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Million Mile Secrets reader, Clint, tweeted:
I agree, Clint!
Recently, Lyn from Go To Travel Gal wrote about a way to earn up to 10,000 Southwest points per night for hotel stays. And these points DO count toward earning the Companion Pass.
As Clint points out, earning 10,000 Southwest points per night for an 11-night stay would get you the 110,000 Southwest points required to earn the Companion Pass!
I found a few examples that could make it possible to earn the Companion Pass with an 11-night hotel stay. But, it’s very expensive!
Instead, I recommend combining the points you earn from SouthwestHotels.com with other points to earn the Companion Pass.
Or you can earn points from the hotel site throughout the year, instead of all in one shot! I’ll explain!
Southwest Companion Pass Points With Paid Hotel Stays
You can book paid hotel stays throughout the world on SouthwestHotels.com and earn points toward the Southwest Companion Pass.
It’s possible to earn up to 10,000 Southwest points per night. But I searched a few major US cities and couldn’t find any hotels with this earning rate (although some come close!).
So I searched international destinations and found you can earn 10,000 Southwest points per night at the luxurious Park Hyatt Dubai.
This means you can stay 11-nights at the hotel and earn the required 110,000 Southwest points for the Companion Pass.
But this is a very expensive way to earn the Companion Pass! Because you’ll pay $4,900 plus taxes and fees.
Also remember, when you book this way, you will NOT earn hotel loyalty points and will likely miss out on elite status perks.
That said, some folks might consider earning the Companion Pass this way if they were already planning an extended hotel stay at an expensive hotel that earns 10,000 Southwest points per night. For example:
- Business travelers
- Friends or family who are splitting room costs
But for most folks, earning Southwest points toward the Companion Pass for paid hotel stays works better to supplement points you already have.
So let’s say you get the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card. You can earn 50,000 Southwest points after meeting minimum spending requirements. You’ll be ~60,000 Southwest points short of earning the Companion Pass.
This means instead of an 11-night stay, you can book a 6-night stay at a hotel that earns 10,000 Southwest points per night on SouthwestHotels.com. This will get you the remaining points to get the best deal in travel!
Or you can book 1 or 2 night hotel stays throughout the year to earn points. It doesn’t have to be all at once.
Value of the Southwest Companion Pass
Emily and I think the Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in travel. Because a friend or loved one you designate can fly with you for almost free for nearly 2 full years. You just pay taxes and fees for your companion.
And many other folks think the Companion Pass is amazing too! For example, Million Mile Secrets reader John recently commented it’s hard to believe what an incredible deal you get with the Companion Pass.
Team member Keith has used this fantastic perk to save thousands of dollars. In 2015 and 2016, he used the Companion Pass to fly with his wife on 30+ flights to destinations in the US, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
He loved it so much he recently earned the Companion Pass again for 2017 and 2018 by redeeming Marriott points for a Hotel + Air Package!
Remember, you only have until March 31, 2017, to redeem Marriott points for the Companion Pass.
The value of the Companion Pass really depends on how often you fly with your companion.
But as an example, consider the earlier 11-night hotel stay that can earn you 110,000 Southwest points and the Companion Pass.
These points are worth $1,573 (1.43 cents each X 110,000) toward Southwest flights. But that’s just for 1 person.
If you add your companion to all the flights you book with these points, you’ll get double the value. Or $3,000+ worth of Southwest airfare.
This doesn’t include the savings you’ll get on other paid or award flights you book after utilizing the initial 110,000 Southwest points. The savings can really add up!
You can earn up to 10,000 Southwest points per night for paid hotel stays when you book through SouthwestHotels.com. These points count toward earning the Companion Pass.
In theory, you can book 11 paid hotel nights through the website and earn the Southwest Companion Pass. But there are a limited number of hotels that get you 10,000 Southwest points per night.
And these hotels are typically very expensive. For example, you can earn 10,000 Southwest points per night with a stay at the Park Hyatt Dubai. But an 11-night at the hotel costs more than $5,000!
Instead, I recommend combining points earned from SouthwestHotels.com with other Southwest points to earn the Companion Pass. For example, if you earned the sign-up bonus on the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card.