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Fly Free with a Companion: The Ultimate Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most coveted travel perks out there. It allows you to bring along a friend or family member for free on every Southwest flight you take.

Here’s everything you need to know about this amazing benefit, including how to earn it and the limitations to keep in mind. What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is a travel perk that allows you to designate a person to fly with you for free on every Southwest flight you take. This person can be your spouse, friend, family member, or anyone else you choose.

The pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which it’s earned, plus the entire following year. The Companion Pass offers incredible value for frequent Southwest travelers.

If you take just a few flights a year with a companion, the pass can easily save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with loved ones while discovering new places and making lasting memories.

Limitations of the Companion Pass

While the Southwest Companion Pass is an amazing benefit, there are some limitations to keep in mind. For example, the person you designate as your companion cannot be changed during the validity period of the pass.

You can also only have one designated companion at a time, so you can’t switch between different people on different flights. Another important limitation to note is that the Companion Pass cannot be used to qualify for A-List status or to earn Rapid Rewards points.

Additionally, if you and your companion have different boarding positions, you’ll need to board separately.

How to get a Southwest Companion Pass

Now that you know what the Southwest Companion Pass is and the limitations to keep in mind, let’s talk about how to earn it. There are two primary ways to earn the Companion Pass: by taking 100 qualifying one-way flights or by earning 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.

Earning the Companion Pass through flights might seem daunting, but it can be a great option for frequent Southwest travelers. Qualifying one-way flights include any flight booked through Southwest Airlines or Southwest Vacations, as well as some partner flights.

Note that only flights taken by the A-list Member themselves count towards earning the Companion Pass, so you cannot earn it by booking flights for someone else. Earning the Companion Pass through points is another option.

Qualifying points can be earned through flights, Southwest credit card spending, and more. Here are some strategies for earning Rapid Rewards points to help you reach 135,000 points:

– Sign up for Southwest credit cards: Southwest offers several credit cards that can help you earn Rapid Rewards points quickly.

Many of these cards have welcome offers that can net you tens of thousands of points after meeting minimum spend requirements. Additionally, some cards offer a 10,000-point boost when you reach a certain spending threshold.

– Use shopping and dining programs: Southwest partners with several third-party programs that allow you to earn Rapid Rewards points for everyday spending. These programs include Rapid Rewards Shopping, Rapid Rewards Dining, and more.

– Maximize travel spending: If you’re a frequent traveler, make sure to book all your flights, hotels, and car rentals through Southwest to earn Rapid Rewards points. Additionally, consider using a credit card that earns bonus points on travel spending.

You can then transfer those points to your Rapid Rewards account. – Refer friends: Southwest offers a generous referral program that can earn you up to 10,000 Rapid Rewards points per referral.

Refer a few friends or family members to help boost your point balance.

In conclusion

The Southwest Companion Pass is a fantastic travel perk that offers incredible value for frequent Southwest travelers. Earning it can be done through flights or points, depending on your travel habits and goals.

Just remember to keep the limitations in mind when using the pass, and enjoy all the amazing trips you’ll take with your designated companion. Once you’ve earned the Southwest Companion Pass, it’s time to start maximizing its value.

From using Rapid Rewards points to booking flights and hotels, there are several ways to make the most of your pass.

Getting the Most Out of the Companion Pass

One of the best ways to maximize the value of your Companion Pass is by taking advantage of the ability to bring a travel companion with you for free. This can allow you to stretch your travel budget further and experience more destinations than you would be able to on your own.

However, keep in mind that you’ll still need to pay taxes and fees for your companion’s ticket. When booking with Southwest, the taxes and fees can be as low as $5.60 each way for a domestic flight, but for international destinations, the fees can be higher.

Using Rapid Rewards Points

Another way to maximize the value of your Companion Pass is by using Rapid Rewards points to book flights. When you book a flight using your points, your companion can fly for free, too (plus taxes and fees).

This can be a great way to save even more money on your travels. To use your Rapid Rewards points, simply log in to your Southwest account and search for flights.

You’ll be able to see the point cost of each flight and choose to pay for your flights with points instead of cash. Make sure to book early to get the best deal on point redemptions.

Changing Your Companion and Tracking Changes

If you want to change your designated companion, you can do so, but there are limitations to keep in mind. You can only change your companion up to three times per calendar year, so choose wisely.

