4 changes to Quick Rewards, including new Companion Pass requirements
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Southwest Airlines today made four announcements about its Fast Rewards program. The best change was the announcement of something that's been in place for two years now - Priority Companion Pass boarding for companions. The worst change is that more points are required to earn companion passes, but this does not apply to airline credit card holders. Online, these are good updates to know, but not updates to worry about.
Added add-on card requirements - most of you shouldn't worry
southwest onlyAnnouncement of increased requirements for the Companion PassAt the end of 2019, effective in 2021, 110,000 points to 125,000 points per year. Now they've increased the requirement to 135,000.
But that doesn't exclude me, because with this change, co-branded cardholders can earn 10,000 Companion Pass points per year. In other words, it only affects those who are flying mates (fares are going up anyway, so that kind of offsets inflation) and other activities like Southwest hotel bookings (and prices are high!) people.
Since most readers who purchase the Companion Pass use a co-branded credit card, this change isn't particularly significant. Here's Another Reason For Co-Branding, Honestlymain reasonEarn a Companion Pass when you spend on Southwest co-brands, or you'll earn increasingly valuable coins with other card products.
Priority boarding for Companion Pass companions
This isn't actually new - it was implemented in the fall of 2020 - but to the best of my knowledge, it was never officially announced: Companion Pass holders have priority over their companions (unless the Companion Pass holder purchases Business Selectfare , buy upgraded boarding or add companions after they have received boarding status).
In March 2020, Southwest Airlines began offering priority boardingEscorts of elite members on the same booking.Passengers with the same reservation will now receive boarding numbers at the same time as elite passengers.
As the new boarding offer is linked to a specific reservation and when an access companion holder adds a companion to their reservation, a new reservation will be created for the companion and the companion will not have boarding priority. However, they fixed the problem after a few months.
When an Accompanying Passholder purchases a Business Select fare, the Companion will not receive boarding positions A1-15. But the companion got one of the first boarding slots available on the A16. (The same applies if the Companion Pass member has purchased a gate boarding upgrade and the companion does not take the A1-15 that way.)
Priority boarding is more important to Southwest than any other airline.
- The Southwest boarding order determines which seats on the plane you can use.
- It can also help save luggage space. With airlines like American Airlines and Alaska Airlines allowing larger bags, that challenge becomes less, and Southwest becomes less of a challenge thanks to free checked bags.
In practice, until now, it has not been against Southwest policy for an Companion Pass holder to board the aircraft separately from an Companion and reserve a seat for the Companion. But that puts passengers in a difficult position to secure their seats. They've made IT changes to make this easier for everyone.
If you would like a refund, please cancel your award ticket before traveling.
Most of you have probably already done this - and probably think you should - but as of summer 2023, if you want to cancel your Rapid Rewards redemption ticket and get your points back, you'll need to at least do this 10 minutes ahead of schedule flight departure time (if you don't, you will lose points).
This does not apply to redemptions on Anytime or Business Select rates and seems perfectly fair.
New redemption options for co-branded card members
Southwest credit card customers were getting higher-value non-travel cash payment options like penny gift cards each. Rapid Rewards is a non-specific promise for new card members that will soon be redeemed in some form:
Southwest® Rapid Rewards credit card members have even more ways to redeem and enjoy the points they earn.
