Hi Travel Junkies,

The leaves are changing colors, football is back, and companies are putting pumpkin spice in every product imaginable.

Which can only mean one thing; Southwest Companion Pass season is here!

Southwest Companion Pass 2019
The Southwest Companion Pass (often abbreviated as “CP” or “SWCP”) is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines that allows you to bring a companion on any Southwest flight you fly for just the taxes and fees.

So let’s get right to it.

Today, we’re going to cover all things Southwest Companion Pass. This year’s strategy is going to be a bit different than past years so read closely and pay close attention to the changes to the Southwest credit cards.

In This Article

Here we go.

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass (often abbreviated as “CP” or “SWCP”) is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines that allows you to bring a companion on any Southwest flight you fly for just the taxes and fees.

Think of it like a plus-one invite that you can use with any of your Southwest flight reservations. As long as you are physically on the plane, you can bring your plus-one Companion with you.

Unlike many of the other “companion passes” offered by competitor airlines (Delta, Alaska, British Airways, etc.), the Southwest Companion Pass has very few restrictions on when or how often you use it.

southwest companion pass 2019
Unlike many of the other “companion passes” offered by competitor airlines (Delta, Alaska, British Airways, etc.), the Southwest Companion Pass has very few restrictions on when or how often you use it

It works on both paid and award tickets, even if you weren’t the one purchasing the flight (work travel, generous family/friends, etc.).

It has no limit on how often you use it.

There are no blackout dates.

And there are no restrictions on which Southwest flights it can be used with.

Other “Companion Passes” Southwest Companion Pass
One-time use Unlimited use
Cash fares only Can be used on any flight
Restricted to specific flights/destinations Zero restrictions on flights/destinations
Require you to pay a $99 – $129 fee Only have to pay standard taxes and fees
Blackout dates Works with any open seat

There is one exception, however. You cannot use your Southwest Companion Pass if you are flying on someone else’s Companion Pass.

Can’t bring a plus one to the wedding if you are someone else’s plus one.

Otherwise, I would round up a group of 10xT Readers and take over an entire Southwest flight by creating a “companion chain”, where I would purchase one ticket and add a companion, who would add a companion, who would add a companion, and so forth. Allowing 150+ of us to fly for the price of just one ticket.


Once earned, the Southwest Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is earned plus the entire following calendar year.

So if you earned Companion Pass on October 5, 2019, it would be good through December 31, 2020.

But if you earned Companion Pass on say January 8, 2020, it would be good through December 31, 2021. More on that in a bit.

You have to pick one person at a time to be your designated companion, but you can change who that person is three times per the calendar year. So you could theoretically use it with 4 different people (start with person A, then switch to B, C, and D) per year.

southwest companion pass 2019
You have to choose who your Companion is, but you can change this person 3x per calendar year

You can also switch back to someone who has already been your companion, but that will count as one of your changes (i.e. start with person A, then switch to B, C, and back to A).

Note that you will have to cancel all future Companion Pass reservations (just the Companion, not your original ticket) every time you change who your Companion is. Which isn’t a big deal, because you can always re-add the Companion ticket as long as there is a single open seat available on the flight.

Here’s the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read):

  • The Southwest Companion Pass (“CP”) lets you take a companion on any Southwest flight you fly (unless you are flying on someone else’s Southwest Companion Pass) for just the taxes and fees. There are no blackout dates or restrictions on how often it can be used.
  • The Companion Pass ticket works like a plus-one invite to a wedding, you can simply add it to any existing Southwest reservation in your name, regardless of who paid for your ticket or whether they used miles or cash. This can be done so at any time, not just when you originally book your own flight.
  • You have to choose one person to be your companion at a time but can switch who this person is 3x per the calendar year. In order to switch you have to cancel any future companion pass bookings.
  • Once earned, Southwest Companion Pass is good for the rest of the year + the entire following calendar year

So far so good? Next, let’s talk about how to earn one.

How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass

According to the Southwest website, “A Member who earns 125,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or who flies 100 qualifying one-way flights booked through Southwest Airlines per the calendar year will qualify for Companion Pass”.

