Earn a Southwest Companion Pass With Just One Credit Card Signup!

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For only the second time, Chase and Southwest have dropped an offer that could land you a Southwest Companion Pass with a single signup bonus. While not as straightforward as the first offer, which provided a Companion Pass for up to 12 months after meeting a smaller minimum spend, this offer on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card can get you a Companion Pass until the end of 2021 after meeting a two-tiered spending requirement.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Annual Fee$199
Welcome Bonus Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
The latest card to join the Southwest lineup of rewards cards, the Southwest Performance Business Card offers the highest Rapid Rewards signup bonus, earns more points than it's Southwest counterparts, receives a massive 9,000 point anniversary bonus, plus offers plenty of perks and benefits for Southwest fans. One of the best co-brand business cards on the market.
  • Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available
  • Inflight WiFi Credits
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit
  • Employee cards at no additional cost, earn points on employee spending.
  • 3X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
  • 2X points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases

With most travel plans currently on hold or canceled, now is the time to lay the groundwork for a successful long term award travel strategy. What makes the Southwest Performance Business Card such a good option?

  • Rapid Rewards points don't expire, so the points earned with this offer will be ready to use when you return to the air.
  • Southwest provides free changes and cancellations. There is no penalty if you make tentative future travel plans and need to push them back at a later date.
  • For most small business owners, the minimum spend on this offer will take a few months to hit, so restrictions may be lifting right when your Companion Pass comes online.

How Does the Southwest Companion Pass Work?

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most sought after rewards in points and miles, providing unlimited two-for-one flights on both award and revenue fares for you and a companion—for as long as the pass is valid.

In other words, every time you buy a Southwest ticket or use Rapid Rewards points to book an award, your favorite travel buddy gets to come along by paying only the taxes (which start at $5.60 each way on flights within the U.S.)

Obtaining a Southwest Companion Pass typically requires:

  • Flying 100 one-way flights in a calendar year
  • Accumulating 125,000 points via credit card spend, flying Southwest, or making purchases through Southwest partners.

Credit Card Strategy for Earning the Companion Pass

As we noted previously, you can earn enough points to qualify for a Southwest Companion Pass with the bonus from just the Southwest Performance Business Card. To make that work, you’ll need some significant business spending. Here’s how the offer breaks down.

Including the 100,000 Rapid Rewards points you’ll earn for hitting both bonus tiers, you’ll receive at least another 25,000 points while meeting the minimum spend, for a total of at least 125,000 points, exactly what’s required to earn a Companion Pass under the new rules.

However, you don't need to earn the Companion Pass with a single welcome bonus. Southwest also has three credit cards for personal use—all of which are currently offering a bonus of 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months your account is open.

Is This Card Worth the $199 Annual Fee for the Long Run?

Despite it sporting the highest annual fee in the Southwest lineup, we see this card as the go-to card for anyone chasing a Companion Pass or a huge haul or Rapid Rewards points. Plus the Southwest Performance Business Card holds massive long-term value. Here’s why.

It’s always a good strategy to pick a card you can justify keeping for the long term. The Southwest Performance Business Card should easily meet that requirement. In exchange for $199 per year, you’ll get:

  • 9,000-anniversary points each year
  • 3X points on Southwest purchases, 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • Four upgraded boardings per year
  • Global Entry / TSA fee credit
  • Complimentary Inflight WiFi credits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Complimentary employee cards

You can redeem Rapid Rewards points for ~1.5¢ per point, so the 9,000-anniversary points received each year will net you roughly $135 in value. If you purchase Upgraded Boarding from the ticket counter, you will be $30-$50 out of pocket each flight depending on your itinerary. Those two benefits alone can account for the out-of-pocket expense of holding this card year on year. And that doesn’t take into account the daily WiFi credit of up to $8 per day, up to 365 days per year, or the Global Entry/TSA Pre fee credit, which can return up to $100 value every four years.

Truth be told, if you can’t find a use for 9,000 extra Rapid Rewards points each year, the Upgraded Boarding, or the WiFi perks, you may be better off with a travel card that earns flexible rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The ongoing benefits of the Southwest Performance Business Card are geared towards cardholders who fly Southwest regularly.

Booking Travel with the Companion Pass

Since Southwest calculates the number of points you need for a trip based on the value of the cash fare, prices will vary with the Companion Pass. Regardless of your destination, you'll always pay half the normal price for two people. And that savings can really add up over multiple trips through the end of 2021.

Want an example of the value you can extract from your Companion Pass and the 125,000 points you’ll have after collecting the signup bonus? Check out these sample flights between LA and Hawaii, flying Southwest with free checked bags, plus free WiFi and Upgraded Boarding courtesy of the Southwest Performance Business Card.

Southwest LAX to HNL

Remember, thanks to the Companion Pass that is the cost for two people (plus an additional $11.20 taxes and fees) to fly to Hawaii round-trip. A total of 21,055 points or ~5,265 points each way per person. Two-for-one flights to the Hawaiian Islands is a good deal by anyone’s standards.

Who is Eligible?

Chase has some reasonably strict controls on who can get approved for the personal Southwest cards, but the rules are much easier to navigate for the Southwest Performance Business Card. While it’s subject to the 5/24 policy, under which you’ll be denied if you’ve opened 5 or more personal credit cards in the previous 24 months. There is nothing to stop you applying for the Southwest Performance Business Card if you hold another Southwest co-brand card, including the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.

Provided you don’t already hold the Southwest Performance Business Card, and you haven’t received a signup bonus for it in the previous 24 months, you are eligible for the welcome offer.

“This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this business credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this business credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this business credit card within the last 24 months.”

Who Should Jump on This Southwest Companion Pass Offer?

