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Update: Some 1-800-Flowers bonus point promotions NO longer count toward the Southwest Companion Pass. Promotions that include the phrase “Bonus points will not count toward A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion Pass qualification” in the terms and conditions will NOT count!
So you’ve signed up for 2 Southwest credit cards or have got ~104,000 Southwest Companion Pass points. But how do you earn the remaining points for the Companion Pass?
There are 2 easy ways to earn more Companion Pass points for your Southwest Companion Pass:
- Transferring hotel points
- Using the Southwest shopping portal
Note: If you don’t have hotel points, don’t worry! I’ll explain the fastest and cheapest ways to get them. I’ve also experimented with whether the transfers count towards the Companion Pass and how long it takes to transfer points.
What is the Southwest Companion Pass?
With the Southwest Companion Pass, whenever you fly on Southwest your favorite person flies with you for virtually free ($2.50 in taxes and fees) for up to 2 years!
You need 110,000 Southwest points, within 1 calendar year (January to December) to get the Companion Pass. When you sign-up for 2 Southwest credit cards (when the sign-up bonus is 50,000 points) and spend $2,000 on each of them you will get 104,000 points.
But you still need another 6,000 points to get the Companion Pass. Sure, you can spend $6,000 on your card, but we want Big Travel with Small Money!
Transferring hotel points or using the Southwest shopping portal is an easier and cheaper way to get those last 6,000 Companion Pass points.
How Do I Know How Many Companion Pass Qualifying Points I Have?
You can check how many points you have towards the Companion Pass by clicking this link and signing into your Southwest account.
Which Hotel Transfers Count Towards the Companion Pass?
1. Choice Hotels
You can transfer 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest points.
If you don’t already have Choice points you can buy them for $11 per 1,000 points. Transferring 20,000 Choicepoints gets you 6,000 Southwest Points. You can buy 20,000 Choice hotel points for $220 ($11 for 1,000 points x 20)
This is currently the cheapest hotel points to buy for the Companion Pass.
Choice hotels says transfers can take 6 to 8 weeks, but read on to see how long it took to transfer.
2. Club Carlson
You can only transfer Club Carlson points in certain increments.
- 2,000 Club Carlson Points = 200 Southwest Points
- 50,000 Club Carlson Points = 5,000 Southwest Points
- 100,000 Club Carlson Points = 10,000 Southwest Points
If you don’t have Club Carlson points you can buy them in increments of 1,000 points for $7. However, you can only buy up to 40,000 Club Carlson points per calendar year.
So you could transfer 40,000 Club Carlson points in 2,000 point increments to get 4,000 Southwest points.
If you buy the 40,000 maximum points for the year it will cost $280 ($7 for 1,000 points x 40).
Club Carlson says it can take 5 to 7 days to process and then another 4 to 6 weeks for the points to post to Southwest.
You will get 1 Southwest point for every 2.5 Hyatt points. You must transfer a minimum of 5,000 Hyatt points, after that you have to transfer in 1,250 point increments.
When you transfer 50,000 Hyatt points to Southwest you get 6,000 extra miles.
There are many ways to earn Hyatt points. One way is by earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points with Chase credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Bold. You can then transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio and then transfer them to Southwest. But note that you will about half the points when you transfer Hyatt points to Southwest.
You could also buy Hyatt points in increments of 1,000 points for $24. You can only buy up 40,000 Hyatt points per calendar year. You can buy 15,000 Hyatt points for $360 ($24 for 1,000 points x 15).
The terms and conditions say that Hyatt points can take 4 to 6 weeks to post to your Southwest account.
Marriott hotel points transfer to Southwest points in these increments.
- 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
If you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points you can transfer them to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. To earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points use Chase credit cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Bold.
You will get the best value out of transferring Marriott points if you have a LOT of them. That’s because with Marriott’s Travel Packages you get hotel nights and Southwest points.
You can also buy Marriott points in increments of 1,000 points for ~$13. Buying 20,000 Marriott points will cost $250 ($12.50 for 1,000 points x 20).
Marriott terms say, “Please allow up to six weeks for miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account.”
You have to transfer Wyndham points in certain increments to Southwest.
- 6,000 Wyndham Points = 1,200 Southwest Points
- 16,000 Wyndham Points = 3,200 Southwest Points
- 30,000 Wyndham Points = 6,000 Southwest Points
You can buy Wyndham points in increments of 1,000 points for $11. It will cost $330 ($11 for 1,000 Wyndham Points X 30) to buy 30,000 Wyndham points. Wyndham recently changed the amount of points needed for a transfer without any notice. So be careful with leaving lots of Wyndham hotel points in your account.
Wyndham points can take 6 to 8 weeks to post to your Southwest account.
How Do I Use the Southwest Shopping Portal to Get More Points?
1. Buy Flowers
Thanks to Joel for pointing out in the comments section that you can still get 1,750 Southwest points when you buy flowers from 1-800-Flowers! Make a minimum purchase of $29.99 before December 31, 2014. Then enter promotion code “RR29” and your Southwest number to get the points.
Southwest terms say it can take 4 to 6 weeks for the points to show up in your account.
2. Shopping Portal
Besides flowers, you can get bonus points for making everyday purchases through the Southwest shopping portal. For example, if you’re shopping at Sears, you can click through to Sears via the Southwest shopping portal and earn extra Southwest points!
How Long Will It Take for Points to Post to My Southwest Account?
I was curious to see how long it would take for the points to show up in my account. Here’s what I found…
|Hotel||Points Transferred||Flower Delivery Date||Points Posted||Post Date||Counted Towards the Companion Pass|
|Choice||January 8, 2014||January 17, 2014||January 17, 2014||YES|
|Club Carlson||January 10, 2014||January 17, 2014||January 17, 2014||YES|
|Hyatt||January 8, 2014||January 13, 2014||January 9, 2014||YES|
|Marriott||January 8, 2014||January 9, 2014||January 9, 2014||YES|
|Wyndham||January 8, 2014||January 9, 2014||January 9, 2014||YES|
|1-800-FLOWERS||January 8, 2014||January 9, 2014||January 31, 2014||January 31, 2014||YES|
|Southwest Shopping Portal||January 8, 2014||January 15, 2014||January 15, 2014||YES|
- All points in my experiment counted towards the Companion Pass
- Wyndham and Marriott points only took 1 day to post
- Hyatt points took 5 days to post
- Club Carlson points took 7 days to post
- Shopping portal purchase took 7 days to post
- Choice Hotel points took 9 days to post
- Points from 1-800-FLOWERS took 23 days to post
Note: Your results may be different than mine!
Once you sign-up for 2 Southwest credit cards you still need another 6,000 points to get the Southwest Companion Pass. The easiest way to get those extra points is by transferring hotel points or buying items through the Southwest shopping portal.
Points transferred from Choice, Club Carlson, Hyatt, Marriott, and Wyndham all count towards the Companion Pass. Points earned through the Southwest shopping portal also qualify for the Companion Pass.
If you don’t have hotel points, Choice hotel points cost the least.
In my experience, most of the points transferred within a week. The flowers took the longest to transfer at ~3 weeks. However, this is just my experience and yours may be different.