct?
    I guess my real question here is that points earned always reset Dec. 31 so applying now to reach the goal of 110,000 point in January is not going to work if I want to earn more than one year of the companion pass?


    • Hey Steve,

      Yes you’re correct. You want to apply early in the year so you can qualify for an enjoy the companion pass for a longer period of time. Thanks for reading.


  52. Stephanie B August 14, 2019

    Can two different people have their points directed to a single SW Loyalty Account? I understand one person can sign up for both a business c.c. and a personal c.c. and have the points from those two cards directed to their personal loyalty account but I am curious to know if two separate people can direct their individual points into just one of their Loyalty Accounts (ex. points from a husband’s personal cc + points a wife’s personal cc all directed to the wife’s loyalty account OR points from a parent’s cc + a grandparent’s cc directed to another family members loyalty account, etc.). Thanks!


  53. Doug Gatton August 17, 2019

    Great post and Super Q&A!!
    I currently have a Southwest Rapid Rewards Chase Visa card & received a 60,000 mile bonus in July 2017.
    To execute the presented strategy for 2020 I would have to cancel my personal card sometime soon. Once it is canceled get the personal card again as well as the business card in December 2019, and don’t hit the “Required Spend” until January 2020, at which time both initial offer bonus will credit. I should get the Companion Card at the end of Q1 2020 (maybe sooner depending on the Bonus offers in December of 2019) and have companion card through Dec. 31, 2020.
    If I have any of the above wrong please let me know because I am going to need to cancel my card soon and time my spends. Thanks in advance for your answer!


    • Hi Doug,

      Thanks for the kind words. Yes, your strategy will work to earn the companion pass. But keep in mind that you need to be under 5/24 in order to be eligible for the Southwest cards. Additionally, I would recommend you apply for a different version of the personal card than the one you hold now just to be on the safe side.

      Thanks for reading!


  54. Despite all your info, I still have a few questions…
    •If I get my CP in Jan 2020 it’ll be valid thru 2021. What happens to all the new points I earn in 2020-2021… Will they extend my pass add’l years?
    •If I purchase tickets for family, will I earn the Rapid Reward points & will those points count towards CP?
    Thanks for all the info & time you’ve shared with us, I really appreciate you!


    • Hi Jenna,

      Yes, if you earn your Companion Pass in January 2020 it will be valid through December 2021. Any new points you earn won’t extend the pass unless you earn another 110,000 in 2021 (then your pass would be extended until 2022).
      No, if you purchase tickets for family, the Rapid Rewards points will be earned under their accounts so they wouldn’t count towards a CP.

      Thanks for reading!


  55. Hi. Is it really true that points earned in December that would post on a January statement might be credited early, in December? You say this a few times but I haven’t found examples of people saying it happened to them, except when mistakes were made. I want to apply for a 2020 CP card now. Thanks.


    • Hi Jay,
      As long as your statement doesn’t post until January you should be fine. We warn about earning points in December because it can be a little tricky and messing up by a day or 2 could be the difference between having a Companion Pass and not having one. It’s too early for any points to post in January now so I would hold off on getting a card for a couple of months. To earn the CP for 2020-2021 all 110,000 points need to post January 2020 or later.


  56. Can I apply for a different personal SW card and get bonus points, or do I have to cancel all personal cards that earned SW bonus points before applying for a new personal card? EX: I have a SW Plus card that I received Oct. 2017 and earned CP in Jan 2018 which expires Dec. 2019. Can I apply in Nov. 2019 (24+ mos. after receiving last SW Plus card) for SW Priority personal card and get bonus points to apply to CP or do I need to first cancel the SW Plus card I currently hold before applying for a new one? Does this rule also hold true for business cards? Thank you for all of your help!


    • Hi Lisa,
      Southwest’s rule is that you can’t get a 2nd personal card if either:

      You are a current Southwest consumer credit cardholder; or
      You have earned a new cardmember bonus on a Southwest consumer credit card in the last 24 months

      So that means if you want to get the SW Priority Card and have the bonus points count towards your CP, you would need to cancel the SW Plus Card first. Then you can sign up for the SW Priority Card as long as it’s been 24+ months since you earned the SW Plus bonus (Make sure you are going by the date you got the bonus, not when you applied for the card).

