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Million Mile Secrets reader Pat emails with a question:
Do you know if we can transfer points into our southwest account to get the 110,000? I am thinking that I could transfer points from my husband’s account into mine.
Southwest Companion Pass
Link: Southwest Credit Card
Pat is referring to having 110,000 Southwest points post to your Southwest account within a calendar year (January 31 to December 1) to earn a Companion Pass.
Pat can save thousands of dollars on airline tickets with a Southwest Companion Pass because her companion gets free (just pay ~ $10 airport tax) unlimited travel – on both points or cash tickets – for up to 2 years!
The easiest way to earn Companion Pass points is to get the 50,000 point Southwest credit card.
Up to October 30, 2013, all 4 versions of the Southwest credit cards currently offer 50,000 Southwest points after spending $2,000 within 3 months. Pat can redeem 50,000 Southwest points for ~ $710 to $850 in Southwest flights or for ~$500 in gift cards.
Here’s a post on everything you need to know about the Southwest Companion Pass.
Southwest Point Transfers
Pat can transfer Southwest points from her husband’s Southwest account to her Southwest account, but she has to pay a transfer fee. It isn’t worth paying the transfer fee because you can book tickets in anyone’s name with Southwest points!
However, it could be worth paying a transfer fee if the points counted towards earning the Companion Pass.
But transferred points don’t count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
In September when Southwest was offering a 30% discount on transfer fees, I did a test to see if transferring points would count towards the Companion Pass. I paid a $7 transfer fee and transferred 1,000 points to Emily, but it did NOT count towards her Companion Pass point total.
So Pat can transfer points from her husband’s account to her account but it will NOT count towards her Companion Pass point total.
Ultimate Rewards Points
But she could transfer other points and those would count towards the Companion Pass!
Usually the best way to transfer points to Southwest is to buy Choice hotel points or Wyndham hotel points and then transfer them to Southwest. These transfers currently count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
Pat may also have Chase Ultimate Rewards points with a Chase credit card which earns Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Ink Bold, or Ink Plus or by shopping at the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Unfortunately, Pat can’t transfer her 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 there is an indirect way to earn Companion Pass points from Chase Ultimate Rewards points…
Marriott and Hyatt Transfers
Pat can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt or Marriott hotel points and from Hyatt or Marriott transfer to Southwest. Currently, transfers from Hyatt and Marriott count towards the Companion Pass status, but that could change at any time.
Pat will lose some Ultimate Rewards points in the transfer because the transfer ratio is NOT 1:1. But it could be worth it to top-off her Southwest account for the Companion Pass!
1. Hyatt Transfers
Pat can transfer, 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 5,000 Hyatt points i.e. a 1:1 transfer ratio.
Pat can then transfer 5,000 Hyatt points to 2,400 Southwest points.
But you get a bonus of 6,000 points for transfers of 50,000 points.
So Pat will get 30,000 Southwest points (which count towards the Southwest Companion Pass) if she transfers 50,000 Hyatt points to Southwest.
It could take up to 4 to 6 weeks for the miles to appear in Pat’s Southwest account, but in my experience they transfer within 1 week.
2. Marriott Transfers
Pat can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott points in a 1:1 ratio. Here’s the transfer ratio from Marriott points to Southwest.
Pat gets more value transferring her Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt instead of Marriott because the transfer ratio is worse with Marriott points (unless she uses a Marriott vacation package).
With Marriott, Pat gets a better transfer ratio the more points she transfers. So Pat could combine her Marriott points with her partner and then transfer points.
- 10,000 Marriott Points = 2,000 Southwest points
- 20,000 Marriott Points = 5,000 Southwest points
- 30,000 Marriott Points = 10,000 Southwest points
- 70,000 Marriott Points = 25,000 Southwest points
- 140,000 Marriott Points = 50,000 Southwest points
It could take up to 6 weeks for the miles to appear in her Southwest account, but in my experience they transfer within 1 week.
However, Marriott has vacation packages which are terrific deals if Pat has a LOT of Marriott points.
So Pat can redeem 270,000 Marriott points and get 120,000 Southwest points (enough for the Companion Pass) AND 7 nights in a Category 1 to 5 Marriott hotel!
Pat can’t redeem these packages online and has to call 800-321-7396. Marriott also lets you transfer your Marriott points to your partner and then redeem them for an airline transfer or for a vacation package.
Pat can pay a fee to transfer Southwest points from her husband’s Southwest account to her Southwest account. But those points do NOT count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
Nor does transferring Ultimate Rewards points directly to Southwest.
But Pat can first transfer her Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott or Hyatt. And then transfer Hyatt or Marriott points to Southwest and those points currently count (though this could end at any time) towards the Companion Pass!
This may not be the best use of your Ultimate Rewards points, but could be worth it if you need a few points to get the Southwest Companion Pass.