Southwest Extends Companion Pass Status, Makes It Easier To Earn Companion And Elite Status In 2021!

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en:user:DonFB [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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Southwest has announced that they will extend Companion Pass again add make it easier to earn elite status in 2021.

Expiration dates extended:

  • Companion Passes that were set to expire on 12/31/20 were already extended to 6/30/21. Those will now be valid through 12/31/21! I said last April that I expected this extension if travel didn’t return to normal by the end of 2020, but the shorter extension at the time left in place the incentive to earn a 2020 companion pass good through 12/31/21. Those have not been extended…yet.
  • A-List and A-List Preferred elite status that was set to expire on 12/31/20 was previously extended through 12/31/21. No further extensions have been announced now.

Tier requirements lowered:

  • Southwest will effectively lower the requirements to earn an unlimited use companion pass valid through 12/31/22 by 25,000 points, so you can now earn one by racking up 100,000 points through flying and opening or spending on Southwest credit cards. That will be accomplished by giving everyone who had a Southwest account opened by 12/31/20 a head start of 25,000 Companion Pass points.
  • Southwest will effectively lower the requirements to earn A-List status valid through 12/31/22 from 35K points to 20K points via flying. That will be accomplished by giving everyone who had a Southwest account opened by 12/31/20 a head start of 15,000 A-List points and 10 flight credits.
  • Southwest will effectively lower the requirements to earn A-List Preferred status valid through 12/31/22 from 70K points to 55K points via flying. That will be accomplished by giving everyone who had a Southwest account opened by 12/31/20 a head start of 15,000 A-List points and 10 flight credits.

Earn uncapped A-List points through credit card spending:

  • Southwest A-List gets you and everyone on your reservation free priority boarding, free same day standby, 25% flight bonus points, priority checkin and security, and a dedicated A-List phone line.
  • Southwest A-List Preferred gets you and everyone on your reservation free priority boarding, free same day standby, free in-flight WiFi, 100% flight bonus points, priority checkin and security, and a dedicated A-List Preferred phone line.

Normally you can earn 1.5K A-List points for $10K spending on the $149/year Southwest Consumer Priority Card or the $199/year Southwest Business Performance card, with a cap of 15K A-List points.

For the rest of 2021 you can earn 1.5K A-List points for every $10,000 spent without limit on the $99/year Southwest Consumer Premier, $149/year Southwest Consumer Priority Card, the $99/year Southwest Business Premier, or the $199/year Southwest Business Performance card.

Of course you will also earn 1 Companion pass point for every $1 spent on all Southwest cards.

  • If you earn 35K A-List points you’ll have A-List status through 12/31/22.
    • You’ll need to earn just 20K points this year thanks to the 15K gift, so $140K of spending on Southwest credit cards will earn this status. The signup bonus on a new card does not earn A-List points.
  • If you earn 70K A-List points you’ll have A-List Preferred status through 12/31/22.
    • You’ll need to earn just 55K points this year thanks to the 15K gift, so $370K of spending on Southwest credit cards will earn this status. The signup bonus on a new card does not earn A-List points.
  • If you earn 100K points you’ll have companion pass status through 12/31/22.
    • You’ll need to earn just 100K points this year thanks to the 25K gift, so $100K of spending on Southwest credit cards will earn this status. The signup bonus on a new card does count for Companion Pass.
    • Companion pass status allows you to bring a companion with you for free on all of your Southwest flights, including paid and award flights.

Limited time card offers:

  • The Chase Southwest Consumer Priority card has a signup bonus of 50K Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months plus another 30K bonus points for spending another $8,000 in 9 months. Earn 5 points per dollar on up to $2,000 of monthly Southwest purchases from 12/1/20-3/31/21.
    • The card offers some amazing benefits for Southwest loyalists including 4 annual A1-A15 boarding upgrade certificates, $75 in annual Southwest travel credit, 7.5K Southwest points upon every card anniversary, 20% off in-flight purchases, and the ability to earn tier points towards A-List status. $149 annual fee.
  • The Chase Southwest Consumer Premier card has a signup bonus of 50K Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months plus another 30K bonus points for spending another $8,000 in 9 months. Earn 5 points per dollar on up to $2,000 of monthly Southwest purchases from 12/1/20-3/31/21
    • The card offers 6,000 points every card anniversary, and has no foreign transaction fees. $99 annual fee.
  • The Chase Southwest Consumer Plus card has a signup bonus of 50K Southwest points for spending $2,000 in 3 months plus another 30K bonus points for spending another $8,000 in 9 months. Earn 5 points per dollar on up to $2,000 of monthly Southwest purchases from 12/1/20-3/31/21
    • The card offers 3,000 points every card anniversary. $69 annual fee.
  • The Chase Southwest Performance Business Credit Card has a signup bonus of 70K Southwest points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. Plus you will earn an additional 30K bonus Southwest points when you spend an additional $20,000 in 6 months.
    • The card offers some amazing benefits for Southwest loyalists including 4 annual A1-A15 boarding upgrade certificates, 9K Southwest points upon every card anniversary, 365 free Wi-Fi passes annually, 3 points per dollar spent on Southwest, Global Entry/Pre-Check, and the ability to earn tier points towards A-List status. $199 annual fee.
  • The Chase Southwest Business Premier card has a signup bonus of 60K Southwest points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
      • The card offers 6,000 points every card anniversary, and has no foreign transaction fees. $99 annual fee.

These changes will go into effect shortly, what do you think of them?

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20 Comments On "Southwest Extends Companion Pass Status, Makes It Easier To Earn Companion And Elite Status In 2021!"

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alos hashachar

i flew during the promo in november to get a companion pass for january and february. didn’t get the pass yet. did anyone else ?!

J

Now if only they would come back to EWR…Kudos to SW for this positive update though.

Joey

Ahh. Just what I needed. Some good news!

C2CMom

Wonderful news! We have some trips planned for late summer and fall and this will really help.

Erik

Those who earned the pass in early 2020 getting really unlucky here. At least those who earned in 2019 had that year to use it!

Mordy13

To clarify : If someone had a Rapid Reward Account open by December 31 2020 , signed up for any one of the Southwest Personal Cards 80K offers in 2021 and spent 20K on those cards in 2021 they would get a companion pass for the entire 2022 ?

matza ball

Dan–if we got companion pass in early 2020 with expiration at the end of 2021 (but didn’t use it at all because of Covid) is it worth calling Southwest to try to get companion pass extended to the end of 2022? If so, who would you recommend calling?

girl

Thanks for asking this. I’m on the same boat.

sam

@dan
“The signup bonus on a new card does count for Companion Pass.”
Yikes when did that go into effect? That’s a real bummer

sam

Sorry-read it backwards. Which card has the highest signup bonus now?

Jim

Southwest is by far the best airline in terms of customer service and really caring about their clients!!!!

JJ1

“The card offers 6,000 points every card anniversary” If I have the Premier business card already, will these points count to reach the 100,000 needed to get the companion pass this year?

JJ1

@dan

wpDiscuz