Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
I’ve written about the different Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card offers and how you can get a sign-up bonus as high as 140,000 points after meeting minimum spending requirements. None of these cards pay a commission, but they could be useful to you!
And if you and your partner each get a 140,000 point card, you can combine points and access Marriott Hotel + Air Packages, to get you a 7-night hotel stay and points with dozens of airlines, including Southwest.
Because Ritz-Carlton and Marriott are essentially the same frequent-guest program (just with different branding and marketing), you can use your Ritz-Carlton points to stay at Marriott hotels and vice versa.
But did you know that if you choose Southwest points as part of this package, they’ll count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass? With a Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.
This could make a good deal even better!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Companion Pass is my favorite deal for domestic travel, because your companion flies with you for free on paid and award tickets. Emily and I have saved so much money visiting friends and family in the US and we use our Companion Pass frequently.
I’ve written that you can transfer Marriott points to Southwest if you need to top up your balance to earn the Companion Pass, which requires that you earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year.
That said, directly transferring Marriott points to airlines is only a good method if you just need a few extra points, because the transfer ratios are very poor. Marriott hotel points transfer to Southwest points as follows:
- 10,000 Marriott Points = 2,000 Southwest Points
- 20,000 Marriott Points = 5,000 Southwest Points
- 30,000 Marriott Points = 10,000 Southwest Points
- 70,000 Marriott Points = 25,000 Southwest Points
- 140,000 Marriott Points = 50,000 Southwest Points
But with the Marriott Hotel + Air Package deals, you’ll get a 7-night hotel stay plus airline points at a 1:1 transfer ratio!
Note: Ritz-Carlton also has Travel Package deals, but they require many more points than the Marriott packages (at least 350,000 points). I wouldn’t book these unless you have a lot of extra points and really want to splurge on a Ritz-Carlton!
Here’s how to get a 7-night hotel stay and almost enough points for the Southwest Companion Pass!
How Do You Do It?
Step 1 – Convert Your Marriott Account to a Ritz-Carlton Account
If you have a Marriott account, you’ll have to convert the Marriott account (and points) to a Ritz-Carlton account before applying for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card. Just call Marriott Customer Service at 801-468-4000. You can’t technically have both a Marriott and Ritz-Carlton account at the same time.
If you don’t have either account, open a Ritz-Carlton account online (or they’ll create 1 for you when you sign-up for the card).
Step 2 – You and Your Partner Sign-Up for the Ritz-Carlton 140,000 Point Card
Because Marriott allows legal spouses and domestic partners to combine points for award stays, you and your partner can each get a Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards 140,000 card, combine the points, and end up with 280,000 points total (140,000 x 2 people).
The details of the 140,000 point offer are in this post. It’s not available online, so you’ll have to call Chase to apply at 888-846-7004 and quote RSVP code F5BP.
Step 3 – Combine Points and Book a Marriott Hotel + Air Package
Legal spouses and domestic partners can combine points (at the time you book an award) by calling Marriott Rewards Customer Support at 801-468-4000.
You don’t have to book a hotel stay right away! They’ll give you a certificate for a 7-night stay (valid for 1 year from the date of issue), plus the corresponding amount of airline points.
But you will get the airline points, usually within a few days of booking the package. I double-checked with folks on FlyerTalk, and they confirm that points transferred from the Marriott Hotel + Air Packages do count towards the Companion Pass!
Here’s the chart for Marriott Hotel + Air Packages when redeeming for Southwest points:
You could redeem 280,000 points for 7 nights in a category 6 hotel, like the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa in Thailand. You’d also get 100,000 Southwest points, which qualify for the Companion Pass!
Step 4 – Earn 10,000 More Points for the Companion Pass
You’ll need another 10,000 Southwest points within the calendar year to earn the Companion Pass, but how?
You could do it the old-fashioned way by flying on paid Southwest tickets.
Another option is to transfer other hotel points or earn bonus Southwest points by shopping through the Southwest Shopping Portal or 1-800-Flowers.com.
You can transfer Marriott points to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio (much better than normal) if you redeem points through Marriott Hotel + Air Packages. You’ll get a 7-night hotel stay plus airline points through this deal.
You need at least 200,000 points to book these packages, but an easy way to get a lot of points is for a couple to sign-up for 2 Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards cards, which are offering a 140,000 point sign-up bonus. Ritz-Carlton and Marriott points are interchangeable because they’re essentially the same program (just different brands).
Points transferred to Southwest through this package DO count towards the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets a companion fly with you for free on paid and award tickets.
I do NOT earn a commission on the Ritz-Carlton cards but I always tell you about the best deals. And this is a fantastic deal!
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 16,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!