A new sign-up bonus for three Southwest-branded credit cards will make it easier to access the airline's sought-after Companion Pass.
The offer, launching Feb. 9, 2021, is as follows: "Earn a Companion Pass through 2/28/2022 plus 30,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months."
Eligible cards include:
When earned through this offer, the Companion Pass will allow you to bring another passenger along for free (excludes taxes and fees from $5.60 one way) through Feb. 28, 2022.
These cards usually do not offer a Companion Pass outright. Instead, you’d typically need to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year to get a Companion Pass, which — when earned that way — is good for the remainder of the calendar year in which you acquired it, plus the full calendar year after that.
The Companion Pass offered as part of this promotion is good only for one year.
Previously, the cards offered a two-tier bonus where you could earn up to 80,000 points — 50,000 points if you spent $2,000 in the first three months, plus 30,000 more if you spent $10,000 in the first nine months.
The Southwest cards offered a similar limited-time bonus in early 2019. The timing of this promotion is unusual, given how many people are continuing to put travel plans on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one year of Companion Pass access may not be enticing enough if you won’t use it at all for the first few months of 2021.
Still, if you’re a loyal Southwest passenger who’s traveling currently, or you have plans to travel later in the year, this bonus provides a lower-effort way to get your hands on the highly coveted perk.
Note that if you already have one of the three consumer Southwest credit cards, or if you received a bonus for a Southwest card in the last 24 months, you won't be eligible for this offer.