How to earn Free Companion on Southwest Airlines.
Fly round trip for $11.20

Frequently Asked Question

There are a lot of details on this page. I would suggest you read through all of the information to learn more about how the system works.

Any Annual Fees?
  Yes, there are annual fees. Each card has a different amount of annual fees. In exchange of paying your annual fee (after the first year) you will get bonus points. The amount of annual bonus points varies for each card. Usually the bonus points are between 3,000 and 7,500. A lot of credit cards have annual fees but in this case I feel like I get something in exchange for paying it so I don't feel to bad about it.

How do I book a flight and add my free companion?
  After you have earn Free Companion and submitted the name of your free companion you are ready to use it. Book your flight (just your flight) which you can pay for using points or your credit card. After your ticket is purchased go to the website (or use the Southwest app on your mobile device) and view your account. Click to view your up coming trips. Click the trip you want to add free companion to, look around on that information page and there should be a link to click that says "Add Free Companion". After clicking it, you will be guided through the check out process where you need to pay (with credit card) the federal fees for your companion which is around $11 per round trip. Usually the free companion will have their own confirmation number (which means you will both need to check in separately). View the FAQ section about check-ins for more information.

Why and when should I check in for my flight and what is Early-Bird?
  Southwest doesn't assign seats on the plane. Instead they group people by letters A, B and C. Each group contains the numbers 1 thru 60. When boarding the plane you line up according to what letter and number you have. 'A' group loads first, then 'B' and finally 'C'. Once you enter the plane you pick an open seat that you want to sit in. Granted the earlier you enter the plane the more choices you have for seats. If you do not select the Early-Bird option you can check in for your flight 24 hours or less before your flight. I strongly suggest you check in at exactly 24 hours before your flight. If you purchase the Early-Bird option you can check in up to 36 hours before your scheduled flight. Early-Bird does cost extra (currently $15) per flight for each ticket. If you purchase it for you and your spouse for both flights it will cost you an additional $60. We do not purchase the Early-Bird option. We check exactly 24 hours before the flight and we can usually sit by each other. As a family 4 we have never been able to all sit together. Usually we get split up a little but normally each parent was next to one of the kids.

Should I get a card for my spouse when I sign up?
  No. I have not been able to confirm this but from what I can gather if you submit your spouse's name on the application forms there is a chance you won't be able to repeat the program at a later date using your spouse's name. If anyone has any experience with this please contact me and let me know the process.

What insurances should I choose when renting a car?
  When renting a car they are going to try to up sell a few options. The typical up sells are: Loss of Use, Basic Insurance, Full Insurance, Fuel Balance and Fuel Full. To learn more about these options visit this page. Always read the fine print but as of right now if you book the rental using your Southwest Credit Card they will cover the Loss of Use and Basic Insurance. That is a big money saver when renting a vehicle. Your personal auto insurance will usually provide the same coverage on the rental that you have on your own vehicle but you need to verify that with your insurance company.

Can I transfer points from other accounts to earn free companion faster?
  No. Only points earned through the program directly count towards the 125,000 free companion counter.

I'm running low on points - any suggestions?
  Yes, visit the "more points" section of this website.

How long does it take to earn free companion?
  It really depends on which bonus programs you get and your personal spending habits. Most people start the program in January. I have heard of people getting Free Companion as early as April. Most couples earn it late September. If you take advantage of the flight, hotel, car rentals, shopping and dining options to earn more points it will help speed up the process. View the "more points" page on this website for details.

Do they offer a business card?
  Yes. It usually offers a 60,000 point bonus for charing 2K or 3K to the card within 3 months. You can check it by clicking here. If you do have a business I would suggest using this 60K bonus as a stand alone the year after you earn free companion. You might be able to get free companion again with the 60K bonus points.

Which websites should I sign up at if I'm serious about earning points?
  You can earn points for shopping and dining. Visit the "more points" for details.

  Southwest offers flights mostly in the lower 48 states. They do have a few flights that leave the country and they recently added Hawaii. With Free Companion you could get 2 round trip tickets to Hawaii for about $22.50. We might try that in the near future but we need to book 2 flights because from Wisconsin they don't fly direct to Hawaii so we would have to fly to Vegas or California, spend the night and then the next day fly to Hawaii. The flights from Wisconsin don't land early enough to catch the Hawaii flights. Visit their flight map for more information or just visit their website at

  This gets a little confusing to explain. The short answer is: Yes you can use your earned points without subtracting from your "free companion points".

The points you earn go into 2 different "containers". One of them is your overall points. The other is the Free companion counter.

As you earn points they will be added to your points balance and your free companion counter. The free companion counter resets to zero on Jan 1st of each year but your points balance that you can use to purchase flights do not reset. As you are working towards free companion you can use your points towards travel and they will not be subtracted the points earned for free companion.


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