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I’ve had the Southwest Companion Pass for quite some time now. I cannot remember exactly how long, but I believe it was in 2008ish. The past two years I had it due to signing up for two Southwest Airlines credit cards when they had the 50,000 point promotions after meeting the minimum spend requirements. Unfortunately, my companion pass earned that method expired December 31, 2013.
This time, I am taking a slightly different approach to earning my companion pass for 2014 and 2015. Over the past two and a half years I’ve accumulated Wyndham Reward points for very cheap!
- American Express Daily Getaways: In 2011 and 2012 I purchased Wyndham Reward points during one of the daily getaway packages for about .3 cents a point. In 2013 the cost of purchasing these points was significantly higher and while possibly a good value for some, I did not need to purchase any more especially at the higher rate.
- Wyndham’s 16,000 Point Promotion After One Stay: In 2012 Wyndham offered a promotion where you’d earn 16,000 points after one stay at a participating hotel. You were allowed to earn up to 48,000 bonus points. Wyndham offered this promotion twice during the year. And one of the best things with the Wyndham program is that even if you do not check in you still get the points (as long as the hotel doesn’t cancel your reservation).
Price paid for these points:
- American Express Daily Getaways: I cannot recall exactly how much I paid in total, but it was somewhere around $650ish for about 250,000 points.
- Wyndham’s Promotion: I “stayed” 5 times during this promotion and earned a total of 80,000 bonus points plus an additional 12,974 points from the stays (for the regular point earnings and different promotions at the time). I also earned 5,400 Southwest points for those stays as well as some of the nights I credited to miles and not points. For this, I paid around $300.
Overall, I still paid about close to $1,000 to earn 337,364 Wyndham Reward points. All along though, I knew my goal was to use these points to transfer them to Southwest Rapid Reward points. On January 1, 2014, I transferred 336,000 Wyndham Reward points to Southwest at a rate of 8,000 Wyndham points = 2,400 Southwest points. Once the transfer goes through, this will credit me 100,800 points to my Southwest account. (note: Wyndham has changed the transfer ratio to require double the number of Wyndham points for the same amount of Southwest points). Since you need 110,000 points to earn the companion pass, I will be purchasing $10,000 worth of Vanilla Reload cards at CVS with my Southwest credit card over the next few weeks.
As of right now, those 100,000 Southwest points are equal to $1,680 in Southwest travel. Starting on March 31, 2014, however, they will be equal to $1,440. Even after the devaluation, my $1,000 was well spent as I will receive at least $440 MORE towards Southwest travel and a companion can fly with me FOR FREE (plus the $2.50 segment fee) for all of 2014 and 2015.
The Wyndham site does state that it takes 6-8 weeks for points to post to partner accounts, however, my transferred points only took about 4 days. In my account, it shows that all transferred points from Wyndham counted towards my companion pass status! I am 92% there!
This post is just a reminder that there are many ways unique ways to earn the Southwest Companion pass. You can check out some other ways to earn the Southwest Airlines companion pass here.