3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You a Southwest Companion Pass

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All 4 versions of the Southwest credit card have come back and folks are asking lots of questions about the Southwest Companion Pass!

That’s because 2 Southwest 50,000 point cards and a few extra points will get you a Southwest Companion Pass valid until the end of 2015.  Emily and I got our 2nd Companion Pass about a year ago and we love it!  It has saved us a lot of money on domestic flights.

3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You A Southwest Companion Pass

Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Getting Your Southwest Companion Pass!

And the 110,000 Southwest points which you earn are worth ~$1,837 (110,000 Southwest Points X 1.67 cents per point) if you book your flight before March 31, 2014.  But you’re actually getting twice that in flights or $3,674 ($1,837 X 2) if you add a companion to all your bookings!

If you book your flights after March 31, 2014, the 110,000 Southwest points are worth ~$1,562.  But you’re actually getting twice that in flights or $3,124 ($1,562 X 2) if you add a companion to all your bookings!

1.   Transferring Southwest Points From 1 Account to Another does NOT Count

Million Mile Secrets reader Melissa asks:

Daraius – if I transferred 50,000 points to my husband’s Southwest Rapid Rewards account, would those count toward the Companion Pass?

This is a very common first question, but I wouldn’t suggest transferring points from 1 partner’s Southwest account to another partner’s Southwest account for 2 reasons.

First, you have to pay a fee to transfer points.  So you’ll pay $500 to transfer 50,000 Southwest points from one Southwest account to another Southwest account.

3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You A Southwest Companion Pass

Don’t Pay $500 to Transfer 50,000 Southwest Points!

Second, and more importantly, the transferred points do NOT count towards the Companion Pass even if you bought points.  So save your money and don’t transfer Southwest points from 1 Southwest account to another Southwest account.

2.   Don’t Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points Directly to Southwest

Million Mile Secrets reader CG asks:

Do you know if miles transferred to Southwest via Chase Sapphire Preferred count towards the Companion Pass? Thanks.

You earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with a Chase credit card which earns Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire PreferredInk Bold, or Ink Plus or by shopping at the Ultimate Rewards portal.

You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to many airlines and hotels such as Southwest, Hyatt, etc. in a 1:1 ratio.

3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You A Southwest Companion Pass

Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfers 1:1 to Southwest, but it Does NOT Count Towards the Companion Pass!

Unfortunately, you can’t transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio and have them count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.  That would be too easy!

But you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt or Marriott hotels and from there to Southwest and get them to count towards the Southwest Companion Pass!  There is no fee for transferring Hyatt or Marriott points to Southwest.

3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You A Southwest Companion Pass

You Can Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points To Hyatt & Then To Southwest

But note that you will lose ~half your points in the transfer.  See this post on more details on transferring Hyatt and Marriott points to Southwest.

3.   Don’t Apply for 1 Card in Your Name & 1 Card in Your Partner’s Name

James emails to ask:

Can we –  wife and I – apply for 1 Southwest card each with the 50,000 point bonus and earn 110,000 points between the two of us?

No.  You have to earn the full 110,000 Southwest Companion Pass points in ONE account within 1 calendar year (January to December).

You can’t earn the 110,000 points across 2 accounts.  And you can’t transfer points from 1 Southwest account to another Southwest account (see #1).

Bottom Line

The Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in domestic travel!

So don’t let these 3 rookie mistakes stop you from getting a Southwest Companion Pass.

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117 responses to “3 Mistakes That Won’t Get You a Southwest Companion Pass

  1. Hi. I was mailed an offer through southwest & if you are looking to get 50,000 bonus sign up points ( for either southwest visa) i can help you. Currently , southwest visa is only offering 25,000 sign up points. They sent me ” refer a friend & they will get the 50,000 sign up bonus points (which DO count towards the sw companion pass) & when the persin spends the needed amt to qualify for the 50000 bonus points ( spend $2000 in the first 3 mo of opening account/ card) i will receive 5,000 RR points for referring you. If you are interested in the 50,000 bonus dign up points, please contact me at vadad123@aol.com. Thank you

  2. Thanks for helping us earn 2 companion certificates for 2014 & 2015. Now that our 3 chase SW cards (each) are approaching the 1-yr mark and we don’t want to pay the annual fee, can we cancel all 6 visas and will the companion certificates still be valid through end of 2015. Thanks! Wendy

  3. @Anne – You have to fly in 2015.

    @Wendy – Congrats! The pass will still be valid since it isn’t associated with the credit cards.

  4. is the calendar year always from january to december? or if i were to sign up to get the SW card this month, would i only have til December to earn the 110,000?

  5. @keri – Yes, that’s correct!

  6. I earned the companion pass in november 2013 using the SWair premier and personal cards. My companion pass is expiring Jan 2015. I currently need 49000 points to get the companion pass renewed -according to my account. I was wondering if I sign up for a business card (plus or premier) would the bonus points promotion count towards the points needs to renew my companion pass? … basically I need to get 49000 points by the end of December 2014 so I can renew my companion pass. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  7. In October my credit card renewal, I receive the annual 6,000 bonus point for having a Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit card. Do these 6,000 points count toward earning the companion pass?

  8. In October our Rapid Rewards Anniversary we receive the bonus points of 6,000. Do these points count toward earning
    the companion pass.

  9. TomS – yes, they do. (Basically all credit card activity that posts points to your Rapid Reward account count toward CP.)

  10. Hey Darius,

    Posting on an older post because it has to do with Southwest points. Can you transfer Southwest points to Ultimate Reward Points? I know you can transfer URP to SWP but I’m wondering if you can do the opposite.

    Thanks for the info!


  11. @KeolaL – You can’t do the opposite.

  12. Hi,

    There are invitations for SW cards expiring tomorrow.

    Would the following strategy work (credit to saverocity article):

    – You get the card now & activated in a few days..so it’ll be early Oct. You call & have closing date changed to 5th of each month..so it’ll be starting Oct 5.

    Oct 5 – Nov 5 is 1 billing cycle
    Nov 5 – Dec 5 is 2nd billing cycle
    Dec 5 – Jan 5 is 3rd billing cycle (spend the $2k after Dec 5)

    any points for purchases after Dec 5 will post to account on Jan 5, thereby counting toward 2015/16 Companion pass?

    Would this work? Or is there a chance of the points posting in 2014 somehow, thereby not counting toward CP?

  13. @USS – It would work, but could be cutting too close. The 50K offers should be back by the end of the year.

  14. I’m 19,000 short of my companion pass. I transferred enough from some the hotel accounts I don’t use anyway. Do those transfers have to show up in my account by 12/31. It says it can take up to 6-8 weeks??

  15. Flash – you should be OK. Last year I transferred points from my Choice Priveleges account in late December 2013; they posted in 2014. They counted toward 2013, the transfer date.

  16. Hi,
    If I open 2 Southwest credit cards, and I add an authorized user to both these credit cards (still one account, my own account), can we both help spend money to reach the 110,000 pt threshold? I just opened a personal premier credit card – what do you recommend/suggest I open for my second southwest credit card? Should I just get the Plus card as I do not own a business? Thanks!

  17. Charles Swihart

    I opened a Chase SW VISA in my name for our business (that my wife and I own). I added a card for her of course. I’ve earned a companion pass and she went to use it to fly with some of our children and was told only I can use it. She travels more than I do, can it be put in her name some how? Other suggestions?

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