How Long Does it Take to Transfer Points for the Companion Pass?

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I wrote earlier that an easy way to get the remaining 6,000 Southwest points needed for the Companion Pass is to transfer points from Choice, Marriott or Hyatt to Southwest or to buy flowers.

If you apply for 2 Southwest credit cards and spend $2,000 on each of them and the points post to your account in 2013, you will have earned 104,000 points out of the 110,000 points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass.  That’s 100,000 points from 2 credit card sign-up bonuses & 2,000 points on each card by meeting the minimum spending requirements.

So you need an extra 6,000 Companion Pass qualifying points to earn the Companion Pass.  Of course, you can spend $6,000 on your credit cards, but there are easier and cheaper ways such as transferring hotel points to Southwest, buying flowers or items from the online shopping mall, participating in their dining program etc.

 # Days to Transfer to Southwest (My Experience)Official Time to Transfer to SouthwestCounted Towards Companion Pass
Choice11 days2 to 6 weeksYes
Hyatt1 day4 to 6 weeksYes
Marriott3 daysUp to 6 weeksYes
Teleflora7 days4 to 6 weeksYes

The cheapest way is to buy 18,000 Choice hotel points for $198 and transfer them to 5,400 Southwest points.  5,400 Southwest points are worth ~$90, so your net cost is $108.

Here’s a post on 10 different ways to earn Companion Qualifying points on Southwest.

How Long to Transfer Points?

I was curious to see how long it would take for hotel points to transfer to my Southwest account and if they would count towards the Companion Pass.  Note that these are MY results, and your result could be completely different.

1.   Choice Hotels.   I bought Choice hotel points on November 18, 2012, but they posted to my Choice hotel account on November 21, 2012.

As a test, I transferred 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest points online.

The points posted to my Southwest account on November 29, 2012 (11 days) and they counted towards the Companion Pass.

However, the terms said “our reward will be received/posted within 2 ‑ 6 weeks.

You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards to Choice if you’d rather not buy points.

2.   Hyatt Hotels.   As a test, I transferred 5,000 Hyatt points to 2,400 Southwest points online on November 18, 2012.

The points posted to my Southwest account on November 19, 2012 (1 day) and they counted towards the Companion Pass.

However, the terms said “Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for the miles to appear in your frequent flyer account.

You can transfer points from the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Sapphire Preferred to Hyatt if you’d rather not buy points.

3.   Marriott Hotels.   As a test, I transferred 10,000 Marriott points to 2,000 Southwest points online on November 18, 2012.

The points posted to my Southwest account on November 21, 2012 (3 days) and they counted towards the Companion Pass.

However, the terms said “Please allow up to six weeks for miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account.”

You can transfer points from the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Sapphire Preferred to Marriott if you’d rather not buy points.

4.   Teleflora Flowers.  Emily was feeling blue, so this was the perfect time to see how long it took for a flower purchase from Teleflora to post to my Southwest account!

Teleflora offers 1,000 Southwest points for buying flowers.  So you could buy flowers for  $45 per 1,000 Southwest points (~$30 for the flowers + $15 delivery charge).

Here’s another link to Teleflora with up to 2,000 Southwest points per purchase (depending on the purchase amount)

I ordered flowers on November 29, 2012 with same day delivery to Emily.  The flowers arrived on time, and the points posted to my Southwest account on December 5, 2012 (7 days).

However, the terms said “Please allow four to six weeks for points to post to your account”

I’m not sure if I earned brownie points like Points Envy (but I did earn Companion Pass Qualifying points!), because Emily asked me how many points I got for the flowers.

Bottom Line

In my experience, points from Choice hotels, Hyatt, Marriott & Teleflora still count towards the Southwest Companion Pass Pass and may take anywhere from 1 to 11 days to post to your Southwest account.  But this was my experience, and your experience could be different!

PS: I’m traveling so I won’t be able to get to the comments and email for today!

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42 responses to “How Long Does it Take to Transfer Points for the Companion Pass?

  1. I also transferred Choice points and bought Teleflora flowers in the last two weeks. My transfer times were less than one week and both counted towards the Companion Pass.

  2. I just received the Barclays Choice hotel card (no fee) and received 24k points on first purchase. It just posted this week. Link is on flyertalk under Choice section. I don’t have the Southwest Cards but was thinking of transferring these to Southwest since it is a better rate than the other options.