The Companion Pass is excellent for family travel. Whether you regularly getaway for weekends with a spouse or partner or frequently travel with your kids, you can slash up to 50% off the cost of your airfare until the end of 2021 with this offer!

The Companion Pass is also an excellent tool for cheap positioning flights, making it an ultra cost-effective way to position to international gateways so you can take advantage of expanded award availability from hubs outside of your home airport. One reason Southwest is so good for positioning flights is that there are no blackout dates. If there are seats left on the plane, you can book yourself and your companion with points or cash.

It should go without saying, but if you don’t fly Southwest, you can’t move some of your travel plans to Southwest for the year, don’t qualify for a business card, or you don’t regularly travel with the same companion, you are better off letting this deal go.

Essentially, if your business can sustain the $25,000 spending requirement to secure both tiers of the signup bonus, you could walk away with a Companion Pass and 125,000 Rapid Rewards points to get your next holiday underway.

Final Thoughts

If you’re under 5/24, fly Southwest even a few times per year with a companion, and qualify for a business card, we’d recommend getting on board with this offer. A Southwest Companion Pass is an exceptionally valuable travel tool that can save you thousands of dollars per year.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Annual Fee$199
Welcome Bonus Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
The latest card to join the Southwest lineup of rewards cards, the Southwest Performance Business Card offers the highest Rapid Rewards signup bonus, earns more points than it's Southwest counterparts, receives a massive 9,000 point anniversary bonus, plus offers plenty of perks and benefits for Southwest fans. One of the best co-brand business cards on the market.
  • Earn 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available
  • Inflight WiFi Credits
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit
  • Employee cards at no additional cost, earn points on employee spending.
  • 3X points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases
  • 2X points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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Comments

  • Avatar

    I agree, it’s hard to know if it’s worth trying for the companion pass with so many unknowns about air travel with covid-19 still.

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    Tough times until this COVID stops.

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    Very good offer however many may find it hard to spend the 25K. If you are a frequent South western traveler this may work for you. I think the offer with Chase Ink is far better.

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    Gwyntip Karnasuta says:

    I enjoy flying Southwest more and more especially with free check-in luggage. I think this is a great deal especially the promo last till the end of 2021 which I hope everything will get better, I mean Covid-19 and the economy.

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    I’m wondering with everything, (Covid-19), that’s going on if this would be a good idea. To get everyone flying again, once this has all passed, it might be less costly (use less miles). I might have to look into this before it expires!

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    This is great but the timing might be bad for NA flights.

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    andrew rosario says:

    This appears to be a really good deal! thanks.

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    While a companion pass sounds great, I feel that the incredibly high annual fee somewhat negates it. Even if the fee and the pass were to cancel each other out, the mileage accrual rate seems a bit paltry compared to baselines like the various Chase travel cards. Am I missing something here?

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    Deerseason says:

    Oof, I had trouble signing up for the personal and business card earlier this year (only got approved for the personal). If I’d done this instead I coulda tried to knock it off in just one signup, although that’s a lot of spend to go through.

    Then again, how much traveling am I really gonna do this year?

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    Harvey Kwan says:

    This card counts againist 5/24?

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    This sounds pretty good! When are you doing a post for best deals for Canada?

  • Avatar

    This appears to be a really good deal! thanks.

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    Too bad I can’t take advantage of this because it’s limited to North America.

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    their seating arrangements do not work for us

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    Question: Who is still traveling by air ?

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    Thanks for the info! I’m not interested in the companion pass now, but may look into it another year.

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    I know a lot of people like the companion pass with Southwest. I think that I would like to try out Southwest before I would try for the companion pass. I know I’m one of people who have not traveled on Southwest. I just have never found them to be cheaper where I need to go. So why go with them? I’d rather have a preassigned seat and cheaper than non and more expensive.

    • Avatar

      A great reason to travel Southwest (especially in today’s environment) is that all bookings made with points (even the cheapest fares) are fully refundable. Even if you don’t cancel your flight and don’t show up, the points get refunded back to your account. So if you value flexibility, you need to compare the lowest Southwest fares with the fully refundable fares of other airlines.

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    I wonder why other airlines do not offer similar companion certificates.

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    The Southwest Performance Business card is a great card regardless of the Companion Pass. Very high minimum spend though to get the full bonus.

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    High spend requirements and 5/24 for business card doesn’t make sense.

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    Airlines should extend the certificate deadline because of the very obvious reasons.

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    This isn’t the best timing for this deal. Later December would have been better.

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    This is an excellent offer for high spenders on a business card. I enjoy flying on Southwest as long as I don’t get the dreaded center seat.

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    I think more lucrative offers will come out since airlines are heavily impacted by the wuhan coronavirus

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    I already have a Southwest Premier Business Card, do I have to have a new business in order to apply and get approved for this Performance card?

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    This is a great deal and I could probably make the spend due to some upcoming travel. That being said, if I applied today, I will already be at my location before the card would arrive! Since I live alone, I don’t have anyone who could send it to me. Does anyone have any experience with how to get the card company to send you a new card to a hotel where I’ll be for two months?

    • Avatar

      I’ve definitely had them send a new, replacement card to a hotel with a simple phone call and quick conversation, but I’ve never tried a newly approved card. But, I suspect they would be open it, if you explain the circumstances to them. Report back. Intrigued.

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    Just as the previous comment, I would like to know if the supply conditions are relaxed due to the covid19 crisis? Thank you.

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    richard coy says:

    does not look like you will be using that pass anytime soon

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    Too bad its a business card.

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    I started flying with Southwest more and more these days and I am very happy with their product.
    Might as well go for their credit card.

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    Is there an end date to this offer ? Given the covid-19 crisis it seems like most part of this year would just go for a waste. But this is certainly an attractive offer if you can hit the 25K spend requirement