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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.
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.
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.
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 Preferred, Ink 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.
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. 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).
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.