Can You Transfer Starwood Points to Southwest and Earn the Companion Pass?

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Can You Transfer Starwood Points to Southwest and Earn the Companion Pass?

Million Mile SecretsCan You Transfer Starwood Points to Southwest and Earn the Companion Pass?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

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.

Million Mile Secrets reader, Terri Clark commented:

I have recently been targeted for both the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer credit card and the Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa card for 50,000 miles each.  Currently, I have 7 new credit card accounts in one year, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Hyatt card.

My question is, if I apply for and receive the Southwest card, can I transfer Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express points to Southwest to help me reach the Companion Pass?  I have read that I cannot do that with Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Thanks!

Great question, Terri!

Unfortunately, Southwest is NOT currently a Starwood airline transfer partner.  And you’re correct that transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest will NOT count toward the Companion Pass.

Can You Transfer Starwood Points To Southwest And Earn The Companion Pass
There Are Lots of Ways to Earn Southwest Points for the Companion Pass – but Transferring Starwood Points Isn’t One of Them!

However, there are lots of other ways to earn the 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year you need to qualify for the Companion Pass.  I’ll explain!

How to Earn Southwest Companion Pass Points

Link:   Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   A Step-by-Step Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   10 Ways to Get Extra Points Toward the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is still my #1 best deal in travel!  That’s because when you have the Companion Pass, a friend of family member flies with you for almost free (on paid and award tickets) for up to 2 years!

To get the Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar yearAnd there are lots of ways to earn Southwest points which qualify!

Note:  Points transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards, purchasing or receiving points as a gift, and certain bonus point promotions do NOT count towards the Southwest Companion Pass!

1.   Chase Southwest Credit Cards

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Link:   How to Fill Out a Chase Business Credit Card Application

It’s a great time to earn the Companion Pass, because all 3 Chase Southwest cards are currently offering 50,000 point sign-up bonuses after you complete the minimum spending.

By signing-up for 2 cards, you can earn most of the points required!

Can You Transfer Starwood Points To Southwest And Earn The Companion Pass
Signing-Up for 2 Chase Southwest Cards Can Get You Most of the Way to the Southwest Companion Pass

That said, this isn’t as easy for many folks as it used to be.  That’s because Chase has tightened their application rules.  If you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for a Chase Southwest card.

Terri mentions she’s opened 7 cards in the past year, so she falls under these new rules.  But there are reports folks who’ve received targeted Chase offers are still being approved, even if they’ve applied for lots of cards.

2.   Transfers From Hotels

Link:   The Easy Way to Get the Extra 6,000 Points for the Southwest Companion Pass

If you sign-up for 2 Southwest cards and complete the minimum spending, you’ll earn 104,000 Southwest points (100,000 from sign-up bonuses + 4,000 from minimum spending on 2 cards).

You’d still be 6,000 Southwest points short of the 110,000 points required to earn the Companion Pass.

Transferring points from certain hotel programs is an easy way to earn the remaining points you need!  But keep in mind, it’s not a 1:1 ratio.

Note:   Wyndham no longer allows points transfers to Southwest.

You could transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott or Hyatt and then to Southwest.  But I don’t recommend this unless you’re just a few points shy of the Companion Pass because the transfer ratios between hotels and Southwest are so poor.

3.   Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping

Earn more Southwest Companion Pass qualifying points by starting your online shopping through the Southwest Shopping Portal.

Can You Transfer Starwood Points To Southwest And Earn The Companion Pass
Like to Shop Online? You Could Earn Southwest Points and Get Closer to the Southwest Companion Pass

You’ll earn extra Southwest points at dozens of online retailers.  For example, you can currently earn 3X Southwest points per $1 at JC Penney, or 2X Southwest points per $1 at Kohl’s.

4.   Southwest Rapids Rewards Partners

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards Partners

You can earn Companion Pass qualifying points through Southwest shopping, survey, and travel partners like:

…and many more!

Can You Transfer Starwood Points To Southwest And Earn The Companion Pass
Dine and Earn Southwest Points With Rapid Rewards Dining

Note:   Typically, only base points earned from these partners count toward the Companion Pass.  Bonus points (from special promotions, for example) usually DO NOT.  So read the fine print!

5.   Paid Flights on Southwest

Link:   Southwest

Link:   Southwest Schedule Now Open Until January 4, 2017

If you have paid travel coming up, consider booking Southwest to earn points the old fashioned way! 😉

Southwest often has the cheapest fares, and you’ll save money because everyone gets 2 free checked bags.  And there are never any change or cancellation fees.

Can You Transfer Starwood Points To Southwest And Earn The Companion Pass
Consider Booking Paid Travel on Southwest to Earn Companion Pass Qualifying Points

You’ll earn points based on what you paid for your ticket, the type of fare, and your elite status.

Bottom Line

Southwest is NOT a Starwood airline transfer partner, so you can NOT transfer points to Southwest to help earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

However, there are lots of other ways to earn the  110,000 Southwest points needed in a calendar year to earn the Companion Pass:

Thanks for the question, Terri!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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** this should be updated, open a Marriott rewards account, link the Starwood to Marriot and transfer points (now same company) the transfer Marriot points to Southwest as they are a partner**

Million Mile Secrets

@Luke – We have a new post coming up!

Representaive was at the airport in Phoenix.

Does the Southewest Plus credit card still count towards companion pass ? A representative signing up customers told me the Plus credit card no longer counts towards companion pass.

If you log into SPG and try to transfer miles, it currently gives Southwest as an option with a 1500:1 ratio.