This year we’re planning a lot of trips. It’s one of the last years we’ll be able to do this, because my son isn’t in school yet, and our daughter isn’t yet 2, so she flies for free. The problem is we’re also buying a new house this year, so we don’t have a lot of extra money floating around for us to throw at a bunch of vacations. So how am I making it happen? Getting half-off flights!
I have a friend who’s done well for himself and seems to be traveling almost every month to some random getaway with his girlfriend, so I did what any friend would do and asked how he did it. I expected him to tell me his bank account is just overflowing and that would be that, but instead he told me about a loophole he found that got him a Southwest Companion Pass that allows his girlfriend to fly free every time he buys any flight on Southwest.
Some of you may be familiar with the Companion pass that Southwest offers, and if you are, you also know you have to fly 100 one-way flights or 110,000 miles in a single year to get it. That’s crazy! Unless your job involves constant travel, I don’t know any other way you’re going to fly THAT MUCH.
So, how did he get it? He gamed their credit card system. Southwest offers both a business and personal credit card through Chase that gives A LOT of bonus miles. If you sign up for the Business credit card and spend $3000 in the first 90 days you get 60,000 bonus miles, and if you sign up for the personal credit card you get another 40,000 miles after you spend $2000 in 90 days. That only brings you to 100,000 miles, but if you get someone to refer you to get the personal credit card, you get another 10,000 miles, which brings you to the 110,000 miles you need to get the Companion pass! I had to find someone online to refer me, but you can use my link here to get the extra 10,000 miles.
When you get the Companion Pass, you get to keep it for the entire year you qualified for it in (by getting 110,000 miles in a calendar year), PLUS the entire next year. We just qualified for it today, January 25th, and it’s going to last until December 31st of 2019!
What’s also amazing is that you get to keep the 115,000 miles (60,000 + 50,000 + the $3000 & $2000 you needed to spend on the cards), and can use that to get a bunch of free flights. As long as you buy ahead of time, most of the Wanna Get Away one-way flights cost around 10,000 miles, which means you can trade those miles in for 5.5 free roundtrip flights! That means you can get yourself over 5 free roundtrips for you as well as whoever you pick as your companion!
Now I should mention the flights aren’t technically COMPLETELY free. You have to pay a $5.60 fee per way for taxes, but at that price, its basically free.
If anyone else wants to do the same thing, I’ve laid out the steps and important info below. I’ve included a referral code which will give you the extra 10,000 miles you need to qualify for the Companion Pass, and I should mention it will give me 10,000 miles as well (not that you care, but I want to be completely transparent).
Benefits of This Loop Hole
- It gets you a Companion Pass that lets you choose a companion to fly for only $5.60 with you on any flight you buy through Southwest Airlines.
- You get the Companion Pass for the rest of the year you qualify for it in, plus all of the next calendar year.
- Example: We got our Companion Pass today, January 25th 2018, and it won’t expire until December 31st 2019
- You get 115,000 Southwest miles that can be used to get around 5 full round trip tickets for almost completely free, assuming an average of 10,000 miles used per one-way flight. (you still have to pay a government tax of $5.60 per one way flight)
Rules to Get The Companion Pass
- You have to get 110,000 miles in a single calendar year
How You Can Get 110,000 Miles In a Single Year
- Every $ spent with the credit cards below qualify as 1 or more miles.
- The credit cards below give big bonus miles upon signup that count towards the 110,000 mile goal
- One person needs to sign up for both of the credit cards below.
- You need to sign up for both cards and spend the necessary amount of $ in the same calendar year.
- If you did one in one calendar year, and the other in the next calendar year, you won’t hit the 110,000 mile mark in a single calendar year.
You get 60,000 miles if you sign up for this Southwest Business Credit Card and spend $3000 in the first 90 days. Sign up here
You get 50,000 miles if you sign up with this referral code for this Southwest Personal Credit Card and spend $2000 in the first 90 days (if you don’t use this referral code you only get 40,000 miles) Sign up here
Other Things You Should Know
- To get the business card, you’ll need some type of business. It doesn’t need to be a big business. It could even be a small sole-proprietorship.
- If you think you’ll have trouble spending enough money quickly enough on the cards, think of things you could prepay for. We wanted to get the Companion Pass as soon as possible, because we had a trip planned, so we wanted to hit the $2000 personal limit in the first month. We didn’t end up needing to, but to hit the $2000 mark we were going to buy some grocery gift cards, which we knew we’d use.
- We put all of our monthly expenses that could be charged to credit cards onto these, which helped hit the $ goals quickly.
- It’s best to qualify for the Companion Pass early in the calendar year, because it lasts the rest of the year you qualify for it, plus all of the next year. That means if you get it in January, you get it for 23 months. If you get it in November, you get it for only 13 months.
- If you signed up for 5 new credit cards in the last 24 months, you may not get approved for the credit cards.
- If you signed up for more than 1 personal and/or 1 business credit card in the last 90 days, you may not get approved.
- Every free flight your Companion gets they will have to pay a $5.60 tax per one-way flight – that’s it!
- Southwest offers the first 2 checked bags for free, which means no extra baggage fees.
- You can see everywhere Southwest flies to here.