Clark Howard

How To Get Southwest’s Companion Pass for Free in 2024

Have you dreamed of the opportunity to travel with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass®?

Well, 2024 could be the year to make it a reality.

For a limited time, Southwest Airlines is offering select new credit cardholders the opportunity to earn a Companion Pass® without having to qualify the traditional way.

A welcome bonus offer available to select Chase credit card applicants could land you use of the pass through February 2025.

Let’s take a look at the offer and see if one these cards may be a fit for your wallet.

Southwest Credit Card Welcome Offer Presents Chance for Free Companion Pass

Effective February 6, 2024, Chase is offering the following limited-time offer for new Southwest credit card applicants:

Limited-time offer: Earn a Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

This offer applies to the following Southwest credit cards:

What Is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is a benefit that allows you to choose one person to fly with you free of airline charges for an unlimited number of flights.

You must purchase or redeem points for a flight for yourself in order for your companion to travel for free.

While the airfare is free for your companion on Southwest, you will still have to pay taxes and fees (from $5.60 one-way).

You can read more about the fine print associated with this program here.

Which Southwest Credit Card Should You Choose?

While any of the three cards listed above can get you access to the Companion Pass by successfully meeting the spending requirements on the welcome offer, you may be wondering if one is actually better than the others.

In this instance, we may be able to lean on money expert Clark Howard’s personal decision for some help.

Clark is a frequent traveler who has been using a Southwest co-branded credit card to help him earn the Companion Pass. He’s entering his 18th consecutive year with his wife traveling with him on Southwest flights for free thanks to the Companion Pass.

Clark carries the card_name in his wallet, though much of his Rapid Rewards earning is done with a corporate Southwest credit card that he recently added for business expenses.

This card is the most expensive of the three Southwest cards eligible for this promotional offer, but it may actually be the best value.

Each year you’ll receive a $75 Southwest travel credit, which effectively cuts the annual fee in half. You’ll also receive 7,500 anniversary points and four upgraded boardings each year. These are enough value to offset the rest of the annual fee for frequent Southwest travelers.

From there, the enhanced rewards multipliers and points boost for future Companion Pass qualifications make this card the choice.

Many people consider "free checked bags" a big perk for airline credit cards, but thanks to Southwest's generous "two checked bags fly free" policy this isn't a big consideration when picking a Southwest credit card.

Do you have experience with Companion Pass? Are you considering it for the first time and looking for tips? Visit the community to chat about saving money while traveling.

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