Want one person to start flying free with you by earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass? I’ll show you how to accomplish it in April.
First, the Southwest Companion Pass lets one person fly free with you for up to two years. We are now on our FOURTH Companion Pass and love it! You cannot beat the savings of never having to pay — either with points or cash— for one person in your group to fly.
A Companion Pass earned in April 2019 will be good until the END of 2020.
You’ll need to collect 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in ONE calendar year, to get your pass and this is most easily accomplished by signing up for two Southwest credit cards: one personal and one business.
To find out 10 things you MUST know before earning your Southwest Companion Pass, download my FREE Cheat Sheet below.
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How to Earn a 2019 Southwest Companion Pass Pass in April
Right now, your best bet to earn the Southwest Companion Pass is to take advantage of two Southwest credit card offers: one personal and one business. Southwest offers three personal cards and one business credit card.
All three personal cards are currently offering a 40,000-point sign on bonus with a $1,000 minimum spend within 90 days, while the business card has a 60,000-point bonus with a $3,000 minimum spend in 90 days.
You now need to apply for one personal and one business card, as Chase will no longer allow you to hold more than one Southwest personal card.
By applying for the two credit cards, you will net 104,000 (60,000 + 40,000 + 4,000 points for meeting the minimum spend and earning 1 point per $1) of the 110,000 points you need for the Companion Pass. That leaves you with another 6,000 points to reach 110,000.
Southwest Credit Card Options
The cards include:
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier ($99 annual fee, 6,000 anniversary points)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority ($149 annual fee, 7,500 anniversary points + other perks; read the full review here)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier ($99 annual fee, 6,000 anniversary points)
- Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus ($69 annual fee, 3,000 anniversary points)
Which personal card should you choose? The Premier card is a good middle-of-the-road option that does not have a high annual fee ($99), but still nets you 6,000 anniversary points each year, which DO qualify for the Companion Pass, so they can help you down the road.
If you fly Southwest A LOT, you may want to consider Priority, as it comes with some nice perks like a $75 Southwest credit and four A1-15 boarding upgrades.
If you’re looking to spend the least out of pocket, go with Plus, which only has a $69 annual fee.
Companion Pass Step by Step
- Apply for a Southwest personal and business card ideally at least 30 days apart. Chase will not approve you for a second card if you’ve applied for another Chase card within 30 days. You can try applying for both in the SAME DAY (before they realize you have applied for the other card). This works for some people, but not for others. I have never tried it.
- If you are declined for either card, which is VERY common, wait until you get a letter in the mail stating the reason you were declined. If it says too many applications, that is because you applied for two cards within 30 days. Wait until 30 days have passed from your first application and then call the Chase Reconsideration Line.
- Once you get your cards, complete your required minimum spend (here are some ideas) as soon as you can, but as slowly as you need to avoid incurring debt you cannot immediately pay off. After you meet the minimum spend on both, you should have 104,000 points: 40,000 + 60,000 + 4,000 (1 point per dollar spent to meet your minimum spend).
Do I Qualify for a Business Card?
You’d be surprised at how many people qualify for a business credit card who don’t think they have a business. Do you have any kind of side income for which you would file a Schedule C on your taxes or receive a 1099? Or is there some side income you can start to earn in order to qualify you for a business card?
This could be any of the below:
- eBay sales
- Amazon sales
- Affiliate income
- Mowing lawns
- Dog walking or pet sitting
- Uber/Lyft driver
- Freelancing (writing, graphic design, research, etc.)
- Virtual assistant work
- Administrative work
- Etsy craft sales
- Selling crafts at a craft show
- Selling produce or homemade goods at a Farmer’s Market
If you do any of the above — or anything like it — or could start doing any of the above, you can apply for a business card. And your business does not even need to be profitable; it just needs to earn some income!
Chase will likely want to see some “official” paperwork that includes your name and the name of your business. Applying for a free Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a great and quick way to accomplish that.
You DO NOT need to be an LLC or incorporated; a sole proprietorship (using just your social security number) works just fine.
How to Earn the Remaining 6,000 Southwest Points
After applying for the two cards, you’ll need to earn another 6,000 points to reach the 110,000 you’ll need to qualify for a Companion Pass.
To earn your other Southwest points, choose from some of the following activities. Note, that anything that says it is a “bonus” point does NOT count toward the Companion Pass, with the exception of the “bonus” points earned by signing up for a credit card.
- Rapid Rewards Shopping
- Sign up for Blue Apron – 700 (check out my hack to get these points FREE)
- Economist subscription – 550 points
- Wall Street Journal subscription – 700 points
- Barron’s subscription – 700 points
- Vinesse Wines – 1,400 points
- Order magazines at DiscountMags.com (starting at the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal) and earn 20 points per $1
- Shopping at your favorite stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Dick’s Sporting Goods and more and earn up to 5 points per dollar!
- Additional spending on your new Southwest credit cards – Earn 1 point per dollar and pay anything and everything you can with them, so long as you pay them off within 30 days, so you don’t incur high interest. By using your card for expenses, you’ll also more quickly meet the minimum spend and thus collect your bonus points (complete all expenditures for your minimum spend a day or two before the credit card monthly closing date to get your bonus points quickly). Consider the below expenses:
- Rent and car payment by using Plastiq (this is an affiliate link for which I earned a reduced fee if you use the service after clicking through; note: you can no longer pay mortgages via Plastiq with a Visa card)
- Textbook fees
- College tuition
- Sports fees
- Medical or dental bills
- Groceries and gas
- Homeowner’s Association dues
- Book a hotel through SouthwestHotels.com and earn up to 10,000 points per night (Note: points do not credit your account until the stay is completed). This option helped us quickly earn the last points we needed for our 2017 and 2018 Companion Passes. Here’s how I earned the 2017 pass.
- Rent a car through Southwest.com and earn up to 2,400 points
- Refer a friend to the Chase Southwest credit cards and earn up to 10,000 points per referral up to a max 50,000 points across all cards. Check to see if you are eligible at Chase.com/ReferaFriend
- Paying your electric bill in certain states (up to 27,000 points)
What questions do you have?
Thanks again for starting your credit card applications at the TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS link in the main menu above or the links included in this post.
- Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About the Southwest Companion Pass
- Double-Dipping With Rapid Rewards Points
- How to Use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal
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