Meaning that in order to earn a Southwest Companion Pass you have to do one of two things:

  1. Fly on 100 one-way Southwest flights in a calendar year
  2. Earn 125,000 qualifying Southwest Rapid Rewards Points in a calendar year

(Rapid Rewards Points is what Southwest calls their loyalty currency. This is what people are referring to when they say “Southwest points” or “Southwest miles”)

Unless you plan on flying Southwest ~2 times per week for an entire year, option #2 is going to be your only shot at earning a Companion Pass.

southwest companion pass 2019
Unless you plan on flying Southwest 2x per week for a year, their credit cards are your only chance at earning a Companion Pass

One more wrinkle here, not every Southwest Rapid Reward point you earn counts as a “qualifying point” toward Companion Pass. So let’s take a quick look at what does and does not count.

Southwest defines “Qualifying points” as:

  1. Points earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines
  2. Points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards
  3. Base points earned from Rapid Reward Partners

Which means that the following do NOT count toward earning the Southwest Companion Pass:

  • Points purchased from Southwest
  • Points transferred to Southwest (from programs such as Chase Ultimate Rewards)
  • Points transferred from another Southwest Rapid Rewards member
  • Points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs
  • Points earned from Rapid Rewards Program enrollment

So how do you earn 125,000 Qualifying Southwest Rapid Reward Points in a calendar year?

Simple, by following these exact steps.

(Do not do any of these until you read and fully understand the rest of this article).

Step 1: Open the Southwest Business Credit Card and one of the Southwest personal credit cards

Southwest currently has 5 different credit cards that are all issued by Chase.

  1. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
  2. Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
  3. Southwest Priority Credit Card
  4. Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Credit Card
  5. Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

40,000 bonus points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months, another 35,000 points after $5,000 spend in 6 months

Learn more

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

40,000 bonus points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months, another 35,000 points after $5,000 spend in 6 months

Learn more

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

40,000 bonus points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months, another 35,000 points after $5,000 spend in 6 months

Learn more

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card

70,000 points after $5,000 spend in 3 months

Learn more

Each of these cards has historically offered a signup bonus of 40,000 to 80,000 Southwest points after you meet the minimum spending requirement in the first 3 months. Meaning that you could open two of them and earn 80,000 to ~120,000 qualifying Southwest Rapid Rewards points on the bonuses alone.

Doing this would just about earn you a Southwest Companion Pass.

But wait, here’s where the new wrinkle comes in.

Chase recently introduced new rules on the Southwest credit cards that restrict your ability to earn multiple sign-up bonuses.

In order to earn a bonus on a personal Southwest card all of the following statements have to be true:

  1. You have not earned a bonus on another Southwest personal card in the past 24 months
  2. You do not currently have a Southwest personal credit card

These restrictions apply to the following Southwest credit cards issued by Chase.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
  • Southwest Priority Credit Card

So the old strategy of opening two Southwest personal credit cards to earn a Companion Pass is effectively dead.

But this new restriction does not apply to the Southwest Airlines Business Credit cards. You can have both of them if you like, and having a Southwest Business Card in no way impacts your ability to get a Southwest personal credit card.

So the new strategy for earning a Southwest Companion Pass is to open either one personal Southwest credit card + one business Southwest credit card, or both of the Southwest Business Credit Cards.

SouthWest Companion Pass 2019
The strategy for 2019 is to open the Southwest Business card and one of the three Southwest personal cards

By opening two of these cards while they are offering bonuses of 40,000 to 60,000 points each and meeting the minimum spending limits, you could earn (40,000 bonus + 60,000 bonus + 2,000 spend + 3,000 spend =) 105,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Getting you more than 90% of the way to the 125,000 qualifying points needed to earn the Companion Pass.

(Note that the Southwest cards are currently subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so approvals will be impossible for anyone who has opened 5+ credit cards in the previous 24 months.)

The Southwest cards all have annual fees that are not waived for the first year, meaning you’ll have to pay something out of pocket to earn these points.

But let’s keep some perspective here, the ~$180 you’re paying in fees is a small fraction of the value you gain by earning a Companion Pass.

Step 2: Earn the remaining ~5,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

With hopefully 105,000+ Southwest Rapid Rewards points earned from the two credit card bonuses you now just have to earn the remaining ~5,000 points to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

This can be done using a combination of any of the following three options.

