Should You Buy Starpoints To Earn Southwest Companion Pass Status?

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Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points And Get 2 Years Of Southwest Companion Pass Status Plus 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points

American Express is a advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months

You can transfer 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points.

With 270K Marriott points you can get 7 nights in a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and a Southwest Companion Pass. With that 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. The pass will expire 12/31/18. Hotel points must be transferred by 3/31/17 in order to earn companion pass status. You can read more about this limited time offer here.

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.

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. Starpoints were on sale, but that ended on 12/31 and points are currently 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

30K Starpoints would set you back $1,050. If you have a Starwood AMEX you would earn 2.1K Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll have paid $1,050 for 32.1K Starpoints or 3.27 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 additional Starwood accounts. 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.

If you have no Starpoints you can open a Starwood consumer AMEX and Starwood business AMEX to rack up points. The signup bonus will post within a few days of completing the $3K or $5K spend threshold.

Otherwise you can purchase 30K Starpoints from 3 accounts to accumulate the required 90K Starpoints. It would set you back some $3,150, but if you’ll use the 7 free nights and take full advantage of the 120K Southwest points and the companion pass it can make sense. If you’re not sure if you’ll be able to use those 120K points with the companion pass then it likely doesn’t make sense unless you already have some Starpoints.

Of course there are other ways to get to 110K companion pass qualifying Southwest points besides buying Starpoints. Those include:
-You can open Chase Southwest or Marriott credit cards.
-You can transfer Marriott points between members for a specific award and then redeem 270K points for the 7 nights+120K points package.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio and then redeem 270K points for the 7 nights+120K points package.
-You can transfer AMEX points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio and from Starwood to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then redeem 270K points for the 7 nights+120K points package.
-You can transfer Chase points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio and Hyatt points to Southwest at a 50K:30K ratio.

Will you go for Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

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27 Comments On "Should You Buy Starpoints To Earn Southwest Companion Pass Status?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


If I apply for a Starwood card now and hit the 3k purchase within a week, how quickly will I get those bonus sign on points and do I risk losing my chance of getting them in time?


Here’s the question no one is asking:

Will we be able to redeem the seven day certificate at Starwood hotels post merger?

Of course there is no way to know for sure yet, but interesting to keep in mind I think.


You’ll get the signup points within a few days of completing the spending threshold.

It’s definitely a possibility eventually, but who knows.


Would transferring chase ultimate rewards directly to southwest at 1:1 ratio work as well?


If it did I would have said so 🙂


If I just recieved my marriot biz card and statement closes 1/12 is there a min. amount of days you gotta finish spend before statement closes (Like UR and I think Ba) or if I spend today it will post on this statement?

nsx at FlyerTalk

Dan, I’m disappointed that you chose to respond to Southwest’s generous reprieve on partner transfers with yet another exposition of how people can exploit Southwest’s generosity. This is both ungrateful and counterproductive.

I wish you would take a longer view: Managers of loyalty programs will be reluctant to do right by members if this is how they are rewarded.


Hi Dan
Opening a Chase marriott card personal or business will give a person an extra 83000 towards the marriott certificate too


@nsx at FlyerTalk: I think Dan wasn’t the first one to post the news. It’s posted on other boards that Southwest decided to extend the privilege until 3/31.


I have the opportunity to buy SPG points from someone cheap on the grey market. What’s best way to transfer them to me so that I can get the SW companion pass? I am told SPG and Marriott accounts need to have matching names. Suggestion I was given was open a new Marriott account under same name as the SPG seller, and then book award from there for miles+nights. Would that work? Does name on Southwest account need to match name on Marriott account?


is it only for category 1-5 or tier 1-5 as well?


Dan, so is it 100% worth to transfer 40k spg an additional 150k chase points to get it all? Or ot may pay to not to do it an get other ways to redem it?