  3. I signed up for both SW cards in October. I think I’ll take the transfer from Ink Bold to Hyatt route. Crossing my fingers that everything will work out. Thanks for your post!

  4. @ Stephen – That’s what I was thinking – the Choice card is from Barclays and has no fee – 32k points with one stay (best offer I saw anyhow). That seems like the “cheaper” option from a money standpoint, but it does cost you an inquiry.

    The biggest question I have: Was the personal SW card I had the “Plus” card (I had it from 2009-May 2012), and would that mean I can still qualify for the “premier” personal and business card if I haven’t had either of those? How could I find out?

  5. In general, how long after your statement close date does it take for Chase to transfer the pts to SW and see them in your Rapid Rewards account? Also, once you hit the 110K pts threshold, how long until you receive the Companion pass and can make a reservation? Thanks, Chris

  6. Lively

    Please don’t achieve your minimum spend before 2013 if u want companion pass for 2013 and 2014 🙂

  7. caveat emptor:
    I just received the Chase Premium Card, 50,000 miles upon spending x-amount. Haven’t even opened the envelope yet, since I am not buying anythning until payday. However, my HOA agency for my condo says I can’t use credit cards to pay the $253 monthly. And the agency that collects for my BofA mortgage, $853, has a $10 fee for paying online, which is what I was going to use to meet minimum requirements in the next 3 months. Oh well, $30 in the next 3 months and the yearly fee will still be liveable if I get the 50,000 miles which are 2 RT tickets I’m assuming more or less.
    Too bad I can’t send a check based on my credit card and not have it count as cash advance. But you know, still am grateful to this blog/website.

  8. @johnadavis There are posts on this blog that answer how to pay mortgage with CC. Search “bluebird” on here.

  9. What if 50k miles posted in December of 2012 and the other 50k posts in the new year? Am I still eligible for a companion pass assuming I earn the remaining miles somehow in early 2013?

  10. My Choice points transfer in 3-4 days. It was really fast.

  11. Slightly off topic, Now that I have the CP, do I have to call the airline to make a reservation for both of us? I don’t see how to do this on the website.

    Or, do I book one seat, then call to get the other CP seat?


  12. @Margaret, you need to get all 110k points to post in a single year, so if your 50k points posted in December they won’t count for your 2013 totals.

  13. @ Margaret, that was an oopsie. Did the same myself with the personal version of the “premier” version. Planning to “fix it” with another 50k acquired through the sign on bonus from a “premier plus” version of the same card. Darius has a link here somewhere nearby! ….hope to see us both in companion pass status soon!

    • @Lively – Just make sure that all the 110K points post in 1 calendar year.

      @Scott – I suspect you’ll get the bonus on any of the current cards – Plus vs Premier, because your card issued in 2009 was likely under the old system with credits instead of points.

      – The bonus points post a few days after your statement closes provided you completed the spending 8 to 10 days before the statement close date. You should get an email with your pass a few days after crossing 110K points.

      – No. You need to earn the FULL 110K points in 1 calendar year.

      @dhammer53 – Post coming up, but you can make a booking online. Then go to that booking online, after logging into your account and click the “Add a companion” link (assuming you already designated a companion), pay the and you should be set.

      @Jacki – There isn’t a “Premier Plus” version – just a “Premier” or a “Plus.” You’ll get the pass as long as you earn 110K points within 1 calendar year.

  14. Just wanted to let you know I’m 99 percent sure the dining dollars don’t count towards companion pass status because there is a differential on my RR total and my companion pass eligible and that seems to be the the difference. Some Internet searching seems to confirm this.

  15. Hi,
    Will 6000 Ultimate Points being transferred toward Southwest Companion pass count?

    • @Sara K – Thanks for the update. I’ll try it myself and see if the count or not.

      @Travelfan2013 – Not if you transfer them directly, but they do count if you transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott/Hyatt and then to Southwest.

  16. Darius, I’m a little confused about your last comment about transferring Ultimate Rewards points to 2 different programs before transferring to Southwest. Wouldn’t you just transfer to Hyatt OR Marriott once and then transfer to Southwest? What is the better transfer rate to get the last 6000 points?

  17. How should I interpret this at the bottom of my Teleflora basket? I was hoping to make 5000 points from placing 4 orders for flowers.

