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How to Earn and Maximize the Southwest Companion Pass

by on October 20, 2011 · 160 comments

in Points Guy Pointers, Southwest

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Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most lucrative benefits of any airline loyalty program. This pass allows you to designate a companion that flies for free (just pay 9/11 taxes) on any flight that you are on – even if you use points for your ticket. This benefit can save you serious amount of money and the best part is that there is no award “availability” on Southwest – if there’s a ticket for sale in the same ticket fare that you purchase/used points for, then your companion can fly as well for free. Also, once you qualify for the pass you get to enjoy it for the rest of the current year plus the entire next calendar year. So if you were to qualify for the pass in January 2012 you’d enjoy the benefits until December 31, 2013!

How to Qualify
There are two ways:
1) Fly 100 one-way flights within a calendar year
2) Accrue 110,000 points in a calendar year (every January your qualifying points reset to 0) – this includes flights, credit card – including credit card sign-up bonuses like the current 50,000 points for the Southwest Plus card after first purchase) and partner activity like hotel stays/transfers and rental cars.

Relevant Rules (Full list here)
1) Your companion can only board with their zone. For example, if you are a top elite, your companion cannot board with you unless they have the same elite status.
2) You cannot use your companion for an extra seat for yourself unless you are a Passenger of Size.
3) You can change your designated Companion and request a new Companion Pass up to three (3) times within the validity period of the Pass.
4) Companion Pass and reward travel is subject to a government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $10 roundtrip

My Tips
If you’ve already gotten one of the 50,000 point Southwest cards this year you can try getting the 50,000 point Business Credit card. I haven’t done this myself but other TPG readers have reported getting both 50,000 point bonuses (if you have any experience, please report it in the comments).
If you got the 50,000 point Premier card earlier this year, it might be possible to also get the new 50,000 point Plus Card bonus that was launched this week. The rules state that you can’t, but other people have gotten multiple Chase airline card bonuses in the past as long as they were different products. We won’t know for sure until we hear from anyone who has tried, but if you are within striking distance of the Companion Pass and you don’t want to go for the Business Card, it could be worth a shot – however I cannot vouch for this method until we hear more real-time reports.

If you really want a companion pass and currently have 0 points, I’d recommend getting the Plus and Business cards and then activating them in January so the points count towards your 2012 qualification. You could also wait until January to apply, but as with all good deals- its very possible these sign-up bonuses will drop. Either way, the benefit of waiting to accrue your points until January 2012 is that your Companion Pass will be good until December 31, 2013. If you were to get a Companion Pass today it would only be good until December 31, 2012. As mentioned above, you can also transfer hotel points to Southwest to help you get to 110,000.Unfortunately Southwest left the Membership Rewards program and they are not currently transfer partners of the Ultimate Rewards Program (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they were added in the future since Chase issues all of their credit cards).

As far as hotel transfers, unfortunately neither Starwood or Priority Club allow point transfers to Southwest, however here are the main hotel program ratios.
Choice Privileges:

Points Rapid Rewards Points
6,000 1,800
12,000 3,600
18,000 5,400
24,000 7,200
30,000 9,000

Hilton:

Exchange HHonors Points for Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Credit
HHonors Points for SWA Points
10,000 -> 1,200
Exchange in increments of 10,000 points

FYI: *Effective January 1, 2012, the Hilton HHonors program will no longer offer Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Points for stays at hotels & resorts within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio.

Hyatt: Receive 1 mile for every 2.5 Hyatt Gold Passport points you convert, starting with a minimum of 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
Earn 5,000 Bonus Miles when you convert 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.

Convert
50,000 Points
Receive
20,000 Miles
+
Earn
5,000 Bonus Miles
=
Total
25,000 Miles

Hyatt Gold Passport Point conversions can be made in 1,250 increments.

