How Long Does it Take to Transfer Points for the Companion Pass?

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I wrote earlier that an easy way to get the remaining 6,000 Southwest points needed for the Companion Pass is to transfer points from Choice, Marriott or Hyatt to Southwest or to buy flowers.

If you apply for 2 Southwest credit cards and spend $2,000 on each of them and the points post to your account in 2013, you will have earned 104,000 points out of the 110,000 points needed for the Southwest Companion Pass.  That’s 100,000 points from 2 credit card sign-up bonuses & 2,000 points on each card by meeting the minimum spending requirements.

So you need an extra 6,000 Companion Pass qualifying points to earn the Companion Pass.  Of course, you can spend $6,000 on your credit cards, but there are easier and cheaper ways such as transferring hotel points to Southwest, buying flowers or items from the online shopping mall, participating in their dining program etc.

 # Days to Transfer to Southwest (My Experience)Official Time to Transfer to SouthwestCounted Towards Companion Pass
Choice11 days2 to 6 weeksYes
Hyatt1 day4 to 6 weeksYes
Marriott3 daysUp to 6 weeksYes
Teleflora7 days4 to 6 weeksYes

The cheapest way is to buy 18,000 Choice hotel points for $198 and transfer them to 5,400 Southwest points.  5,400 Southwest points are worth ~$90, so your net cost is $108.

Here’s a post on 10 different ways to earn Companion Qualifying points on Southwest.

How Long to Transfer Points?

I was curious to see how long it would take for hotel points to transfer to my Southwest account and if they would count towards the Companion Pass.  Note that these are MY results, and your result could be completely different.

1.   Choice Hotels.   I bought Choice hotel points on November 18, 2012, but they posted to my Choice hotel account on November 21, 2012.

As a test, I transferred 6,000 Choice points to 1,800 Southwest points online.

The points posted to my Southwest account on November 29, 2012 (11 days) and they counted towards the Companion Pass.

However, the terms said “our reward will be received/posted within 2 ‑ 6 weeks.

You can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards to Choice if you’d rather not buy points.

2.   Hyatt Hotels.   As a test, I transferred 5,000 Hyatt points to 2,400 Southwest points online on November 18, 2012.

The points posted to my Southwest account on November 19, 2012 (1 day) and they counted towards the Companion Pass.

However, the terms said “Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for the miles to appear in your frequent flyer account.

You can transfer points from the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Sapphire Preferred to Hyatt if you’d rather not buy points.

3.   Marriott Hotels.   As a test, I transferred 10,000 Marriott points to 2,000 Southwest points online on November 18, 2012.

The points posted to my Southwest account on November 21, 2012 (3 days) and they counted towards the Companion Pass.

However, the terms said “Please allow up to six weeks for miles to be posted to your frequent flyer account.”

You can transfer points from the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Sapphire Preferred to Marriott if you’d rather not buy points.

4.   Teleflora Flowers.  Emily was feeling blue, so this was the perfect time to see how long it took for a flower purchase from Teleflora to post to my Southwest account!

Teleflora offers 1,000 Southwest points for buying flowers.  So you could buy flowers for  $45 per 1,000 Southwest points (~$30 for the flowers + $15 delivery charge).

Here’s another link to Teleflora with up to 2,000 Southwest points per purchase (depending on the purchase amount)

I ordered flowers on November 29, 2012 with same day delivery to Emily.  The flowers arrived on time, and the points posted to my Southwest account on December 5, 2012 (7 days).

However, the terms said “Please allow four to six weeks for points to post to your account”

I’m not sure if I earned brownie points like Points Envy (but I did earn Companion Pass Qualifying points!), because Emily asked me how many points I got for the flowers.

Bottom Line

In my experience, points from Choice hotels, Hyatt, Marriott & Teleflora still count towards the Southwest Companion Pass Pass and may take anywhere from 1 to 11 days to post to your Southwest account.  But this was my experience, and your experience could be different!

PS: I’m traveling so I won’t be able to get to the comments and email for today!

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