Point Me to First Class with Devon Gimbel MD | Unlimited Free Flights with the Southwest Companion Pass with Lyn Mettler (Part 1)

36. Unlimited Free Flights with the Southwest Companion Pass with Lyn Mettler (Part 1)

Nov 06, 2023

We’re fast approaching the end of the year, and in the points travel world, that means it’s the season for earning one of the most valuable perks in points travel: the Southwest Companion Pass. Today, I’m joined by Southwest expert Lyn Mettler, and she’s breaking down everything you need to know about the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.

A longtime travel journalist, Lyn has been writing about travel and interviewing experts for years. In 2015, she discovered how to fly her family of 4 free to all the places she'd written about, going from one car trip a year to flying free six times every year around the US, Europe, and the Caribbean. She now teaches hundreds of families this same simple system through her Families Fly Free membership, where her mission is to bring families together through travel.

Tune in this week to discover why people go nuts over the Southwest Companion Pass. We are discussing whether working to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass is the right fit for your travel plans, what can go wrong when trying to earn this valuable points-travel perk, and be sure to come back next week when Lyn will be sharing her tips for earning your Companion Pass using a repeatable but tricky process.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode: 

  • Why the Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most coveted perks in rewards travel.
  • What Lyn loves most about flying with Southwest.
  • Some common misconceptions about flying Southwest.
  • How to decide whether the Companion Pass is suitable for your points travel strategy.
  • The challenges travelers face when working toward earning their Companion Pass.


Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Point Me to First Class, the only show for employed professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners who are looking to optimize their higher-than-average expenses to travel the world. I'm your host, Devon Gimbel, and I believe that your expenses are your greatest untapped asset if you know how to leverage them. Ready to dive into the world of credit card points and miles so you can travel more, travel better, and travel often? Let's get started.

Hey everybody, welcome back to the podcast. As you are probably aware, we are getting to the end of the calendar year and in the points travel world, that means that it's the season for earning one of the most valuable perks in points travel. I'm talking about the Southwest Companion Pass. Today I am joined by Southwest expert Lyn Mettler to break down for you everything you need to know about the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.

Including why people go nuts over this thing, whether qualifying for one is the right fit for you and your travel plans, and how to actually go about earning a Companion Pass using a simple, repeatable, but unfortunately easy to screw up process. But Lyn and I are going to do our best to make sure that you understand how things can go sideways when you're trying to earn a Companion Pass and what mistakes to avoid so that you get it right.

Lyn Mettler is a longtime travel journalist for US News and World Report, the Today Show, MSN, and others, and has been writing about travel and interviewing experts for years. In 2015, she discovered how to fly her family of four free to all of the places that she'd written about, going from one car trip a year to flying free six times a year around the US, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

Because the system worked so well and was so simple, she knew she had to share it with others. She now teaches hundreds of families the same simple system through her family's Fly Free membership where her mission is to bring families together to travel. Lyn, welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to have you here today and to have you share all of your expertise about Southwest Airlines and the Southwest Companion Pass with everybody.

Lyn: Awesome. Yes. I love to chat Southwest and miles and points. Thanks for having me.

Devon: Yeah, absolutely. So before we jump into the details about what the Southwest Companion Pass is and how to go about earning one, first, I just wanted to talk about Southwest Airlines in general. Since you have so much experience flying with them and traveling with them, what do you think makes it a great airline? What do you love most about traveling on Southwest? 

Lyn: Oh, it's hard to pick one thing. They are a great airline overall. Even if you couldn't fly them for free, it just so happens, I think they're the best airline if you want to fly for free, but just their service is outstanding. So they're 99% of the time a pleasure to deal with. If they do mess something up, and they do. We've all seen the cancellations and problems and whatever over the last couple of years. But they usually make it right and go above and beyond to keep their loyal customers, and they offer amazing things like the Southwest Companion Pass. 