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The Southwest Companion Pass requirements are changing for 2023. Beginning January 1, 2023, you'll need to earn 135,000 qualifying points or fly 100 one-way flights to earn a Companion Pass. If you have a Rapid Rewards credit card, you'll get a 10,000-point boost toward your Companion Pass qualification.How many times can you change your companion on Southwest Companion Pass? ›
How do I change my Companion? You may change your designated Companion up to three times each calendar year that you maintain Companion Pass privileges.How much do you have to spend to get a companion pass on Southwest? ›
To qualify, simply fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 135,000 qualifying points* in a calendar year, and you'll earn Companion Pass for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned it.Do Southwest surveys count towards companion pass? ›
Note that points transferred from other programs or accounts (e.g., Chase Ultimate Rewards) will not count toward earning a Companion Pass. Purchased points, flight bonus points, tier bonus points, points earned from surveys, and partner bonus points will not count toward the Companion Pass.Will Southwest extend companion pass to 2023? ›
Rapid Rewards® Members who qualify can designate their Companion and travel with their Companion Pass, valid for unlimited usage from Aug. 15 through Sept. 30, 2023.Do I lose my companion pass if I cancel my Southwest credit card? ›
While there are numerous benefits to maintaining the Southwest Rapid Reward® credit cards in your wallet, including the ongoing Rapid Rewards points earning on all purchases, bonus points earned on Southwest purchases, yearly bonus points and relatively low annual fees, you will not lose your Companion Pass if you ...Can you get Southwest Companion Pass twice? ›
The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is the highest-level award that a member of the Rapid Rewards loyalty program can achieve. It allows you to essentially get unlimited buy-one-get-one-free tickets for up to 2 years. All you pay for are the taxes and fees for the second ticket.Does companion pass get priority boarding? ›
Higher Priority Boarding For Companion Pass Companions
Travelers on the same booking are now assigned boarding numbers at the same time as the elite.
After you set your initial companion, you can change it three times in 2022 and then three times in 2023 — if you earn the pass in 2022. This means you can have up to seven different people fly with you on the pass over two different calendar years. You can also pick a person as a companion multiple times.How much is 30 000 Southwest points worth? ›
30,000 Southwest points are worth around $399 when redeemed for airfare. While Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for Travel, they're also redeemable for gift cards, hotel stays, merchandise, and more.
For long-haul economy redemptions, there's unlikely to be much value in redeeming your Companion Voucher. This is because you will be charged a hefty amount of fees, taxes and surcharges for the second “free” passenger, even though you won't need any Avios for this second passenger.How do I add a free companion to my Southwest flight? ›
After booking your flight, visit the My Trips section of your account. Find your flight in the Upcoming section and click on Add Companion link. Click Continue to proceed to the purchase screen and review your Companion information. Click Purchase to complete your Companion's flight reservation.How many dollars is 6000 Southwest points? ›
6,000 Southwest points are worth around $79.8 when redeemed for airfare. While Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for Travel, they're also redeemable for gift cards, hotel stays, merchandise, and more.How do I know if I got the Southwest Companion Pass? ›
Just head over to Southwest's website and log in to your Southwest Airlines account. Navigate to the “My Account” button at the top right. Once to the page, scroll to the area labeled “My Rapid Rewards,” and your Companion Pass progress will be listed right there — along with a few other pieces of information.Does companion pass make you a list? ›
No, Rapid Rewards Companion Pass travel does not count toward qualification for A-List status. Additionally, no points are awarded for flights taken by the person flying on a Companion Pass reservation. What Southwest flights count toward earning a Companion Pass?Can you use companion pass for flights next year? ›
The Companion Pass is valid from the date earned through the end of the next calendar year. For example, if the Companion Pass is earned in March 2023, it will be valid through December 31, 2024. That means that Companion Pass holders get at least a full calendar year of benefiting from a companion ticket on Southwest.Do companion passes expire? ›
Yes, each certificate has an expiration date. You must use and travel within each Companion Certificate's valid dates.Is there an age limit for Southwest Companion Pass? ›
Anyone can earn a Companion Pass - there is no age limit.Do you lose your Southwest points at the end of the year? ›
No, your Rapid Rewards points do not expire.Can I give my Southwest points to someone else? ›
You can gift or transfer points to one Member per transaction, although you can complete as many transactions as you'd like up to the 60,000-point daily maximum. Do purchased, gifted, or transferred points, and Rapid Reward Partnership Points count toward A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass®?
