It used to be very easy to earn a Southwest Companion Pass. Earning 110K points in a year was enough to be able to bring along a companion on all your flights for free for the remainder of the calendar year and the next calendar year.
You were even able to earn that by just buying Starpoints on sale and transferring them to Southwest. That option was killed in 2017, but you can still earn Companion Pass by opening and spending on Southwest credit cards.
Southwest said they would raise that to 125K points per year in 2020, but backed off due to COVID and lowered it to 100K points. They kept that 100K threshold in place for 2021, before finally raising it to 125K for 2022.
Southwest announced today that they will require 135K points for Companion Pass in 2023. However starting in 2023, members that hold an active Southwest card as of the first business day of each calendar year will earn one boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points each calendar year, effectively keeping the requirement at 125K for those members. There is a maximum of one 10K boost regardless of how many Southwest cards that you have.
Southwest cards include:
- Chase Southwest Business Premier card
- Chase Southwest Performance Business Credit Card
- Chase Southwest Plus card
- Chase Southwest Priority card
- Chase Southwest Premier card
Will these changes affect whether you will attempt to reach Companion Pass status next year?