First off, I’ll start this by saying I don’t have a business relationship with Southwest Airlines or Chase. I’m just a happy consumer sharing my story. So here goes.
After years of traveling without a thought of rewards, last year we finally decided to get into the travel miles/rewards game. When used responsibly(<– keyword here), there are some amazing credit cards out there with awesome rewards, bonuses, and travel perks to take advantage of. Airport lounge access, free flights, and upgraded status with hotel groups are just a few of the benefits we’ve had this last year. This post is about how I got my latest travel perk and I think you should get it to!
If you’re into the credit card travel miles/rewards game, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the highly sought after Companion Pass offered by Southwest Airlines. If not, allow me to briefly introduce you to it. Once you accrue 110,000 “qualifying” points through Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Program, you gain this coveted Companion Pass. It’s active for the rest of the year you receive it in, and then the whole next calendar year as well! This pass basically allows you to name a companion that can fly with you anywhere you fly – for (almost) FREE! But choose wisely, you can only change your companion 3 times during the time your pass is active. When you’re ready to use the pass you must first purchase your own ticket with money or your points. Then you can add on your companion, they fly with you for free, paying only taxes/fees. Now of course with a pass this great there are numerous rules and regs, but that’s the gist of it.
Click the link for a full explanation of the Rules and Regs
The Companion Pass seems out of reach for us regular folks. Mostly because the “normal” way to get 110,000 points is spending many thousands of dollars on your Southwest credit card or flying an obscene amount (100 qualifying one-ways flights) with them. I love flying with them, but for us that’s impossible. So for us regular folks, there’s a work-around….a travel hack.
Southwest offers it’s credit cards through Chase. When I signed up, both the Plus and Premiere cards were offering 50k bonus miles after getting your new card and spending $2,000 within the first 3 months. I applied for both cards, several days apart from each other (I’ve read of people being denied when applying on the same day), and was approved for both! So that meant I needed to spend $4,000 total on both cards and I would get 100K points + 4K points from the money spent. I already had about 3k points from some previous flights, so I needed to spend about $7,000 total to get to Companion Pass status. I know, that still sounds crazy just to get some travel rewards. But it’s not that hard to do, and in the long run can save you some significant money on travel. I just started using those 2 cards for all of our spending (of course only do this if you are paying the cards off as you go). Plane tickets, tuition, groceries, gas, you name it! Within a few months, I had cracked the 110K threshold, and behold……I am now the proud holder of a shiny new Southwest Companion Pass!
Now for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018, Thalita flies (almost) free anywhere we buy a ticket for me. We just purchased a one-way out to California for our cousin’s wedding. It cost me 10k of my points, and we paid only 5 bucks in fees for Thalita’s ticket. 5 bucks!
At the time of writing, both the Plus and Premiere cards come with a 60k mile bonus! That would make it crazy easy to get the Companion Pass if you did the same steps I did. Now with Southwest flying to more international destinations, the Companion Pass can help us see even more countries! If you use reward credit cards wisely, I highly recommend getting the Southwest Companion Pass! Safe travels!
If you’ve earned the Southwest Companion Pass, share how you did it in the comments below!