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A lot of readers were asking about their Southwest Companion Pass for 2020. With all the shifts in the travel industry this year, frequent travelers are trying to ensure they still get the benefits they’ve earned. Many airlines are extending status and expanding their cancellation policies. Last week, Southwest announced extension of the Companion Pass and A-List status!

Southwest Extends A-List Status and Companion Passes for Members

Southwest travelers already benefit from a robust change and cancellation policy, always good news. Here are the details on Southwest’s extensions.

  • Earned status will be extended through December 31, 2021 for current A-List and A-List Preferred Members.
  • Earned status will be extended through June 30, 2021 for current Companion Pass Holders.
  • All Rapid Rewards Members will receive a “boost” of 15,000 tier qualifying points and 10 flight credits toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, and 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status.
  • For Members enrolled in a Status Match Challenge and who to date have not met the flight requirements, we are extending the deadline to meet the promotion’s flight requirements through October 30, 2020.
  • Funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020, will have an expiration date of September 7, 2022.
  • Those Members who have travel funds that are set to expire or funds that are created between March 1, 2020 and September 7, 2020 will have the option to convert those travel funds into Rapid Rewards points at the same rate you would be able to purchase a ticket with points today.
a woman holding a red object

Here’s a great graph from Southwest detailing the additional points we’ll receive.

Check out the full details on Southwest’s website here. You should receive your bonus Tier Qualifying points and Companion Pass qualifying points in the “coming weeks” as long as you opened your Southwest prior to April 1, 2020. No registration is needed for the bonus points or extensions noted here.

Southwest’s move to extend travel funds and allow folks to convert them to Rapid Rewards points is a great idea. (This theoretically extends your ability to spend them indefinitely!) The rate will fluctuate a bit with the cost to book the flight in points. You should be able count on somewhere in the 1.5 cents per point range. In my own experience, I’ve redeemed Southwest Rapid Rewards 21 times. A total of 313,315 Rapid Rewards for about $4,979 in value, or about 1.589 cents per point.

(As Ursine1 pointed out in the comments below, the rate will probably be closer to 78 Rapid Rewards/$1 – around 1/28 cents per point.)

Another customer-friendly move by Southwest!

Spend Your Way to Southwest Status

Interestingly, this opens up a door to A-List and a 2020-2021 Companion Pass for holders of the Southwest Credit Card Holders. Admittedly, it’ll take a lot of credit card spend, but here’s what you’d need to do.

  1. Have (or open) a Southwest Credit Card that can earn Tier Qualifying Points. You’ll need either the personal Premier card, personal Priority card, Performance Business card, or Premier Business card. Each of these can earn up to 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points with up to $100,000 spend in a calendar year (1,500 TQPs every $10k in spend). You’ll need at least two of these to earn status.
  2. Southwest is giving you a bonus 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points as indicated above (you’ll need 20,000 more TQPs for A-List, or 55,000 TQPs for A-List Preferred).
  3. They’re also giving you a bonus 25,000 Companion Pass points too! You’ll need 100,000 more points to earn a Companion pass.
  4. Then, you just need to spend on your Southwest credit cards to earn status or your Companion Pass. Spend $100,000 this year on any Southwest credit card (or a combination of them) to earn a Companion Pass. With $140,000 in spend, you’ll earn A-List status (21,000 total TQPs). Spend a massive $370,000 for 55,500 TQPs, earning A-List Preferred Status.
  5. Of course, actually flying Southwest will get you closer to status and Companion pass much faster, but travel is very much on hold right now!

Anyone planning on spending that much? It’s a lot of opportunity cost on those credit cards! (For transparency, I’m not exactly recommending this! Maybe the Companion Pass spend might be worth it, but it’s still a stretch without any other travel.)

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