dani austin las vegas southwest companion pass adventure southwest rewards

I already knew 2020 was going to be a crazy year, but I had no idea just HOW crazily it would begin. When I found out that we were only 27,000 points away from getting Southwest’s companion pass with the deadline being only 72 HOURS away, I immediately knew we were on a mission. 😎 The Companion Pass with Southwest lets you bring a buddy with you on ANY flight for FREE! We did so much travel this year and we were SO close – I wasn’t about to let 27,000 points get in the way of me bringing my boo boo with me everywhere I go this year 😉 

If we had known we were so close ahead of time, we would’ve planned for it, but since it was so last minute, we had to pull some slightly unconventional moves (Vegas, hotels, a crazy amount of flowers – you get the picture – if you haven’t seen our adventure, head to my IGTV to check it out!) 🤪 But of course, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It really encouraged Jordan and I to not let anything get in our way this year – we stepped into 2020 like “WHAT UP WORLD. We got each other, we got the Lord, ain’t nothin gonna rain on our parade. LET’S DO THIS.” 😂 But even more importantly, it helped us to remember to do things as a TEAM.

It was so incredible to see how our journey resonated with so many of you! I’ve gotten so many DMs about the whole Companion Pass process, so I thought it would be helpful to put it all together for you for easy access. My traveling girls out there, this is for YOU.

What Exactly IS the Companion Pass? 

Southwest has three tiers of status (basically rewards cards): A-List, A-List Preferred, and the mother of all rewards cards: the Companion Pass. 

The A-list level pass gets you: 

  • Priority Boarding
  • 25% earning bonus
  • Same-day standby
  • Priority check-in and security lane access
  • Dedicated A-list member phone line

The A-List Preferred get you all of the above, plus:

  • 100% earning bonus
  • Free in-flight wifi

And the big cahuna: the Companion Pass gets you all of the above, PLUS:

  • The ability to bring a friend with you for FREE on any Southwest flight 

What Qualifies You?

A-List: 25 qualifying one-way flights or earn 35,000 qualifying points in a calendar year

A-List Preferred: 50 qualifying one-way flights or earn 70,000 qualifying points in a calendar year

Companion Pass: 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year

How Can I Rack Up Dem Points Tho?!

So earning your points is kind of like stocking up on credit card points – you have to shop strategically. Like if I need any flowers this year, I am hitting up 1-800-Flowers y’all. If I need to book a hotel? I am picking a listed one. We are gonna get this pass again next year without all the craziness (…hopefully lol!). Here are some ideas:

  • Book flights. Of course, booking Southwest flights is like the BEST way when possible.
  • Sign up for the Rapid Rewards Newsletters – these are full of different promotions and will also serve as a reminder to get those points!
  • Apply for and use the Southwest Credit Card – this is def one of the BEST ways to earn points. You get 40,000 points just by being approved and spending $1000 within the first month. I would recommend waiting until you have a big purchase to make, placing it all on the card, and paying it off right away. It’s a pretty common practice with rewards programs like these! If you can, just make this your primary credit card, and start looking for which places offer you bonus points when you shop.
  • Join Rapid Rewards Dining – if you just spend $25 within the first 30 days, you get a 1000 point welcome gift! Plus, you earn points just by leaving a review for a restaurant. Super easy!

Here are a few point partners (aka, you get more points by spending your money at THESE places):

  • Hotels: Best Western, World of Hyatt, Choice Hotels – more here!
  • Car Rentals: Alamo, Avis, Thrifty, Payless, Hertz – more here!
  • Stores: SO. MANY. YOU GUYS. Just to name a few, Macy’s, Kohls, 1-800-Contacts, Bebe – and of course, 1-800-Flowers! Here’s a full list – make sure you pay attention to how many points you get per dollar! It makes a huge difference. 

When you get strategic and creative with it, there are SO many ways to pile up points! I will do lots of everyday shopping on my Southwest card and just pay it off right away – but of course, be careful and remember to pay your bill! 

Where are YOU going in 2020?? And who are you bringin with ya?!