  • Option 1: Spend on your Southwest credit cards

You earn 1 point per $1 spent on your Southwest credit card (2 points per $1 on Southwest purchases), so spending ~$5,000 would earn you the remaining 5,000 Rapid Reward Points needed to hit 125,000. This option is perfect if you have a large bill coming up or can reach this amount through organic spending.

  • Option 2: Fly on Southwest

Option #2 is to earn the remaining points by flying revenue flights on Southwest. So consider booking any upcoming personal or work travel on Southwest whenever possible.

Remember that award flights (flights booked with points) do not earn Rapid Rewards, so those will not help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

  • Option 3: Take advantage of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Partners

Finally, use Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Partners to top off your points as needed.

Southwest’s Companion Pass page lists “Home & Lifestyle” and “Shop and Dine” Partners as earning qualifying points for Companion Pass. So be sure to enroll in Southwest’s dining program and to check out their Home & Lifestyle offers to see if anything catches your eye.

Remember that you can use a combination of all of these strategies to earn the required 125,000 points. So try to use multiple if possible to earn Companion Pass even sooner.

Step 3: Verify that you have earned the Southwest Companion Pass and start using it!

This is the easiest step. Simply log in to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account to verify that you have earned the required 125,000 miles for the Companion Pass. Your Companion Pass Progress is one of the first things you’ll see at the top of the page.

Southwest Companion Pass 2019 | Southwest Rapid Rewards Account
You can check on your Companion Pass progress in your Southwest Rapid Rewards Account

And here’s the best part.

You get to keep all 125,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points when you earn the Companion Pass.

You don’t have to “buy” it with the miles you earned.

Meaning that you earn this amazing perk and have a boatload of points in your pocket to use as you please. Including with your shiny new Companion Pass.

Now is a good time to remind you that points transferred to your Southwest account do NOT count toward earning the Companion Pass. This includes points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Every year I make sure to mention this and every year I get dozens of emails from people who make this mistake. So please be careful.

TL;DR – how to earn 125,000 Southwest points in a calendar year:

  • Open one of the Southwest Business Credit Cards and one of the three Southwest personal credit cards to earn ~105,000 Southwest miles
  • Earn the remaining ~5,000 or so points by putting spend on the Southwest cards, flying on paid Southwest flights, or taking advantage of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Partners
  • Remember that points transferred to your Southwest account (from partners or other people) do not count toward earning the Companion Pass

Maximize the Value of Your Companion Pass

When it comes to maximizing the value of a Companion Pass I have found that it is best to think of it as a happy hour at your favorite bar. If happy hour runs from 6-8, would you rather show up at 6:00 or 7:45?

earn southwest companion pass 2019
When it comes to maximizing the value of a Companion Pass I have found that it is best to think of it as a happy hour at your favorite bar. If happy hour runs from 6-8, would you rather show up at 6:00 or 7:45?

If you’re like my friends you’ll be there at 6:00 (or even 5:00 on some days).

The same principle applies to the Southwest Companion Pass. Because the Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is earned, plus the entire next calendar year, it is best to earn it as early in the calendar year as possible.

Here’s how you can do this:

1) Sign up for 2 Southwest credit cards late in the year (anytime between October 1 and December 31 can work). I recommend doing one of the Southwest Business cards first and one of the personal cards ~30+ days later.

2) Spend all the way up to, but not over, the minimum spending requirement on both cards. Be very careful with this, if you hit the minimum spend too early you will completely blow your chance of earning Companion Pass.

3) Cross the minimum spending threshold right after January 1 so your bonus points count toward the Companion Pass in 2020

4) Earn the remaining ~5,000 points as soon as you can after January 1, which will earn you the Companion Pass for almost a full 24 months.

The timing here is crucial. If you accidentally hit a minimum spending limit prior to January 1 your points could count toward the 2019 total, which would reset on January 1, 2020.

Leave yourself at least a $200 cushion.

Every year I emphasize this and every year I still get dozens of emails from people who accidentally hit the minimum spend too early.

Usually due to the following circumstances:

  1. Forgetting that they added the card as a payment method to Amazon, Apple Pay, etc. and continuing to put spend on it.
  2. Giving the card to a spouse/family member who is unaware of the unique timing of Companion Pass

So again, please be very careful not to cross the minimum spend threshold too early.

If either of your Southwest credit card bonuses post before the ball drops in Times Square on NYE you did something wrong.

