How The Southwest Companion Pass Saved Us $4,500

Looking back over the past two years, we’ve saved over $4.5k with our Southwest Companion Pass. Yes, you heard right. Over $4,500 worth of flights for free!

Cities We Visited

Here is a list of the places we’ve flown using our Southwest Companion Pass (CP) the past two years:

  • San Diego, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Orange County, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Dallas, TX
  • Burbank, CA
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Houston, TX
  • Oakland, CA
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We even visited some of these locations multiple times. Looking at that list might be overwhelming or exhausting for some people, but we see it as more of an adventure.

Grand Canyon

The beauty of the CP is that you only have to pay for one ticket. For instance, I pay for one ticket for myself, using points/miles or cash, and then I can add my wife as a companion for just the taxes and fees of $5.60. It’s amazing!

All of the flights that we took the past two years were paid for using Southwest Rapid Rewards miles. Over the past two years, we’ve spent just over 310,000 Rapid Reward miles. These miles were earned from transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards, signup bonuses, and referral points. Without the CP, we would’ve had to spend twice that amount (620,000 Rapid Rewards) for both of us to fly.

Southwest points redeem at about 1.5-1.6 cents per point. The points cost of each flight is based on how much the ticket cost in cash.

Therefore, the math looks something like this: 310,000 x $0.015 = $4,650 saved.

Best/Worst Deals

I keep a record of all of our Southwest flights and the most expensive flight we “paid for” was our Seattle to Buffalo flight, which cost 25,790 points round-trip. This was for a flight over Memorial Day weekend. Good thing we only had to pay for one ticket!

Niagara Falls

The cheapest flight we got was Los Angeles-Cancun, which was 6,768 points round-trip (although the taxes/fees were slightly higher since it was an international flight).

Cancun, Mexico

Adventures and More

The CP has been one of the best travel benefits we have earned since we started travel hacking. It has allowed us to have some awesome adventures without breaking the bank.

Trip to San Diego

Trip to Denver, Colorado

It has also allowed us to take several trips to visit family in California. It even helped us book a flight home to attend my grandfather’s funeral.

As you can see, we’ve been able to explore and experience cities all over North America while saving thousands of dollars.

The best part is that this upcoming year my wife will qualify for her own CP next year, which means we’ll have two more years of discounted travel on Southwest. I’m not sure we’ll get quite as much benefit out of it, but it should still save us around $2,000 over the course of the next two years.