But I also love you can check two bags for free. I mean, you can't do that on any other airline. I have flown so many airlines that are not, that are not only not customer service oriented, but just rude I think. The Frontiers of the world. I'm not a big fan. I feel like even if they paid me to fly them, I wouldn't want to because they're mean. But Southwest is the polar opposite of that. It's just refreshing.

Devon: Yeah, I think that point about even being able to get free checked bags is really one of the biggest distinguishing factors of Southwest, especially over the last couple of years. It seems like airlines have done every single thing they can to make traveling and flying harder and less comfortable for people and more expensive. 

The amount of things that you have to pay for now just to be able to have access for that used to be, at least what I remember from five, ten years ago, used to be a given. That you buy an airline ticket, you get certain things including check bags. That's not always the case now. 

So I know that so many people love Southwest Airlines because they don't make it seem like you have to work so hard just to be able to fly on the airline and have a relatively pleasant experience. Tell me a little bit about some of your favorite or most memorable trips that you've taken with Southwest. Where are some of the destinations that Southwest flies?

Lyn: Well, of course they fly all over the US, but I think a lot of people don't realize that they do fly to some international destinations also. So mostly in the Caribbean. Costa Rica is about as far south as they go, but we haven't done that yet. That's definitely on our list. Mexico. That's another big one that a lot of people are interested in going to so.

But I think for us I mean, when we first started into this back in 2015, I mean the first trip that we took for free, like that was just a jaw dropper for all of us because get into this, and you think like really. Like this is too good to be true. My husband was especially skeptical about this whole thing. It wasn't until I was like all four of us are flying for free to San Diego. That's where we went in October. That was absolutely amazing. 

I'm still amazed to this day. I'm like everywhere we go, like we don't pay for airfare. That's insane. What is happening? But we've been a lot of amazing places on Southwest. We went to Turks and Caicos last year. We've been to Hawaii twice. That's another one that's on most people's bucket list is to get to Hawaii. We love Disney. So we go to Disneyland and Disney World a lot. We love the National Parks. There's so much great access to different national parks on Southwest. I could go on and on, but I won't.

Devon: It sounds like, to me, based on just the trips that you've taken that Southwest really shines in the area of family travel, both in terms of sort of the destinations that they serve, where you can go, the types of places that are popular to travel with families, but also against sort of that level of customer service and the ease with which Southwest makes the flying experience. Which, I think, especially if you have younger aged kids, that really starts coming into consideration versus when you're flying alone or flying solo. But do you think Southwest is really especially sort of a family travel based airline? Or do you think a lot of people can actually get value out of flying Southwest?

Lyn: Southwest is not an airline that offers like a first class or a business class. So if that's what you're looking for, all the seats are the same on Southwest, right? They do have a business class fare you can buy, but that amounts to you get to board the plane earlier, and you get a free alcoholic drink. So you're not getting any extra legroom, or they're not bringing you champagne or whatever when you take off. So in that regard, they're more family oriented. 

But on the flip side, Southwest is the only airline that doesn't assign your seat ahead of time. So that's a lot of people that come to me have that concern. They're afraid to fly Southwest, even though they're the best airline to fly for free, because they fear, and particularly with younger kids. Oh no, like what if I can't sit with my kids because I didn't get to pick my seat ahead of time?

It's different than what you're used to. But you learn the techniques of how to get the best spot on the plane. What I always tell people, I mean my kids are older now, but they were younger when we first started doing this. Like I've never not been able to sit one parent and one child together. I've never seen that happen either on any flight. If you were to get in that situation, you would just ask someone to switch with you, or you would get the flight attendant, and they would make sure someone switches with you. 

Because I remember a flight attendant getting on and saying one time like we need someone to switch because unless someone wants to sit with a four year roll by themselves for the whole flight. I thought like yeah, that's it. No one's going to sit next to your kid by themselves and have to watch your kid for the whole flight. Like they're going to switch with you. So. There's a lot of things you can do to help yourself get on the plane earlier, just so at least you can sit together.