It is theoretically possible to hit your minimum spend requirement before NYE if your next statement date is already in 2020, but I am going to omit talking about this on purpose because it causes more confusion than anything.

Just remember the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Do not cross either minimum spending amount before that gaudy ball drops.

Moving on. Let’s talk about how to use the Southwest Companion Pass after you earn it.

How to Use the Southwest Companion Pass

Companion Pass works like a plus-one invite to a wedding. You do not book trips separately with it, but rather add it to any existing reservation made in the name of the individual who has earned the Companion Pass.

So start by simply booking your desired flight in your own name. Then, add the Companion Pass to your reservation either by calling Southwest or clicking on the “Add Companion” button in the upcoming trips section of your account.

You will be able to add a Companion ticket as long as there is at least one open seat on the flight.

image4 3

After clicking the “add companion” button you will then have to complete checkout just like any other flight. Your Companion’s name and information should already be populated so simply scroll to the bottom to finalize the booking and pay the required taxes and fees.

image3 3

Once complete, your Companion will receive their own confirmation number as if they booked their flight separately. This confirmation number will show up right next to your own in your Southwest account.

image1 3

From this point forward your Companion’s ticket essentially works as if it was booked as their own standalone ticket. They will have to check in separately from you, will receive their own boarding pass, check their own bags, etc.

The one exception to this is if you, the Companion Pass holder, decide to cancel or skip your flight. This will immediately void your Companion’s ticket, and they will even be removed from the plane if they have already boarded.

So don’t try to pull the old switcheroo to score a free flight.

Again, the thing to remember is that the Southwest Companion Pass works like a plus-one invite. You can add or remove it from your reservation at any time without penalty (as long as there is at least one open seat on the flight). Even on flights booked months ago before you earned the CP.

But if you change or cancel your own reservation your Companion reservation will also be changed or canceled.

Changing the Name of Your Companion

Once you have earned Companion Pass you can choose who your first Companion will be by entering their information in your account at Southwest.com.

But changing who your Companion is will require a call to Southwest at 1-800-435-9792. All you need to do is provide your new Companion’s information and the change will be immediate. You can do this up to 3 times per calendar year.

Remember that each time you change your Companion you will need to cancel all future Companion ticket bookings. This needs to be done before calling Southwest to make the switch.

Once you make the switch you can begin using the Companion Pass immediately with your new Companion. You do not need to wait for the physical card to come in the mail.

It’s that simple!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much is the Southwest Companion Pass “worth”?

While it is difficult to assign a specific value to the Companion Pass, you can come up with a rough number by looking at the value of Southwest points. 125,000 Southwest points is worth roughly $1,650 in travel when booking Southwest “Wanna Getaway Fares”. If you bring your companion on all the flights that you book with those points, you would be getting an additional $1,650 of free airfare for a total of $3,300 of value.

This also assumes that you never use the pass on paid fares, which would cause the value to be higher.

So call it $1,650 minimum (assuming you never bring your Companion) with an upside of $3,300+.

How do I book a flight for my companion?

You have to book your own flight first, then add the companion ticket once your booking has been confirmed. You can do this online by going to “My Trips” and clicking “Add Companion” to any existing itinerary. Note that you can add the Companion at any time, whether that be minutes after you book your own trip or hours before the flight departs (assuming there are seats available of course).

Do I have to buy the Companion Pass with the points I earned?

No. Once you earn the 125,000 points the pass is simply given to you. You still have those points to redeem for free flights on Southwest.

Can I spend my Southwest points? Or do I have to have 125,000 in my account at one time?

You can spend them. Companion Pass is earned simply by earning 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, not having 125,000 points at the same time.

Theoretically, you could earn Companion Pass while having 0 Southwest miles in your account.

Can I sign up for one Southwest card and have my wife/roommate/friend sign up for the other?

No. The 125,000 qualifying points have to be earned by the same person. Unfortunately, there is no way to “team up” to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

Do miles purchased from Southwest count toward the Companion Pass?


Can I use my points to book flights for people other than my companion?

Yes. Your points can be used to book flights for anyone you’d like. Remember, however, that your companion can only fly with you.

Can the Companion Pass be used on Southwest flights that are booked with points?

Yes. The Companion Pass can be used on any type of Southwest ticket (unless you are booked as someone else’s companion).

How quickly does my designated companion go into effect?

