Why You Need the Southwest Companion Pass

 
Why You Need the Southwest Companion Pass - The Kenney Way
 

 

The Southwest Companion Pass is the single best travel reward. Once you have the Companion Pass, you can select anyone to fly with you on any flight {that isn't sold out} an unlimited amount of times for the calendar year AND the following calendar year for FREE

Seems to good to be true, right?

How to earn the companion pass

1. Complete 100 one-way flights within one calendar year.

or

2. Earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points within one calendar year. 

Unless you travel frequently for business, the second option is probably more feasible. To earn Rapid Rewards points, you can get them through taking Southwest flights OR the Southwest credit cards. We chose the Southwest credit cards.

how to earn 110,000 points

Southwest offers three credit cards: Plus, Premier, and Business. They key is to sign up when they are offering high bonuses (at least 50,000 points). We signed up for the Plus and Premier. With each card, you earn 1 point for every $1 spent. In addition, after spending $2,000 within 3 months, we received the incentive of 50,000 points for each card. 

Southwest Plus Card: 2,000 + 50,000 = 52,000 points

Southwest Premier Card: 2,000 + 50,000 = 52,000 points

After the initial bonuses and spending, we had 104,000 with 6,000 points remaining to get the Companion Pass. As we shared in an earlier post, we put everything on credit cards, so it wasn't too hard to get the remaining 6,000 points. 

One of the best parts of this travel bonus is that once you reach 110,000 points you not only get the companion pass but get to KEEP the 110,000 points!

How we've used our pass

We earned our pass in May 2016. Obviously, the best time to get the pass is the beginning of the calendar year, but we learned about in April 2016 and didn't want to wait until 2017 to try to get the pass. 

Click the screenshot above to view Southwest's interactive route tool

Click the screenshot above to view Southwest's interactive route tool

Trips we have already taken:

  • June 2016: Cancun, Mexico (16,272 points)
  • August 2016: Los Angeles, California (3,312 points -- yes, this one was really inexpensive...a glitch in the system?!)
  • September 2016: Washington, D.C. (8,088 points)
  • November 2016: Los Angeles, California {for Australia/NZ trip!} (11,378 points)

Upcoming trips:

  • New York City (8,758 points)
  • Aruba (24,840 points)
  • Denver (8,690 points)
  • Cuba (14,000 points)

We have approximately 30,000 points remaining. This is due in part to charging some expenses to the credit card (we primarily use our Chase Sapphire Preferred) and we've gotten a few bonuses from referrals. But, with the 110,000 points, we've managed to book 8 trips including 3 international destinations, and only paid taxes which are minimal. Once we run out of points, we will still be able to use the companion pass for my tickets and just have to pay for Ben's ticket. 

It's an amazing travel perk! Leave comments or email with questions.