Devon: Tell me a little bit more. You said that it was back in 2015 that you really kind of learned how to start leveraging Southwest and learning how to fly them for free, in your words. How did you first learn how to do this? What made it possible that you took that first family trip to San Diego?

Lyn: Right. So I had been a travel writer for a long time, as you said in the intro. So I was constantly getting pitched ideas and whatever over email, right? One day, someone pitched me this idea of this couple who had been traveling the world on frequent flyer miles, but they weren't earning them by paying for flights. So I think like that was the big eye opener for me that got my attention. I was like, really? How do you do that? I thought you had to fly

So I just started to look into what they were doing. I was a big couponer at the time. So you know when extreme couponing was big and all of that. So I have the mindset of how much can I get for how little? I saw this as like couponing but for travel. They had a blog at the time. I started following them. I interviewed them. They talked about the Companion Pass. So that's where we started was interesting, one of us could always fly for free. Let's see if we can get this pass

Then I just, over the years, trial and error kind of figured out a simple way to do travel rewards. That's what I try to bring to the table is a lot of people get overwhelmed very fast by travel rewards. Because if you search online, mostly what you get is every possible card you could have, every airline you could fly, airline alliances, and booking in that one.

So I crafted a way to do this that involves just a couple of cards, not opening a bunch of cards constantly to get a bonus on a card. I mean, there's some of that, but it's not a constant thing. Just focusing on a couple of airlines and to accomplish everything you want to do. So that's what I just sort of fell into that by doing it myself and making mistakes. I was like this is really works well, and it's really easy. So I should put this together and teach other people how to do it, you know?

Devon: Yeah, absolutely. That is a great segue into really the main topic of this podcast episode of this series, and why I wanted specifically to bring you on because you do have so much expertise around the Southwest Companion Pass. So can you educate us all a little bit and tell us what exactly is a Southwest Companion Pass? Why do people go so nuts over this thing? Because I think it is one of the most popular perks in all of the points travel world.

Lyn: Yeah, I mean, hands down, this is the best deal and travel because what the Southwest Companion Pass does is allows you to bring one person with you anytime you're flying and not have to pay any points for them. So it's a big point saver if you're working in travel rewards, or not have to pay any cash for them. You do have to pay the mandatory $5.60 cent security fee per person per way within the US but that's it

What's so amazing about it is if you can earn this thing, it's good from the time you earn it until the end of the following year. That means unlike Delta's Companion Pass or Alaska's Companion Pass, which is a one-time only. As many flights as you want to take in that period, you can bring someone with you for free. Then better than that, you can change who that person is up to three times a year.

So it can be your spouse one time, it can be your mom one time, it can be your best friend another time. It's literally a buy one, get one. It's like if you're in the couponing world, it's a BOGO for travel. You buy a flight, you get one free. The savings on that just cannot be beat to never have to pay anything for one person to fly.

To earn the pass, and a lot of people get intimidated by this, you have to collect 135,000 points in one calendar year, which means any January 1 to any December 31. All those points have to be in, or you start over at zero the next January 1

So the way that we teach you to do that fairly easily is with two card bonuses can get you all the points that you need. Then we have a system that we teach you to always have it because if you can just always eliminate the cost of one person, you don't need nearly as many points to go all the places that you want to go. That is one of the ways that saves you from constantly having to open cards to get the big bonus.

Devon: Yeah, and we're going to go so much more into detail about what it actually looks like to put together a plan to qualify or to earn a Southwest Companion Pass. We're going to talk about why this timing is so important. But I wanted to talk a little bit more first about, like you said, the benefits of the Companion Pass. 

So you mentioned that once you've earned a Southwest Companion Pass, it allows you as the Companion Pass holder anytime you book a flight for yourself on Southwest Airlines using either cash or points to book your flight that you can then book your designated companion with you for free, other than that $5.60 in taxes or fees. 

