Perks of Having the Southwest Companion Pass & AMEX Business Platinum

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Perks of Having the Southwest Companion Pass & AMEX Business Platinum

Million Mile SecretsPerks of Having the Southwest Companion Pass & AMEX Business PlatinumMillion 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. 

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!

So he can also get the AMEX Business Platinum card before January 25, 2017, and earn up to 100,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

Then, he’ll have the flexibility to use these points for Southwest flights or transfer to other terrific AMEX partners in the future!

Companion Pass AMEX Business Platinum
Use the Perks of the Southwest Companion Pass and AMEX Business Platinum Card to Get the Most Big Travel With Small Money!

I’ll explain the perks of having the Companion Pass AND the AMEX Business Platinum card!

Southwest Companion Pass & AMEX Business Platinum

Link:   The Secret Way to Get the Most Southwest Flights From Your Points!

Link:   The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN  

Link:   My Review of the 100,000-Point AMEX Business Platinum Offer

On its own, I think the Companion Pass is the best deal in travel!  Because a friend or family member can fly with you to any Southwest destination for (almost) free for up to 2 years!

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.

Companion Pass AMEX Business Platinum
Use the Perks of Your Southwest Companion Pass and AMEX Business Platinum Card to Travel to Fantastic Destinations Like San Juan!

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

Link:   1 Couple + 2 Cards = 2 Years of Free Flying + 7 Free Hotel Nights!

Link:   Marriott Hotel + Air Packages

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!

Companion Pass AMEX Business Platinum
The Clock Is Ticking for Folks Looking to Earn the Companion Pass by Redeeming Marriott Points for a Hotel + Air 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!

Bottom Line

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.

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Can you confirm that travel booked using the Amex Business Platinum will count toward earning next years SW A List and Companion Pass. Seems as though they should since from SW standpoint one is buying the travel for cash with a credit card and the points credit is occurring via Amex afterwards through a statement credit. But, SW is very legalistic/tricky about what counts toward A List and Companion pass. Can you confirm that points purchased with Amex Business Platinum and later subject to a statement credit count?

If you purchase a flight and pay with your Business Platinum card, you will earn credit toward A List status and the Companion Pass. Using the AMEX Pay With Points perk does not affect this.

I called Amex today. I changed the airline on my Amex Business Platinum card to Southwest. Because you cannot book Southwest flights through Amex’s travel website, I also booked a flight while I was on the line. I was advised that there is a $39 booking fee on all tickets booked by phone. Thee was no waiver for Southwest flights despite the fact they cannot be booked online and can only be booked by phone. Please beware of this policy because it inflates the price of the flights and you do not receive a 2 cent per MR point return with Southwest.

To avoid the $39 fee, you can book Southwest flights through the airline website and pay with your Business Platinum card. Then, call AMEX Membership Rewards to use points toward the charge. Here’s a step-by-step guide to booking this way: https://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/12/19/southwest-flights-with-amex-points/

Thanks for the advice

Could you move on to something else besides the SWA C.P. please? Enough is enough.

I enjoy the SWA C.P articles. Keep it up!!!

Agree, not all of us live in a city that has southwest and although I did get the Amex 100,000 pt card I’m not sure the $15,000 spend is worth the points.

Just transferred 330,000 Marriott for the southwest pass and 7 nights at a category 7 in Kona Hawaii. One call to Marriott rewards and three days later received the congratulations from southwest.

Amazing! Enjoy your Companion Pass and trip to Kona!