The Southwest Companion Pass allows a companion to fly with you for free for up to two full calendar years if you earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards in one calendar year. It’s one of the most valuable travel perks, especially for those who do a lot of domestic flying or flying to the Caribbean and Mexico. If you’re interested in earning the pass you should know that right now is one of the best times to jump on it and here are three reasons why.
Update: Some offers are no longer available — click here for the latest deals!
1) It’s January
The Companion Pass is good for the remainder of the first calendar in which you earn it and all of the following year. So for example, if you earned it at the end of January, it would be good for the next 11 months of 2017 and then all of 2018. At the same time, if you earned it in December of 2017, it would only be good for December of 2017 and all of 2018. So to maximize your time with the Companion Pass, it’s important to get it as early in the year as possible.
2) New 60K business credit card offer
The Southwest Business Premier card is now offering a 60K bonus! It requires $3,000 in spend within the first three months and the $99 annual fee is not waived but this is a great offer that hasn’t been around for a while.
Why is this offer so great?
Remember, you have to earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards in one calendar year in order to earn the Companion Pass. Typically, the best offers are for 50,000 Rapid Rewards so even when you get approved for two of the best Southwest cards and meet their minimum spend requirements (usually $2,000), you still have to spend an additional $6,000 if you’re relying on credit card spend to earn the bonus.
But with this business credit card offer plus a 50,000 personal Southwest credit card, you’ll hit the Companion Pass threshold with the sign-up bonuses alone! So for a lot of people, this business credit card makes it a lot more practical to obtain the Companion Pass.
If you’re not familiar with business credit cards, I suggest reading my post on why business credit cards can help you maintain a good credit score. Also, just in case your application goes to recon, read my article on how to handle a Chase business reconsideration call.
Keep in mind that all Chase Southwest cards are subject to the 5/24 rule.
3) You can still transfer hotel points
On New Years Day, without any notice Chase decided to do away with the ability to allow points transferred from hotel programs to count towards the Companion Pass. However, after just a couple of days, Chase decided that taking away the transfer oppurtunity with no notice was not a good look and they decided to extend the transfer deadline to March 31, 2017.
So right now you can still earn points from cards like the American Express SPG cards and transfer those to Marriott to earn the Southwest Companion Pass utilizing a valuable hotel and airline package. Or you can simply use hotel points to top off your Rapid Rewards balance. Thus, even if you don’t want the business credit card, you still have a great alternative route for earning the Companion Pass.
The 60K bonus is not a common find and it’s been a while since it’s been out. The fact that it has come out in January is a big deal for anybody considering the Companion Pass. Even though it’s a business credit card, I think a lot of people should still give it a lot of consideration since it can make things so much easier for earning this amazing perk.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.