Southwest Companion Pass: How to Get Two Years of Free Southwest Flights in 15 minutes

Update: The 50,000 Southwest offer is no longer available as of March 1st, 2012.

In the fall of 2011, I wrote about the possibility of earning enough miles for a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

The key benefit of the Companion Pass is that you can have a designated person fly with you for free! (You can change the designated person 3 times.) The benefit lasts until the end of the year after you get the companion pass.

Thus, someone who got the Companion Pass in November 2011 would have it until December 31st, 2012. However, if you get it in January 2012 it will last until December 31st, 2013.

The Step-By-Step Process to Getting the Companion Pass

In the fall, Southwest had a 50,000 point sign up bonus for the Chase Southwest credit card.

The process was quite simple:

  1. Get a Southwest Personal card with the 50,000 point signup bonus and wait to activate the card in 2012.  Current best offer 25,000 miles.  Enough for one free flight.
  2. Get a Southwest Business card with the 50,000 point sign up bonus and and wait to activate the card in 2012.  Current best offer 25,000 miles.  Enough for one free flight.
  3. Earn (or buy) an additional 10,000 miles. As Million Mile Secrets points out, the cheapest way to get those points is to buy Marriott points for $375 and transfer those points to Southwest.

The reward for this minimal amount of work is that you’d end up with a Companion Pass.

The only complication was that no one really knew if Southwest was going to allow the credit card sign up bonuses to count towards a companion pass in 2012 (as they clearly were doing in 2011). Some folks went for it in 2011, and others waited.

I was one of the ones that waited.

I’m glad I did.

I’m now within 10,000 Southwest points of getting a Companion Pass that will last through December 31st, 2013.

Can you still get in on the Companion Pass offer?

Not using this method as the current best offer is 25,000 SWA points.  You can find the application page here.

Anyway, it’s very little work for free companion flights through December 2013.

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