Marriott:

Reward Points View Details & Order Reward
2,000 Rapid Rewards Points 10,000 View
5,000 Rapid Rewards Points 20,000 View
10,000 Rapid Rewards Points 30,000 View
25,000 Rapid Rewards Points 70,000 View
50,000 Rapid Rewards Points 125,000 View

Marriott also has Hotel & Air Travel Packages, which can be great values. If you redeemed their top packages, you’d get enough Southwest points for the companion pass, which in itself can make that redemption more than worthwhile.

Marriott Hotel + Southwest Point Packages

 

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Benthelefty

    A very thorough and helpful post. You’re attention to detail is always top notch! Thanks for this, and I now have something new to study and learn more about!

  • PJ

    Do I read this right? Mariott’s points 125000 to get 50K Southwest Rapid Rewards? AND rapid rewards can NOT be converted into Mariott’s points

  • RunningMan

    Hi TPG,
    I have 0 points with SWA, my aim is to get the companion pass like you had described nicely in your post. I would like to know if I could apply for both the premier and plus credit cards on the same day.

  • Ri Zheng

    Pretty sure you can’t have 2 Southwest Chase Personal cards, at least you can’t have Chase Sapphire Card and Sapphire Preferred card, they are classified as same product but different tier(what agent told me). However, you are allowed to have a personal & business southwest card.

  • Clay

    This really is the best program for domestic award travel for a couple, IMHO.

  • Ri Zheng

    Pretty sure you can’t, you’re better off applying for business & personal

  • MB

    Brian,
    I got the Premier card a month ago & already got the 50k points. If I wait until January to get the business card, will my companion pass be good until Dec 2012 or Dec 2013?

    Thanks for a very helpful article 

  • Jedijood

    Is the companion pass status on a rolling calendar? For example, if we reach the 110k by the end of the year, let’s say by Nov 2011. Do I have companion status only for one month the end of the year of 2011 or does it roll through nov 2012? Any clarification would help.

    I have 60k and applying to one of these cards would meet that status. I just dont know if I should do it now or wait until Jan 2012.

  • Nick E

    FYI, Southwest is likely going to make it much harder to get a companion pass next year. I only fly a handful of revenue flights each year, but through partner earnings, I got a companion pass through this Decemeber and then re-upped it for next year as well. However, my primary RR earning mechanism (double-dipping on Hilton stays) is ending as of January 1, 2012 when Southwest ends its relationship with Hilton. I wouldn’t be surprised to see further reductions (SPG and Priority Club already reduced/eliminated their relationships earlier this year) to cut down on “gamers” like me.

  • Anonymous

    Calendar year. You will reset to 0 on January 1

  • Anonymous

    Your qualifying points will reset to 0 on January 1 so I’d go for it this year

  • PJ

    switching you off to AMEX:

    3 of my family members have received the bumped bonus 75K ; came in right along with when the statement cut off date after the SPEND was reached; now one more to go in my family and also my college classmate

  • Jedijood

    So to take advantage of this if I earned 60k in 2011, I would have to reach 110k by end of 2011? If I do that I will get companion status through dec 2012?

  • cdsdonuts

    Here’s my plan.

    Current SW RR balance: 50k
    Current Chase UR balance: 75k

    I have both the SW Rapid Rewards personal as well as the Sapphire Preferred.
    To meet the 110k total points, can I apply for the SW RR Biz card for 50k, and then transfer 30k UR to Marriott then transfer 30k Marriott to 10k SW RR, totaling 110k for this year.

    Any flaws in this approach?

  • SoundEffect

    *Southwest DING*

  • Track1012

    Great info. Couple Questions:

    1. I have earned Southwest points in a number of ways this year (flights, rental cars, hotels, purchasing points directly from southwest.com, credit card sign-up bonus, monthly Southwest credit card points, dining), do ALL of these points count toward the 110,000 needed?

    2. If all of these count, I currently need 26,000 more points for the pass. Could I purchase the 26,000 from southwest.com (cost is $650) and get the companion pass? I think a companion pass is worth way more than $650. In fact it is worth pointing out to all readers (if these points count) that if you get the 50,000 point sign-up bonus, you could purchase 60,000 more points from southwest.com for $1,750 or if you get both the personal and business sign-up bonuses and need 10,000 more points, that would cost you a mere $250.

