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We have talked extensively over the years about the Southwest Companion Pass, which is one of the best deals in travel. Currently, if you earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards in a single calendar year, you earn the Southwest Companion Pass for the rest of that calendar year AND the entirety of the next calendar year as well.
It’s been my long-held belief that this is one of the best deals out there, and it has been pretty easy to get with 1 to 2 credit card signups
Southwest Companion Pass requirements changing (going up)
Southwest has just updated their terms and conditions and has increased the Southwest Companion Pass requirements from 110,000 to 125,000 points, effective Jan 1 2020. So anyone still working on their Companion Pass for 2019 still has to get 110,000, whereas if you’re making plans for the Companion Pass for 2020, you’ll need to get 125,000 points. I know there were many people that were already angling for the Companion Pass for 2020 by signing up for cards in the past few days / weeks, with an eye towards getting the welcome offer points in early January 2020
The requirements for the Southwest Companion Pass have stayed pretty much the same for several years – the last change was that transferred hotel points no longer counted towards the Companion Pass. So IMO this isn’t an unreasonable increase / change.
One good piece of news
One piece of good news that was announced this morning is that effective today, Southwest Rapid Rewards points on longer expire, which is good news all around.
Another change that was announced was that elites taking advantage of same-day standby will now have to pay any additional taxes and airport fees associated with their flight change. This strikes me as not a particularly meaningful change and not one that is likely to affect most people.
So now what?
The increased welcome offers on the Southwest credit cards expired yesterday, and I’m sure that was not a coincidence. If you managed to get one of the cards with a 60,000 or 80,000 point welcome offer within the past few days, you are probably still in pretty good shape. You would just need 45,000 or 65,000 more points, and I would say that
We have long wondered (feared!) changes to the Southwest Companion Pass and a 13.6% increase in the number of points required, with no other fundamental changes strikes me as eminently reasonable, especially given the increased welcome offers on the credit cards that have come out over the past couple of years.
Are you still going for the Southwest Companion Pass in 2020? Tell us your plans in the comments!
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