Southwest To Increase Companion Pass Earning Requirement To 125,000 Points (& Other Smaller Changes)

Southwest has announced a number of changes to the program this morning, they are as follows:

  • Southwest companion pass will now require earning 125,000 points in a calendar year or 100 flight segments. This will begin in 2020 (e.g if you’re still trying to earn the pass this year you’ll only need 110,000 points).
  • Effective immediately points will no longer expire. Previously they would expire with no earning activity within the past 24 months
  • Small change to stand by rules. Starting January 1st, 2021 A-List & A-List preferred members will be offered ‘same-day standby free of airline charges’ instead of ‘free same-day standby’. This basically just means A-List & A-List preferred means still have to pay the government taxes and airport fees.

Our Verdict

Obviously the biggest change is to the Southwest companion pass. I think everybody has expected some sort of earning change for a long time, especially when Southwest started offering a bonus of 80,000 points on the Southwest business performance card. I don’t take issue with Southwest increasing this requirement, but I do take issue with announcing this change at this time of year. Southwest knows full well that some savvy customers time applying for Southwest cards to maximize when the points post and that some people have already applied for Southwest cards in the hope of earning a companion pass for 2020. Obviously that’s a risk individual customers take, but I do think it’s a reasonable expectation that Southwest should have announced these changes to earning the pass before now.

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Seth (@guest_828680)
October 22, 2019 00:50

Sorry for the newb question, but:

I got the CP a few years back with Biz & Personal Premier cards. Still have them open. Do I need to close them in order to apply for cards to get the CP again? And if so, is there any type of waiting period or can I just close them and re-apply?

VL (@guest_828700)
October 22, 2019 02:20

The answer for your question is here

Scroll down to the FAQ: If I have the Chase Southwest Premier business card, can I get the bonus?

To sum up, mathematically speaking
a) for personal card you are not eligible for any other personal card while you have one open anymore.
b) for biz – you can get biz performance card while holding biz premier for now, and are eligible for the bonus, but you can not get another biz premier while you have this one open. Although you will have probably hard time explaining why you need another performance while you still have premier open.

Most common approach is to close existing ones before applying for new cards (same or other versions), but although nothing specifically forbids you from applying for new cards next day after closing those you have (since you got your bonus way more than 24 months ago you are technically eligible), in my personal opinion it will be difficult to get new cards approved. Especially if you have to talk to reconsideration. How would you explain why you need the new ones after you closed the similar cards days ago?

Most common approach is to close, wait approx 6 months (or may be longer), then apply. Higher chances of automatic approval, and even if need to talk to recon you can provide believable explanation why you need them again.

Good luck.

YoniPDX (@guest_826883)
October 17, 2019 22:15

Earn 15k from BT first 90 days (Premier biz card).

If you pay off BT as soon as they post it will limit what the 15k RR toward the CP – it’s a shame no 0%

But it makes it a little bit easier to go over the goal line – of course timing is everything with this deal.

Sam Y.
Sam Y. (@guest_826616)
October 17, 2019 14:00

Glad points don’t expire anymore. Still haven’t used up my 100k+ from my first companion pass/signup bonus.

VL (@guest_826603)
October 17, 2019 13:37

Do not forget, performance will be 70k bonus, if not already… not 80k. And not sure if it will go up again as regular biz is 60k all the time now.. with no increased bonus.

osid0225 (@guest_826598)
October 17, 2019 13:31

Can someone clarify my thought process here? I currently have the 80k Performance Biz. Plan to earn the pts in January for that. Can I then go for the Premier Biz as well (hold both SW Biz cards?)

Vanson (@guest_827481)
October 19, 2019 11:17

Negative. Bonus points for the Premier won’t post if you still have the Performance open.

I think you can open a SW personal card. You can have 1 biz and 1 personal.


MickeyMouse (@guest_826557)
October 17, 2019 12:23

To me that’s a major negative change. And they know people are applying for cards now to get the January bonus.

For me I was planning on getting the 80k with 5k spend so that’s 85k Points Only Needing 25k more points meaning 25k more spend. This means 40k more spend within a very short time frame which is terrible.

It would’ve been nice to wait until 1/31 is all I’m saying.

Girish Singhania
Girish Singhania (@guest_826559)
October 17, 2019 12:26

No need to be short time frame. After bonus, you can spend rest in some time, its just that you wont get companion pass till you hit 125k

mrredskin (@guest_826541)
October 17, 2019 12:08

the 80k offer was still up this morning slightly after this announcement was made. I know because I applied under the 80k offer right after I saw this and the 80k page was still there.

dan (@guest_826518)
October 17, 2019 11:36

recently got approved for the perf biz cc for 80k pts bonus, now need to get a personal’s in-fight for 50k pts

JK (@guest_826536)
October 17, 2019 12:03

The 80k mile card requires 5k spend, doesn’t it? That’s 85k miles. The current 40k mile only requires 1k spend. That’s 41k miles. 85k miles plus 41k miles = 126k miles!

anthony (@guest_826639)
October 17, 2019 14:50

Is it possible to get one of these without being in-flight?

Ray (@guest_826797)
October 17, 2019 19:56

Yes, there’s a few links floating around.

Dima (@guest_826474)
October 17, 2019 10:18

Applied and got approved for the Biz card with 80k bonus yesterday. Was thinking about getting to 110k pts with organic spend, but an additional 15k pts requirement will likely mean that I will need to get a SW personal card.

Alex (@guest_826506)
October 17, 2019 11:03

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if I wasn’t planning to do this one organically. Just got approved for the 80K card and figured worst case scenario I would have CP next October after the 9,000 pts post from the annual fee bonus (so there was only 21000 needed). Now it would be 36000 spend… I’ll have to MS if I end up not getting another card. Waiting till November to try to apply for the second card.

YoniPDX (@guest_826459)
October 17, 2019 09:57

75 days is still better than than this week’s overnight devaluation that killed stop overs on Alaska partner awards in Asia.

“Those bast***ds!”

Vincent (@guest_826526)
October 17, 2019 11:43

Where did you find out about this? Would this also occur on Pacific partners? Was planning a SFO-Fiji-Melbourne flight with free stopover in Fiji for next year…

YoniPDX (@guest_826780)
October 17, 2019 19:05

No, its just Asia flights. on AS award page “Stopovers are not available on Intra- Asia award redemption’s.”

I’m working on a similar trip PDX-LAX-NAN-ACK then MEB- SYD -PDX for next Spring or Fall

If your traveling after July look for seats on the new Fiji A350 instead off A330-200 which has angled lie flat seats for 11 hours – the A330-300 has fully lie flat for the 11:20 hour from LAX-NAN or 11:10 from SFO, but I think that new A350 is only out of LAX – You could get equipment switched and end up with the angled lie flat seats of the A332.