    3. Any difference in terms of qualifying points for companion pass and A-list? I’m thinking there has to be becuase on the Southwest Web site, it keeps track of A-list progress, and it says I’m only 51% of the way there. It also concerns me that they keep track of progress to A-list, but not to companion pass. I don’t want to do a big transfer (I have a ton of Hilton points) or purchase of points to get to 110,000 only to find out that some or many of those points didn’t qualify.

    Thanks TPG!

  • chris

    Actually, you can – at least with the SW Plus and SW Preferred. I think it’s been discussed previously, but SW treats them as separate products. I have both and fairly certain I’m not alone. Haven’t tried to add this third version yet – probably wait til next year to start working on companion pass for ’13.

  • chris

    I called it preferred in my reply above, but obviously it’s premier. You can have 2 personal cards. Not sure if this one is different, but I have the premier and plus – both personal. This is a third version, right? Regardless, they seem to make a distinction between the cards and allow the bonuses on all versions, and allow you to hold as many as you can qualify for.

  • Jon

    TPG – are you 100% sure the companion pass status is granted STRICTLY on a calendar year basis? The official Southwest blog at http://www.blogsouthwest.com/video/faq-all-new-rapid-rewards states the following:
    “With the All-New Rapid Rewards, we are moving to a calendar year for earning status in the program. However, to honor our commitment to you from the old program, you may earn A-List or Companion Pass status based on either the rolling 12-months or calendar year. When you login to your account on southwest.com, you will only see your progress tracked based on the calendar year.”

    Has anything changed since this was posted? If not, can you find out more info on the date they will stop honoring the rolling 12-month rule?

  • Jon

    After reading the guide at http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Southwest_Rapid_Rewards , it appears that the rolling 12-month rule may only be valid for segments flown under the “old” RR program, and any new points earned since RR 2.0 was rolled out will follow the calendar year rule. Can this be clarified/confirmed? Sorry to nitpick on something you pointed out clearly in your post, but it just isn’t very clear :)

  • atxtravel

    30k UR points is worth at least 30k x 0.0133 = $499, while it costs only $250 to buy 10k points from Southwest directly.

  • Jon

    OK now I’m really confused. The companion pass transition rules at http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Southwest_Rapid_Rewards#Transition_for_Companion_Pass state:
    “During 2011 ONLY, you will qualify or re-qualify for Companion Pass if you meet the criterion under EITHER the old rule or the new ones:
    (a) Accrue 100 credits from any source within a rolling 12 months, or
    (b) Take 100 or more paid one-way flights or earn 110,000 points from any source in calendar year 2011.”

    However, the rules further state the following (which conflicts with and hopefully overrides the statement above):
    “You will receive 2011 Companion Qualifying Points for credits earned through Partners for the time period of January 1, 2011 through February 28, 2011 at 1,200 Companion Qualifying Points per credit.”

    I interpret this to mean that any points (including partner points) earned between March 1, 2011 – February 28, 2012 can fall under rule (a) (the rolling 12-month rule) instead of rule (b). However, points will be converted into RR 1.0 credits (for companion pass calculation purposes only) at a rate of 1,200 points per credit. This would mean that you can get the companion pass if you earn 120,000 points (1,200 points * 100 credits) between March 1, 2011 – February 28, 2012. I assume the companion pass would then be valid through the end of 2013.

    Anyone have any additional thoughts/feedback on this interpretation of the rules?

  • Track1012

    Jon, you’re blowing my mind with all of this. I’m inclined to and will volunteer to call up Southwest for a thorough explanation if nobody can help out with a straight answer in the next few hours (I will of course share the information obtained with everyone). Problem is, you never know who you’re going to get on the phone and how knowledgable that person truly will be.

  • Sheldonbeswift

    Where can we view our progress toward the Companion Pass? I’m sure it’s there, but I can’t seem to find it.

