Wow: Southwest’s Companion Pass is Now a Targeted Signup Bonus

Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America catapults the West Coast into a hot contest. Alaska and Southwest are bulking up on routes. Alaska has said that the economics of the deal will work out because of the strength of their credit card deal with Bank of America. Southwest wants California cardmembers as well.

And they’re doing something interesting about it. Southwest is emailing a targeted offer to at least some California-registered Rapid Rewards members with a Companion Pass as part of the signup bonus.

Already the signup bonus and spend on a Southwest co-brand credit card counts towards earning a companion pass. But this gives it to you and comes on top of the current standard points signup offer.

The offer is:

  • Open the account, make a purchase, get a companion pass (which normally requires 110,000 points earned in a year)
  • Plus 40,000 points after $1000 spend within 3 months

Like most Chase offers the bonus is available to folks who do not currently have the card and who haven’t received a signup bonus for it in the past 24 months. And Chase’s 5/24 limits (only approving customers who haven’t had 5 or more new credit card accounts in the last 24 months) generally apply to the Southwest card.

Unfortunately it’s a targeted offer, the link in the email pre-populates the membership information for the person who received it. I do not have a referral link for this card, information about it isn’t provided or reviewed by Chase.

However especially if you’re a California resident (or have California listed as the address on your Southwest Rapid Rewards account) be on the lookout for an email titled “<>BCalifornia, Companion Pass offer just for you!”

The companion pass is, of course, one of the best deals in travel. You get to designate someone to travel with you just for the cost of taxes when you fly on Southwest — whether you’re buying a revenue ticket or redeeming points for an award.

I always worry a little bit that such a lucrative offer could come to an end, and indeed Southwest imposed new limits on what points count towards earning a companion pass this year. But they clearly see it as a strategic tool, which is encouraging.

(HT: SanDiego1K)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. I got it today but unfortunately I’m over 5/24 so I don’t think I would be approved……bummer!!

  2. What if you got the offer but already have Companion Status? Does it extend your status an extra year?

  3. They should let people self identify that want it. I.E. Allow hotel transfers to count again. Both myself and +1 received the credit card offer but we’re passing as we don’t think we will use it that much over the next 15 months.

  4. I got it just a few days after I applied for the card! However I think the smarter play is still to apply for another card and leverage the points for almost 2 years of CP benefits, as discussed on FT

  5. If my wife has your card, and my name is on it, does that mean I can’t apply for the card?
    Please advise.
    alan b knopf

  6. Thanks for letting us know. My Southwest account is to my spam e-mail address, but the offer was in there.

Comments are closed.