When selecting or changing your companion the new name goes into effect immediately. You do not have to wait for the new Companion Pass card to arrive by mail. To change the name of your companion simply call Southwest Airlines and they can change it immediately.

Remember that this can only be done three times per the calendar year.

Note that you have to cancel any future companion tickets before changing the name. You can rebook them later, provided there are still seats available.

Can I book a Southwest flight right now, then add my Companion Pass ticket to the reservation once I earn the Companion Pass?

Yes. You can add your Companion ticket to any Southwest reservation in your name at any time, provided of course that there is at least one seat available on the plane.

Do I need to have my Companion Pass with me when I travel on Southwest?

No. In fact, the physical Companion Pass card that you receive in the mail is worthless. I just throw it away.

Do points transferred from other loyalty programs count toward the Companion Pass?


I earned 50,000 Southwest points earlier in 2019. If I earn another 60,000 in early 2020 will I get the Companion Pass?

No. Doing this would mean you earned 50,000 points in 2019 and 60,000 in 2020 and would not earn a Companion Pass at all. All 125,000 points must be earned in the same calendar year. This is perhaps the most common mistake I see when it comes to Companion Pass.

Companion Pass is not awarded to you just for earning 125,000 Southwest points over the course of your lifetime. The 125,000 points have to be earned in the same calendar year.

Can I sign up for the Southwest Credit Cards in 2019 but wait to earn their bonuses/a Companion Pass in 2020?

Yes. But be very careful not to accidentally hit the minimum spending requirement on the cards early. I see this mistake made by dozens of people each year and unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to correct it.

Note also that you only have 3 months to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn the bonus points. So you can’t sign up for the Southwest cards in say, July, and meet the minimum spend in January of the following year.

And finally, let’s boil everything we just covered down to 5 simple steps:

  1. Open one of the Southwest Airlines Business Credit Cards and one of the three Southwest personal credit cards sometime in November or December. Business card first, leaving a minimum 30 days between approvals for each of these cards.
  2. Cross the minimum spending requirements on each of these two credit cards sometime after January 1, 2020. Doing so before January 1 could cause you to miss out on the CP entirely, so be careful.
  3. Continue to spend on the cards, fly paid flights on Southwest, and take advantage of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Partners until you earn the required 125,000 qualifying points for Companion Pass
  4. Once earned, choose who your Companion will be and start using the pass! Simply add it to any existing reservation in your name by clicking “Add Companion” in your Southwest account.
  5. Your pass will be valid for the rest of the year and the entire following year. So get out there and use it!

Happy Travels,


Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 spend in 3 months

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About the Author

Bryce Conway is the Founder of 10xTravel.com and Author of Takeoff: How to Travel the World for Next to Nothing and How to Fix Your Credit: Do it Once. Do it Right. Get on with Your Life. Bryce’s work has been featured in multiple national media outlets including Good Morning America, Money Magazine, and ABC Nightline News. Bryce created 10xTravel in 2014 and has been hanging out in the points and miles community since 2011....

Learn More About Bryce

74 Responses to “How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [2020]”

Sumedha Nagpal

Hi Bryce, this is very helpful!
I am on an H1-B visa. This means that I can’t work for anyone apart from my employer.
Is there still a way for me to get the business card as well?

John F Caffrey

I think you are about the best of the travel bloggers and I have learned so much from reading your columns, so “thank you”.
I must challenge you on the timing of your approach. Specifically, (to make it simple let’s use only the Business Card), it is the advice to sign up for the card now (Oct-Dec), complete the minimum spend during the period of Oct-Dec and then, in January, finish the spend necessary to take me over 110,000. Haven’t I actually “earned” the sign-up bonus and the minimum spend (85,000 points) in 2019? This makes me nervous; wouldn’t it be safer to wait until Jan 1, 2020 to apply? Yes, I might lose the first two months of 2020 but at least I am safe.

Bryce Conway

Thanks! What you are describing works, it just delays the process a couple months. Think of earning CP like a race that begins exactly at midnight on NYE. By applying for the cards and spending a little bit now you are effectively getting a running start before the starting gun goes off. You just have to be careful not to cross the starting line before the race begins.

Just so I’m sure… for the personal cards to get the 40K points, you want to spend/hit $1000 right after Jan 1, right? That’s the minimal threshold for that card that you’re talking about? So get the business card first and put your 2019 holiday shopping on that one, but no more than $3000 (or $5000 depending on the card) ? Thanks!