  • Anonymous

    Purchased Southwest points don’t count towards companion pass qualification

  • Tracygra

    according to southwests companion pass FAQ- Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.

  • Track1012

    Wow, that’s a huge blow. So, you cannot “buy off” the remainder if you’re close.

  • atxtravel

    Good point. Unless there’s spending coming up one last resort is to pay property taxes (or income taxes) or any other big payment that we normally don’t put on the cards. It’s only 2-3% so for $300 or less he can quickly acquire all or most of the points.

  • Ryan

    Quick question: I am currently an Authorized User on my dad’s SW Plus card. All points earned through that card are going to his RR account. However, I’d like to open up another SW card in my name so I can earn my own RR points. Can I apply for my own SW card if I’m already an Authorized User on another account?

  • Rob S.

    The Companion Pass rules state:

    “Purchased points and points earned from program enrollment, Tier bonuses, flight bonuses, and Partner bonuses do not count toward Companion Pass status.”

    Has anyone actually gotten the 50k bonus points from the credit card showing as counted towards the Companion Pass status – it seems to me they would be considered a “Partner bonus”, no?

  • JF

    TPG, so if I was approved yesterday for the sw card, I get the card next week, I can wait until January or so to activate it and chase isn’t going to cancel it? Thanks.

  • Tisha

    hello all,

    so does this mean that the 50K bonus points from the CC offer does NOT count for the companion pass afterall? =(

  • Anonymous

    They count- i wouldn’t have written this post otherwise

  • Anonymous

    Yes- you can get your own card and you’ll be eligible for the signup bonus

  • Tisha

    P.s. – Great blog, Brian! =)

  • Rob S.

    I assumed that was the case, but thanks for the confirmation. The “tier bonuses” and “flight bonuses” that do not count – I am assuming those mean the points earned (either 25% or 100%) as a bonus due to A-List status on flights and would not count towards the companion pass qualification?

  • Carwag25

    Great post. I got the 50K personal and 50K biz bonuses last month which added 100K points to my SW account. I already had 5K points in my accounts, so I flew on a biz select fare to get the additional 5K. Once I reached the 110K points, my account showed eligible for CP the next day. I have already booked a flight for myself, and added my companion with no issues.

  • R3

    How far apart were your applications?

  • Tracygra

    I got the bonus four months ago on the premier personal and just applied for the business. Is it typical to get a notice that they will notify me of the decision in 10 days? I usually get approved instantly. I applied for the person for my husband and he got the same awaiting approval message.

  • Jon

    Do a search for the Chase reconsideration phone number. Call them, and they can usually shuffle around some of your credit limits to make room for the new card. It’s usually a quick phone call, and they are very helpful. If you choose to wait for 10 days, you may be declined…so calling the reconsideration # now is your best bet.

  • calbear77

    Seems like it’s best to wait to sign up for both of these cards in January so that you can get all of 2012 and 2013, just like Brian says.

    Sign up for SW premier, business, and Marriot card, and you’re there! Am I looking at this wrong?

  • Anonymous

    There are risks to waiting 1) the 50k card offers might be gone
    2) southwest may very well change the program

    As with all things, evaluate whether its worth it to take the risk or go with the sure thing now and figure out how to requalify in 2012 when the time comes

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see why theyd cancel it. There are plenty of reasons why it may take someone a month or two to activate a card. Remember- they want you as a cardmember!

  • Sean Buchanan

    Calbear77 – if I read the post right TPG advocates signing up for the cards now while the offers are active but not activating the cards until January.

    This is what I was planning on doing so hopefully Chase doesn’t cancel accounts if you don’t activate your cards right away.

  • Ryan

    Is there a reason Southwest is heavily promoting the Plus card rather than the Premier card? It looks like the Premier card is still available with the same 50,000 point bonus. Will this card be discontinued soon? To me, it seems like a better value with a 6,000 point anniversary bonus and the ability to earn TQPs.

