The SouthWest Companion Pass
There is a great benefit that SouthWest offer, which incidentally I don’t think they promote enough. And now is the time to earn and utilize it…
What Is It?
A SouthWest companion pass is a benefit that you earn after either completing 100 one-way flights with SouthWest or if you earn 110,000 SouthWest points. Now unless you’re a crazy road-traveler I don’t know anyone that does 100 flights per year, that’s essentially a flight every 3 days, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. This benefit allows you to designate a “companion”, be it your partner, spouse, child, parent or even a friend, and when this person travels with you their flight only costs the tax fee. This has incredible potential if you designate your spouse as your “companion” and you’re traveling with a lap child — all your family trips essentially cost the price of just one ticket plus 2x the taxes, in most cases it will be less than $50, sometimes by a lot.
Why get it now?
The second question is why now? Now is important because the Companion Pass benefit is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earn it plus the full next year. So the earlier you earn it in the first year, the closer you actually get to having this benefit, if you earn it now you’ll have it for 22 month!
How to get it?
Perhaps this is the most important question. As I already mentioned, if you’re a family looking for affordable travel, you most likely won’t be gaining this through booking 100 flights, nor will you be collecting 110,000 SouthWest points through flights alone anytime soon.
Thankfully, there is an offer currently available for a SouthWest Credit Card where you will receive 50,000 points after spending $2000. So technically you’ll be getting 52,000 points. The key is that both you and your spouse/partner take out individual cards, and you’re going to have 104,000 points available to you. You’re just 6000 points away from 110,000 criteria, something you can quickly earn by purchasing $500 gift cards and paying your mortgage/rent/car with them or any bill for that matter. Considering that it’s tax season (not only federal but also property taxes) you can also charge those fees to this card and earn spend that way. Typically I would advise against doing this because most tax payment processors charge a 2.5% surcharge, but if you’re going to get a companion pass out of it it’s fully worth it.
A SouthWest Companion Pass is a great benefit that’s often not advertised and on the surface can seem completely unattainable to an average family. But, hopefully after reading through the above post it will be clear that it is attainable with minimum effort and it offers incredible travel potentials for families.