How to easily get the Southwest Companion Pass for 2020 AND 2021

Please note some of the links in this article are referral links.

The Southwest Companion Pass is arguably the best travel deal right now. I’ve written about it before. Basically, you get to bring a companion on any flight you have booked (with points or cash) just by paying the $5.60 taxes and fees. This is assuming there are available seats on the same flight. You get a 2-for-1 airline ticket using the extensive Southwest flight network in the US (includes Hawaii), the Caribbean and Central America.

I’m well on my way to getting the Companion Pass myself, but I’m doing it the hard way. I was approved for the Southwest Premier Business Card back in December and recently hit minimum spend to get the 60,000 point bonus. I was recently approved for the Southwest Performance Business card and will work to get that bonus in the next few months. But Chase and Southwest have made it even easier with a new offer.

New offer from Chase

Right now the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card is offering a 100,000 point bonus after meeting minimum spend requirements:

  • 70,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months
  • Additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 in the first 6 months

Okay, I understand that $25,000 is a lot of money for your average spender. But many businesses can clear that in just a few months. You can also consider putting your office rent on a credit card for a few months or paying for that company retreat.

All combined, you will have a minimum of 125,000 points accumulated, which is just enough to get a Companion Pass. This also means you have 125,000 Rapid Rewards points to use. And if you use them for flights, their value is essentially doubled with the Companion Pass. The Points Guy values Southwest points at 1.5 cents. So in total, you will have $1875 in value even without using the pass. That value is doubled when you fly with a friend or loved one.

The card comes with a $199 annual fee that isn’t waived. There are plenty of benefits including four upgraded boardings per year, Global Entry/TSA Precheck reimbursement, and in-flight WiFi credits.

How to use the Companion Pass

Using the Companion Pass is super simple. You will need to designate who your companion is. On any flight that you have booked (either with points or money), you will have an ‘Add Companion’ option in all your reservations. As long as there is an open seat on the flight, you can add a companion.

You can even change your companion up to 4 times a year. You can travel with your partner on a Caribbean getaway, then switch to a buddy for a bachelor party in Vegas, then back again for the next trip (this will count as 2 changes). And lastly, if you are a family of four with 2 infants (under 2 years old), you can get tickets for the whole family for the price of one.

What are the restrictions?

There are a few things to note when using the Companion Pass. Some of this is pretty obvious:

  • The companion must travel with the holder of the pass.
  • Southwest’s no change and cancellation fee policy still holds. Just cancel the companion reservation, then change yours.
  • Travel must occur while the Companion Pass is still active. This is important if you’ve booked a round-trip and the return flight is after expiration.
  • The companion will not have elite benefits such as early boarding. But with their open seat policy, it’s usually okay to save a seat.

Lastly…

Keep in mind Chase has a 5/24 rule for new card applications. It still applies even for business card applications. The new card will not count towards 5/24 but they will look as past cards you have been received.