Southwest Increases Points Requirement for Companion Pass

The good news: Effective immediately, Rapid Rewards points no longer expire.

Sam KemmisOctober 17, 2019
Ups Companion Pass Requirements, Removes Rapid Reward Point Expiration

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Southwest just announced some major changes to their Rapid Reward program. There’s good news and bad news.

Let’s start with the bad news:

  • Starting in January 2020, Rapid Rewards members will need to earn 125,000 points within a calendar year to qualify for the famous Companion Pass. That’s up from 110,000 points.

  • If you’re aiming to earn the Companion Pass in 2019, you’re not affected. The requirement is still 110,000 points.

  • You can still earn the Companion Pass by completing 100 one-way flights in a calendar year — that number won’t change in 2020.

  • Points earned through the Southwest credit cards still count toward the 125,000-point threshold.

And the good news:

  • Effective immediately, Rapid Rewards points no longer expire. That’s a great benefit, especially for infrequent Southwest travelers.

It’s good to see Southwest join United, Delta and JetBlue in removing those annoying point and mile expirations. And we appreciate any airline that’s willing to throw some sweet news in with the sour.

» Learn more:

That said, the 15,000-mile increase in the Companion Pass threshold is tough no matter how you slice it, especially since for many, the news comes too late in the year to take advantage of the lower 2019 requirement.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.