Southwest Companion Pass Just Became a Little Harder to Get

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One of the very best deals in travel is the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. Earned after 110,000 points in a year – and credit card points (including signup bonus points) count — your designated companion can fly with you for just taxes regardless of whether you’re traveling on a paid fare or points.

While points transfers from hotel programs no longer count towards your total, points from credit cards do — both bonuses and ongoing spend.

You used to be able to sign up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and earn the bonus points from each, and you’re practically home free.

However in addition to Chase’s ‘5/24’ restrictions that apply to these cards, they won’t generally approve you if you’ve had 5 or more new card accounts in the last 24 months, they will no longer treat these as separate products for bonus eligibility.

Effective today anyone who is a current Southwest consumer cardmember (Plus, Premier, and legacy products) Heritage Products) or who has had a new cardmember bonus on one of these cards in the past 24 months won’t be eligible for a new Southwest consumer card.

This rule does not apply to small business cards. So you can get Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card — each one offering 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open — and a small business card.

And of course your spend on the Southwest credit cards continues to count in addition to the points earned from flying.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. SO my interpretation of this new rule, is that you can no longer get a new SWA Consumer card, if you’ve collected the bonus within the last 24 mos. Prior to this, the rule was you could get a new card, but you couldn’t get the bonus if you’ve had one in the past 24 mos.
    I hope this new rule applies from today on, as I just got a new SWA Premier card (and a bsiness card) and did the qualifying spend last month; I’m just waiting now for the statement to post so I can get the CP.

  2. Why would a bank and the partner want someone to apply for 2 cards and get 2 signup bonuses plus a CP? Makes no sense – it isn’t as if Chase or WN is going to get more business by printing multiple cards.

    The only surprise is that it took this long to shut it down. I bet the numbers skyrocketed last year when the bloggers piled onto the deal

  3. This program is in my “dead pool” of programs ripe for devaulation. My prediction is that the end is near for the companion pass. Best case is that they will continue it but earned through butt in seat plus elite points earnings long term. Too much abuse and too many churning it.

  4. @Scott Daniels – I agree that the wording is a little unclear here. I understand it as that there are two Southwest personal cards – Plus, and Premier. It used to be that you could get the bonus on each of the two to qualify for CP. Now you can only get the bonus on ONE of them at a time, as they are now considered the same product. In order to get the CP, now you have to get one personal one – either Plus or Premier, but not both, then also get a version of the business card.

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