Didn’t see this covered re: You do not currently have a Southwest personal credit card.

If I currently have one, can I cancel and then apply for a new one? If yes, is there a waiting period before applying for a new one to receive the bonus. It’s been over 24 months since it was opened.


For those of us in NYC for whom SW doesn’t really service, is this transferrable to any other partner airline? Basically is this worth anything for us at all? Unless we do a positioning flight to a SW-serviced area, but for domestic travel this seems a bit overkill…

Matt Brown

Unfortunately it’s not transferrable in any way.

And even though SW has announced plans to stop flying to EWR, they still fly to LGA and have a number of non-stop destinations, and plenty of one-stop destinations. I’d encourage you to explore the route map on the SW website to see all of the places you can fly SW to and utilize the tremendous value that the Companion Pass offers.

Max Kris

Can I apply for the cards say in November or December and plan to have the bonus points post in January so I can make full use of the companion pass for close to 2 years?

Carol Tomayko

Hi Bryce

Thank you for all the information you provide! I had a southwest card before but cancelled it about two years ago. Do you know how long I must wait prior to signing up again?

Thank you!


Matt Brown

You’ll have to wait until 24 months after you received the bonus on the SW Personal card to apply for a personal card again. You’ll want to wait to apply for it again until it’s been > 24 months since you received the bonus from your previous account. Double check the dates for sure to confirm eligibility.

Jason Guthner

If I have 2 current SW cards, how does the timing work to cancel those cards and re-apply? I fear that by not cancelling the cards already I may have screwed myself.

RR Premier Business – November 2017, still active
RR Premier Personal – January 2018, still active

Would you cancel those cards immediately and then follow the strategy above? I guess I’m okay with missing out on a few months of CP benefits if that’s what it takes to get it again.

Matt Brown

Technically, you only have to cancel the SW personal. The SW business doesn’t have the restriction like the personal one for currently holding a SW Biz card.

You’ll have to wait until 24 months after you received the bonus on the SW Personal card to apply for a personal card again. You can go ahead and cancel the personal SW card now, and then wait to apply for it again until it’s been > 24 months since you received the bonus from the January 2018 application.


Hi Bryce: In Dec. 2017, I received a Southwest personal card under a special deal that if I spent $1000 I would get the companion pass through 2018. I spent the $1,000 in Dec. . I can’t find out if there was any bonus points as well (if you have an idea how I can find that out, I’d love to know… rewards activity that far back doesn’t seem to be listed). Assuming I did get bonus points, does the 2 years start from when the bonus was actually given or from when I got the card?

John Hawthorne

So if you currently have two of the Southwest personal cards, you will need to cancel them before attempting this due to the restriction that you can’t have a personal Southwest card to earn a bonus, right?

Matt Brown

Correct. You can’t currently have a personal SW card open AND have received a bonus on it in the last 24 months. So you’d want to close the personal cards, and wait at least 30 days before applying, assuming it’s been more than 24 months since you last received a bonus.

Jamey Herzog

Great overview of SWCP however you make it sound like anyone can open a Business credit card and that is simply not true. If you have a “regular” job with a company and don’t do any freelance/gig work you do not qualify to open a business credit card and in fact, can be face significant penalties if you try to “fake it”.

Matt Brown

I think you’d be surprised to see just how many people are able to qualify for business cards with “non-traditional” businesses. We cover this in the e-book actually.

Suruchi Oswal

How does one get a companion pass again for next year after ours expire on Dec31 st 2019. We got our SWCP by getting a credit card. It was a random offer. We got it in April 2019, but is only good till Dec. 31 , 2019.

Matt Brown

You mention “we” – do you have a spouse that can qualify for it? If so, have them follow the steps outlined in the article.

If not, then your best bet is to try for both of the SW business cards.

If you got the Performance Business and a personal card, you would end up with $126,000 bonus points and qualify for companion pass without having to earn any extra miles correct?

John F Caffrey

What about the idea of buying SW gift cards to finish the spending(either the minimum spend or the 110k target)? If we could get 2 points per dollar rather than only 1 point it would be faster in satisfying the total needed. Then I could sell the gift cards, or not simply using the gift cards to pay for my flights for two years.