      The rule does not apply to business cards, so you could get a SW business card without cancelling your current SW card. Good Luck!


  57. Currently, my wife is set as my companion. Would like to change it to my son.
    I have a companion seat reserved on a flight, but that flight is now sold out.
    I know I need to cancel her ticket/seat before I can change my companion designation.

    Is it possible for Southwest to cancel my wife’s seat and quickly change to my son’s name and get that seat back? Concerned that its SOLD OUT, but my wife technically has a seat reserved.


  58. I saw that my companion pass is good this year and the next year? Is this true? I’m trying to book a trip to Mexico but it’s at the end of the year and thru Jan. 4. Southwest agent told me I can’t do it. Please help! Thanks!


    • Hi Brenda,

      If you earned the Companion Pass through the credit card welcome bonus that was offered earlier this year, it’s only good through Dec 31, 2019. If this is your situation, you can book your trip as 2 one ways. Then you can use the Companion Pass on the first part of the trip that occurs in 2019.

      If you earned the Companion Pass this year through points (the “regular” way) it would indeed be good through 2020. In that case you would absolutely be able to book a trip that ended on Jan 4, 2020.

      Hope that helps!


  59. Which card is better to apply for first? Personal or business? Or does it matter?


    • Hi Stan,

      Generally, business credit cards are better to apply for first as the new account should not report to your credit report.

      Thanks for reading!


  60. Just got the email from Southwest that they are changing their required points for the Companion Pass starting 1/1/20 up to 125,000 from 110,000! Ugh!


  61. I understand the companion pass and how to get it.
    I want to make sure if my husband books a ticket in November 2019 for the end of January 2020, and earns his companion pass in January 2020 also, will he be able to add me as his companion for this ticket? (Considering, ticket was booked BEFORE the pass was earned.)


    • Hi Diane,

      Yes, once he earns the companion pass he should be able to add you onto a flight he has already booked, assuming there are seats available on the flight.

      Thanks for reading!


  62. IMHO .. out of all the bloggers, you do the best job of explaining a clearly complicated process.
    My question is the following:
    As I understand it, all points earned until 12/31/19 will be reset to 0 on 1/1/20. Would it therefore be prudent to save the biggest chunk of the spending requirement over the 3-months-period for January 2020 ?


    • Thanks, Genise! We’re glad you enjoy the blog — your support means a lot to us.

      Anyway, we do recommend waiting until January to qualify for the benefit. Doing this will let you take advantage of the Companion Pass throughout the bulk of 2020 and all of 2021. Just note that the Companion Pass qualification requirements change in 2020 — the mileage requirement is increasing from 110K to 125K. Thankfully, credit cards spend, dining program points, etc will still count towards the pass.




  63. Thanks for your blog! I am confused about points resetting on 1/1/20 and what that means for a companion pass. We applied for our card in July and have 25k points left to earn a companion pass. As recommended in a few articles, I was hoping to have points post in Jan 2020 to take advantage of nearly 2 years of companion pass. Now with points resetting to 0 on Jan 1, does your idea of having points post in Jan still hold? I was told by a RR card rep that everything I earned in 2019 resets to 0 in regards to earning a companion pass. And though the points don’t expire, what I have in points does not go towards earning a companion pass; I would have to earn another 125,000 points in 2020 to get the pass for the year 2021. So it seems when the points post doesn’t really matter anymore with this resetting business. Is that right? Thanks for any clarification!


    • Hi Theresa,

      In order to receive the Southwest Company pass, you need to earn 110k qualifying points (in 2019), or 125K qualifying points in 2020, in the same calendar year.

      If you’re 25k point away from earning the companion pass, as of 1/1/20, all of those qualifying points will reset and you will have to start from 0.

      The only way to have 2 full years of the companion pass is by having all of your qualifying points post in January. Since a large portion of your points have already posted to your account, they will not count for you in 2020.


  64. pennie gregory November 17, 2019

    I got my card on November 15, 2019. I would like to have my points post in January for a companion fare. However I need to make the spend in December. How do I figure out when to do this so my points post in January?


