Yesterday I posted about my success in getting the Southwest Airlines companion pass. For those of you who are not aware of this companion pass – it is one of the best perks in the entire airline industry! While others would disagree due the lack of business class seats on Southwest flights, that does not bother me. I mean, I am an economy kind of girl anyways —> less miles redeemed = more trips to take! You can read an entire post about the companion pass here.
After my post yesterday, many readers commented that they are just shy of earning the points needed for earning a companion pass and if I have any suggestions. You need a total of 110,000 points and here are some options:
Credit Card Usage
- The Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward credit card is currently offering 50,000 points for new applicants (I applied for the personal and business card to receive 100,000 points).
- Each dollar spent on your credit card = 1 point towards companion pass. Points typically post 2-3 days after your statement close date.
- If you do not want to wait until your next statement, call Southwest and ask them to change your close date as early as possible. Southwest was able to up my close date 7 days closer – this allowed me to earn my companion pass earlier.
Rapid Reward Partners
- Rapid Rewards Dining – Earn three points per dollar spent. You also will receive additional bonuses the more you dine.
- Hotel Stays – Instead of earning hotel points, you can opt to receive Southwest Rapid Reward points (which count towards the companion pass). You will receive 600 points per stay at the following hotels: Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hyatt, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Marriott, Starwood, The Venetian/The Palazzo, Wyndham
- Rental Cards – Earn 600 points per qualifying rental with the following car rental companies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty. You can also earn 150 points each way with an airport SuperShuttle/ExecuCar reservation. Remember, many corporate rates do not qualify to earn frequent flyer miles.
- Retail – You can earn points with the following merchants: Energy Plus, e-Rewards, teleflora, TXU Energy (not all have been confirmed to work. e-Rewards ha been confirmed by a reader.
*Per the companion pass terms & conditions, bonus points will not count towards the companion pass, just the normal every day points. For example, triple points when renting with Alamo.
While you will typically not be getting a great value when you transfer your points from one program to another, it may be worth it to earn those few extra points needed. While I have not personally tried the hotel transfer, others have and confirmed that the points do count towards the companion pass.
- Ultimate Rewards – While points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, they DO NOT count towards the companion pass (however, UR points can be transferred to Marriott and Hyatt, and then transferred to Southwest)
- Marriott – You can transfer at the following rate:
- 10,000 Marriott points = 2,000 Rapid Reward points
- 20,000 Marriott points = 5,000 Rapid Reward points
- 30,000 Marriott points = 10,000 Rapid Reward points
- 70,000 Marriott points = 25,000 Rapid Reward points
- 125,000 Marriott points = 50,000 Rapid Reward points
If you do not currently have Marriott points, you can purchase the points needed (up to 50,000/calendar year) at a rate of $12.50 per 1,000 points. This means that it will cost you $625 for 15,000 Rapid Reward points
- Hyatt – You can transfer at the following rate:
- 5,000 Hyatt points = 2,400 Rapid Reward points – additionally, with every 50,000 Hyatt points transferred, you will receive an additional 5,000 Rapid Reward points (these bonus points might not count towards the companion pass)
If you do not currently have Hyatt points, you can purchase the points needed (up to 40,000/calendar year) at the rate of $24.00 per 1,000 points. Additionally, through March 31st, you will receive between a 10-30% bonus when purchasing points (meaning you can actually get up to 52,000 points currently). During the non-bonus time frame, it will cost you $960 for 19,200 Rapid Reward points – more expensive than Marriott.
- Wyndham Rewards – You can transfer at the following rate:
- 8,000 Wyndham points = 2,400 Rapid Reward points
Currently, there is no option to purchase Wyndham Reward points
- Choice Hotels – You can transfer at the following rate:
- 6,000 Choice Privileges points = 1,8000 Rapid Reward points
If you do not currently have Choice Privileges points, you can purchase the points needed (up to 20,000/calendar year) at a rate of $11.000 per 1,000 points. This means that 5,400 would cost you $198 – less expensive than both Marriott and Hyatt!
Currently, you cannot transfer with: Hilton, Starwood, Priority Club.
Any other roundabout ways you’ve earned points that count towards the Southwest companion pass?