Unlocking Nearly Free Family Travel: A Guide for Parents of Youth Athletes

Unlocking Nearly Free Family Travel: A Guide for Parents of Youth Athletes

If you’re a parent of a youth athlete, the prospect of bringing a designated friend or family member on Southwest flights for almost nothing might sound like a dream. Well, with the current elevated 50,000-point offers on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, this dream can become a reality, thanks to the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is not your typical companion fare. While many credit cards offer single-use companion fares, the magic of the Southwest Companion Pass lies in its unlimited usability. Once earned, you can bring a companion on any Southwest flight for just the cost of taxes and fees, whether it’s a cash or award ticket. This means you could enjoy over a year of nearly free buy one, get one Southwest flights.

How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Earning the Companion Pass requires accumulating 135,000 qualifying points or taking 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year. While this may seem daunting, the article outlines strategies to make it more achievable, especially for parents of youth athletes.

Strategy 1: Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards

  • Sign-Up Bonuses: Take advantage of the elevated sign-up bonuses on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards. These bonuses contribute significantly to the Companion Pass requirements.
  • Annual Boost: Southwest cardholders receive an annual boost of 10,000 points toward Companion Pass qualification. This reduces the number of points needed to 125,000.

Strategy 2: Flying with Southwest

  • Points for Flying: Flying with Southwest is another way to earn Companion Pass qualifying points.

Strategy 3: Use a Combination of Credit Cards and Flying

  • Optimal Approach: The best approach is likely a combination of credit card bonuses and flying.

Timing and Tips

  • Timing is Crucial: Timing is important, especially when opening new Southwest credit cards and meeting minimum spending requirements. Timing it right ensures that the earned points count toward the next year’s qualification.
  • Chase Application Restrictions: Chase has restrictions on Southwest credit cards, including the 24-month rule for sign-up bonuses.
  • Maximizing Companion Pass: By earning the Companion Pass early in a calendar year, parents can enjoy almost two years of free companion travel.


For parents of youth athletes, the Southwest Companion Pass can be a game-changer, providing an opportunity for affordable family travel. By strategically leveraging credit card bonuses, flying with Southwest, and timing activities correctly, parents can unlock the benefits of the Companion Pass and make family travel more accessible and enjoyable.

Verified by MonsterInsights