By John Chavez

Here’s a common question that many readers ask here at Go to Travel Gal. And we know there’s probably lots more of you out there with the same question!

Do I lose my points or Companion Pass if I close my Southwest cards?

Good news! No, you will NOT lose your Southwest Companion Pass (which lets one person fly free with you for up to two years) or your points if you close any of your Southwest cards. Neither are affected.
Closing these cards WILL save you from having to pay the annual fee, but there are some downsides that you may to consider before doing so.
First, you will lose out on earning the card’s anniversary points. Depending on the Southwest card you hold, this can range from 3,000 to 7,500 points, and these points DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass. Lyn uses these points to help reearn her Southwest Companion Pass every year. Here’s how she does it.
You’ll also lose out on the ability to earn points through credit card spending, as well as the opportunity to earn referral points by referring others to the card. Learn more about how to earn referral points.
Lyn says she’s kept both her personal AND business card (one of each), since she opened them in 2014 and she manages to re-earn the Companion Pass EVERY year without opening any new cards.

What if I decide to close them? 

If you DO decide to close a card, leave seven to 30 days after closing one card and trying to reopen a new Southwest card to give the credit bureaus time to acknowledge the closing of one and opening of another.
For example, you currently can only hold ONE Southwest personal card at a time, so you may want to close an older one before re-opening a newer one. Keep in mind you can’t earn the bonus on a new personal card unless it’s been 24 months since you last earned a bonus on ANY personal Southwest card. 
Finally, your FICO score is affected by your available credit and what percentage of that credit you use. The lower the better. You may be better asking Chase if they will waive the annual fee for you. Sometimes they will if they think you’re going to close the card otherwise :). It’s worth asking!
Here are more common Reader Questions. Got a question? Ask it below or email Lyn at lyn AT


  • Lyn Mettler

    Lyn Mettler is a longtime travel writer for US News & World Report, USA Today 10Best and The TODAY Show who created Families Fly Free, a program which teaches families her simple system to use travel rewards to fly for free.

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