Southwest Airlines' Companion Pass is the holy grail of travel rewards - I used mine for 3-for-1 flights with my wife and baby

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Southwest Airlines

About five years ago, I earned a Companion Pass from Southwest. Over the next nearly two years, I brought my wife along on every Southwest trip at a negligible cost. Taxes and fees on a domestic companion's fare are less than a coffee and breakfast at the airport. Depending on how often you use a Companion Pass and how you travel, the value can be immense.

Just as my Companion Pass expired, my wife took advantage of a deal that earned her the Companion Pass for nearly two years. While the roles reversed, a Companion Pass and lap child made airport parking and dog sitters the most expensive parts of travel.

Thanks to a new deal, you can easily score a Companion Pass and save hundreds or thousands of dollars bringing a favorite partner along to any destination served by Southwest.

What is the Companion Pass and how does it work?

A Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is a special deal from Southwest that allows you to take a companion along on a Southwest flight at no additional cost. If you buy a ticket for yourself, your designated companion can join you for the price of taxes and fees, a total of $11.20 on most domestic round-trip routes.

You typically can earn the pass from flying on Southwest a lot and spending a ton on a Southwest credit card. Earning 110,000 miles in a calendar year gets you the Companion Pass for the remainder of the calendar year and the following year. Using a sometimes-available old deal, you could get both a personal and business card at once to earn the Companion Pass fueled by big bonuses, but an even better deal is available for a limited time.

Your Companion Pass is good for just one companion. You can't take a different friend along every month. You can change your companion up to three times per year, but generally want it to be one person. A spouse, life partner, parent, sibling, child, or best friend who you always travel with makes the most sense.

Read more: We compared Southwest Airlines' 3 personal credit cards - and one of them stands out as the clear winner

Fun uses of a Companion Pass

Once you earn the Companion Pass, you can go anywhere Southwest services with a two-for-one price.

When my oldest daughter was young enough, we got three-for-one flights with her as a lap child. That's the best deal I'll ever get!

Some popular cities served by Southwest include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Seattle, and other major US cities. The airline also serves some Caribbean airports and is expected to announce flights to Hawaii in the very near future.

With this deal, you can whisk your significant other away for a romantic mountain getaway or exciting weekend in Vegas. You can travel for a concert or sporting event and make it a lot more budget friendly. Maybe you want to just lie on a beach somewhere while sipping a cocktail from a coconut. When you only have to buy one flight for two people, it becomes a lot more reasonable.

Read more: I've had the Southwest Companion Pass, and it's a game changer for family vacations - you can get one now easier than ever before

The Companion Pass deal you don't want to miss

For a limited time, you can get the Companion Pass and 30,000 bonus points (enough for a round-trip award flight) after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening a new account for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee), the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee), and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee).

The Companion Pass is only valid until the end of 2019, but that's still a great deal for many people.

If you travel a lot, you can squeeze a ton of value out of a Companion Pass going to family events and on vacations, and bringing someone along for business trips and any other time you hop on a plane.

The deal is only valid from January 10, 2019 to February 11, 2019. After that period is over, a deal this good may never come around again. If you are interested, I would apply as soon as possible.

Get ready to tackle your bucket list

I stare up at a big pinboard map in my office marking past destinations visited. The new Companion Pass offer may be enough to help me get a few more pins in new cities I've been looking to visit.

Whether you want to go back home or mark off a new city on your bucket list, the Companion Pass makes it much for affordable. With this limited-time credit card sign-up offer, any frequent flyer can get an amazing deal if they qualify and act fast.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Priority card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Premier card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

Click here to learn more about the Southwest Plus card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.

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