If you’re like me and love to travel, that’s probably why you’re reading this post. Flying can be expensive. The cost of flights is one reason why so many people can’t live out their vacation dreams. But you can say goodbye to expensive airfare with this simple travel hack and learn how to travel for free. Here’s how to fly free for two years.
- The Secret to Two Years of Free Flights
- How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
- Earn 110,000 Southwest Points in 1 Week
The Secret to Two Years of Free Flights
You can get two years of free flights with the Southwest Companion Pass. The Southwest Companion Pass lets someone fly with you for free for up to two years. The companion ticket is free, but, there are airport taxes and fees of about $10.
When you earn the Southwest Companion Pass it’s good for the year you earn it and until the end of the following year. So if you time it right, you can get two years of free flying for your companion. A companion can be anyone: your spouse, child, friend, or family member.
The Southwest Companion Pass is great for families. If you’re a family of four, each parent can get a Companion Pass and choose a child as their companion. That way the entire family travels for free.
Southwest flies to over 90 cities in the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean, including Cancun and Belize. So there are many places you can visit using your Southwest Companion Pass. And all those cheap airfare deals to Europe? Use your Companion Pass to get to one of those gateway cities.
How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass
You earn a Southwest Companion Pass after getting 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.
I know what you’re thinking, “How am I going to earn 110,000 Southwest points in a year?” I have three words for you: credit card points. All your credit card points count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass.
Southwest offers three credit cards with a signup bonus of 25,000 Southwest points:
But currently, the Southwest Premier and Southwest Premier Business cards are each offering a signup bonus of 50,000 Southwest points.
Because one card is a personal card and the other is a business card, you can apply for both on the same day.
If you have the Southwest Plus card, you can apply for the Southwest Premier card because it’s a different card.
Just so no one gets the wrong idea. I am NOT a credit card affiliate. I earn absolutely nothing if you use these credit card links. I’m posting the links so that you can travel for practically free.
Earn 110,000 Southwest Points in 1 Week
1. Apply for the Southwest Premier Card
The Southwest Premier card is a great card for international travel because it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
The annual fee is $99. But each year you get a bonus of 6,000 Southwest points when you renew the card. So you can look at the annual fee as buying 6,000 points each year.
You can get 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening your account on the Southwest Premier card.
Be sure to add your Southwest Rapid Rewards frequent flyer number on your application. Otherwise they will issue you a new number.
After you’ve been approved, ask Chase to expedite sending the card to you. So that you can get the card in a few days.
Time to Complete: 5 to 15 minutes to apply
2. Apply for the Southwest Premier Business Card
The Southwest Premier Business card offers the same benefits as the personal Southwest Premier card. The only difference between the two cards is that one is designed for businesses while the other is for personal use.
You do not have to be incorporated to get a business card. You can get a business card as a sole proprietor if you’re self-employed or have a small business. Some examples of small businesses include selling on Etsy, eBay, selling Shakeology, etc.
After spending $2,000 in purchases in 3 months after opening your account you can get 50,000 Southwest points from the Southwest Premier Business card.
Remember to add the same Southwest number to your application that you used for the Southwest Premier personal card and ask Chase to expedite the card to you.
Time to Complete: 5 to 15 minutes to apply
3. Complete Minimum Spending
You have to spend $2,000 in purchases on each card within 3 months to get the 50,000 points on each card.
Typically I apply for new cards when I have upcoming large expenses. But there are lots of there ways to meet minimum spending like buying gift cards. Here are 7 unusual ways to complete minimum spending on a new credit card.
Don’t get confused by your credit card statement. The annual fee does NOT count towards the $2,000 you have to spend.
Time to Complete: 5 to 60 minutes (varies on how you complete your spending)
Total: 104,000 points (50,000 points x 2 + 2,000 points x 2)
4. Transfer Points
You can earn an additional 6,000 points towards the Southwest Companion Pass by transferring points. Points from other programs can be transferred to Southwest and will count towards earning the Companion Pass.
A) You can transfer Choice hotels points to Southwest.
Choice hotel points transfer at a ratio of 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest points.
If you don’t have any Choice points, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Choice (only if you have no other options), buy Choice hotel points for $11 per 1,000 points, buy discounted point through the Daily Getaways, or get a 50% point bonus during sales. Points post in 24 hours.
Buying 18,000 Choice points for $550 and transferring them to Southwest gets you 5,400 Southwest points.
But if pay with your new Southwest credit card, you’d earn an additional 550 points.
Time to Complete: up to 5 business days
Total: 5,950 points (if pay with your Southwest card)
You can pay $50 towards your utility bill or going out to eat to earn the extra 50 Southwest points.
B) You can transfer Hyatt hotel points to Southwest.
Hyatt hotel points transfer at a ratio of 5,000 Hyatt points to 2,400 Southwest points.
And when you transfer 50,000 Hyatt points to Southwest, you get a 6,000 point bonus. So 50,000 Hyatt points becomes 30,000 Southwest points. Keep this in mind for the future when it’s time to earn another Southwest Companion Pass. Or if you aren’t able to get that second Southwest credit card.
Short on Hyatt points? Buy Hyatt points for $24 for 1,000 points or transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt (only as a last resort).
Buying 15,000 Hyatt points for $360 gets you 7,200 Southwest point. Pay with your Southwest card and earn an additional 360 points.
Time to Complete: 4 to 6 weeks
Total: 7,560 Southwest points (if pay with Southwest card)
There you have it, you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass in one week (or less) and your companion can fly for two years for free.
One of the easiest travel hacks to travel for free is the Southwest Companion Pass.
The Southwest Companion Pass lets your companion fly for free for up to two years when they travel with you. The only cost is airport taxes and fees of about $10.
If you earn your Companion Pass in January you’ll get two years of free travel. That’s because the Southwest Companion Pass is good for the entire year it’s earned AND through the end of the following year.
You get a Southwest Companion Pass when you earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. But you can get 110,000 points in less than a week by applying for the 50,000 point Southwest Premier and Southwest Premier Business cards, completing the minimum spending, and transferring Choice hotel points.
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