  • toomanybooks

    Points from the CC bonus DO count as CPQPs. This has been noted on Flyertalk dozens of times. There is a FAQ there that explains everything.

    More hotels as well. From my post at end of July:

    I have probably not looked at all of them, but you can transfer in from at least these hotel programs at the given rate; base points earnings per dollar given:

    Marriott (5/10 per dollar): (varies) 10000 > 2000 WN up to 125000 > 50000 WN; also travel packages
    Choice (5/10 per dollar): 6000 > 1800 WN
    Best Western (10 per dollar): 5000 > 1200 WN
    Hilton (10 per dollar): 10000 > 1200 WN
    Hyatt (5 per dollar): 5000 > 2400 WN (THIS IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT NOW I GUESS)
    La Quinta (10 per dollar): 6000 > 1200 WN
    Wyndham (10 per dollar/5 at Hawthorne): 8000 > 2400 WN
    Priority Club (5/10 per dollar): 10000 > 2400 WN

    Also for CCs:

    Diners Club: 1500 > 1200 WN

    Apparently not:

    Club Carlson
    SPG
    Fairmont
    Kimpton
    Accor
    and the others

    In looking at this, I have just realized you can use SPG by transferring 1:1 to Amtrak, then to Choice or Hilton, then to WN. This would net 10000 SPG > 10000 Amtrak > 30000 Choice > 9000 WN. Bad rate through HH. Some limitations here, though.

  • toomanybooks

    Yes.

  • RunningMan

    Can I apply for multiple SWA Plus and Premier cards on the same day?

  • PJ

    What business documentation does Chase require to apply buniness card?

  • calbear77

    This could be the best of both worlds… Guarantee the 50K points bonuses and also get the points in 2012, right? Now as long as they don’t change the program in January of next year… Don’t know how likely that is given that they just changed their whole program in the past year.

  • Reaper99999

    Looking for clarification. Is a Companion Pass allow a companion to fly with you free *once* or *unlimited* number of times during the valid period?

  • Ryan

    Unlimited. As long as you have a ticket, so do they. Of course, you still have to pay the $5 tax per ticket.

  • cdsdonuts

    Ok so asides from the points buying snafu, assuming I don’t have any property/income taxes to pay, would the scenario work?

  • Shawnsta

    Does anyone know how long it takes for the 50k points to post? I have already paid my annual fee for the premier card and made my first purchase, but the points have not yet posted :(

  • toomanybooks

    1. Login
    2. At right middle, under “Available Points” click “Details”
    3. Upper center click “My Rapid Rewards”
    4. Look at lower left.

  • toomanybooks

    Should not take long. Maybe next cycle.

  • toomanybooks

    As far as I know, you cannot redeem WN points for much of anything in terms of points/miles. I have never seen any air/hotel/gift card/etc. redemptions that come very close to what you get when using them for WGA fares.

  • toomanybooks

    Correct, except if you buy the 137th ticket (or whatever the oversell limit is), your companion is out of luck.

  • puck

    Any opinion if you can apply for personal and business card on same day?

  • Sbarge

    Wondering same thing. I last applied for chase sapphire and united card on same day in september. Sapphire was approved instantly but united was not. I got letter saying too many requests. I called reconsideration line and they were able to approve united. I’m guessing same will happen with this offer.

  • Sbarge

    I noticed the business card application doesnt ask for any info about your business… Do they ask for this later?

  • atxtravel

    Premier has a higher $99 fee to go with the 6k points. I think it also counts more of the points earned points towards elite levels, but on SW those don’t matter too much.

  • Sheldonbeswift

    Thanks, I found it!

  • Nlees

    I noticed the Marriott Rewards card is also through Chase. I’m guessing that if I apply for the Southwest Business and Plus cards, they’re not going to approve me for the Marriott card… What is the next easiest way to earn that last 10k miles towards the 110k CP mark?

  • Lovetotravel

    Please tell me if this is possible. Apply for the SW TT Personal and BIZ and charge $10k between the two cards for 110,000 points.