It's generally recommended that you have two to three credit card accounts at a time, in addition to other types of credit. Remember that your total available credit and your debt to credit ratio can impact your credit scores. If you have more than three credit cards, it may be hard to keep track of monthly payments.How many times can you use companion fare? ›
How often can you use Alaska Companion Fare? Alaska Airlines' Companion Fare can only be used once. It is different from the Southwest Companion Pass, which provides discounted fares for more than a calendar year. The Companion Fare can be used on one way, roundtrip or multi-city itineraries.Can you use more than one companion pass? ›
First, you don't have two companion passes so don't think you can book two companions. You have one CP and can have one companion. You cannot earn CP multiple times concurrently.Can my companion fly without me? ›
The person designated as your companion has to be ticketed and actually travel on the same flights you are on. If you change your flight then your companion's flight has to be changed also. If you cancel your flight, your companion cannot still travel without you. Companion travel does not earn points.What qualifies you for priority boarding? ›
All passengers flying in a premium cabin get priority boarding. But the group you'll be assigned to depends on which class of service you're flying. Passengers in the front cabin board with Group 1.What happens if my boarding pass says priority? ›
Priority Boarding is marketed to those passengers who do not have any other elite status or card membership, and it would allow them to board ahead of their assigned group. Passengers who purchase Priority Boarding will be able to board with Group 2.Can companions board together on Southwest? ›
If you are an A-lLst member and book multiple tickets in the same transaction, everyone in the party gets sequential boarding positions. You don't need companion status, but you do need to book multiple tickets in the same reservation. Companion passes are booked together so that meets the criteria.How much do I have to spend to get 125000 Southwest points? ›
To earn the standard 125,000 points you'd normally need for the Companion Pass®, you'd have to pay for up to $125,000 in purchases with your Southwest card. (We estimated broadly, since cardholders earn varying points per purchase — 2x points on Southwest purchases and 1x points on all other purchases).How many dollars is 85000 Southwest points? ›
85,000 Southwest points are worth around $1,130.5 when redeemed for airfare. While Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for Travel, they're also redeemable for gift cards, hotel stays, merchandise, and more.How much is 125000 Southwest points in dollars? ›
Earning 125,000 points should get you around $1875 in Southwest Airlines travel (which can be doubled via Companion Pass), and 9000 more points should get you $135 in travel on and ongoing basis.
You do not need to be on the flight, just the same as if you booked a flight for someone else using your Delta SkyMiles. You may not sell or barter your companion certificate. Any companion certificates acquired through prohibited transactions are void and will not be honored for travel.Can I sell my companion voucher? ›
Companion Vouchers are non extendable and non transferable. Once travel using the Companion Voucher has been booked no name changes are allowed. If travel using a Companion Voucher is cancelled within 24 hours of travel then the Companion Voucher will not be re-issued to the Cardmembers Executive Club account.Do I lose companion voucher if I cancel Amex? ›
If you earn the voucher, then cancel your card, the voucher will still be valid but you will need some form of Amex card to pay the taxes when you redeem it. If you earn the Premium Plus voucher, it will still be valid for two years, even if you then downgrade to the fee-free BA Amex card.How do I add TSA PreCheck to Southwest Companion? ›
To add the Known Traveler Number for your Southwest companion, go into their reservation using their confirmation number. Under the passenger's name, there will be a link to "Add Known Traveler #." Click this link and fill in the number for your companion to get access to TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.How do I get my family to sit together on Southwest? ›
There should be plenty of available seats for your family to sit together. At the airport, if you have a “B” or “C” boarding group, and you have a young child (age 6 or younger), then you can ask the gate agent for “family boarding.”What is a free companion ticket? ›
One of the most valuable benefits an airline credit card can offer is the chance to earn a companion ticket. These certificates allow the cardholder to bring a second person along on a trip nearly for free.How much is 100000 Southwest points in dollars? ›
100,000 Southwest points are worth around $1,330 when redeemed for airfare. While Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for Travel, they're also redeemable for gift cards, hotel stays, merchandise, and more.How many flights is 100000 points Southwest? ›
Keep in mind that 100,000 points are worth around $1,400 towards Southwest flights, which could get you quite a bit of “free travel.” What's more is that after earning the welcome bonus you will be quite close to attaining the Southwest Companion Pass.How much do you have to spend to get 100000 Southwest points? ›
That being said, if you can spend an average of $1,000 a month you'll be able to earn the 100,000-point welcome offer and you'll be well on your way to earning the Companion Pass.What are Southwest tier qualifying points? ›
Tier qualifying points are earned on flights paid entirely with dollars, Southwest LUV Voucher's®, gift cards, or travel funds, and with no portion of the purchase price paid for with Rapid Rewards points. Only qualifying activity will be eligible for tier qualifying points.