I just want to reiterate this because I think this is something that makes this Companion Pass so exceptional. Is there truly no limit on the number of flights that you can book using your Companion Pass during that period that your Companion Pass is actually active? Could you literally fly every single day if you want it to? 

Lyn: Yeah, absolutely. 

Devon: That is actually unbelievable to me. I doubt anyone with a Companion Pass is actually flying every single day, but I do know that people are getting a tremendous amount of value and travel frequently with this Companion Pass. Specifically, because there is no limitation on the frequency. You're not limited the number of times that you can fly a year, number of times you can fly a month. But you really can use this to fly as frequently as you want on Southwest Airlines, again, during the period that your Companion Pass is actually active and valid

So let's talk about some real numbers. How much can you actually save by having a Companion Pass? I'm curious since it sounds like you have had a Companion Pass for many years now. You've used it to fly your family. I know you work with hundreds of people helping them get Companion Passes. Give us an idea about how much do people tend to save on travel once they've earned the Companion Pass, and they are able to use it to fly someone free with them for their travel.

Lyn: Yeah, so you brought up a good point which I didn't mention, which is that as the Companion Pass holder, you can book your own seat in points, and that's another differentiating factor from Delta or Alaska that have a Companion Pass. That's our whole jam here, right? Nobody paying anything. That's what we're trying to accomplish. We don't want you to have to pay for your flight so someone can fly for free. So you can book your own flight in points as well. 

We just had a member that I just interviewed on my podcast who has saved the most I've ever seen in a year. You mentioned like you could fly every day, right? So well, he flies every month with his son for travel sports. So he's an example of someone who is flying more frequently than I would for example. He's racked up $20,000 in savings by not having to pay for his son as the companion or himself as the, he's booking himself in points. There's a few other things in there as well. He's got some hotels for free and whatnot. 

But the way I value a Companion Pass is A you can look at like okay, if I could fly for free, how much wood we fly? So my family, we're going to beat that this year, but we usually fly six times a year. So the average airfare in the US within the US domestically is $350. So you could say my family is going to fly six times, and we're going to at least save $350 on the person we're not paying anything for. So that puts you at $2,100. If I get this pass, we'll talk timing, but let's say I get it in February of 2024, and it's good through the end of 2025. Okay, that's two years now I can do that. That's $4,200

Then I like to value the points that you will earn to get the pass. So you're, this is a little in the weeds, but you're actually going to end up with 125,000 points that you can use. When you earn these points for the Companion Pass, you could also use those points yourself to book anyone else in your group on free flights, anyone who's not your companion.

So we have 125,000 points, and you can value Southwest points between one and a half to two cents each. So we'll just go the lower end value there. That's another $1,875. So I value a pass at about $6,000 for my family. So is it worth it for me to get that every two years? You betcha.

Devon: I think that this is where really knowing kind of what your travel plans, your travel priorities, and where you stand to benefit really comes into play. Because, of course, not every single person on earth is going to benefit equally from, I mean, any of the travel deals or travel opportunities that I talk about on this podcast, a lot of us in the points travel world talk about.

I definitely don't believe, I've said this a million times, I don't believe in one size fits all points travel. So I'm not trying to suggest that this is the exception to the rule. That every single person can and should go out and get a Southwest Companion Pass, but I think there are a lot of people who would really, really benefit from having a Companion Pass who either just aren't aware that one, it exists, two, how it's different from other “Companion Passes”, like you mentioned that other airlines do offer.

