The coveted Companion Pass makes Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus a premier travel card

My wife and I recently went on vacation to Maui, Hawaii for the first time. One of the best parts is that our flight cost us nothing but taxes and airline fees, and we totaled $11.20 each.

That's because we used our Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card points to pay for my wife's flight. Meanwhile, my flight was free thanks to Southwest's Companion Pass, the holy grail of the card's rewards program.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card is perfect for us because Southwest is our preferred airline and we save money with the Companion Pass.

With the Rapid Rewards Plus card, you'll earn double points on every dollar you spend on eligible Southwest Airlines flight, hotel and car rental partners. If you're like us and take at least a few trips a year, the points add up quickly.

You'll also earn double points on local transportation and commuting (including carpooling), and double points on internet, cable, phone, and select streaming services. All other purchases earn 1X points per $1 spent, which is pretty standard for most credit card rewards programs.

South West Companion Pass The main attraction of Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus is the coveted Southwest Companion Pass. This is the best passport and the main reason why I love this card as much as I do.

With a Companion Pass, you can designate a friend or loved one to fly with you for free—well, almost free. While your companions pay nothing for airfare, they do pay mandatory taxes starting at $5.60 one-way or $11.20 round-trip.

Unlike most cards, the Southwest Companion Pass is not only valid for the year you get it, but also for the entire following year. Savvy travelers can maximize their savings by planning ahead and purchasing a Companion Pass in January.

That means you and your companions can enjoy the pass for almost two years. Plus, you can use the pass whether you pay for your flight with points or cash—a rare feature in the rewards space. This means you can use your Rapid Rewards points to buy flights for yourself and invite your companions to join you without using your points.

It's also worth noting that Southwest Airlines often runs promotions to help new cardholders buy Companion Pass faster. For example, for a limited time, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card has a new cardholder promotion that gives cardholders a Companion Pass (valid until February 28, 2024) and $30,000 in spending after earning 4,000 points in the first three months opened an account. Offer also valid on Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Preferred Credit Card.

Best Practices for Earning Points
To earn a Companion Pass, you must earn 135,000 qualifying points or take 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year. Here are some tips to help you earn points quickly:

Use your Southwest Rapids Reward Plus card as much as possible
Whenever you normally pay bills or make purchases with your debit card, use your Rapid Reward Plus card instead. Use the card to pay for utilities, cell phone bills, streaming services, groceries, gas, and any other purchase you can make with a credit card.

Take advantage of promotions I can't stress this enough: email promotions are the hidden gem of this rewards card. Southwest Airlines excels at sending out regular promotions and the opportunity to earn bonus points.

For example, in the past, Southwest offered 10,000 points for each friend you referred who received a Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card - up to a total of 50,000 points.
Selected purchases earn double points Remember, you'll earn double points when you book hotels and rental cars with any of the Southwest Rapid Rewards partners, including Hyatt, Marriott and Radisson. Plus, earn double points for every dollar you spend on transportation, commuting, internet, cable TV, phone calls and select streaming services.
Shop at Southwest Bonus Partners
Use the Rapid Rewards shopping portal to shop at over 1,100 stores of your choice and earn rewards points for your purchases. Some of the stores are Macy's, Apple and Home Depot.

Alternate Southwest Map
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card's low annual fee of $69 is offset by the savings the card offers. Still, Southwest offers higher-tier cards that offer fatter bonuses and a faster path to elite status.
I strongly consider signing up for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, which offers an 80,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in first three months. It also offers 9,000 anniversary points each year after you renew the card and pay the $199 annual fee.
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If you prefer Southwest Airlines to the competition, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card is the perfect vehicle to start earning airline points and other perks. The annual fee is low and the value offered is great (especially when you factor in the coveted Companion Pass). This is a good card if you want to save money on future travel. Soon you'll be able to book a flight for two for a modest flight tax and fee.

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