  • Anonymous

    Yes that is possible

  • Anonymous

    I applied and received the Personal Plus card back in August. After seeing this post, I tried giving the Biz card a shot. My application went into review and called today to check the status. The rep said I was denied, not because of creditworthiness but because I had already received an SWA promotion in the last 6 months and another one wasn’t allowed. He claimed he could issue me the card, but I wouldn’t be eligible for the 50k signup promotion.

    Ideas anyone? Sounds like I might be SOL trying to get an easy CP.

  • Richardsh31

    has anyone found out about doing the PLUS and PREMIER cards and getting both bonuses?

  • Sam

    you can activate and not make a purchase, so points wont post till then. ive done that with chase. works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lester/568835159 Jeff Lester

    Has anyone confirmed that they actually made either A list or companion pass thanks to their 50K sign on bonus? The SWA agents have given me several different answers to this question.

  • Dave

    the credit card bonuses do count toward companion pass, however, the credit card bonus does not count toward A list.

  • Tracygra

    I got turned down prior to Chase pulling my credit on the grounds I hav already received a bonus in the past 6 months. they said I can reapply on Dec 21, which will probably not allow the points to post prior to year end. :( Has anyone ever tried combining accounts to get a companion status, I do have an old empty account I could apply under.

  • Tracygra

    same experience, maybe we can get the bonus under another RR account and combine?

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  • Carwag25

    @PJ – I spoke to a Chase credit analyst and described the type of business and annual income. I did not have to provide any formal documentation/statements for the biz card.
    @R3 – I applied for both the personal and biz cards on the same day. At that time, I only had one other Chase card. the personal card was approved instantly, but I had to call the reconsideration line for the Biz card approval.

  • Anonymous

    I earned my companion pass Feb of this year and due to a promotion of the new rewards program SW extended the expiration date to 12/31/2012. I am now 9000 pts from obtaining another companion pass but no one seems to know if they will add on another year to my expiration date or it will remain at EOY 2012. Overall great program that I have taken advantage of many times.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Lester/568835159 Jeff Lester

    Just found out some new info about the CP from two differenct SWA rep’s..(called twice). Because of the change in the RR program SWA is offering a “special circumstance” for their CP this year only….if you hit the 110K this year the CP is good for the rest of 2011 and all of 2012…but as of Jan 2010 when you hit 110K points the CP will only be good for 1 calendar year.

  • Guest

    but as of Jan 2012 ?

  • Guest

    This doesn’t make sense. If you take, for example, 10 months to fulfill the CP requirements in 2012 (110,000 points), you only get to use the CP for 2 months? That is the 2012 calendar year. Something’s not right here.

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  • Everett

    Does anyone know if Southwest points can be transfered between different accounts? My buddy and I are thinking about both signing up for Southwest rewards, and then both getting the Southwest cards for 50k each, then one of us transferring our points to the other and just buying off the last 10k points so that we earn the companion pass. Then we can travel together everywhere. Teamwork. Thoughts?

  • Guest

    Has anyone confirmed whether or not a companion pass obtained in Jan or Feb of 2012 would be good for the remainder of 2012 only or it would be good for the remainder of 2012 and all of 2012?

  • Guest

    I posted the above wrong. It should read …………or it would be good for the remainder of 2012 and all of 2013. In other words is it good for almost two years or just the remainder of one?

  • Matt Steele

    So I will get my first SWA card here in the next week or two. If I wait for Jan 1, 2012 to activate & first spend, then find a way to get another 60,000 pts, it will work right?

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  • PJ

    that business requirement per a LIVE rep derailed my road to InkBOld for my daughter after her Sapphire Preferred. Hated to waste one enquiry when Citi AA Business was fuzzy on the same issue indeed they need proof

  • PJ

    thank you

  • guest

    Agreed. I called today and did not get a straight answer on if my CP would be go thru the end of 2013. Any one else hear how CP qualification in 2012 will work for those that already have a CP good thru the of 2012???

