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How I Pay $5.60 for All Southwest Flights - A Travel Hack: Southwest's Companion Pass


The coveted Southwest Companion Pass "allows you to choose one person to fly with you, free of airlines charges (does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight." via Southwest.com. The BEST part is that you get Companion Pass for the rest of the year that you qualify plus all of the FOLLOWING year, so if you time it just right, you can potentially get about 2 years worth of flights for buy one, get one. Credit card sign-up bonuses are the FASTEST way to get Companion pass as it requires 100 one-way flights or earning 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year (see how to qualify below for more details). Also, the primary flight can be booked with points or cash/credit in order to add a companion - so using the sign-up bonuses you virtually can get several flights for free!


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CURRENT CREDIT CARD BONUSES

75,000 bonus points with $5,000 spend in first 3 months by signing up with any of their personal cards. Offer ends 07/11/22


NOTE: The links on this page are referral links, which means that we also get points for you clicking on our links. This is no extra cost to you and helps The Bouj Crew in creating more content for our blog.

60,000 OR 80,000 bonus points with $3,000 OR $5,000 spend in first 3 months by signing up with any of their business cards. Offer ends 07/11/22


NOTE: The links on this page are referral links, which means that we also get points for you clicking on our links. This is no extra cost to you and helps The Bouj Crew in creating more content for our blog.

NOTE: The credit-card sign-up bonuses are constantly changing. Before this 75,000 the offer was only 40,000. I would say if Southwest is offering less than 75,000 your credit card sign-up isn't worth it. When you sign-up for a chase credit card bonus, you cannot qualify for the bonus again if you have redeemed a bonus within 24 months. I have not yet tried this, but I have joined some credit card groups on Facebook with many members reporting they had success literally timing their bonuses every 24 months.


HOW TO QUALIFY

  • Fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year OR

  • Earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year

    • Rapid Rewards Credit Cards

      • Sign-up bonuses count

        • You can even use 2 sign-up bonuses 2 count: Using a personal card and business card bonus sign-up will count!

      • Earn points every time you use the credit card

    • Rapid Rewards Dining

      • You earn 3 points per $1.00 spent (but must be opted in for e-mail communication). If you opt out, you get 2 points per $1.00 spent. They also regularly offer bonuses. Here are the full details here: https://www.southwest.com/html/rapidrewards/partners/shop-and-dine/rapid-rewards-dining.html

      • Easiest way is to register your credit cards with Rapid Rewards Dining and you automatically will get an alert if you dine at one of their restaurants. NOTE that you cannot use the same credit card for Rapid Rewards bonuses as you are using for other rewards dining programs (ex: Marriott Eat Around Town and others)

    • Rapid Rewards Shopping

      • They have over 800 top stores like Macys, Sephora, Staples and more.


HOW WE DID IT

We timed our sign-up bonus with a roof repair and therefore earned companion pass quite quickly. Timing your credit card sign-up bonuses with large purchases also make the qualifying spend seem like nothing.


LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES

  1. WAIT for a credit card sign-up bonus of 75,000 or more

    1. The credit-card sign-up bonuses are constantly changing. I would say if Southwest is offering less than 75,000 your credit card sign-up isn't worth it as you cannot qualify for another sign-up bonus for another 2 years after qualifying and you would have had to cancel this card.

  2. Get the sign-up bonus and work on qualifying for companion pass

    1. My first Southwest credit card, I just took the extra points but didn't even TRY to qualify for Companion Pass. It is a large spend. My sister-in-law actually had her brother and mom charge everything to her card and pay her back. This is a little much for myself, so I just recommend pairing with a large spend or vacation

  3. Book trips on the primary account holders account ahead of time.

    1. What I did not realize that any flight that is on the main companion's account will qualify to add a companion once earning companion pass. For instance, we were waiting to book our flights to Seattle because I wanted to use Companion Pass but we didn't qualify until about a month before. However, ANY flight that was already booked on the primary holder's account had a button saying "add companion" once we qualified for companion pass. Booking a flight early helps you save even more money, so this was our mistake that could've saved us extra money!

  4. Qualifying points are added at the completion of your BILLING statement.

    1. So, you'll have to pay close attention to when your billing statement close is. Luckily, logging into Chase and looking at your Rewards statement will allow you to see how much is estimated to add to your account by closing date.


REQUALIFYING

Exactly the same process as qualifying above. Just note that you cannot qualify for sign-up bonuses within 24 months of receiving one AND if you have the credit card.


NOTE: Most links on our website are affiliate links, which means that The Bouj Crew collects a little bit of money or points when you click on certain links. This is to help us with the upkeep and fees associated with running a website, offering products, etc!

REVIEW OF SOUTHWEST

Overall, I've always been happy with Southwest as an airline. The no checked baggage fee, to me alone is already worth the stress of no seat assignment. Plus, you get up to 2 checked bags for free - so I now take 2 bags with the other one, pretty much empty so that I have room to take souvenirs home! For those that don't want to deal with the checking in 24-hours ahead of time, you can opt to pay extra for early bird check-in (where your number to line-up is already chosen). Many of the personal credit cards give you free credits each year, so you use your qualifying credit card and it will automatically be deducted from your account.


Where do they fly? Southwest has expanded their destinations since I've used them adding Hawaii (and the islands), Cancun and even Turks & Caicos! So qualifying for Companion Pass is more than worth it!


Lastly, I wanted to mention Southwest's Customer Service is great. Travel hack: if your flight is delayed by more than an hour and it's NOT due to weather, you can usually contact Southwest to complain and get a travel voucher. I've had several friends and family use this to their advantage!


ADDING A COMPANION

As soon as you qualify and login to your account, you will see that you can add a companion. You will need their name, DOB, gender, country, address and phone number. Southwest allows you to change your companion 3 times in one year, but this has to be done by calling Southwest - it cannot be done online. Once you designate your companion, under all of your trips that are booked, you will see the "add companion" button and will have to go through a few confirmation screens and pay the $5.60 per one-way flight. Note the companion has a different confirmation number then the primary holder.



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