Is it worth the companion pass? Or they do charge fuel charge an other surcharges to make sure you take enough money out your ocket even for the companion pass passenger?


about how much could i sell southwest points on the grey market ?

mr eleff

does companion statues apply for business class tickets or only coach


Dan, thank you for such a good coverage of the Southwest comedy. My question is if I already have the Southwest Companion, does it makes sense to purchase 60K StartPoints (I have 2 accounts with 30K points) for transferring to Marriott Certificate+United points?


@Anonymous: Companion pays only $5.60.
@mr eleff: Southwest only flies coach no business class.


I still don’t fully understand how the companion pass works. Do you have to choose *one* companion for the whole period (till end of 2018 in this case), or can you take different companions? (in my case, I would want to take a different kid with me for each flight, like I do with those Delta Companion Certificates)

[I doubt this is the case, of course]


Thanks Dan!!!

January 5th, 2017 at 1:45 pm
“You can change your designated companion and request issuance of a new Companion Pass up to three times each calendar year that you maintain Companion Pass status.”


@Dan: ““You can change your designated companion and request issuance of a new Companion Pass up to three times each calendar year that you maintain Companion Pass status.””

This is great. It means I would likely take 6 flights with a companion over the two-year period.

Next question. Is it worth doing this whole thing (converting 90k starpoints to 270k marriott points to convert to Southwest points to get companion pass) for just 6 flights? Also I usually have 2 Delta Companion Certificates each year that I use for this purpose that would probably end up going unused if I fly Southwest instead. I don’t know if I would use the 7-day hotel benefit, but I think we could force ourselves to use it at some point (don’t know exactly how a family of 7 could properly use it though).

[also commented with this on the old post if anyone is still reading it]


@Bert: Bert, I responded to this question in the previous Companion Pass Post. I had SPG points. I wanted my wife to have the Companion Pass. This is what we did. Hope it works for you.
Marriot and Southwest names must match.
Marriott will only give the southwest points to the name on the Marriot account. HOWEVER, despite their limit of 50,000 points transferred points a year, they will allow for a larger transfer to redeem a specific award. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Open a Marriot account for the person who has the miles.
2. Open one for yourself as well.
3.He needs to link his SPG account to his Marriot account.
4.He needs to transfer 90k points to Marriott. Now he’ll have 270k Marriott points.
5.Give him your Marriott info or better yet be on the phone with him when he calls Marriott. He must specify that he’d like to transfer 270k to your Marriott account for you to purchase this specific package. (I needed to Huca once to find a rep who would do it.)
6. They may need to confirm that you want this package and your Southwest RR information.
7. They’ll make a one time exception for the 2 of you and transfer the points and purchase the package.


If I already have 30,000 SW points…
Should I still transfer 90k from SPG or just transfer direct from chase or from any other options mentioned
looking for the best value


Ive been looking and am i mistaken that this is very difficult to have make sense from NYC?
The southwest nonstop flights tend to be pretty expensive- to the point that airlines with stronger roots in the area have tickets typically 1/2 price of southwest.

Just want to see what everyone else is seeing here.

Also- if were a family of 6- on a give trip- can we buy 3 and take 3 as a companion?


I transferred the 270K Marriott points on Jan 2nd, SW points posted Jan 4th, Companion pass showed up in my account today through 12/31/18! Thanks Dan, it was worth the 3 month wait for the two year benefit.


Dan, I applied and got the SPG card, just changed my cycle end dates to the 10th of the month to make sure I get my bonuses on time… but I was on AMEX live chat and they said the bonus points (25,000 per SPG AMEX card) post 8-12 weeks after meeting the minimal spending requirements. Is AMEX for real? How come it takes this long — are they for real? Or this is just their standard reply, but in practice they practice even mid-cycle, as soon as the minimal spending requirements are met? For my AMEX Plat card they posted immediately, mid-cycle, but are their co-branded cards treated differently? I’m aiming to get the SW Companion Pass and want to transfer to Marriott no later than March 21st (to be safe)…


“-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.”

Any luck in getting this done?


Hello! Anyone knows, can canceling SPG Amex cards somehow affect SW companion pass and Marriott 5nights certificate?