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  • Sierra

    Hi Points Guy,
    I need your advice about getting my companion pass. I signed up back in Nov. I did my spending requirement on 11/29 & my annual fee hit 12/1. My 50k points have not posted yet. My payment is due 1/1/2012 and my statement should cycle next on 1/4/2012. I assume thats when Im gonna get my 50k points? So, since its too late probably to try and get the business card I was thinking of transferring marriott points and if I fall short of the 110k points I would do a balance transfer or spend $ on my card. Should I transfer my Marriott points now or wait til after 1/1/2012. I just want to make sure I get the companion pass and dont want to ruin my chance. Any suggestions are welcome from anyone on the board as well… thanks!~

  • Printer123

    Does anyone know how long it usually takes to convert Marriott points into Southwest RR and posted on your account?

  • Jay

    Hello,

    Just a couple of questions. I signed up for the SW biz card and the regular SW card and was approved for the biz card but rejected for the other. The reason was that they said I had too many Chase cards although I did not have any Chase card previous to this. So I called and was told I was approved and they would be sending out my card. I just activated my SW biz card and made a purchase today with it.

    So I have two questions.

    I have been reading that you must have 110,000 per calendar year.

    1) Does that means since I activated the card today and made the first purchase that the first 50k will count toward this past year 2011?

    2) My other question is how would you suggest that I get the other 10k points I need to qualify. Right now I only have 800 additional points. I read you transfered them from other mile accounts. The only other account I have is the Citi cards. So what would you suggest I do?

    Thanks for your blog….

    Signed

    Newbie

  • Nathan

    TPG and readers, I just received notification from SWA that I’ve been awarded the Companion Pass. The result of two credit card sign-ups at 50k points each, and then some spending, including my property tax installment due a few weeks ago. The $90 surcharge for paying by credit card was easily worth it I think, considering we’ll save a few hundred bucks each time we fly SWA next year. So, to per sure, the credit card bonus points do indeed count towards the Companion Pass, and SWA is on-the-spot in notifying the recipient, so kudos to them.

    I assume it will be dreadful dealing with BA if I’m able to attain their Travel Voucher via a $30k annual spend on the Chase-issued Visa card. But for a “free” business class flight, it’s worth some aggravation!

  • Nathan

    Jay, the points reset at the turn of the calendar year. Ideally, you would have waiting until Jan 1 to sign up, and thus start the year with 100k points and only 10k to go. Now, you’re faced with having to acquire 9,200 more points by December 31, and be sure that your purchases post by then to. (Some merchants don’t always report credit card transactions as fast as you might think…) You could take a flight on SWA and obtain points that way. Check their website for the points awarded based on the flight you prefer. But whatever you do, do it FAST. :)

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  • Bcred

    Brian,Love your web site,brilliant. Thanks.
    Being a Canadian,is there anyway you can add a available in Canada to the Credit card offers you highlite.
    It would save me and others lots of time.

  • Weedibix

    Southwest customer service told me today that conversions from Marriott would not qualify toward the Southwest Companion Pass.

    Has anyone had experience with this?

  • Anonymous

    News to me, but generally phone reps are clueless

  • Sierra

    I transferred 30k Marriott no problem & it applied to my companion pass last month. It posted quickly. I was able to do it on Marriotts website. Very easy & painless

  • Birjup

    So if I convert choice points and have lets say 110,000 I could get it? Or if I got the 50,000 bonus and transferred 60,000 rr via choice conversion?

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  • Guest

    Yes, it’s good for almost 2 years.

  • Leslie

    award points (50000) through southwest does not count toward companion flight

  • 5fatcatz

    Since we are mid way through this year do you think it is best to wait til Jan 2013 to get these so they are good longer or do you expect this may not be around at that time so better to do it now?
    thanks

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  • AP

    I too transferred 30K Marriott points to SW and it took about 72 hours. But the points DID COUNT towards Companion Pass

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  • Guest

    I want to try getting the SW Business card to get the additional 50,000 points and I already have the regular one but have had it for over 3 years. Since, I’ve had the regular one for over 3 years, does anyone know if I will qualify for the 50,000 SW Business card points?

