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Update: After March 31, 2017, transferring hotel points to Southwest no longer counts towards the Companion Pass. But here’s how to earn Companion Pass points when booking paid nights at hotels.
Marriott lists 7-night packages on their website. But there’s also an option to get a 5-night package, starting at 165,000 Marriott points. You just have to ask for it!
This could also be an easy way to get most – or all – of the points required to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!
What’s the Deal?
But you can also book Hotel + Air packages for 5-night stays. And pay fewer points!
This perk is supposed to be for Marriott Vacation Club owners only, but Frequent Miler discovered elite status holders can book them also. And according to The Points Guy, anyone can book these packages.
You won’t find the information on Marriott’s website, but here are the prices:
|Marriott Hotel Category||5 Nights + 50,000 Miles or Points||5 Nights + 70,000 Miles or Points||5 Nights + 100,000 Miles or Points||5 Nights + 120,000 Miles or Points|
|Category 1 to 5||165,000 Marriott Points||185,000 Marriott Points||215,000 Marriott Points||235,000 Marriott Points|
|Category 6||180,000 Marriott Points||200,000 Marriott Points||230,000 Marriott Points||250,000 Marriott Points|
|Category 7||200,000 Marriott Points||220,000 Marriott Points||250,000 Marriott Points||270,000 Marriott Points|
|Category 8||230,000 Marriott Points||250,000 Marriott Points||280,000 Marriott Points||300,000 Marriott Points|
|Category 9||275,000 Marriott Points||295,000 Marriott Points||325,000 Marriott Points||345,000 Marriott Points|
Along with the award nights at Marriott hotels, you’ll also get miles or points transferred to your frequent flyer account at a 1:1 ratio. The participating airlines are:
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Copa Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Note: You’ll get 10% more miles when you redeem Marriott points for a Hotel + Air package with United Airlines.
To book, call Marriott reservations at 888-236-2427. And ask specifically for a 5-night package.
Why This Is a Great Deal
When you redeem your Marriott points for a Hotel + Air package, you get a certificate to stay at the hotel category of your choice, valid for 1 year. So you do NOT have to choose your hotel right away.
And, you can buy a package at the lowest rate. And then pay more points to stay at a higher category hotel later, if you decide you want to stay at a different hotel.
Keep in mind your stay must be 5 consecutive nights at the same hotel. Having the option to stay 5 nights, instead of 7, is a lot more convenient for many folks.
So once you have the hotel certificates and the airline miles, you can mix-and-match hotels and award seats until you find a trip that works for you!
Get a Special Perk With Southwest
When you redeem your Marriott points for a Southwest Hotel + Air package, the Southwest points you receive DO count toward the Southwest Companion Pass.
If you redeem 215,000 Marriott points, you’ll get a certificate for 5 nights at a Marriott Category 1 through 5 hotel, and 100,000 Southwest points.
Typically, you’ll receive the Southwest points shortly after redeeming your Marriott points for a Hotel + Air package.
You need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points per calendar year to get the Companion Pass. So this gets you most of the way there!
And if you redeem 235,000 Marriott points, you’ll get 5 nights at a Marriott Category 1 through 5 hotel plus 120,000 Southwest Points. That’s more than enough to earn the Companion Pass!
Emily and I love Southwest because you get 2 free checked bags on every flight. And you’ll never pay change or cancellation fees!
Earn More Marriott Points
And an extra 7,500 Marriott points when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st 3 months of account opening. The $85 annual fee is NOT waived the 1st year.
And with the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier small business card, you can earn 80,000 Marriott points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. The $99 annual fee is NOT waived the 1st year.
And if both of you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months of opening your account, you’d each earn another 7,500 Marriott points (15,000 Marriott points total).
And if 1 of you added the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Small Business card and earned the 80,000 point sign-on bonus, you’d have a combined total of 255,000 Marriott points (160,000 + 15,000 + 80,000).
Note: Under Marriott’s new rules, you can transfer up to 50,000 Marriott points per year to a friend or family member. But once per year, you can exceed the 50,000 point maximum only for a specific award redemption. Marriott says:
Immediately prior to Reward Redemption and only once per calendar year, a Member may authorize the transfer of the necessary number of Points into the Rewards Program account of a friend or family member, in order to qualify for a specific Reward. This transfer may exceed the 50,000 Point maximum per calendar year.
That would be more than enough to earn a Southwest Companion Pass through Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages! Plus, you could get 5 nights at a Marriott Category 6 hotel, like the AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon / French Quarter Area.
Transfer From Chase Ultimate Rewards
Anyone with a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold card can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott. Although Marriott is NOT my favorite transfer partner, it can be useful if you’re just short of the award stay you want.
I prefer to transfer my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines and Hyatt. I like the Hyatt award chart and flying international Business and First Class on United Airlines and their partners.
Chase Will Soon Have New Application Rules
Keep in mind, Chase has been tightening their credit card application policies. And in April 2016, you may not be able to get ANY Chase cards if you’ve opened ~5+ credit cards in the previous 24 months.
You might consider applying for 1 (or more) of the Chase Marriott cards if you want to redeem points for a 5-night Hotel + Air package before the new rules go into effect. And remember, Marriott and Starwood will merge later this year to create the world’s largest hotel chain.
Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages are a fantastic way to stretch your Marriott points further. Marriott only lists 7-night packages on their website.
But you can also book Hotel + Air packages for 5-night stays to save points!
Even better, the points you’ll get with a Southwest Hotel + Air package count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. Call Marriott at 888-236-2427 to book a 5-night Hotel + Air package.
For example, 5 nights at a Marriott Category 6 hotel and 120,000 Southwest points cost 250,000 Marriott points.
That said, this is a fantastic way to get free award stays and to earn the Southwest Companion Pass – the best deal in domestic travel!