Can You Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest for the Companion Pass?

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Can You Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest for the Companion Pass?

Million Mile SecretsCan You Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest for the Companion Pass?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secrets reader Robert writes in:

Can I use the transfer of ultimate rewards points to southwest to complete my companion pass?

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best ways to save money on airline tickets for travel within the US.

2 Southwest credit cards and 10,000 extra points can get you $3,666 in Southwest travel and a Southwest Companion pass so that your companion can fly free (pay just the $2.50 security fee) for two years!

50,000 Point Southwest Premiere & Companion Pass
Our Southwest Companion Pass!

You get the Companion Pass after earning 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points a calendar year.  You can earn points in a variety of ways.  But not all points qualify towards the Companion Pass.

Ultimate Rewards Points

You earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points with a Chase credit card which earns Ultimate Rewards points or by shopping at the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Unfortunately, you can’t transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Southwest 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…

Other Ways to Earn Companion Pass Points

Robert can earn points towards the Companion Pass by:

  • Spending (or the sign-up bonus) on the Southwest credit cards
  • Flying on Southwest
  • Earning points from Rapid Rewards partners such as hotels and car rentals

Marriott and Hyatt Transfers

Robert can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt or Marriott hotels points and from Hyatt or Marriott to Southwest.  Currently, transfers from Hyatt & Marriott do count towards the Companion Pass status, but could change at any time.

But he 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 your Southwest account for the Companion Pass!

1.  Hyatt Transfers

Robert can transfer, say, 5,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 5,000 Hyatt points i.e. a 1:1 transfer ratio.

He can then transfer 5,000 Hyatt points to 2,400 Southwest points.

Hyatt gives you a bonus for transferring 50,000 points.  So if he transfers 50,000 Hyatt points to 24,000 Southwest points, he will get a bonus of 6,000 extra Southwest points for a total of 30,000 Southwest points.

Ultimate Rewards Southwest Transfer
You Can Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt and Then to Southwest

The terms say that it could take up to 4 to 6 weeks for the miles to appear in your Southwest account, but in my experience they transfer within 1 week.

2.   Marriott Transfers

Robert can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott points in a 1:1 ratio.

Here’s the transfer ratio from Marriott points to Southwest.  Robert is better off transferring his Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt instead of Marriott because the transfer ratio is worse with Marriott points (unless he uses a Marriott vacation package).

With Marriott, you get a better transfer ratio the more points you transfer.  So it makes sense to combine your points with your 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

The terms say that it could take up to 6 weeks for the miles to appear in your Southwest account, but in my experience they transfer within 1 week.

However, Marriott has vacation packages which are terrific deals if you have a LOT of Marriott points.

Marriott Vacation Packages is a Great Way to Get a Southwest Companion Pass & Free Hotel Stays!

For example, you 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!

You can’t redeem these packages online, but have to call 800-321-7396 for them. Marriott also lets you transfer your Marriott points to your partner and then redeem them for an airline transfer or for a vacation package.  So that’s an easy way to combine your points in one account.

Bottom Line

Transferring Ultimate Rewards points directly to Southwest will not count towards the Companion Pass.

But you can indirectly transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott or Hyatt and from there to Southwest and have the points count towards the Companion Pass!  Remember, that this could end at anytime though.

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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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Do Marriot transfer points still count towards companion pass?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Porschia – In my experience, they still do.

Artemio Herrera

Do you know if I can transfer air tran credits to sw and whether those credits once converted to sw will count towards companion pass?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Artemio Herrera – You can transfer Air Tran credits to Southwest, but they will not count towards the companion pass.

Sigh, I am short 700 points for my SWA companion pass. I transferred 2000 Marriott points today, Dec 31st, 2013 – 11:00 AM EST. Given that the transfer happened in 2013. Will this allow me to qualify for my companion pass when the points post to my account? I have seen conflicting answers.

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Alfonso – Unfortunately, the points have to post to your Southwest account by December 31. That said, you could try calling Southwest in early January and explain that you are only 700 points short. Good luck!

I qualified for a biz card (50K) points in the summer but was denied the personal card. As of 11/18/2013 I qualified for the personal card (50k). After reading your forum you suggest that i wait to hit my minimum until after Jan1, 2014 so i have the companion pass for a FULL TWO YEARS. That would give me only 50k that would qualify for the 2014.

Can i do the following?

A. Purchase 40,000 Hyatt points and receive a 30% bonus ($960)= 52k Hyatt points = transfer to Southwest = 30k Southwest Points

B. I have 70k Chase Ultimate reward points. I would transfer 50k to Hyatt = transfer to Southwest = 30k Southwest Points.

C. That would give me Southwest 50k + Hyatt Purchased 30k + Hyatt Transferred 30k = Southwest Qualifying 110,000k Companion Points (plus 50k nonqualifying points from my biz card).

Is my math solid on this? Does Southwest cap how many miles i can transfer from Hyatt?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Adan – You can do what you suggest and there is no cap on transfers from Hyatt. Here are other ways to the Companion Pass points.

@Darius, I just got approved for Premier personal on Oct 24. In order to qualify for companion pass, do I need to apply for Plus personal card as well ? Can I apply same day ? Also for spend timing, do you suggest to do it in Jan’14, so we have full year ?

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@Cool Aid – Unfortunately, you can’t transfer Southwest points or combine them and have them count towards the Companion Pass.

@hdallasu – You need to earn 110K points within 1 calendar year, so plan on spending after your December statement closes, so that the points post in January. Here’s a post on how to time the minimum spending.

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