Get a Southwest Companion Pass (limited-time offer) | Incredible Offer for the Best Deal in Travel

Hey, how's it going everyone? It's Ernest from Trip Astute In this video, we're discussing the Southwest Companion Pass, how it works, and some tips to consider if you're pursuing it

This is going to be an interesting video today for one exciting reason I actually recorded it earlier this week and then on Thursday, the day before the video release, I found out that there's a new and limited promotion for the Southwest Companion Pass offered by Chase So I had to make some edits to the video at the last minute I also got a haircut on Thursday morning, so you might notice that I look a little bit different in parts of the video Hopefully it all works out

While everything in the video is still valid, you'll see that I added some information about this amazing promotion and deal (light chiming music) One of the best travel deals that I've come across is the Southwest Companion Pass It's one of those things I'd heard of for many years and only in the last few years did I take the time to actually learn about it and get one myself So today, I want to share what I learned I actually made a serious mistake along the way, so hopefully you can avoid doing the same after watching this video

But first, if you're new here, welcome to our channel Trip Astute is a travel channel that is focused on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable Traveling can be stressful and expensive, so we're looking for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points and miles, and innovative gear If that sounds interesting to you, please consider subscribing The Southwest Companion Pass is the top reward that you can earn in Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards loyalty program

Once you have it, you can book a companion ticket for every flight that you take as long as the pass is valid There are no limits on the number of companion flights that you can book However, you do have to pay the taxes and fees on tickets Also, the Companion Pass will work on award ticket redemptions So, if I want to book a Southwest flight for myself using points, I can still bring Fiona, my Southwest companion, along to the flight and just pay the taxes on the ticket

Now let's talk about how to get it There are basically two ways to earn a Companion Pass One is to fly a hundred qualifying one-way flights The other is to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in a calendar year Obviously, unless you're a frequent flyer, it's unlikely that you'll be able to take a hundred qualifying flights

So for most people, getting 110,000 Southwest points is the easier option, especially with the help of some credit cards Sorry for the weird break in the video This is the part that I needed to add afterwards As I mentioned in the intro, as of January 10th, 2019, there's a third way of getting the Companion Pass Chase just released a limited time promotion where you can earn a Companion Pass for 2019 with any of their personal Southwest credit cards

This includes the Plus, Premium, and Priority card All you have to do to get the Companion Pass and 30,000 Southwest points is spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account Between the three personal card offers, I recommend the Priority card It does have the higher annual fee, but you get four upgraded boardings per year This means that you'll be able to sit in the select A seats as long as they're available

This offer is available until February 11, 2019, so if you're not affected by 5/24, I would highly recommend jumping on the offer Also, keep in mind that your Companion Pass will only be valid for 2019, so you'll have to figure out a way to earn additional Southwest points to keep it for another year We'll actually cover that in the rest of the video We have the promotional offer links on our website, so just click on the website post link below for more information Ok, we'll get back to the normal part of the video where we talk about how you would normally get a Southwest Companion Pass

As many of you know, Chase offers several Southwest credit cards The recommendation that you'll hear most people give is to get two Southwest credit cards The reason people say that is that if you combine the welcome offers for both a personal and business Southwest card, you're often within range of earning a Companion Pass Some of you might be asking, "how do I get a small business credit card?" Well, it's very possible that you're eligible for one, especially if you have a side hustle or gig For more information on what it takes to get a business card, see our video on the topic

A question you might be asking is, "can't I just get two personal Southwest cards?" Unfortunately, the answer is no In April 2018, Chase started to enforce a rule where you can only earn the bonus from any personal Southwest card once per 24 months This means that getting two different versions of the personal Southwest card is not an option Though getting a business and personal version is allowed So, suppose you were able to get 100,000 Southwest points through the welcome offer on your cards

You would still need to get 10,000 Southwest points in order to earn the Companion Pass There are so many ways to do it and I'll probably do a separate video on all the creative ways to earn Southwest points Though for most people, I recommend booking Southwest flights which can earn you additional points on a Southwest card, shifting your daily spend onto your Southwest credit card, using the Rapid Reward Shopping and Dining program, and booking hotels on Southwesthotelscom Believe it or not, you can actually earn up to 10,000 points on a hotel booking on Southwest Hotels, so it's easier than you might think

I actually needed about 5,000 points last year in order to get my Companion Pass renewed, so I paid for a night at a hotel near me that offered 5,000 points per night It may sound crazy, but I was confident that the cost of the room was worth it in order for us to have the Companion Pass for another year Another question you might be asking is, "can't I just transfer some Chase Ultimate Rewards points into my Southwest account to earn the pass?" The answer is no It used to be a lot easier to convert other loyalty or flexible points into Southwest points that would then qualify for the Companion Pass However, in the past few years, Southwest has become a lot more strict on the type of points that can be used

