It might be the best travel perk you’ve never heard of.
  1. Southwest Airlines offers a companion pass that lets you take a second person on all your trips free for one year
  2. It’s unique in the airline business, an all-you-can-travel extra that’s surprisingly easy for many people to get
  3. It takes 100 flights or 110,000 points in a year to earn a pass
  4. A $390 Business Select fare earns 4,095 points
    A customer flying only on Southwest’s highest fares could get a pass with just 14 round trips, or just over one trip a month.
  5. Cheap fares won’t get you there, however
    An $89 advance-purchase fare yields only 418 points. You’d need more than two round-trips every week.
  6. Many people get the pass through flying and spending — points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa cards
    You can have a personal card and a small-business card accumulating in the same frequent-flier account.
  7. Sign-up bonuses on multiple cards, if timed right, can land close to 100,000 points by themselves
  8. Here’s a hypothetical breakdown of how you might reach 110,000 Rapid Rewards points:
  9. Five round trips on “Business Select” fares, $762 each
    Earn 40,950 points for a cost of $3,810
  10. Five round trips on “Anytime” fares, $698 each
    Earn 31,150 points for a cost of $3,490
  11. Spend $2,527 a month on a Southwest credit card for a year
    Earn 30,324 points for $30,324
  12. Five round trips on “Wanna Get Away” fares, $300 each (1500)
    Earn 7,580 points for a cost of $1,500
  13. Total Points: 110,004, Total Cost: $39,124