    • Hi Penny,
      This can be a tricky situation since the date your statement closes can affect when your points post. I would suggest not hitting your minimum spend until January 1, 2020. So, let’s say your minimum spend is $2,000. You could spend $1,900 in December, but don’t spend the final $100 until January. This should ensure your bonus points don’t hit your account until January. If you do this, please keep close tabs on your numbers – you don’t want to accidentally miscalculate and have your bonus points post in December. Good Luck!


  65. Sally Beatty November 22, 2019

    I got a personal SW credit card with the special promo they ran in Feb 2019, where you quickly earned a companion pass, but only good thru 12/31/19.
    I would like to apply for a business credit card and could very quickly make the qualifying purchase amount ($5,000) as soon as I get the card. The bonus points would push me well over the 110,000 points so the companion pass could extend another year.
    When I called SW Rapid Rewards to ask about the timing of this, they said the bonus points would not get applied until after THREE billing cycles, which puts earning those points into at least Feb 2020 and blows the extended companion pass idea.
    I’m reading here, and thought I saw with the personal card, that the bonus points posted as soon as you hit the qualifying purchase amount.
    Can you please clarify? THANKS!


    • Hi Sally,

      Traditionally, the points will post with the following statement after the minimum spend threshold has been met, but Chase has also stated that it can take 6-8 weeks in some circumstances. I think the information the Southwest representative gave you might be incorrect since they do not issue the credit card, nor the points that come with it, that is done through Chase bank.


  66. My December closing date was 12/7 on my SW performance biz card.
    I signed up mid Oct. and my MSR has to be completed by 1/14 to earn the 80K RR bonus.
    There is a note on my Dec statement that reads:
    “IMPORTANT: Your December statement closing date above is
    the cutoff for purchases made with your Rapid Rewards
    Credit Card to count towards Companion Pass for this year.
    Purchases posted to your account after the closing date
    above will not count towards Companion Pass for this year.”
    Doesn’t this mean I can now make purchases in Dec to put me over the top b/c those purchases won’t show up until my Jan. 7 statement?
    OR am I confusing purchases with the bonus?
    Thank you.


    • Hi Scott,

      I think you’re confusing purchases with the bonus. I strongly advise that you do not meet the minimum spend requirement on the card until January 1st at the earliest. You want to make certain you qualify for the companion pass at the beginning of 2020, not the end of 2019.

      Thanks for reading!


  67. I have the companion pass through the end of this year. Can I book a companion for May of next year even if I don’t re-qualify? Or will I have to pay for that ticket?


  68. I had a quick question on the 100 one way flights. If you book flights that have connecting flights (that change planes) does that qualify as 2 one way flights or just the one?

    Working on CP for 2020 and want to see if connecting flights would be worth the hassle.

    Thank you so much, loved this post!!


    • Hi Carolyn,

      If you book the flights separately, then yes each leg will count towards the companion pass. On the other hand, if you book a flight from Chicago to Hawaii, with a layover in Oakland, then you will only receive credit for 1 leg. So to execute the strategy you’re suggesting, the idea is to book a two separate one-ways. One from Chicago to Oakland, and one for Oakland to Hawaii.

      Hope that makes sense! Thanks for reading!


  69. Andrea Stanek January 16, 2020


    I’m currently interested in the current bonus offer (for any of the personal Southwest credit cards) for 75,000 miles/points, as long as I spend a certain amount that is required for the month and six month marker. Do the bonus points earned count towards the balance that is required for the companion pass?


  70. Jenny Joseph February 10, 2020

    Lovely blogs. Thanks for sharing these nice thoughts with us. KLM airlines reservations is the best service provider in USA.


  71. Have you heard about what Southwest is going to do for those of us with a companion pass and now cannot fly due to COVID-19? I would think Southwest would honor the pass for the following year, (2021)


    • Hi Susan,
      There have been no announcements about any changes to Companion Pass expiration dates due to COVID-19. While I think it would be great if they extended Companion Passes, I wouldn’t expect to get an entire additional year out of it (but wouldn’t that be great!)


  72. Brent Orm June 15, 2020

    Great article…very informative!