    “Must provide Rapid Rewards account number at the time of purchase. Please allow six to eight weeks for point(s) to post to your account. All Rapid Rewards rules and regulations apply. Total points include 1,000 base points. Bonus points do not count toward tier status or Companion Pass status.”

  18. This may be a silly question – but how do the points that you’re earning now work for the companion pass? I would think if you’re looking at getting the companion pass in January (for 2013 and 2014), the points for flowers and transfers wouldn’t count since they’ve already posted in 2012. Am I missing something?

    • @Jim Johnson – I was typing too fast! It should be a transfer to either Hyatt or Marriott. Sorry for the confusion.

      @Pete – It counted towards the Companion Pass for me, but your miles could vary…You could always do 1 purchase as a test to make sure, before placing the other orders!

      @Naina – You’re right. The points I earned won’t count towards my Companion Pass in 2013. It was an experiment for the blog!

  19. I’m planning to place 4 separate orders for flowers on December 31st. Might be the last 5000 miles I need to finish the companion pass.

  20. Thanks for the clarification! I was super confused.

    @Pete – I’m also planning on making flower purchases through Teleflora for CP points, but my understanding is that the 1000 base points count toward the CP – but not anything over and above.

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  22. How long does it usually take for the bonus points to post after completing the minimum spend for Chase Southwest?

  23. Can you do multiple teleflora offers? Also do you have to wait for the flowers to be delivered before the points will post?

  24. * My Teleflora points posted 2 days after delivery – counted toward CP.
    * My Hyatt points posted exactly 1 week after the transfer – counted toward CP. I used my Sapphire 7% annual dividend and transfered them to Hyatt -> Southwest. Yes, unlike many other claims, my dividend which posted this month (Feb, ’13) included the signup bonus!
    * My Choice points have yet to post. They were transfered the same day as my Hyatt points. This is the final piece that I need!

  25. My 2nd statement closed with $2000+ spending yesterday. The spending points AND the 50,000 sign up points posted to RR accounts one day later (today). They still count towards companion pass!

  26. My Choice points posted today, 8 days after the transfer, and counted toward CP. Status Earned!!

  27. Can you purchase Southwest points to reach the 110K? I know they offer right now $50.00 for 2,000 points. Would those count towards the Companion Pass?

  28. First of all, thank you so much for your blog posts, they have been super helpful! I’m 2,546 away from earning my companion pass, and rather than purchase points, I am planning on just using my regular spending each month on my SW Chase cards. My bill will post on the 17th of April, and I have ensured that my bill will be enough to cover the 2,546. At that point, when will I be able to book travel using the companion pass? I need to book tickets for the 11th of May and hoped I’d be able to use my companion pass benefits at this point. Just wondering what the turn around time is once you earn the points to the time you’re able to use the pass. Thanks!

  29. Can I get the Marriott card offering a 50,000 point bonus and then transfer those into my southwest account to have the miles needed for the companion pass? I thought I had heard that there is an issue with having too many chase cards. I already have 1 personal and 1 business chase card from Southwest. Thanks!!!!!!!!

    • @Devon – Purchased points don’t count.

      @Lisa – You should be able to book your companion a few days after you earn the necessarily points. But you can always book your travel now (and lock in a lower fare).

      @Amy – There is a link to a 70K version in the Hotel Credit Card tab. You could transfer points from Marriott, but if you already have the Southwest business and personal card, you should already have 100K of the 110K points needed and may not need to apply for the Marriott card. That said, I’d wait 3 months from your last Chase applications if you got 2 cards the last time.

  30. Any idea how far in advance the companion pass needs to be added?
    I’m waiting on my choice points to transfer since last Thursday. This will put me over the 110,000.

    My trip is for may 2nd. I would like to get my pass by then so I can cancel one of the tickets and add it back as companion. Should I just wait on the choice points or is there another way?

  31. I need to transfer Marriott points from my account to my wife’s rapid rewards account. Will it be a problem since the accounts are not in the same name? Is there a way around this?

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  34. I need 15,000 SW Rewards points to get to the 110k required for companion pass. I was thinking about buying thru the RR portal for the 1800 flowers. It says it takes 6-8 weeks to post. If that is the case, it will be too late.

    Please advise the best option to get the 15k and posted asap!