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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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How to Earn Southwest A-List, A-List Preferred and Companion Pass Status

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Travel can be transformative. Whether you dream of visiting Walt Disney World with your kids, scuba diving in Cozumel or watching a Broadway show in New York, the trip of a lifetime could be one plane ride away.

Unfortunately, travel isn’t always as affordable, convenient or comfortable as it is alluring. That is, unless you have airline status.

When you have achieved a certain status level on your preferred airline, travel becomes instantly more accessible and infinitely more agreeable. This is especially true when your preferred airline is Southwest Airlines, which is known for its low fares and excellent service — but also for its no-frills flights. However, when you earn status as part of the airline’s Rapid Rewards® loyalty program, the frills start flowing.

Specifically, Southwest has three status tiers that afford you extra benefits when you fly: A-List, A-List Preferred and Companion Pass.

A-List and A-List Preferred give you priority over other passengers when you fly; because Southwest has open instead of assigned seating, that means you can not only board faster, but also snag better seats. Companion Pass, on the other hand, is a lucrative offer that lets a designated travel companion fly with you for free on all your qualifying Southwest flights for a full calendar year.

Of course, before you can enjoy status on Southwest, you have to earn it. Here’s what you need to know about how to get there.

What are qualifying points for Southwest status?

Southwest uses two different kinds of point balances to track whether you qualify for A-List, A-List Preferred or Companion Pass status:

  • A-List “Tier Qualifying Points”
  • Companion Pass “Companion Qualifying Points”

Keep in mind these are just balances for tracking purposes. They have nothing to do with the number of Rapid Rewards points you have available for booking award flights. And you can earn both kinds of qualifying points at the same time.

When do points count for status?

Your points begin counting toward status each year on Jan. 1, and can accumulate until Dec. 31 before the tally resets again in January. Once you reach your goal, you’ll enjoy status for the remainder of the year and for all of the following year. If you qualify really early in the year, that means you can enjoy status for nearly two years.

How do you earn A-List status?

Earn 35,000 Tier Qualifying Points OR fly 25 one-way flights (paid flights, not award tickets or flights where you’re a free companion).

How do you earn A-List Preferred status?

Earn 70,000 Tier Qualifying Points OR fly 50 one-way flights (paid flights, not award tickets or flights where you’re a free companion).

How do you earn Companion Pass status?

Earn 125,000 Companion Qualifying Points OR fly 100 one-way flights (paid flights, not award tickets or flights where you’re a free companion).

Note: Earning Companion Pass status won’t earn you A-List status unless you also earn enough A-List Tier Qualifying Points. If you earn Companion Pass status without much flying, that means you probably won’t get A-List status. If you earn it mostly through flying, however, you’ll likely end up with both A-List and Companion Pass status.

What activity counts toward A-List and A-List Preferred Status?

  • Revenue flights: Revenue flights are flights that are paid for using travel funds, including vouchers.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card points: You can earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 you spend on the card, up to a maximum of 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points each year. These points are separate from the Rapid Rewards® points you earn and use for award flights. Only the Premier and Priority-level credit cards can earn these points, not the lower-cost Plus-level card.

What activity does NOT count toward A-list and A-List Preferred Status?

  • Points transferred into your Southwest account
  • Gifted points
  • Introductory bonuses on your Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • Points earned from Southwest Rapid Rewards partners
  • Special promotional flight bonuses
  • Points you buy
  • Companion Pass travel
Note: Points earned from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card hit your account after your statement has closed, not when you make a purchase. So if it’s close to the end of the year, there’s a risk your points will hit the account after Dec. 31, in which case they will not count toward qualifying in the current year.

What activity counts toward Companion Pass status?

  • Revenue flights: Revenue flights are flights that are paid for using travel funds, including vouchers.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Partners: Base points you earn from Rapid Rewards partners — including hotels, car rentals, Rapid Rewards Shopping and Rapid Rewards Dining — count toward Companion Pass status.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card points: Points you earn from any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card — the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card or Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card — count toward Companion Pass status. This includes introductory bonuses.

What activity does NOT count toward Companion Pass status?

  • Points transferred into your Southwest account, including those transferred from credit card rewards programs, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
  • Gifted points
  • Tier, flight, partner or promotion bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards)
  • Points you buy

Here’s the official policy from Southwest Airlines:

“Purchased points, points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from Rapid Rewards program enrollment, tier bonuses, flight bonuses and partner bonuses (excluding bonus points earned on Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not count toward Companion Pass.”

Disclosures |
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.


Disclosures |
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
on Chase's secure site
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Which credit cards can help you earn A-List and Companion Pass status?

As stated above, you can earn A-List and Companion Pass status either by booking a qualifying flight or by making purchases with a Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card. In case of the latter, you have a choice of five cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Disclosures |
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$69
Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® h
  • Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
  • Now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
  • 3,000 anniversary points each year.
  • Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • NEW! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

New card members receive the following sign-up bonus: Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months. Cardmembers also earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases. Additionally, cardmembers get 3,000 bonus points on their cardmember anniversary, two EarlyBird check-ins per year and 25% back on inflight purchases. The annual fee is $69.

Check out our review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Disclosures |
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$149
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® h
  • Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year.
  • Now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
  • NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
740 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

New card members receive the following sign-up bonus: Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months. Cardmembers also earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases. Additionally, cardmembers get 7,500 bonus points on their cardmember anniversary, four upgraded boardings per year, up to a $75 Southwest annual travel credit, 25% cash back on all in-flight purchases, $0 foreign transaction fees and 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 in purchases toward A-List and A-List Preferred status. The annual fee is $149.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Disclosures |
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$99
Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® h
  • Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
  • Now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
  • 6,000 anniversary points each year.
  • NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • NEW! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

New card members receive the following sign-up bonus: Our best points offer ever! Earn up to 100,000 bonus points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus 50,000 more bonus points after spending $12,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months. Additionally, cardmembers earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases. Also, 6,000 bonus points are awarded every year on their cardmember anniversary, $0 foreign transaction fees and 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 in purchases toward A-List and A-List Preferred status. Plus, get two EarlyBird check-ins per year and 25% back on inflight purchases. The annual fee is $99.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Disclosures |
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$99
Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2 points
  • Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest Airlines® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • NEW! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • Earn unlimited tier qualifying points towards A-List status.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Cardmembers also earn 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Additionally, cardmembers get 6,000 bonus points on their cardmember anniversary, and 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 in purchases toward A-List and A-List Preferred status, $0 foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is $99.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

Disclosures |
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$199
Earn 4 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn 3 points
  • Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW! Earn 4X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on rideshare.
  • Earn 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services and 1X points on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Earn 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Cardmembers also earn 4 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable, and phone services. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Additionally, cardmembers get 9,000 bonus points on their cardmember anniversary, Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee credit, four upgraded boardings per year, in-flight Wi-Fi credits, $0 foreign transaction fees and 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points per $10,000 in purchases toward A-List and A-List Preferred status. The annual fee is $199.

Does Southwest match status?

Southwest will match your status from another domestic airline. All you have to do is join the Rapid Rewards program, then send Southwest an email with your name, Rapid Rewards account number and proof of your current elite status with a domestic airline other than Southwest.

Once Southwest verifies your information, you’ll be granted A-List status. Furthermore, Southwest will extend your A-List status for an additional 12 months if you fly three round trips (or six one-ways) within 90 days of confirmation of your enrollment.