Three, kind of how to do that evaluation of am I the person who's going to fall on the line where this is actually going to be extraordinarily valuable to me and/or my family. Versus well, if I'm someone who doesn't live anywhere near Southwest hub, or I already know my travel plans for the upcoming year, and they actually don't involve places that Southwest services, well then maybe the Southwest Companion Pass isn't the perfect fit for you now

So I think part of what I was really hoping to do with this episode and sharing so much of your knowledge and your expertise and experience with a Companion Pass is to help make it very clear to people just what is the potential benefit of this Companion Pass, and to make it easy for people to be able to identify oh, wow. This is something that I actually want to put in some of the time and effort to learn how to qualify for because I would get such outsized value and benefit from it. 

Or hey, this sounds great, and it's not a great fit for me now. So I can kind of put this on the bookshelf and come back to it next year depending on what my travel plans look like. So is there anybody in particular who you think it does not make any sense at all to even think about earning a Southwest Companion Pass other than kind of the scenarios that I've already mentioned?

Lyn: Well, I do want to offer that even if you don't live in an airport that Southwest flies into, just consider, and this is just up to you, right, but we have a lot of people that do this. Would you be willing to drive? Like is there one two hours from you? Three hours from you? I have someone in Montana, and I think she drives like three and a half hours to get to a Southwest airport and is willing to do it.

Because if that's a trip that you would not take if you weren't doing it for free on Southwest, is it worth it to you to make the drive? Only you can decide that. Some people do not want to. They have little kids. They don't want to drive, and I totally get that. But we will even drive, I'm in Indianapolis, but we will drive to Chicago if a flight. We have Southwest flies into our airport, but it's significantly cheaper up there such that I can save enough points to book a whole other trip out of it, yeah, we drive to Chicago, fly out of there. So like, we're willing to do that just to get another trip out of the point that we have. 

So the only people I think that it just really doesn't work for is if you're like nowhere in the vicinity of a Southwest airport. So I did have someone like one time, and she was not in a Southwest airport. Then she was trying to fly to see her family who also wasn't in a Southwest airport. So just Southwest didn't make sense. 

Now, the way we teach things, you don't have to only fly Southwest. We just recommend that they be your primary airline. Then the way we teach flexible points and whatnot, you should have some that you can use to book another airline here and there. 

So like, Tammy on my team, for example, she lives about two hours north of Indianapolis. Southwest doesn't fly into her airport. When they have a Companion Pass, they don't always. Some years, they just don't get it. But when they do have it, they'll drive to Indianapolis and do most of their flights out of here. But then one or two, they'll take a flight out of their home airport on a different airline. Maybe because that's not a flight they can take on Southwest, or maybe that airline just offers a much more convenient time or a direct flight or something like that. So that's kind of how I recommend thinking about it.

You need to be willing to fly Southwest. That's the other thing. Some people just flat out won't do the no seating assignment, or they do want to fly first class or something like that. So it’s not a good option if you if you want that first class experience, and you really need to know where you're going to be sitting ahead of time.

Devon: Yeah, I think those are really great points to make. I don't believe perfect exists anywhere. I don't think perfect exists in travel or points travel, but I do think that when you know exactly what matters most to you in terms of travel becomes very easy to be able to identify which of the points travel opportunities are a great fit for you. So I think it's really helpful to hear how you think about who might not want to go after this Companion Pass for various different reasons

As you were talking, I was thinking about none of Southwest in general, I actually did not look up prior to this recording when they officially launched as an airline or how long they'd been operating. But I have these very, very vague memories. I grew up in Southern California. I went to undergrad college in Northern California. I was in college like in the late 90s just to date myself, for everybody listening to this podcast. You all know that I'm around 42 years old. So I was in college between like 1998 and 2002.

At that time, I remember, Southwest had a really good presence in California. It was one of the affordable airlines so I could fly from the Bay Area back down to Southern California, the times that I was not making the solo drive in my very old car by myself to go home for different holidays or what have you

Then I subsequently moved out of California, and I've lived in different parts of the country that are not as well serviced by Southwest as I remember California being. So I actually prior to this episode, I did go on Southwest website just to get a better sense of what is their route network look like now? Where do they actually fly now? What areas of the country are just geographically very well served by Southwest? 

