How to Fly for Free ✈
how I earned 220,000 points on Southwest Airlines!
In the past 2 years we’ve flown to 7 cities: Atlanta, Niagara Falls (well, Buffalo, New York), Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Missouri, Jamaica (I know… not a city), and Philadelphia and paid a total of $0 (when you exclude US security fees and taxes). That’s 15 round-trip tickets for free!
There are lots of other posts online describing how to do this, so I’ve been putting off writing this because you all could just Google it instead. However, my husband convinced me that you wouldn’t care if I just mentioned it and told you to find your own way, nor would you really believe that it is actually doable, unless I was the one writing it.
The trick is to take advantage of Southwest’s sign up bonuses in order to earn their much coveted “Companion Pass” (more on that below).
This offer has been around for years but looks like it is probably going to end in a few days, according to some forums about the topic! So if you’re interested, hurry!
So… here’s how it works:
- Sign up for this Chase Southwest Credit Card (Plus, $69/year)
- Sign up for this Chase Southwest Credit Card (Premier, $99/year)
- Spend $2,000 on each of the cards within 3 months of receiving them.
- Spend an additional $6,000 on the cards as soon as possible.
- Get rewarded 50,000 points for each card, plus 1 point for each dollar you’ve spent. This will give you a total of 110,000 points.
- Once you reach 110,000 points you’ll automatically be rewarded your Companion Pass!
Sign up for one of the Southwest Business Cards for an additional 60,000 points per business card (after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months)! (Note: you’ll need to have an actual business).
While all these points are great, the Companion Pass is special because it let’s you book a ticket for a companion for absolutey free. This pretty much turns your 110,000 points into 220,000 points (if you always travel with your “companion”, like I do)!
Once you earn your Companion Pass you can use it to book a free flight for your companion until the end of the next calendar year (e.g., if you earn it in April of 2018 you can use it until December 31, 2019). So awesome!
What’s a Point Worth?
Southwest points don’t really convert perfectly into dollars, from what I can tell, but 220,000 points is probably about $3000 worth of flights! Right now I can fly my husband and myself round trip from Orlando to New York/Newark for less than 10,000 points (yes, round trip!) if I choose my flight time and days carefully!
Gotchas and Things to Know
To get the Companion Pass you have to earn all the points in the same calendar year. The points don’t expire, but they won’t count towards earning your Companion Pass after January 1 of each year.
In order to book your companion’s ticket there must be seats available to book in a higher “class” (like Anytime and Business), even if you book yours as a “Wanna Get Away”.
You can’t earn Southwest’s “A List” status with these free miles, so don’t expect them to roll out the red carpet for you. :-(
And just to clarify, once you earn the companion pass you don’t lose the points. You do get both the Companion Pass and all those points!
Now if someone could let me know how to earn some free hotel nights in NYC please… (seriously though)