Additionally, the new companion will be subject to the same restrictions and expiration of the original Companion Pass. To change your companion, simply log in to your Southwest account and navigate to the Companion Pass section.

From there, you’ll be able to select “change companion” and update your information. Note that any upcoming flights you have already booked with your original companion will still be valid, but you’ll need to designate the new companion for future flights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Value of the Southwest Companion Pass

The value of the Southwest Companion Pass can be immense for frequent Southwest travelers. It allows you to bring a companion with you on every flight for free (plus taxes and fees), which can help you stretch your travel budget further.

Additionally, if you earn the Companion Pass through points, it can be a great way to incentivize spending on Southwest credit cards, as every dollar spent can help you reach the qualifying points threshold.

Purchasing a Companion Pass

Unfortunately, you cannot purchase a Southwest Companion Pass outright. It can only be earned by taking 100 qualifying flights or earning 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.

However, using Southwest credit cards and other strategies can help you earn points quickly and get closer to the Companion Pass.

Changing Your Companion Pass

If you want to change your companion for your Southwest Companion Pass, you can log in to your Southwest account and navigate to the Companion Pass section. There, you’ll be able to select “change companion” and update your information.

Note that you can only change your companion up to three times per calendar year, and the new companion will be subject to the same restrictions and expiration of the original Companion Pass.

Booking Hotels and Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

When booking hotels through Southwest, you’ll be able to earn Rapid Rewards points on your stay. However, be sure to compare prices with other travel sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Additionally, if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account to use towards flights or hotel stays. Just keep in mind that it can take up to 24 hours for the points to transfer, so plan accordingly.

In conclusion, the Southwest Companion Pass can be an amazing benefit for frequent Southwest travelers. By maximizing its value through using Rapid Rewards points, changing your companion, and booking hotels, you can enjoy even more travel experiences with a companion by your side.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the expiration date of your pass and have fun exploring the world with your free travel companion. The Southwest Companion Pass is a valuable travel perk that can help you save money and travel more frequently with a companion.

However, it’s not the only option out there when it comes to travel rewards. Here’s what you should consider when deciding whether to go all-in on the Companion Pass or explore other credit cards and rewards programs.

The Value of the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass can be incredibly valuable for frequent Southwest travelers. By bringing along a companion for free on every flight, you can stretch your travel budget further and explore new destinations with a loved one by your side.

Additionally, if you earn the Companion Pass through points, it can incentivize spending on Southwest credit cards and help you earn rewards faster. Note that when you use points to book flights, your companion can fly for free (plus taxes and fees), adding even more value to the pass.

However, keep in mind that there are limitations to the Companion Pass, such as the ability to change your companion only up to three times per calendar year. You also can’t transfer the pass to someone else, and it can only be earned through either taking 100 qualifying flights or earning 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year.

Considering Other Credit Cards

While the Southwest Companion Pass is a fantastic incentive for Southwest loyalists, it may not be the best option for everyone. If you’re looking for a more flexible rewards program that allows you to redeem points for multiple airlines or even hotels and rental cars, you may want to consider other credit cards.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve both offer flexible rewards points that can be transferred to several airlines and hotel loyalty programs. This allows you to take advantage of great redemption rates across a variety of travel brands, rather than being limited to one airline.

Additionally, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a straightforward rewards structure that allows you to earn points on every purchase and redeem them for travel expenses on any airline or hotel. This can be a great option if you don’t want to be limited to a specific loyalty program.

In conclusion, the Southwest Companion Pass is a valuable travel perk that can help you save money and travel with a companion more frequently. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits of the pass against other credit card options that may offer more flexibility and redemption options.

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your travel habits and goals. The Southwest Companion Pass is a highly sought-after travel perk that allows you to bring a companion with you for free on every Southwest flight.

While it can be incredibly valuable for frequent Southwest travelers, there are limitations to keep in mind, and it may not be the best option for everyone. Other credit cards and rewards programs may offer more flexible redemption options and benefits for your travel needs.

Regardless of which option you choose, maximizing the value of your rewards will depend on your travel habits and goals. By weighing your options carefully and considering your spending and travel goals, you can find the rewards program that’s right for you and enjoy amazing adventures with loved ones by your side.

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