I was actually surprised because it's not any longer predominantly Southwest US geographically based. I mean, they really cover most of the West Coast, most of the southeast, the East Coast, a good portion of the Midwest. Really, there's only a pocket kind of in the northern part of the country around like Wyoming and the Dakotas that really looks like there is no Southwest service to speak of. 

But really, if you are US based, chances are there is going to be an airport somewhere in your vicinity that does offer Southwest flights. So I was actually surprised by how large their footprint actually looked now and how accessible their airports are. 

I think that as you were talking, one of the things that also came up in my mind is that I think there are some people who might not be thinking about Southwest as the top airline of their choice in terms of what their domestic travel looks like. Again, either because maybe there's not a Southwest hub where they're going, or it's just not the entire travel experience that they're looking for. 

But one of the things that does come up for a lot of people in the points travel world, especially when they're thinking about leveraging maybe some of their other types of flexible or transferable points currencies for longer haul or international flights is the idea of positioning. That sometimes your local airport isn't going to be the one that offers the best deal if you are looking to fly international, or if there's a specific long haul flight route that you're looking for

So being able to use a domestic airline to get yourself into position or get yourself from where you are to potentially a larger international airport hub can really come in handy. So to be able to leverage Southwest, even if it's not the airline that you think of as oh, this is going to be my primary airline that I want to fly on just by choice but to be able to utilize it for that opportunity for positioning flights, especially if you do have a Companion Pass

It allows you to bring someone along essentially for free. I think that that's another very unique potential use of a Southwest Companion Pass. I'm curious if you have any people in your community who use it primarily for that reason.

Lyn: Like, we find that people get into this, and they figure out how to fly around the US, then the Caribbean, and then Europe. Like that's kind of our area of expertise. We don't go beyond that because then it does start to get a bit more complicated. 

But we very often get ourselves, as you're saying, to New York on Southwest because New York almost always has the cheapest flights to Europe. So whenever we're going to Europe, and we love New York City. So we can go to New York City and spend a night or two on either end and see a show or whatever, and then hop on over to wherever we're going in Europe. So yeah, that's absolutely another great way to take advantage of this.

Devon: Yeah. So now that we've talked a little bit about Southwest Airlines, kind of what makes it a unique or different airline, especially compared to other US domestic airlines and the benefit of having a Southwest Companion Pass. Let's now kind of get into some of those nitty gritty details about what it takes to actually qualify for a Southwest Companion Pass, why now is a great time to be thinking about setting yourself up to earn a Companion Pass.

Then we will get into some of those mistakes about how you've seen people very accidentally not get this right so that hopefully those of you who are listening will be able to put together a game plan for yourself that's actually going to work in order for you to earn a Companion Pass. So Lyn, you had kind of alluded to this before, but tell me why this time of year specifically is really the best time to start making a plan for earning a Southwest Companion Pass.

Lyn: Well, it's because of the how the pass functions. So it's good from the time you earn it until the end of the following year. So obviously, if you can time it to get it early in a year, you're going to get the longest value out of it.  You're going to get almost two full years. 

So that said, though, like let's, we're recording this in end of October, but let's just say it's June. You will often hear people say oh, just don't get your Companion Pass. Wait until January. I'm a big proponent of if you can use that pass this year, and it will save you more than whatever it takes you to earn that pass, get it because we have a system that will show you how to always have it going forward, whether you have it for a year and a half the first year or almost two years the first year. It doesn't matter. You're still going to always have one. So just don't box yourself into I can't get it until January no matter what. 

