Want to learn how to fly free for two years? Follow the steps outlined in this post and you can enjoy free travel.
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
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 103 cities in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America such as Hawaii, 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 125,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.
I know what you’re thinking, “How am I going to earn 125,000 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 100,000 Southwest points:
You can earn 80,000 points from the Southwest Performance Business card.
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.
Pro-tip: Search for the latest credit card offers.
Earn 125,000 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 100,000 Southwest points: 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening your account on the Southwest Premier card. Another 50,000 points after spending a total of $12,000 in the first 12 months.
Pro-tip: 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
Pro-tip: You can also earn a 100,000 point bonus on the Southwest Priority and Southwest Plus cards: 50,000 points when you make $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Another 50,000 points after spending a total of $12,000 in the first 12 months.
2. Apply for the Southwest Performance Business Card
The Southwest Performance Business card is a great card if you fly frequently fly Southwest for business. Because you earn more points and get more perks like 4 upgraded boarding passes for guaranteed A1 to A15 boarding.
You also get a daily $8 inflight Wi-Fi credit and a $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck credit. This means you can breeze through TSA faster.
Pro-tip: 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. But you get a higher signup bonus on the Southwest Performance Business card and can earn your Companion Pass faster.
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 $5,000 in purchases within 3 months after opening your account you can get 80,000 Southwest points from the Southwest Performance Business card.
Pro-tip: 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 $1,000 in purchases on the personal card within 3 months to get the 40,000 points on the Southwest Premier card.
With the Southwest Performance Business card, the minimum spending is $5,000 within 3 months to get the 80,000 points.
Typically I apply for new cards when I have upcoming large expenses. But there are lots of there ways to meet minimum spending. Here are 7 unusual ways to complete the minimum spending on a new credit card.
Pro-tip: This is my favorite way quick and easy way to earn unlimited miles and points.
Don’t get confused by your credit card statement. The annual fee does NOT count towards your minimum spending.
Time to Complete: 5 to 60 minutes (varies on how you complete your spending)
Total: 197,000 points (100,000 points + 80,000 points + 12,000 points + 5,000 points)
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 125,000 Southwest points in a calendar year. But you can get 197,000 points in less than a week by applying for the 100,000 points Southwest Premier (or Southwest Priority or Southwest Plus) and Southwest Performance Business cards and completing the minimum spending.
Pro-tip: Search for the latest credit card offers.
Use Reward Points to Travel
- Review: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Los Angeles to Frankfurt for $40
- Our First Class Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu to Sydney Flight for $63
- The How to Luxury Guide to Sydney on $85 a Day
- Two Weeks in Hong Kong & Australia on $93 a Day
How to Travel for Free
Read these blog posts on how to travel for free.
- How to Travel for Free
- Get a Free Hotel When You Buy a Ticket on These Airlines
- How to Fly Free for Two Years
- 7 Easy Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying
- How to Get Free Breakfast at Hotels
- Eat for Free at Disney World
- How to Get Free Internet at Hotels
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Sunday 21st of March 2021
I don't fly free but haven't paid full-price for a ticket ever. I've always known somebody who works for an airline. They get me buddy passes. As an example, round-trip first-class from Omaha to Atlanta is $75. Flying to Germany from Omaha was first-class to Atlanta then Business-Class to Frankfurt and back then first-class back to Omaha. The retail price at the time was $8900. I paid $321.
Most people who work for airlines have several friends who also work for airlines. They get X-amount of buddy passes per fiscal year (Delta gets 8). They fly free without needing a buddy pass (hence the name). The passes expire on September 30th each year. The people I know say that most years they throw them away unused.
Yes, you can get bumped, but I have never been bumped. They put you in first-class if it's available. You can check online to see how many seats are available on a flight. Book the flight with fewer people. Since the flights are way less than half-price, this option saves on getting a companion ticket free and paying for the other ticket. BUT you have to know the right people.
Thursday 9th of January 2020
[…] for ways to earn a Southwest Companion Pass? Now’s your chance because three of the Southwest cards are offering up to 75,000 […]
Friday 8th of September 2017
WOw that companion pass is really a great idea. THat is something that could be useful from here too.
Thursday 7th of September 2017
This is an amazing travel hack, really! This is perfect for a couple who always travel in a year! You're so clever!!!
Tuesday 5th of September 2017
This sounds amazing - I really wish that I could use it in Canada! Maybe someday right? I'll keep dreaming :)