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  • Al

    Sorry if this was covered but I’m still confused…. I received an email from SWA today saying I qualified for the Companion pass. I earned about 130k points this year. If I sign up today, November 19, 2012 will it only be good until December 31, 2013? Can I wait until January 2013 and sign up or are those points reset to zero thus losing this opportunity completely?

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  • Dave

    I am 9800 points shy of companion pass on Southwest. On Dec. 21st I transferred 14,000 points from Choice Hotels to reach it. My question is, do you think these points will be posted in time or should I buy enough points from Hyatt. They seem to post in 24 to 48 hours. Just don’t want to miss out. Any help would be GREAT!

  • AJ

    Do Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to SouthWest and count toward Companion Pass accrual? I’m getting conflicting info in various blogs.

  • Al

    Yes it does. I earned the companion pass about NOV of 2012. A majority of my points came from my Chase VISA and not from flying SW.

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  • Guest

    Does getting the companion pass use up the 110k miles on your account? Or you have the miles still on your account?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/daphne.lathouras Daphne Lathouras

    Can you get the additional 10k points by spending on the card or must you get them by flying or transferring from partners?

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  • Divingjack

    I just earned the CP through travel alone. I believe I now get it through the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014. My question is about booking, if I book my ticket in Business Select does this mean my Companion gets their ticket as a Business Select passenger as well ? Anyone know ? Thanks

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  • vijay mishra

    If my wife and I have companion passes, can we combine them to buy just one ticket and add two companions ? For example, I buy the ticket and add my wife as companion. Now, can she go to this reservation and our kid as her companion ?

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  • robbie C

    i have that same question?

  • thepointsguy

    It’s better to qualify earlier in the ear so you hve the pass longer, but there is no absolute guarantee that chase offer the 50k signups or that southwest won’t change the rules to not include cc signups

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  • Guest200

    Since the 50K point offer is expiring, can I apply now, but wait 3 months to activate the card, then take 3 months to hit spend requirements so that points wouldn’t be received until Jan 2014?

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  • Edgar Perez

    Hi. The Hyatt link does not seem to work. I found if you log into Hyatt and go to Hyatt Gold Passport link and then Redemption Options it will take you to the transfer form and they are doing 5000 Hyatt points for 2400 Southwest points. I will put in a request tomorrow.

  • Maxine

    If you’re flying with a companion and they are fill they will buy someone off the flight to accommodate the CP.

  • Maxine

    So it’s March and I have had my 2013/2014 CP in place for about 7 months from last years points. I’m just about to earn another companion pass which will be good for 2014/2015. Wonder if I can have the second one assigned to someone other that the first one is assigned to?

  • thepointsguy

    No- you get the companion pass when you hit 110k.. the companion pass qualifying miles are separate from redeemable points

  • thepointsguy

    Yes

  • thepointsguy

    You can get them by spending on the card

  • thepointsguy

    Yes- all of the rest of the current year and following year

  • thepointsguy

    Yes

  • Uavshadow

    I requested both cards in Oct 13 and the biz card went into review and was granted after I called ( I do own and operate a small business and have an EIN #). I met the spend in Jan 14 and my bonuses and points were posted on Feb statement and the Companion pass followed and I used it (very gratefully) for a trip to San Juan for my wife and myself.

    If you do have “business expenses” either travel or ? I would purchase several items on your existing personal card and when the 50k bonus appears apply again and when you speak to the rep explain your accountant wants you to separate your personal and business expenses so you can either stay with Southwest/Chase or find another company that can work with you.

  • Pablo

    SWA is offering 50k points with a new c.c. for applications received by 9-30-14. Possible strategy for a companion pass:1) file close to midnight on 9-30-14, 2) receive account approval for an October anniversary date, 3) do not make the necessary $2k in expenditures (“in the first three monhts of opering your account”) until Jan., 2015.
    Sound feasible?
    Thanks!
    Pable

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