Southwest Companion Pass for Military Servicemembers and Spouses

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Southwest offers their famous Companion Pass to military servicemembers (and the general public) if you fly 100 one-way flights or earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in one year.

Points earned through Southwest branded credit cards (personal and business) count towards the 125,000 point goal. This is the easiest and fastest way to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

Annual fees on all Chase Southwest personal cards (not business) are waived for military servicemembers. This is part of Chase's MLA policy.

The Companion Pass allows you to designate one person to fly with you for free* every time you fly Southwest. (*You only need to pay the security tax of $5.60 per one-way.) This includes points AND cash bookings!

Step 1: Sign up for any of the Southwest cards including Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority ($149 annual fee waived for military), Premier ($99 annual fee waived for military), or Plus ($69 annual fee waived for military). Note all annual fees are waived for military servicemembers.

Step 2: Spend $1000 in the first 3 months after opening any of the personal Southwest cards. You will earn 40,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points, good for about $600 worth of flights. LIMITED TIME OFFER: Spend another $12,000 in 12 months (only $1000/month) after opening the card, earn 20,000 points.

Here are the 3 cards that are offering this welcome bonus. Military servicemembers should pick up the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority card because the $149 annual fee is waived and it offers the most benefits.

  • Learn how to apply for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority
  • $149 annual fee waived for military and spouses
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 60,000 Southwest points:
  • Earn 40,000 after $1000 of spend in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn an additional 20,000 points after spending $12,000 in the first 12 months your account is open (only $1000 per month for 1 year)
  • 7500 bonus points on card anniversary
  • $75 annual Southwest travel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Military spouses also get their annual fees waived on this card. If you have kids, it might make sense for both parents to get the cards, earn the companion pass, and then designate a child each as your companion.

With 2 out of 4 family members flying for free, that will significantly drive down your vacation costs! Maybe you could take twice as many trips to visit the grandparents this year?

Transfer Chase UR Points to Southwest

A great way to boost your Southwest miles is by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points into your Southwest account. Note that this will not count towards your 125,000 mile minimum for the Companion Pass.

You can earn 50,000 Chase UR points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and top up your Rapid Rewards account. The Sapphire Reserve $550 annual fee is waived for military personnel and spouses.

Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus

Learn how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve here.

50,000 Chase Points can become 50,000 Southwest Points, which should be able to buy you at least $750 worth of airfare. Multiply times 2 because your companion can fly for free with you and those 50,000 Chase points easily become worth $1500+ of Southwest airfare.

How to Earn a Southwest Companion Pass for almost 2 Years

One way of earning a Southwest Companion Pass is taking 100 one-way flights or earning 125,000 Southwest miles in one year. Points earned through Southwest credit cards count, but points transferred into Rapid Rewards from Chase Ultimate Rewards do not count towards the 125,000.

Once you earn 125k, you earn a Companion Pass good for the remainder of the year you earn the Pass PLUS the following year!

For example, if you open a personal and business Chase Southwest card in Dec 2019, earn the 125,000 points by January 2020, you will have a Companion Pass from February 2020 – 31 Dec 2021!

This is an insanely good deal. It's amazing more military servicemembers don't take advantage of it considering Chase waives all the annual fees on their personal cards, so you will only have to pay the annual fee on the business card.

The easiest way to earn the 125,000 points is signing up and meeting the minimum spend on a Southwest personal card and Southwest business credit card.

Sometimes the personal and business Southwest credit cards offer up to a 60,000 point welcome bonus. When that's the case, you have an easy path towards the Companion Pass.

Check my list of best credit cards for military, updated at least monthly. You can also sign up for my free, 5 day Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. I will send occasionally send you updates when cards hit all time bonus highs.

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6 thoughts on “Southwest Companion Pass for Military Servicemembers and Spouses”

  1. Will Southwest let you open two personal cards and count the points towards your 125,000 needed? I would rather do that than the business card plan but I’m not sure if they will allow you to have to personal cards.


  2. Another great post.

    I can apply one more business card and one more personal card assuming I can apply for 3 Chase business cards. I consider Chase Ink business unlimited or Southwest Business.

    I want to make sureSouthwest Business cards don’t count toward Chase 5/24 rule?? Is the companion pass still valid if I cancel the Southwest Business card after the first year but keep the Southwest personal card? Or lose the companion pass?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Chase Southwest Business cards should NOT count towards your 5/24 count, but you need to be under 5/24 to apply for them. Companion pass should still be valid as long as you’ve earned the points legitimately. You won’t lose the companion pass for closing a credit card account.

  3. Spencer, you might want to warn folks not to wait until the last minute to get in their minimum spend. I picked up the Chase Southwest card earlier this year, but got distracted. I went on a shopping spree (all planned, of course) the last day to meet the minimum spend. Chase declined to award me the points because one of the purchases didn’t post until two days later.

    It was a good (and expensive) lesson to get those minimum spends in early.

    • Great tip Kate, thanks! The spending must post to the account before the 90 days are up. Don’t wait until the last day! I would give it at least a week to be safe.


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