Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Million Mile Secrets reader, Jim, commented:
I have 90,000 Marriott points and 180,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points. I am debating between getting the Southwest Companion Pass by redeeming my points for a Marriott Hotel + Air package. Or getting The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN to use the Pay With Points perk for Southwest flights. Which should I choose?
I’d do both!
Jim currently has enough points to book a Marriott Hotel + Air Package, which will earn him the Southwest Companion Pass, 120,000 Southwest points, and a 7-night certificate at a Marriott Category 1 to 5 hotel! But all of his AMEX Membership Rewards points would be gone!
Southwest Companion Pass & AMEX Business Platinum
So if I had to decide between redeeming points for a Companion Pass and applying for a new credit card, I’d go with getting the Companion Pass. But I’d really try to do both! 😉
Because folks with the Companion Pass AND AMEX Business Platinum card can get an even better deal!
When Southwest is your selected airline, your AMEX Membership Rewards points are effectively worth 2 cents each for Southwest airfare using the Pay With Points perk. This means points you can earn from the limited-time AMEX Business Platinum offer get up to $2,300 worth of Southwest airfare.
But the savings are greater when you add your companion to these flights.
And you can even use AMEX Membership Rewards points to cover the cost of your companion’s taxes and fees. This means they’ll fly with you completely free!
You’ll also get a $200 airline credit each calendar year. I got the credit purchasing Southwest gift cards!
But keep in mind the 100,000-point AMEX Business Platinum offer is only available until January 25, 2017!
Earn the Companion Pass With a Hotel + Air Package
Million Mile Secrets reader Jim is considering earning the Southwest Companion Pass by redeeming 270,000 Marriott points for a Marriott Hotel + Air Package.
Jim already has enough points for a package. For folks who don’t, couples can earn enough points for the Companion Pass and a Hotel + Air Package with just 2 cards each.
Remember, after March 31, 2017, transferring hotel points to Southwest will no longer count toward the Companion Pass. So you’d have to act quickly to earn enough points and book the package!
If you think you’ll frequently take advantage of Companion Pass benefits, the Hotel + Air Package is a fantastic deal. Because earning the Companion Pass early in 2017 means you’ll get it through December 31, 2018! Plus, you’ll get 120,000 Southwest points in your account.
And redeeming 270,000 Marriott points for a Hotel + Air package also gets you a 7-night certificate to use at a Category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel. Or you can use more points to stay at a higher category hotel.
The 7-night certificate is really just an added bonus to getting the Companion Pass! Even if you don’t have plans to use it now, you’ll get 12 months to redeem it. And you can always ask Marriott to extend the expiration date!
You can redeem 270,000 Marriott points for a Hotel + Air Package, which will get you the Southwest Companion Pass, 120,000 Southwest points, and a 7-night certificate at a Marriott Category 1 to 5 hotel!
And combining this amazing deal with the limited-time 100,000 AMEX Business Platinum offer gets you even more benefits! Because you can use your AMEX Membership Rewards points to book Southwest flights and get 50% of your points back. Plus, you can add your companion to these flights!
These deals will not be around forever! You have until March 31, 2017 to transfer hotel points to Southwest to earn the Companion Pass.
And the limited-time AMEX Business Platinum offer is only available until January 25, 2017.