Now, this time of year, you can't get one in hand by the end of the year to save yourself any money. So it totally makes sense to wait until early the next year. But the tricky thing here, and what a lot of people like to do, is you can start the process now. If you want to have your pass in January, say you've got flights that you want to take and you actually can hold a seat for your future companion, we recommend doing that in points. Even if you don't have your pass yet, you can go ahead and book those flights

Then when you get your Companion Pass, as long as the flight isn't sold out, Southwest can switch them. They can give you your points back and make that booking your companion. But you can start the process now so that we'll get into the cards, but you can start applying for cards. This is where you can make a lot of mistakes. You have be very careful that the bonuses credit in the following year, next year. The year that you want the pass to start.

Devon: Yeah, so one of the things to take away, I think in terms of the planning and the strategy is just baseline in order to earn or in order to qualify for Southwest Companion Pass Lyn, as you mentioned, you have to earn 135,000 Southwest points in one calendar year, right?

So for people who are listening to this podcast episode sort of real time and this is a plan they want to put in place, what they want to focus on is making sure that they earn those 135,000 Southwest points ideally starting January 1, 2024 through sort of the beginning of 2024. Because if they earn all those 135,000 Southwest points starting January 1, once they qualify for the Companion Pass, they're going to hold it for the rest of the entire year of 2024 and then all of 2025, right?

So one of the common questions I hear people say is well, right now in calendar year 2023, I already have 80,000 Southwest points, right, either because I have a Southwest credit card, and I've been putting some spend on it, or I've just accrued those points. Are those going to roll over? Can I use those 80,000 Southwest points towards my 135,000 limit starting in January 1? Because they're already in my account. They're still going to be in my account on January 1. Tell me how that works, if at all.

Lyn: When you're logging into your Southwest account to, like there's your rapid rewards balance. Okay, that's how many points you have available to you to book free flights. But also if you click on your account, you'll see a Companion Pass tracker. That's going to show you how many points qualify toward a pass this year. Those two things are different. Because you might have points in your balance from last year, those do not qualify for this year's Companion Pass for example. 

So people get, that's very confusing if you don't know what to look forward there. So look at your tracker, see how many points actually qualify for your pass this year. Again, they don't roll over. So if you have 80,000 points this year, and you don't get 135,000 by years end, January 1 that tracker is going to go to zero. you’ve got to start the process over again

So that is a tricky point. Like do you go ahead and just finish the points off this year, or do you wait till next year? That really is why one of the many reasons I created a membership because that's a very individual specific situation. It depends on like what cards do you have of Southwest? When did you open them? 

Has your spouse or traveling companion, if you have one, have they opened any of these cards? When did they open them? Because then we can sort of craft the best plan for you. Does it make sense for you? Like maybe you're not eligible for any more Southwest cards. Maybe you should just go ahead and finish it off this year. 

A lot of people don't realize they actually are eligible to get new card bonuses. That's a big mistake that we see. They think well, I already have a Southwest card. So I can never get one ever again, which isn't right. You could just go ahead and get the full 135 at the beginning of next year and then have that two year long pass. Because there's a lot of different ways you can go about it.

Devon: Yeah, absolutely. For those people who do want to plan and strategize to earn a Southwest Companion Pass by earning 135,000 Southwest qualifying points starting January 1, there, I have found, is sometimes confusion about what activities count towards those 135,000 points needed to earn a Companion Pass and what types of activities or points actually don't count towards earning Companion Pass. 

So can you spend a little bit of time and tell us what are some of the points earning activities that actually will count towards earning Companion Pass, and what are some of the things that actually will earn you points but not the points you need towards that 135,000 limit? 

All right, everyone, you're going to have to wait until next week for part two of this conversation with Lyn Mettler to hear more about what does and doesn't count toward earning a Southwest Companion Pass, how to strategically leverage applying for new Southwest credit cards to easily earn a Companion Pass that will last you almost two years, and what mistakes to avoid making so that you don't accidentally mess the whole thing up. Join me back here again next week to hear the second half of my Companion Pass conversation with Lyn to get all the details.

Thank you for joining me for this week's episode of Point Me to First Class. If you want more tips on turning your expenses into travel, visit pointmetofirstclass.com to learn more. See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?