Companion Pass Engine

This is an engine that tells you how to apply for and obtain a Southwest Companion Pass allowing someone traveling with you to fly up to two years for free. If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, maybe the Beginner’s Guide or the What are these engines? posts will help.

Companion Pass Qualifying YTD Miles :
Type of cards to apply for
Personal and Business
Personal Only

Only cards with first year annual fee waived?
Yes
No

Number of cards to apply for simultaneously:


Perform the following to obtain the Companion Pass by obtaining 110,000 qualifying points.
Program/CardSouthwest PointsApply
Southwest Plus
Southwest (Airtran)
50,000 points after
$2,000 spent in 3 months
Fee: $69

+52,000
52,000
Apply Now
Southwest Plus Business
Southwest (Airtran)
50,000 points after
$2,000 spent in 3 months
Fee: $69

+52,000
104,000
Apply Now
Ink Plus Business Credit Card
Chase Ultimate Rewards
60,000 points after
$5,000 spent in 3 months
Fee: $95 waived
Transfer through Hyatt
+31,200
135,200
Apply Now
Ink Bold Business Charge Card
Chase Ultimate Rewards
60,000 points after
$5,000 spent in 3 months
Fee: $95 waived
Transfer through Hyatt
+31,200
166,400
Apply Now
Sapphire Preferred
Chase Ultimate Rewards
40,000 points after
$3,000 spent in 3 months
Fee: $95 waived
Transfer through Hyatt
+20,640
187,040
Apply Now
Marriott Premier
Marriott Rewards
50,000 points after
$1,000 spent in 3 months
Fee: $85

+18,214
205,254
Apply Now
Personal
Business
Following the above schedule, upon completion of award bonuses and spending the Companion Pass looks like it should be obtained with $138 in fees, after $9,000 in spend.

Alternatively, get the first 2 cards and you will have 104,000 points with $138 in fees and $4,000 in spend. Spend an additional $6,000 to get the necessary points.

Note: Companion Pass must be earned within a single calendar year. Valid throughout the year it was obtained and until the end of the following year.
Depending on the link and card, I may get a small referral when any of the above are used to apply for a card.  These took time to build and require maintenance as cards, conversions and award charts change over time; please advise if you find any bugs or incorrect data as well.  Your support is very much appreciated.

4 thoughts on “Companion Pass Engine

  1. Scot

    Forgive my math/ignorance, I’m confused by your numbers. Why does 60,000 points from Chase Ink only result in 31,200 points? Wouldn’t be at least 65,000 points, with the $5,000 spend factored in? I thought it was a 1:1 transfer?

    And why are they transferred through Hyatt?

    Thanks.

  2. mike Post author

    @scot, while the miles do transfer 1:1, when from chase they *do not count towards earning the companion pass* – for this reason they must be transferred through an intermediary. iirc there might be a tiered rate approach with hyatt and to keep things simple with the engine i did some rough math – in any case it is the intermediate system that will yield the best results. chase -> sw = no pass qualifying miles, chase -> hyatt -> sw = pass qualifying miles.

  3. Scot

    Makes sense…I found that out after browsing your site a bit more. Sorry I was so quick to comment. Seems like you’re giving away a lot of points simply to get a companion pass on a mostly domestic carrier. But I suppose if someone travels with a partner domestically all the time it works.

  4. mike Post author

    totally agree – just an available option and could help one achieve the pass/do so quickly. the friction and loss in converting points in general outside of the 3 big programs (chase/amex/spg) usually seems pretty painful and is rarely an option i would choose.

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