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How to Get the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018 – Without Flying!

Written by Charlie

Find out how you can earn the valuable Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018 – without ever getting on a plane! This is the solution to free companion travel for almost 2 whole years!

The best deal in air travel is alive and well and available again – even if you do not fly to obtain it! It is the Southwest Companion Pass and this post will show you how can easily obtain the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018, without even flying to earn it!

How to Get the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018

What Is The Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the greatest perks in airline programs. It is a pass that a customer earns that allows that customer to designate another person to fly with them on any Southwest flight (award or paidfor free! Of course, the second passenger does have to pay the taxes on the ticket but the cost of the actual ticket is waived – whether the primary passenger used cash or points for their own ticket.

Not only that, but the companion can be changed so you can bring different family members or friends with you throughout the time you hold the pass. You can change that companion up to three times per year. It can take a week or so to receive the new pass. Make sure that you leave time for that if you change a companion for an upcoming trip.

All you will need to pay is the taxes/fees for the companion. In the US, that is only $5.60 per flight segment but on the return of international routes, it can be around $50-$80 for the companion. Still cheaper than buying the ticket!

Two Years Of Free Companion Travel

The way to get the most value from the companion pass is to have it for two years. How that works is that you have the companion pass for the year you earned it in and the next year (since that is actually when the pass is earned for anyway, the current year is just a bonus).

Earning the Southwest Companion Pass

To obtain that companion pass, you need to earn 110,000 Rapid Reward points in one calendar year. Note: these points are not redeemed for the pass – it is simply the level you must reach to receive the pass. In other words, as long as you get 110,000 Rapid Reward points, you are able to have the companion pass and still use those 110,000 points for travel. This makes those points shoot up to a value of over $3,000 if redeemed for Wanna Get Away fares! The way to get qualifying points is to either fly or earn credit card points (by card bonuses or spending).

Read More: Check status of the companion pass

“Earning” The 110,000 Points For The Southwest Companion Pass

To earn the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 – 2018, there are a few different ways you can go to get the 110,000 points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass. The best and easiest way to do it is by applying for 2 of the Southwest credit cards from Chase. Right now, the personal cards each have 50,000 point bonuses and the business card has a 60,000 point bonus. By applying for the business card and a personal card, you will have enough points for the Southwest Companion Pass after you meet the minimum spending (a total of $5,000 in 3 months across both cards).

Important notes: the annual fee on these cards is not waived and does not count towards the minimum spending amount!

Also, if you have received the bonus on one of these cards in the past 24 months and currently hold that card, the terms say that you cannot earn the bonus again. Check which cards you have had and when you had them before applying! Finally, these cards both fall under Chase’s 5/24 which means you will not be able to get approved for either of the cards if you have had 5 or more new cards from any issuer in the last 24 months.

Credit Cards – 120,000 Points from 2 cards (1 personal and 1 business)

southwest companion pass for 2017

Here are the current card offers:

Southwest Premier Personal Card

  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months
  • Annual fee of $99 not waived
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points each card anniversary
  • Application Link

Southwest Plus Personal Card

  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months
  • Annual fee of $69 not waived
  • Received 3,000 bonus points each card anniversary
  • Application Link

Southwest Premier Business Card

  • Earn 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
  • Annual fee of $99 not waived
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points each card anniversary
  • Application Link

Earning the Pass with Hotel Transfers

hotels do listen

As has been the subject of some grief and then excitement, it is possible to convert 90,000 SPG points into the Southwest Companion Pass plus get 7 nights at a Category 1 – 5 Marriott property! But, this opportunity only exists until March 31, 2017 so definitely check into it now if it interests you! Check this post for all the details on this transfer opportunity.

Earning Points for the Pass with Referrals

But, what if you already have the Southwest cards or are not eligible to get new Chase cards because of 5/24? Fortunately, referrals from the Chase cards do count towards the Southwest Companion Pass! That means you can earn up to 50,000 points in a year from referring a total of 10 people for one of the Southwest credit cards! That is a great way to get almost half of the way there to earning the Southwest Companion Pass.

Have any referrals? Leave them below in the comments section for readers to apply through!


Most of us will not be spending $110,000 in a year, especially not just to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. But, that does work towards earning the points! So, if you are able to get one card and have some people sign-up through your referrals, you may only need a few thousand dollars in spending to get the rest of the way there! At least you know that you can use your current card or new Southwest card to earn points toward the pass with every dollar spent!


Obviously, the easiest way to earn the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018 is to get one business card and one personal card and meet the spending requirements. If you go that route, I would suggest the Personal Plus card as the annual fee is $30 less than the Personal Premier. Either way, you will end up with 125,000 points after all the spending, easily clearing the 110,000 point bar for the Southwest Companion Pass.

But, if you are unable to get a new Chase card right now, at least there a few other ways you can earn points toward the Southwest Companion Pass – without even flying to get them!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.