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2 Weeks Left Until Southwest’s Companion Pass Becomes Much Harder To Obtain, Here’s How You Can Take Advantage Before It’s Too Late!

Update: There are just 2 weeks left to transfer hotel points to Southwest in order for them to help you earn a Companion Pass valid through 12/31/18!

Originally posted on 2/22:

On 1/1/17 Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

You can read Southwest’s response to people who filed DoT complaints here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account!

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status. After that date they will no longer count.


It’s worth noting that points earned from Southwest credit cards will continue to count towards companion pass status, even after 3/31.

You can currently earn 50K points from both the Southwest Consumer Plus and Southwest Consumer Premier cards. You can also earn 60K points from the Southwest Business Premier card. However all are those cards fall under Chase’s 5/24 guidelines which makes them hard to get if you have been approved for 5 consumer cards within the past 24 months.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

After clicking on the Southwest Consumer Plus 50K card offer you can scroll down to find the offers for Southwest Consumer and Business Premier cards as well.


Hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

In other words if you earn 60K points from hotel transfers by 3/31 and earn 50K points from opening a credit card in April you will still earn Companion Pass status.

Notes about transfers:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However you can get a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-The 120K Southwest points transfer is the best value, but you can save points with a lower package if you don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.


Still short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here with a current 30% discount. Points cost 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

For example 20K Starpoints are on sale for $490 instead of $700 or 30K Starpoints are on sale for $735 instead of $1,050. That’s a cost of 2.45 cents per Starpoints instead of the regular 3.5 cents per Starpoint.

Of course you also earn miles for the purchase, which makes the real cost even less.

If you have a Starwood AMEX and buy 30K Starpoints for $735 you will earn 1,470 Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll pay $735 for 31,470 Starpoints, or 2.33 cents per Starpoint.

If you already have most of the Starpoints and will utilize the companion pass then buying some points is a no-brainer.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with a Starwood account of someone else from your household. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

Even if you have no Starpoints, you can buy 86,000 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,107. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 4,214 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,214 Starpoints.

Of course you won’t need to spend that much if you already have some Starpoints or Marriott points.

90K Starpoints can be converted into 270K Marriott points.

With Marriott’s miles+nights 270K Marriott Rewards points would convert into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award and that will make your 120K Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Will you try to obtain Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

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22 Responses to “2 Weeks Left Until Southwest’s Companion Pass Becomes Much Harder To Obtain, Here’s How You Can Take Advantage Before It’s Too Late!”

  1. IE Says:
    1

    I( received an AMEX Platinum offer with 100k Membership Rewards bonus. Could I transfer those to Southwest and get the companion pass?

    ReplyReply
  2. sam Says:
    2

    hi if i have no immediate plans of flying is this still the best redemption of starwood pionts

    ReplyReply
  3. Danfan Says:
    3

    It says in the article that you can book a sw flight with Chase hybrid points.
    How does it work if I would end up canceling that flight, would my chase points be redeposited to my account (like it does with sw points) or would I only receive travel funds?

    ReplyReply
  4. Dave Says:
    4

    Can someone gift me Starpoints?

    ReplyReply
  5. John Says:
    5

    We can still earn the CP with the Miles + Nights package after 3/31/17 correct?

    ReplyReply
  6. kbzsk Says:
    6

    Got the CP as laid out in post. Thanks, Dan!

    ReplyReply
  7. jmmee Says:
    7

    In addition to the 14 days waiting until you can buy points, note that you cannot transfer points unless the accounts have been open for 30 days.

    ReplyReply
  8. Zach Says:
    8

    Can the 7-night certificate be updated at a later day from category 5 to say category 8 for the difference of 60k?

    ReplyReply
  9. yossi Says:
    9

    Thanks Dan for the reminder! Do the names on the Spg account or Marriott account have to match the name on the southwest account, or you can transfer to anyone?

    ReplyReply
  10. b Says:
    10

    any recommendations on where else to purchase starpoints?

    ReplyReply
  11. yossi Says:
    11

    Dan
    can I transfer 110,000 chase sapphire reserve points into my southwest rapid account to qualify for companion status?

    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  12. J.T Says:
    12

    Dan,
    Is the sw companion + 7 night deal the best deal at this time. Better than the united deal? Also is it best to use ur point to transfer to Marriott or just buy additional spg points. I’m 50,000pts short, but I do have 120,000 chase ur points. Everybody I talked with told me to use them or lose them because devaluation can happen at any time.
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  13. Dan Says:
    13

    @IE:
    Not without losing 2/3rds in the transfer.

    @sam:
    No

    @Dave:
    Yes.

    @John:
    No.

    @kbzsk:
    Congrats!

    @Zach:
    Yes.

    @yossi:
    You should be able to link a SPG account with a Marriott account in another name…

    @yossi:
    No, read the post.

    @J.T:
    Depends on whether you’ll fly Southwest.

    ReplyReply
  14. ron Says:
    14

    if i have someone selling me spg points, can they transfer spg from their account into my own marriott account to use for nights+flights?

    also, for the 7 nights do they only offer the most basic room within that category?

    thanks dan

    ReplyReply
  15. Aryeh Says:
    15

    I think you mentioned that in order to get the companion pass the flights have to be booked through Amex or Chase, but if the miles are already transferred to Southwest using a nights and flights package how does it work? If i book using the 120K points in my southwest account can i add a companion directly in there? Thanks and apologies if i am asking a silly question, i am new to all of this.

    ReplyReply
  16. Dan Says:
    16

    @ron:
    They can transfer to your Marriott account…

    Yes.

    @Aryeh:
    No, you can book with Southwest points as well.

    ReplyReply
  17. Ron Says:
    17

    @Dan: Dan is there a way to upgrade the 7 nights to a better room?

    ReplyReply
  18. Dan Says:
    18

    @Ron:
    You would have to ask the individual hotel.

    ReplyReply
  19. Ryan Says:
    19

    Dan

    Can i tranfer spg points between my account and my wives? Also do they expire after they are transfered?

    ReplyReply
  20. Eli Says:
    20

    Got two companion Passes – thank you Dan!!!

    ReplyReply
  21. Lori Says:
    21

    Dan:
    I live in a small town. However our airport have the three major carriers, united, Americ, unitedNd a small carrier alligant. For me to get cheaper flights I would have to drive 2.5 hours to the Chicago area. I would like to get the sw pass and vacation deal because of the additional ticket. I would like to use the vacation 7 day stay at either hawaii or florida if I can. Is this just a no brained and just too good of a deal to pass up or am I just being unreasonable.
    Thanks for the advice / what would you do

    ReplyReply
  22. ben Says:
    22

    how soon will the points post to my spg account if i purchase them?

    ReplyReply

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