Southwest’s Companion Pass is the best deal in the industry. Fly 100 times or earn 125,000 points in a year and you’ll earn a CP. The pass will allow you and one companion to fly anywhere that Southwest flies for the price of just one ticket + taxes and fees. For example, if you book a flight to Hawaii for $500 roundtrip, your companion gets to fly with you for just the cost of taxes (usually $5.60)! This effectively gives you 50% off wherever Southwest flies, including international destinations like Cabo and Costa Rica. Wow!

Image result for southwest flight map

Southwest’s Flight Map

What’s awesome about this deal is that you can earn one without stepping foot on a Southwest plane. As I mentioned before, you earn the pass with 100 flights OR 125,000 Southwest points, including points earned through credit card sign-ups! That means you can apply for just two Southwest credit cards and you’ll be on your way to Companion Pass for the current and next calendar year. That means if you earn it early in 2022, you’ll earn CP for all of 2022 and 2023!

Here’s a step by step guide on how we (and a couple friends) plan to earn CP in 2022 + 2023:

  1. In December 2021, Pat will open the Southwest Performance Business card. We will time to hit the $5,000 spend in early January and earn 80,000 Southwest points.
  2. In early January 2022, Pat will open the Southwest Rewards Plus Personal card. We will hit the $2,000 spend in late January or February and earn 50,000 Southwest points.
    • Furthermore, if you make another $10,000 spend in the first 12 months, you’ll earn another 50,000 points.
  3. In total, that’s already 130,000 points in the first months of January 2022! Another positive is that every dollar you spend while hitting the minimum spend also earns Southwest points. Because the minimum spend requirement for the business card is $5k and the spend requirement for the personal card is $2k, we will easily earn an additional 7,000 extra points, totaling 137,000 points – more than enough for Companion Pass.

This is a simple strategy to basically get 50% off all our domestic flights (Jenny and I fly together a lot) for the next 2 years. We have a bunch of weddings, bachelor parties, and birthdays coming up across the country, so Companion Pass is going to save us thousands this year alone. Back in 2017/18 & 2020/21, when we had last had CP, Jenny and I took full advantage by making a bunch of weekend trips to national parks all across the country. CP is a great economical way to explore the States.

Pics from previous CP trips

Note, since this requires Chase cards, you’ll need to be under 5 new cards in the last 24 months, aka 5/24 for Chase to approve you. If you’re under this limit and have a decent credit score, 650+, it should be fairly easy to get approved for the personal cards.

The business card is also fairly easy to open and just requires a “business”. This can be a side gig where you buy and sell on eBay or a photography business. Chase will expect you to add revenue expectations for the year, but you can guestimate. Most of the time, you will not get approved immediately for the business card, so don’t panic! I’ve always found Reddit’s Chase reconsideration guide handy:

Source: Reddit

Other resources I find handy for getting approved for business cards and Chase cards in general:

What have been your experience with Companion Pass? Did you get one yet? Leave me a comment and let me know.