    Question 1. Just received SW card and I have met the requirements for the 40,000 pt bonus. Its June 2020 and I need to reach 125,000 points by December. To keep it simple…I have 30,000 rapid reward points and the 40,000 point bonus. I just want to confirm that my rapid reward points will count towards the companion pass?

    Question 2. If I exceed the 125,000 points requirements in a calendar year, do the excess points roll over to the next year? I doubt it, but it is worth asking.


    • Hi Brett,

      Yes, your rapid reward points count towards the companion pass as long as you earned them this calendar year. However, if you exceed 125k points, the rest do not roll over into the next year.

      Thanks for reading and safe travels!


  73. Kristen Sullivan July 28, 2020

    A single parent with three teens (16, 16, 14) here. I’m wondering if there’s any way for my family to have two companion passes? I realize I can only have one (in essence taking one child for free), but can I get one for them? or connect a business account to their southwest account allowing them to be the other companion pass holder?


    • Hi Kristen,

      Yes, you can set up a Southwest Rapid Rewards account for each of your children so that they can earn points when you all fly together. If any of your children earn 125,000 qualifying points or fly 100 one-way flights per calendar year on Southwest Airlines, then they will qualify for the companion pass as well!


  74. If my wife gets a new business card can I add that to my pre-existing account points? What is the typical bonus for a business card?


    • Hi Chris,

      If your wife opens a business card then the points will be deposited to a Southwest Rapid Rewards account in her name. Southwest does not allow members to pool or combine points, but you can transfer points from one account to another for a fee – through the fee really isn’t worth it. The bonus offers on the Southwest business cards usually range between 60,000 to 80,000 points depending on which card you select.

      Thanks for reading!


  75. If I earn my companion pass Nov 2020 but I have travel booked for Feb 2021 on SW. Can I get that refunded so that my companion travels free?


  76. Southwest extended our Companion Pass til June 30, 2021, does anyone know what they are doing if we qualify for Companion Pass again this year? Will it just be until December 31, or until June 30, 2022?


    • Hi Rob,

      At this time, it seems that those earning companion pass this year will only be valid until Dec 31, 2021. This could very well change though.


  77. I just was reminded by your wonderful article that I have a travel credit from one of my credit cards as a benefit. Do you know how I access that $75.00 credit? Thank you!


    • Hi Janine,

      I’m glad to hear the article was helpful! If you are referring to the annual $75 credit that comes with your Southwest Credit Card, it will automatically be applied when you make a qualifying Southwest Airlines purchase.


  78. If I only need one more flight to reach companion pass or a-list can I buy a $49 cheap fare and not actually fly on the flight? Will it still count?


  79. This was a great article, thank you! Last year I qualified for a Companion Pass. Too bad that due to the pandemic we won’t be doing much traveling this year but hopefully that will change once we get the vaccine. I’m assuming that since I now have a Companion Pass, I’m still earning points towards A-list right? I know it’s just January, but I noticed that I have about 3000 points toward a Companion Pass for next year but zero points towards A-list (this is from my RR Credit Card purchases that closed in early January and posted to my account.) Thanks!


    • Hi Mary,

      Yes, that is correct, when you start traveling again you will still earn points towards A-list status even though you already have the Companion Pass.


  80. Since I am uncertain who I want to take on my first Companion Pass trip, I want to be strategic about who I name as my Companion #1 the first time. How quickly after earning Companion Pass does SWA require you to designate that person’s name? For instance, if I earn my Pass on March 1, can I wait all the way until July 1 or later to decide what friend or family member I want to take with me on a trip that I have not yet planned? 😉 In other words, can I leave the very first companion name/setup blank indefinitely or is there like a 30day time-limit to designate someone?


  81. Thank you for the great article and responses to the questions. I have the SW Priority Visa card and, with the “pandemic boosts” in points for this year, am about to qualify for A-List and Companion Pass through 2022. I need to get another card to use for the rest of this year, don’t I? I’m thinking of applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred while they’re offering 100,000 bonus points with qualifying spend in the first 4 months. Good idea?


    • Hi Chris,

      If you’re looking to add another credit card to your wallet, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent option, especially now that it has refreshed its bonus categories. However, it will not help you requalify for the Southwest Companion Pass if that is what you were thinking.


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