K. Choi

The business 80k bonus expires Oct 16th. Any feel or thoughts on what they will do? drop it back to 60K?
I have a SW flight beginning of Nov, I was wondering about signing up on the plane/airport for extra bonuses?

Chris S

Hi Bryce,

My last Chase card went to recon before it was approved. I don’t want to experience that again. What can I do to minimize that scenario? Should I maybe drop my card limits or declare a higher income? Appreciate any ideas you might have. I have opened 4 biz cards since July of 2017. Two have been cancelled. Last biz card was back in January this year.

To be considered again for SW, is it 48 months after receiving the bonus, meaning when it was disbursed into the account?
Historically does the promo increase or decrease after Oct 16th?


Question: I got a personal SW credit card this year and received about 35,000 RR points. If I get a SW business card earning 80,000 RR points after Jan 1, will I have enough points for the companion pass?

Matt Brown

You’ll need to earn the 80,000 points and have them post to your account before 12/31 in order to earn the Companion Pass since you’ve already earned 35,000 in 2019. All 110,000 points have to post in the same calendar year in order to earn the Companion Pass.

Pamela Thorsell

Last year Southwest credit card offered free companion pass just for opening the card. My husband had already earned the companion pass so it wasn’t beneficial to apply at that time. Now he is out of work and will not earn the pass again this year so the timing is perfect if this offer becomes available again. What are the chances? Should I take my chances or apply with the current offer of 60,000 points?

1. In nov 2017, I applied/received both a business Premier and personal card which would award 90,000 bonus pts . I reached the 110, 000 threshold January 2018 — and got a CP good until December 2019

Trying to qualify again for cp for 2020, i have been putting everything on
my sw charge cards and I need only $5k more to reach the necessary 110,000 threshold by nov 2019

Question: When I qualify for new cp in nov, i will now have two companion passes for rest of 2019. can I designate two people for my two companion pass …or will the new cp be “wasted” because I already have one for 2019?

2. I decided to apply for the business performance card as it has quite a few advantages that the business premier card does not have ( Global fee reimbursement no foreign transaction fee, three points given per Southwest Flight ) and it was approved sept 16, 2019. .

I need to be careful to not reach the 5k minimum spend until after the closing statement in December so that I don’t receive credit for my spend and the 80,000 bonus until January 2020
Question: Is south west really strict on me charging the $5000 minimum spend within 90 days? If so I would have to charge by December 16 ( end of 90 period) and risk the 80k bonus being awarded in dec instead of Jan 2020

One Southwest representative I spoke to said I actually have 115 days too complete my $5000 spend but I don’t know if I want to count on that in case he is wrong

Question: If I finish my $5k spend on December 15 will the 80k bonus points be issued in December — which I do not want— or in January2020? ( the closing date for dec is dec 3)

Question 2: When I reach the 110 threshold again sometime in 2020, I will get a second CP good until 2021 …. can my two cp for 2020 be used for two different people?

Lastly I was told by a Southwest agent that 1110 threshold will be increasing to 125,000 as of January 2020 —have you heard any rumors about that? Because obviously that will change things

Bryce Conway

1. You can’t have two companion passes. You will simply renew your one companion pass.

2. Don’t risk it. Meet the min spend after Jan 1.

I have not heard any rumors about the 125k.

If I applied for the business card this month, say October 10th. I should target hitting the min spend by Jan 10th right?
Oct 10 – Nov 10 (month 1)
Nov 10 – Dec 10 (month 2)
Dec 10 – Jan 10 (month 3)

Are my assumptions correct?


If you meet your minimum spend in Jan, how long will it take for your points to post? how long will it take to get companion pass? trying to plan a few trips starting in February and wasn’t sure how realistic this would be. THANK YOU!

Matt Brown

It depends on your statement closing date. In most cases you’ll have your Companion Pass active in your SW account 2 weeks or less after your statement closing date in which you met the spend.

Mike LaRoe

I am a bit confused, Southwest says 2020 125,000 points are required for the companion pass in a calendar year. I am sitting on 86,900 and can easily get to 110,000, 125,000 a bit of a stretch. Here is the thing…I am interpreting what I am reading on the Southwest site that everything resets after the New Year and my 86900 or what ever don’t count towards the pass? Am I wrong? Thanks Mike

Matt Brown

Correct – to earn the Companion Pass you have to earn the required amount of points in a single calendar year. So if you’ve earned 86,900 this year (2019), you have to get to 110,000 by 12/31/19.

