Why Southwest's Companion Pass Is the Best Perk in the Sky
Chase recently updated their sign up bonus for their three consumer Southwest credit cards to include a promotional Companion Pass as one of its benefits. While past offers for the cards have offered up to 60,000 bonus miles, this is the first time we've seen this incredibly valuable benefit as part of a sign up bonus.
The Best Southwest Airlines Credit Cards Bonus We've Ever Seen!
From now until 2/11/19, cardmembers can earn a promotional Southwest Companion Pass valid until 12/31/19, plus 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points for spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of card membership by getting the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Card. The three Southwest cards that earn this bonus are the Southwest Premier Card, the Southwest Plus card, and the Southwest Priority card, which each offer bonus points for spending money on Southwest flights, as well as for everyday spending.
Why Is The Companion Pass So Special?
I believe the Companion Pass to be one of the most valuable benefits one can earn for frequent flying. Basically, you can elect one person to be your companion and fly for free with you for the validity of the pass when you fly on Southwest, anywhere they fly. This includes paid and award flights, which is why this pass is so incredible! And, there's no limit to how many flights you and your companion can take together between now and when the pass expires.
Companions are still responsible for taxes and fees on the ticket (for domestic flying, usually $5.60 per segment), and have to fly with the holder of the pass.
So, for families of four, the two parents could choose to sign up for one of the Southwest credit cards with the offer, and elect a child as their companion, thereby allowing them to fly on that annual family trip a lot cheaper!
What Makes This Pass Different Than The Regular Companion Pass?
Normally, one earns a Companion Pass from Southwest by earning 110,000 elite qualifying points in one year. The pass is then valid for the rest of that calendar year, and the entire year following. This promotional Companion Pass earned through the credit card bonus is only valid for the rest of 2019. Despite the shorter validity period, I believe this is still an incredible offer.
Where Does Southwest Fly?
So, where can you travel with your Companion Pass? Southwest has expanded greatly over the last ten years. They bought Airtran, which expanded their Southeastern US flight map, as well as built out their international flights to include Mexico, the Caribbean, and Costa Rica. And, in 2019, Southwest will begin flying to Hawaii. See international destinations on the map below.
My Experience with the Companion Pass
The companion pass offered me the opportunity to take my friend flying with me that otherwise could not. We went to Kansas City, San Francisco, Dallas, and Miami, among other places for the life of the pass. This easily saved me over $1,500 in airfare over the 1.5 years I had a Companion Pass.
Booking is super easy, too. First, designate your companion on Southwest.com. Then, find the flight you'd like to book, and complete booking for yourself. After completion, you can go to the "My Trips" section and find your flight, and select "Add Companion." You'll need to pay for taxes and fees at this time, and you're done!