*UPDATED October 2019: New Southwest Policies that will go into effect January 1, 2020 are as follows (from an email sent to me by Southwest on October 17, 2019):
“We know how important it is to experience new places with family and friends, which is why we created the unparalleled benefit of Companion Pass. To continue offering unlimited flights for Companions when flying with their Companion Pass holder, we’re increasing the points required to earn a Companion Pass from 110,000 to 125,000 beginning January 1, 2020.
Don’t worry, for those earning a Companion Pass through flights, you can still earn yours by flying 100 qualifying one-way flights. If you are currently working toward a Companion Pass through points, you can still earn it with 110,000 qualifying points through December 31, 2019. Your Companion Pass benefits will begin the day you earn it and continue through December 31, 2020.”
So it will be more difficult to earn a companion pass starting in 2020, but it is still possible.
We get a lot of questions about how we can afford to fly our family of 5 on so many trips. Our answer is almost always either that we found an amazing deal or we used airline points or miles for our flight.
Southwest Airlines is our favorite Airline Frequent Flyer program for domestic flights in the United States. Their points are the easiest to use because they can be used on any flight. It is also easy to earn points through credit card signup promotions and by putting all of your everyday purchases on these credit cards.
And, thanks to the Southwest Companion Pass, you basically get a two year Buy-One-Get-One-Free on all Southwest flights, so you can get incredible value out of these points!
Check our link here to see what the current promotional offers are for all of the Southwest Credit cards. The personal cards often get as high as 50,000 points, and the business card gets as high as 60,000 points after you spend a certain amount on the card in a set time period. If they are not at these levels then it may be worth waiting until the promotion changes before signing up.
Companion Pass Details
If you earn 125,000 qualifying Southwest miles during a calendar year, you will automatically earn the Southwest Companion Pass. Miles earned from Southwest Credit card spending and credit card signup promotions qualify!
So, if you are approved for one Southwest personal card and one Southwest Business credit card with signup promotions (and miles earned through credit card spending) totaling 125,000 miles, you will earn the companion pass for all of that year and all of the next year. With this pass a companion can fly with you for free. This even works when your ticket is booked with miles!
Those 125,00 miles could give you and your companion over $3500 worth of flights (which always makes us wonder why anyone would sign up for a department store card!)
The details matter here. If the bonus miles from one card post in a different calendar year than the other, you will not earn the companion pass. Some people like to sign up for the credit cards at the end of one year but time their spending to make sure the bonus miles do not post until the beginning of the next year. It works if you do it right, but just make sure you get 125,000 miles posted in one year.
Regarding business card applications, we have been approved for business credit cards even when our business is just starting and income is low. Teaching music lessons, writing a blog with potential to make money, selling garden produce, and being an online re-seller (Ebay, Amazon) are all examples of small businesses.
For business name on the application, enter your given name unless your business has a name. For Tax ID, you enter your own Social Security Number. For income, it’s acceptable to list $0 if you are just starting out.
Our experience with different small business endeavors has been that it’s not too difficult to be approved. However, we have recently heard from some who have had a harder time getting approved for business cards, so that may be changing!
Comment below if you have any questions about how this all works and we’ll help all we can!
Notice: The link above is a referral link, which means that you get the same promotion and we also receive bonus points for referring you to the offer. We only post about the best offers that we personally recommend.