New Offer From Southwest Can Help You Earn the Companion Pass Benefit Through February 2023

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Southwest Airlines and Chase just announced new welcome bonuses on their co-branded travel cards — which could help you access the airline’s coveted Companion Pass for over a year.

When you open a new Southwest card account and spend at least $5,000 on new purchases within the first three months of account opening, you can earn Southwest’s Companion Pass through Feb. 28, 2023, plus 30,000 bonus points. With Companion Pass, you can choose a companion to fly free (plus fees) each time you travel. Eligible cards include:

Here’s what you need to know about the new Companion Pass offer and how to choose the right Southwest Card for you:

How to Get Companion Pass with the New Welcome Offer

To score the new welcome offer, you’ll need to spend at least $5,000 within the first three months of opening a new Southwest co-branded card. That’s equal to about $1,667 per month. Then, you’ll earn both the 30,000-point bonus and the Companion Pass.

The 30,000-point bonus you’ll earn is in Southwest Rapid Rewards points, which are redeemable toward flights and more through Southwest. Though Southwest co-branded cards are issued by Chase, the points you earn are not Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Typically, when you earn the Companion Pass within one year, you’ll have access through the rest of that year and over the next year. If you earned the Companion Pass in August 2021, for example, you could access it through the end of December 2022.

This bonus offer is a bit different — your Companion Pass benefit is only applicable through Feb. 28, 2023.

But the benefit can add a lot of value to your spending during that time. Even if you choose one of the Southwest cards with an annual fee — the $99 Southwest Priority Card or the $149 Southwest Premier Card — you could get back that cost with just a single round-trip flight, depending on the details of your itinerary.

Still, before you apply, consider your budget and travel. Not only will you need to spend enough money within the first three months to score the bonus, but you’ll also want to make sure you have upcoming travel plans that allow you to take advantage of the pass before next February.

Otherwise, you may be better off with a different travel rewards card that offers more flexibility, or even a cash back credit card better suited to everyday spending.

[READ MORE: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Sapphire’s Flexible Rewards Are Better for Most]

What Is The Southwest Companion Pass?

With the Companion Pass benefit, you can choose a companion to fly with free every time you purchase or redeem points toward a flight. You’ll still need to pay any applicable fees (which start at $5.60 per one-way ticket), but there’s no ticket cost for your companion’s flight.

Typically, earning the Companion Pass requires you to fly at least 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 points in a calendar year, after which you’d earn the benefit through the following year. Southwest allows you to change your designated companion up to three times within the calendar year.

Southwest Credit Cards from Chase:

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviewsour analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

The three Southwest cards eligible for the Companion Pass bonus offer vary in terms of annual fee, rewards rate, and added benefits. Here’s how they compare:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.55/5)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.55/5)

  • Intro offering:

    Companion Pass® Plus 30,000 Points

  • annual fee:

    $69

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Reward rate:

Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3,675/5)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3,675/5)

  • Intro offering:

    Companion Pass® Plus 30,000 Points

  • annual fee:

    $99

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Reward rate:

New! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. New! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.

NextAdvisor’s Take

pros

  • Generous sign up bonus offer
  • Get 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary
  • Southwest offers unlimited award seats and two free checked bags

Cons

  • $99 annual fee
  • Limited redemption options for rewards
  • Southwest flies to limited international destinations

The Bottom Line

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is a great option for Southwest loyalists. You don’t need to be in the air all the time to get value from this card, but since its highest rewards are on Southwest purchases, you’ll get the most value if you fly with the airline at least a few times each year and can offset the annual fee. The Southwest Rapid Rewards program also offers unlimited award seats with no blackout dates, no change fees and two free checked bags per person.

Additional Card Details

  • Get 6,000 points every year on your cardmember anniversary
  • 1,500 tier qualifying points towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent
  • 25% off in-flight purchases
  • 2 early check-ins annually
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)

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Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.8/5)

  • Intro offering:

    Companion Pass® Plus 30,000 Points

  • annual fee:

    $149

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Reward rate:

New! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. New! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. New! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.

NextAdvisor’s Take

pros

  • Welcome offer
  • Bonus points at cardmember anniversary
  • Travel benefits for Southwest flights
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Rewards not valuable if you don’t fly Southwest often
  • $149 annual fee

The Bottom Line

For loyal Southwest flyers, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card can enhance the travel experience when flying the airline. It comes with perks like a $75 Southwest booking credit, four upgraded boardings per year and 25% back on in-flight purchases. It can even fast-track you towards earning a Companion Pass, one of the most coveted benefits for Southwest’s frequent flyers.

Additional Card Details

  • 7,500 points per cardmember anniversary
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • 25% off in-flight purchases on Southwest
  • Earn Southwest’s Companion Pass faster
  • 4 boarding upgrades per year, depending on availability
  • Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points (TQPs) towards A-List status for every $10,000 spent
  • Travel protections

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