Will Initiating a Hotel Points Transfer by March 31 Count Toward the Companion Pass?

Mar 28, 2017

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With just a few days left to use hotel point transfers to get a Southwest Companion Pass before the March 31 deadline, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about exactly what rules Southwest will use as far as timing on these transfers. Since it can take days or sometimes even weeks from the time you begin a transfer until the points appear in your Southwest Rapid Rewards account, it hasn’t been clear as to whether point transfers that are initiated in the these last couple of days will count.

Fortunately, we’ve received an official answer from a spokesperson at Southwest:

As long as the transfer is initiated on or before 11:59pm CST on March 31 the points transferred will count towards Companion Pass.

This is excellent news for anyone who’s been procrastinating about making a transfer, or those who held off because they weren’t sure if a transfer would count. But since we’re on the subject of Companion Pass hotel point transfers, let’s also talk about this question from TPG reader Justin, who wants to use a Marriott Hotel + Air package to get 70,000 Southwest points now and then earn the remaining 40,000 points by spending on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card over the remainder of the year…

Do the miles deposited into your account from Marriott become unusable toward the Companion Pass after 3/31, even if they are in your account already?

TPG Reader Justin

We weren’t sure on this one ourselves, so we asked Southwest and got an official answer:

As long as the transfer is initiated on or before 11:59pm CST on March 31 the points will count towards Companion Pass and then Customers can continue to earn as normal towards the remaining 110,000 points.

So it’s all good news from Southwest today — if you don’t have enough hotel points to make it all the way to 110,000 by Friday just before midnight, you can transfer what you have and then use either Southwest flights or credit card spend to make up the rest. Remember, you have several options for transferring hotel points to Southwest…

  1. Redeem points for a Marriott Hotel + Air package and choose Southwest as your airline for the “Air” points.
  2. Convert SPG points to Marriott at a 1-to-3 ratio and then use the points for a Marriott Hotel + Air package.
  3. Transfer points directly from Marriott, Hyatt or other hotel partners to Southwest — this is generally not recommended since you’ll lose a lot of value from the unfavorable transfer ratios.
  4. Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott or Hyatt and then from the hotel program to Southwest — again, this is not recommended because of the poor transfer ratio.

Keep in mind that even though you have a few more days to start your transfer, there’s no reason to wait at this point. So if you’re going to do it, go for it!

Featured image courtesy of Rick Gershon/Getty Images.

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