The Southwest Companion Pass - Best Airline Perk
The Southwest Airlines companion pass is probably the best perk in the entire airline industry. Most companion passes are good for one use only and they come with at least a $99 fee for the companion. The southwest Companion pass is good for up to 2 years and is reusable over and over again. The fee is only $5 for the companion (security fee). Now is the perfect time to prepare yourself to earn the companion pass in 2013 so that it is good for ALL of 2014 as well.
Here's how. You must first apply for the Southwest Airlines Business and Personal cards. There is a $69 annual fee for each card that is not waived for the first year. Each card comes with 50,000 Rapid Reward miles as a sign up bonus with a $2000 minimum spend requirement within 3 months. The $1000 minimum spend requirement is very reasonable. For easy tips to meeting the minimum spend requirement, click here.
Once you have both the business and personal cards and you meet the minimum spend requirements you will have 104,000 Rapid Reward miles in your account. You only need to earn another 6000 miles to receive the companion pass. The timing of this is very important. You need to meet the minimum spend requirement and earn the points in January of 2013 if you are going to take advantage of the two full years of the companion pass. Once you have reached 110,000 Rapid Reward miles in the calender year, your pass is good for all of that year and all of the following year. In other words, if by mistake you got your 110,000 miles posted in December of 2012, your pass would only be good for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013.
The easiest way to get your 6000 points is by transferring from another program. While Southwest is a partner of Ultimate Rewards, you can't transfer UR points DIRECTLY from UR to Southwest because those miles don't count as qualifying miles toward the companion pass. You need an extra step and you need to use more points. You must first transfer 17,000 UR points to Hyatt. Then you will convert 17000 Hyatt points to Southwest for 7800 Rapid Reward Miles at a ratio of 5000 Hyatt to 2400 Rapid Reward Miles.
That's all there is to it. For a $2000 minimum spend, $138 in annual fees and 17,000 UR points you will have "earned" the companion pass which can be good for over $3000 in free travel on just the points alone. The companion (that you must designate-but you can change that 3X/yr) travels on the same itinerary, pays $2.50 each way for the security fee. The best part of all is that it doesn't matter if you pay cash or points, the companion still flies free!
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About The Points Doctor
The Points Doctor is Bruce J. Wilderman DDS of Artistic Expressions Dentistry.Dr. Wilderman has a practice limited to Cosmetic Dentistry, serving patients of the Philadelphia Area since 1986.He and wife of 30 years enjoy traveling the world for little or no money with the points and miles they have earned from the credit card companies. Dr. Wilderman would love to teach you how to do the same. You may reach him at ThePointsDoctor@comcast.net