After 1/1/20, the rules have changed and you have to earn 125,000 RR points in 2020 to earn the Companion Pass.

So yes, you get to keep all of your points after the New Year, but the earning towards the Companion Pass gets reset to 0.

Mike LaRoe

Ok, I went back and reread everything and now I know I have a timing issue and just need to get the companion pass with what is left for this year and have it for next year. I was not even thinking about a companion pass when a did the min spend for the 80,000 points. I have a companion pass and this would be on my wife’s account and she would get the pass we would each then put our kids or grand kids on as companions. Thanks Mike

Brian V.

I got my CP in Feb 2019. It says CP good for the remainder calendar year and all of next year. Does that mean I still gotta hit 110,000 points before dec 31, 2019 ends to keep the CP going? Or am I good with the CP all next year and not have to worry. My RR rewards points are at 111,448, but at the “earn your next companion area” it says i only got 101,701. Kind of confusing, but i’m assuming that 101,701 are the points I used for flights only and the remainder were for misc which DON’T count for the CP. I have 3 more flights til the end of the year to go, but not sure if i’ll hit 110,000. I thought i’m good for the remainder of the year and NEXT as it says. Would you suggest me booking business flights since I earn more points b4 2019 ends?

Ok, I am thinking of applying for the Premiere Personal credit card and the Premiere Business credit card. But my wife is totally against it, saying that she heard it will negatively affects my credit score when I keep opening and closing the credit card account say after every two to three years trying to take advantage of getting the bonus reward points with each credit card when signing up. Is she right? And to what degree will it affect my credit score?

Matt Brown

This is a very popular misconception about credit and credit cards. You’ll actually find that your credit score will rise by opening credit cards due to a reduction in your credit card utilization ration because of the additional credit now available to you. It’s very common for people with 15-20 credit cards to have credit scores > 800. Once you open each card, your score will likely drop 2-3 points for a month or two, and then rise 5-8 points or so on average after that.

A lot of these common myths are covered in an article Bryce wrote that you can read here – https://10xtravel.com/5-myths-about-credit-that-even-you-may-believe-busted-but-which/. Additionally, they’re covered in more detail in the free e-book that’s available. I highly encourage you to download it and give it a read. I think you’ll be glad that you did.

I applied for the business card on November 11th and received, activated, and began using it yesterday on November 22nd. I know I want to wait 30+ days before applying for the personal card, but does that mean I’m waiting until December 12th or December 23rd to do so? I see it was mentioned a few times in the article and Q&A below but the language was still leaving me feeling a little unsure and I want to give myself the best chance to do this right. Thanks!

I applied for the Premier Business credit card in November and the Premier Personal credit card in December and have started using them both. I like to know where did you get the information of ‘Earn an additional 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 on purchases in the first 12 months of account opening’ on your Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card referenced in your October 3, 2019 How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass [2020].
I have read all the fine prints on the materials that came with my credit card and I do not recall seeing anything like that mentioned unless I overlooked something. With the upcoming requirement changes on 1/1/2020 (requires 125K points) for a CP, I was hoping to meet that requirement by April 2020 with the intention of earning the additional 20,000 points after spending $12,000. If I do not get the extra 20,000 points, it will take me till September 2020 to meet the requirement to earn the CP.
I have some trips planned for January, March, May, and July 2020. If there is no such thing as earning the additional 20,000 points after spending $12,000, should I just try to meet the 110K points before the year end for 2019? That way I would start taking advantage of the CP pass even though I would basically have the month of December 2019 and the 2020 year of the CP vs one year and four months when I meet the requirement in September 2020

How does 2 player mode change getting companion passes? I have a CP through 2020. I was planning for my husband and I to both follow your guidelines starting next December so we can each earn a CP to fly our children. I opened my personal SW card in Dec 2019 and am currently 2/24. Thank you!

Hi Bryce, thank you for such a through report regarding SW companion pass. But I have question here. Currently all 3 SW personal credit card offer 40,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, an additional 35,000 points will be earned after spending $5,000 within the first 6 months from account opening. By doing so will you just earn 40,000 points or 75,000 points toward companion pass?

Thank you,


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