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The Professionals and Cons of Southwest's Companion Cross


At NerdWallet, we attempt that can assist you make monetary selections. To this, many or all merchandise featured listed below are from our companions. Nevertheless, this doesn’t affect our evaluations. Our opinions are our personal.

For those who're a real skilled, you're most likely conversant in Southwest's Companion Cross. However that famed profit desires to get more durable to earn in 2020.

Upfront of those modifications, we'll discover the professionals and cons of this perk, recommendations on the best way to earn it and when it’s possible you’ll need to skip it.

Companion Passport fundamentals

The Southwest Companion Cross is among the most wanted advantages within the rewards journey area. The companion cross lets you fly with them freed from cost (simply pay taxes and charges).

Presently, vacationers earn the Companion Cross by flying 100 qualifying one-way flights or incomes 110,000 qualifying factors in a calendar yr. In 2020, the factors wanted to earn the cross might be as much as 125,000, although the variety of qualifying flights will stay the identical.

After incomes the Companion Cross, the awardee can use it for the rest of the yr wherein it was earned, plus the next calendar yr.

You may earn the Companion Cross by utilizing the Southwest Speedy Rewards Credit score Card, and journey to and from Southwest.

»Be taught extra: Full information to the Southwest Speedy Rewards program

Weighing the professionals and cons

Clearly, the biggest of the Companion Cross is a two-for-one deal on one yr. This will quantity to large financial savings, particularly for those who and your designated companion are large vacationers. And whereas you will pay taxes and charges for every companion flight, these are normally nominal on Southwest (typically $ 5 to $ 10).

One other main perk of the Companion Cross is that you just as soon as once more, you need to use it at the side of factors in addition to paid journey. For instance, you may spend your time in a flight for the worth of a flight.

Incomes the cross with flights

However this perk isn’t with out its drawbacks. Whereas the Companion Cross has all the time been a stretch for some vacationers to earn, it's about to get a bit tougher come 2020.

Southwest just lately introduced it was pending the necessities wanted subsequent yr. Starting January 1, 2020, vacationers who both need to take 100 qualifying one-way flights or accumulate 125,000 qualifying factors (up from the earlier 110,000-mile requirement) to earn the cross.

No matter whether or not you're incomes the cross in 2019 or 2020, doing so with flights isn’t a simple feat for the occasional traveler. Racking up 100 qualifying one-way flights means you'll want at the least 50 round-trip flights in a single single calendar yr – virtually one flight per week.

For those who're a really busy traveler, the Companion Cross would possibly or may not be life like. However for those who're extra of a travel-for-leisure kind, incomes it this manner could also be a bit out of attain.

Incomes the cross with factors

You would additionally earn the accumulating 125,000 qualifying factors subsequent yr, which can’t be counted in direction of this determine.

Factors earned from Southwest bank cards do depend (together with their sign-up bonuses). However even a bonus alone won’t get you there by itself; for those who're going to earn a companion cross this manner.

And there's all the time the danger you would find yourself spending greater than it’s best to on the sake of incomes miles, so it's a good suggestion to weigh what you would spend on the cross.

Take into consideration these questions: Do you all the time fly Southwest? If that’s the case, might you are taking a visitor with you on any of the flights you'd take within the subsequent yr? Then it could be value the additional spend to earn this cross. However it’s best to subsequently think about whether or not or not you might be spending on a unique card.

Let's stroll via an instance. We already know that incomes a Companion Cross will value you both 100 qualifying one-way flights or 125,000 factors in 2020. Signing up for a Southwest Speedy Rewards® Premier Credit score Card might earn you the next welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 factors after you spend $ 1,000 on purchases within the first three months your account is open.

You'd nonetheless want to gather 85,000 further factors to earn the Companion Cross in 2020. This card awards 2 factors for each greenback spent on purchases with Southwest or Speedy Rewards, in addition to 1 level for each $ 1 spent elsewhere.

For comparability's sake, let's say you’ve got Southwest standing, you're most likely shopping for their least expensive "Wanna Get Away" fares, and take a couple of journeys a yr for a complete of $ 2,000 spent on airfare. With Southwest, you'll earn 12,000 factors from these flights below their revenue-based incomes mannequin (6 factors per greenback spent on flights).

That leaves you with an annual requirement of over $ 70,000 value of spending at 1x earnings to qualify for the cross.

»Be taught extra: Full overview of the Southwest Speedy Rewards Premier card

However that amount of money could also be higher spent on one other rewards card. For instance, with the Chase Sapphire Most well-liked® Card, you'll earn this bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus factors after you spend $ 4,000. That's $ 750 in direction of Chase Final Rewards®.

This card presents 2x factors on eating and eating and 1x per $ 1 on all different purchases, so that you could possibly spend extra rapidly for all of your journey spending – and switch your factors to Chase companions South West.

We should always subsequently observe that you will need to examine the worth of any factors you’ll earn on these playing cards. Presently, NerdWallet values ​​Southwest at about 1.7 cents per level and Chase Final Rewards® factors at about 1.25 cents every.

»Be taught extra: NerdWallet's Chase Sapphire Most well-liked overview – a must have card for vacationers

Specifics of incomes the Companion Cross

Southwest's companion cross – take 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn over 110,000 qualifying miles inside one calendar yr (125,000 in 2020). However what does qualifying imply, anyway?

Right here's what counts towards a Companion Cross:

  • Income flights (i.e., a flight bought with money or credit score, not utilizing rewards factors or different bonuses).
  • Companion resort stays.
  • Companion.
  • Factors earned through a Southwest Speedy Rewards bank card.

However there's a Companion Cross too, together with bought factors, reward journey and (paradoxically) utilizing the Companion Cross itself. To be clear: You should utilize the cross at the side of factors to e-book a flight, however you’ll not earn any qualifying factors from companion cross journey.

»Be taught extra: Your information to the Southwest Companion Cross

The underside line

The Southwest Companion Cross is a type of vacationers that dream about. In any case, it simply cuts in half. Nevertheless it's not straightforward to earn, and vacationers can simply fall into the lure of spending greater than they need to simply to earn it. Keep in mind to weigh the price of the cash. And for those who're not a devoted Southwest flyer, it's OK if you wish to skip it altogether.

The way to maximize your rewards

You need a journey bank card that prioritizes what's necessary to you. Listed below are our picks for the 2019, together with these finest for:

Planning a visit? Take a look at these articles for extra inspiration and recommendation:
Discover the perfect airline bank card for you
Which Southwest Airways bank card ought to I get?
Earn extra factors and miles with these 6 methods

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