If you are interested in the Southwest companion pass for 2022 and 2023 this is probably the best time to apply for a Southwest credit card (which is the easiest way to earn most of the 125,000 Rapid Rewards points needed to earn the Southwest Companion Pass). The reason is that all 3 versions of the personal Southwest credit card are offering a sign up bonus of 100,000 points (highest ever) until tomorrow, December 7, 2021.
How to Get the Southwest Companion Pass for 2022 and 2023
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
The Southwest Companion Pass allows your companion to fly almost free anytime you fly – either on a paid or award booking. The Companion Pass is basically a buy one get one free deal but even better because your companion can fly free with you even if you use points to book your ticket. Both the member and the companion must be booked on the same flights and dates. Southwest Companion Pass travel has no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is valid the remainder of the calendar year it is earned and for the entire calendar year immediately following. This means if you earn the Companion Pass in 2022 it will be valid for the rest of 2022 and all of 2023.
The member is limited to one companion at any time but may change his/her designated companion up to three (3) times each calendar year that the member maintains Companion Pass status. The full terms of the Southwest Companion Pass can be found in the terms and conditions on southwest.com.
How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
To earn the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass you must either: fly 100 qualifying one-way flights OR earn 125,000 Qualifying Points in one calendar year.
Even if you don’t fly Southwest very much, you can easily earn most of the 125,000 points needed for a companion pass by earning a sign up bonus for 1 Southwest credit card in 2022. You don’t need to use your 125,000 points for the companion pass so those points are available to you to book free award flights.
The sign up bonus for Southwest credit cards counts towards the points needed to earn Companion Pass status.
There are 5 versions of the Southwest credit card – 3 personal versions and 2 business versions.
For a limited time (until 12/7/2021), all 3 versions of the personal Southwest credit card (our referral link) are offering a highest ever sign up bonus of 100,000 bonus points. You can earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening and an additional 50,000 points after you spend $12,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening.
If you earn the bonus on one (1) personal Southwest credit card, you will earn 114,000 Southwest points –which means you only need to earn an additional 11,000 points to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
(If you have a business, you can also apply and earn a signup bonus on one of the business versions).
NOTE: If you apply for one or more Southwest credit cards in 2021, make sure not to complete the minimum spending requirements until early 2022. If you accidentally spend too much in 2021, you will earn the bonus in 2021 which you do not want. You want to earn sign up bonuses in early 2022 so that you can earn the companion pass in 2022.
Earning the Remaining Companion Pass Qualifying Points
If you apply for only 1 personal Southwest credit card (rather both a personal and business version), there are several ways to earn the remaining Companion Pass Qualifying Points you need in 2022 including the following:
• Flying on Southwest revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines
• Spending more money on your Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards
• Base points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners. This includes online shopping.
The following DO NOT COUNT for the companion pass according to Southwest:
“Purchased points; points transferred between Members; points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, e-Rewards®, Valued Opinions, and Diners Club®; points earned from Rapid Rewards program enrollment; tier bonus points; flight bonus points; and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase).”
Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest does not count toward the Southwest Companion Pass.
An easy way to earn the remaining points is to pay your rent or mortgage with Plastiq (our referral link).
If you are thinking of applying for a Southwest credit card to earn the Southwest Companion Pass for 2022 and 2023, this is the best time to apply. If you apply for a personal Southwest credit card right now and earn your companion pass early in 2022 you will have almost 2 full years to use the companion pass.