Southwest Companion Pass

Southwest Companion Pass
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My SO and I should be able to qualify for a Companion Pass in January, but we’re already starting to dream about ways we could use it for the next two years. Anyone want to share any fun potential destinations? Bonus points for white-sand beaches, big cities and/or international travel.

We’re based in San Diego, a Southwest focus city, so I figure we should have plenty of choices.


Oh, Brad, you’re going to love it. Ours is expiring at the end of December. I’m so sad.

Southwest is one of the few airlines that not only flies direct from the US to Cuba (via Tampa and Fort Lauderdale), but allows you to use companion pass on reward flights there. We went in March, and it was pretty amazing. Highly recommend. Varadero is a resort area a few hours from Havana that is worth checking out.


I’ve had it for the last year and didn’t use it as much as I could’ve! Some places we flew to:

  • Phoenix (Grand Canyon and Antelope canyon)
  • Seattle
  • LA
  • Chicago
  • St Louis

Upcoming trips before year end:

  • Las Vegas
  • Costa Rica!!!

There are several Central American destinations that I wish I had taken more advantage of.


+1 for having it and wishing I’d used it more.

We went to Austin, Seattle, Houston, LA and some other quick weekend getaways. Jealous that you have a whole year of using it Brad!!


And of course who can forget Hawaii is coming soon, too! Appreciate the responses, everyone.


I’ve given up on Hawaii coming soon, because it’s taking forever!!


Were you able to get a flight to Costa Rica that wasn’t 8+ hours? I was really hoping to go, but none of the flights I found were nonstop.


Here’s what our flights to Costa Rica look like:

Flying from Bay Area: 8hrs 5min (55m layover in Houston)
Flying back to Bay Area: 9hrs 40min (1.5hr layover in Houston)

Given one of the tickets is free, I’m not complaining!


Embarrassed, but we’re among friends. I am about to buy a car. I have the cash, $30K+. But because I never use credit cards otherwise, I’m ignorant about whether there is an easy kill for the Southwest Companion Pass or some other extravagant reward. I understand I might have to sweeten the deal to get the car dealer to accept a card. And I’d expect to get three to four flights a year out of the pass.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever charged? Is it stupid for a rewards newbie to aim this high? Other than nominal charges for things like Hulu and Amazon, paid off quick, I am not a credit card user.


I’m interested to hear what other people have to say. I’ve heard some dealerships will let you put at least a portion of a cash purchase on a credit card, but in negotiations I’ve always dropped that request in favor of getting a better price. I’d love to find a way to get both!


This is a really great question, Des.

Yeah, I think it’s likely that the dealership may not offer any discounts or even raise the price of the car to pay merchant fees for processing a credit-card transaction.

Also, some cards put a cap on the amount of points you can earn, and some states don’t allow dealerships to accept a credit card for a new car because it’s an unsecured account.

Curious to know what @claire might have to say here.


Similar to @lweston’s experience, I was also offered the opportunity to put some of the car purchase price on credit. BUT, it would (for whatever reason) eliminate the $1,000 discount the dealer had offered me otherwise, so the points weren’t worth it. (I was mostly purchasing in cash so the discount wasn’t a bump to get me to spend more in interest - really not sure what it was all about.)

I’m waiting on any attempts to get the companion pass until Hawaii is ACTUALLY :clap: HAPPENING :clap: as that would make it a really sweet deal. Then again, flights to Hawaii have consistently been in the $300s lately from SFO so it’s pretty cheap these days even without the pass.


A number of years ago, I was able to put $4000 as a down payment using myChase Freedom credit card. They initially said $2,000, but I said I wanted to rack up some reward points. There was no change in the vehicle price.