I’ve had many readers ask me if transferring Chase Ultimate Reward points to Southwest Airlines count towards the companion pass. As many of you are aware the bonus points earned from applying for two Southwest credit cards will count towards the points needed to earn the Southwest Companion Pass (110,000 points needed), and will get you one step closer to earning this pass. Unfortunately though, points transferred in from Chase UR will NOT count. If you have no idea with what I am talking about in regards to the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass, read this post.
UPDATE: POINTS TRANSFERRED FROM HOTEL PROGRAMS NO LONGER COUNT. As I mentioned in my post earlier this summer, there is a roundabout way to having your Ultimate Reward points count as qualifying points. The only real issue with this is it will devalue your points when you go this route. While Ultimate Reward transfers DO NOT count, points transferred in from hotel loyalty programs such as Club Carlson, Hyatt, Marriott, Wyndham, and Choice Hotels DO count. Why one counts and the other does not is beyond me, but that is how it works. Since Chase is a partner with Hyatt and Marriott, you can first transfer your points to one of these two programs and then transfer those points to Southwest – so it takes an extra step, but it works.
You Chase Ultimate Reward points transfer to all loyalty partners at a 1:1 ratio, however, the transfer rate of Hyatt points to Southwest is MUCH better than Marriott points to Southwest. So the best way to earn the companion pass by utilizing your Chase Ultimate Reward points is first to transfer them to Hyatt and then transfer them to Southwest. Let’s say you only need 6,000 Southwest points to complete the 110,000 point requirement for the companion pass, it will cost you 15,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points. The transfer rate of Hyatt to Southwest is: 5,000 Hyatt points = 2,400 Southwest points. This 15,000 Chase UR points will give you 7,200 Southwest points to top off your companion pass account, but it will also be available for you to use for future travel on Southwest. As of right now 7,200 Southwest points is equivalent to a flat $120 on Southwest. While this is valuing your Chase points at a low .8 cents per point, it could be worthwhile to earn 1+ years of a companion traveling with you for free an unlimited number of times.
Credit card to help earn the companion pass: As mentioned previously, there are three different Southwest cards – ALL of them have the same bonus offer after meeting the minimum spend requirements, but different annual fees and annual bonuses. You can view all three cards and the differences in this prior blog post. You can learn more about all Airline credit card offers here.
Disclosure: These post contains affiliate links. While my goal for you is to travel on a deal, this is one I highly support as I’ve had the companion pass for many years!