Even purchase points from Southwest will not count toward the Companion Pass If you get to 110,000 points, you'll get the Companion Pass which is valid for the remainder of the calendar year that you earned it and the following calendar year This is an important thing to keep in mind since your pass can be valid anywhere from 12 to 23 months, depending on when you actually earn it Once you have it, you'll get a card in the mail from Southwest and you'll be able to designate your companion online in your Southwest account Then, when you're ready to make a booking, you'll first make your own booking and then you'll add your companion once your booking is complete

This confused me when I first got the pass since I assumed that I would need to book both of us together at once However, you'll need to book your flight first and then add your companion afterwards As you can probably tell, I'm a huge fan of the Southwest Companion Pass If you're someone that often travels with another person then the Companion Pass is an awesome program and worth considering Though I recommend strategizing on how and when you get the Companion Pass

I think a lot of us, myself included, rushed into getting it and ended up either making mistakes or feeling a lot of pressure to earn points, especially late in the year If I had to do it again, I would have planned a little bit better and actually strategized on which credit cards I needed, how I was going to meet the spend, and then also how I was going to line my travel accordingly As always, I also want to share some tips to keep in mind if you decide to pursue a Southwest Companion Pass Number 1: Get it early in the calendar year This is the big mistake that I made

I rushed and earned my initial Companion Pass in December of 2017 The problem is that it then expired in December 2018, so it was only valid for thirteen months Had I timed it better, I could have earned my Companion Pass in early 2018, which would have made it valid until the end of 2019 So be especially careful about when you qualify and earn your Companion Pass Number 2: Be careful of Rapid Rewards Shopping and Dining Bonuses: While spending through these programs is a great way to earn Rapid Rewards points that count toward your Companion Pass, be careful of offers with the word "bonus" in them

In general, these points do not count toward your Companion Pass, which is very misleading and confusing Number 3: Watch out for Chase's 5/24 rule 5/24 is a difficult rule from Chase and can completely prevent you from getting cards to help you earn your Companion Pass If you're not familiar with the 5/24 rule, you'll want to check out our video on it We'll show you how it works, as well as showing you how to check your status through Credit Karma

If you're serious about getting a Southwest Companion Pass with credit cards, you'll definitely want to plan accordingly and know where you stand when it comes to this rule On that note, number 4: Apply for the business card first If you're able to qualify for a small business card, I would recommend getting it before the personal card The reason is that the Southwest Premier Business credit card will not add to your 5/24 standing However, the catch is that you have to be below 5/24 in order to get approval for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card

So, if you're close to the limit on 5/24, you're better off getting the small business card before you get the personal card Number 5: Be careful of bookings near your expiration date If your Companion Pass expires at the end of December but you decide to book a New Year's Eve trip, it's possible that you might need to book one-way tickets instead of a round trip in order to use your Companion Pass for part of the trip We actually experienced this issue last year However, after we re-qualified for another year the Companion Pass, I was able to cancel and re-book our return flights and add Fiona as my companion

Luckily, Southwest doesn't charge change fees, so this makes the process a lot easier Number 6: Consider using the EarlyBird check-in service A lot of you might hate me for recommending the EarlyBird check-in add-on service, but hear me out! Since you don't have an assigned seat on Southwest, I personally prefer to pay the EarlyBird check-in fee Basically, Southwest will automatically check you into your flight for a $20 fee, which then allows you to board the plane after the A-list members This means that you'll get to pick your seats and get access to more overhead luggage bin space

I justify it since we're usually paying so little for the flight, especially with the Companion Pass And if you have a credit card that covers a certain amount of flight incidentals or travel expenses, like the American Express Platinum and Gold Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, then it's much easier to justify Number 7: Change your companion You're allowed to change your companion three times per year by calling Southwest to request it I personally haven't done it, but I think it could be useful for a lot of people

Just be careful with any future booked trips If you change your companion, then you'll have to cancel any bookings with your previous companion before you can use it with your new companion This can make the process a little bit complicated and difficult Number 8: Check out Southwest's flight routes While most people think of Southwest as a domestic carrier, they actually have international flights to Central America and the Caribbean

Also, Southwest is planning to launch flights to Hawaii this year, so that might be another way to get a lot of value from the Companion Pass Number 9: Watch out for special offers The Southwest cards' welcome offers tend to hover between 20,000 to 60,000 points, so you're probably better off waiting for the best possible offer Also, every once in a while, Southwest will offer a crazy promotion on their Companion Pass In fact, we took advantage of one in 2017 when they offered the Companion Pass to California residents who applied for their credit card

You can never predict when these things will happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if Southwest does s promotion this year, especially when the new Hawaii routes are launched What are your thoughts on the Southwest Companion Pass? Do you have one or you planning to get one? Please share in the comment section below Also, if you have any questions, let us know I know we covered a lot of different rules and programs, so if anything is unclear, don't hesitate to ask As always, if you're interested in applying for a Chase Southwest card or any other credit card, we would love it if you used our link in the video description or on our website

It's an easy way to support our channel, especially if you found our content to be valuable and helpful If you enjoyed this video and found it useful, please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing our video with others It really helps us with growing the channel and our community Until next time, travel safe and travel smart