Go to “Manage my account” then “my evouchers”. Might take a few days to show up.Do Southwest employees get Buddy passes? ›
Employees have free, unlimited travel privileges for themselves and eligible dependents on Southwest Airlines. Eligible dependents include spouse or committed/registered partner, eligible dependent children under 19 years old (or up to 24 if a full-time student), and parents.How many times a year can you change your companion pass? ›
You may change your designated Companion up to three times each calendar year that you maintain Companion Pass privileges. Any reservation with your current designated Companion would need to be canceled before changing your designated Companion.Do referrals count towards Southwest Companion Pass? ›
Referrals. Referral bonuses are another great way to rapidly accumulate points toward the Companion Pass. Chase offers 10,000 points per each friend who is approved for a Southwest card, up to 50,000 points per year.How many flights do you need for Southwest Companion Pass? ›
Requalifying for Companion Pass
Remember, to requalify, simply fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, and you'll earn Companion Pass for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned it.
Before you're able to change your companion, Southwest requires Companion Pass holders to cancel any reservation with the current pass holder. Then, you'll need to allow 21 business days for Southwest to process and issue a new Companion Pass card.Does Southwest companion check in? ›
Your companion must check in separately
Since Southwest doesn't have seat assignments, you board based on the boarding number shown on your boarding pass. Southwest will allow you to start checking in for your flight 24 hours in advance and the earlier you check in, the better the boarding number you'll have.
Can I book multiple flights with different companions? You can only have one Companion at a time. You have to take the first and then you can change the name on the Companion pass. To reserve a seat on your 2nd trip you should book it in your friends name.Does Southwest companion pass have to be one person? ›
You aren't committed to one companion
You can make all those trips happen on the Companion Pass, and they don't all have to be with the same person. You may change your designated companion up to three times each calendar year that you hold it.
The Companion Pass is valid from the date earned through the end of the next calendar year. For example, if the Companion Pass is earned in March 2023, it will be valid through December 31, 2024. That means that Companion Pass holders get at least a full calendar year of benefiting from a companion ticket on Southwest.
No, your Rapid Rewards points do not expire.Can I check in everyone in my party Southwest? ›
You have the option to either check in the entire Group or select specific Passengers. The names of successfully checked in Passengers along with their boarding positions will begin to populate on the screen one at a time.Can you book companion pass with points? ›
As a Companion Pass holder, you can book your flight to your desired destination using cash or points. Once your flight is confirmed, you can add a second passenger (your companion) for the same flight online or by phone.Do Rocketmiles count for companion pass? ›
If you pick Southwest Rapid Rewards, then it's possible to earn Companion Pass qualifying points for your stay. Unfortunately, Rocketmiles promotional bonuses are not Companion Pass qualifying points.Can my wife and I combine Southwest points? ›
You can gift or transfer points to one Member per transaction, although you can complete as many transactions as you'd like up to the 60,000-point daily maximum. Do purchased, gifted, or transferred points, and Rapid Reward Partnership Points count toward A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass®?Can you earn companion pass twice? ›
Yes. The Southwest Companion Pass is based on how many points you earn within a calendar year, not how many are in your account. Suppose you earn 40,000 Southwest points this week and use 25,000 points to book a round-trip flight to New York City. Then you earn another 60,000 Southwest points a couple of months later.How do I always get Group A on Southwest? ›
There are a few ways to get a guaranteed “A” boarding position before your flight: 1. Purchase Upgraded Boarding: This option is available starting 24 hours before the flight's local departure time and allows Customers to upgrade their boarding position to A1-A15 depending on availability.