Last week I wrote about an awesome way to earn the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for just $1,595. While that might be a decent amount of money to actually pay for this pass, you will also end up with 120,000 Southwest Points valued at about $1,800 PLUS a 7-night stay certificate at a Marriott hotel. At the end of the day, it is really a win-win in my opinion. Especially since I love flying Southwest and am obsessed with the companion pass!
This past weekend a fellow blogger Majored in Miles pointed out to me an even easier way to obtain the pass using a similar method that I wrote about previously. Originally during my post I said you’d have to find three accounts that were eligible for the 50% discount when purchasing SPG points promotion. Note: this is a targeted offer and not everyone will receive the 50% discount in their account, but instead a lesser discount. What I just recently found out is that you can gift points from your account to another account using the same purchasing points offer that you were targeted for. So ultimately, you only need to have one account that is eligible for the 50% discount, not three!
First you’ll need to enter your first and last name, SPG number, and email address to see your offer. It seems like everyone is eligible for some offer, but it could be as low as a 25% discount. If you see a 50% discount, you are in luck! Out of all the account numbers I have, about half can receive the 50% discount, while the others are between the 30-35% discount.
Use the points for the Southwest Companion Pass
Utilizing this offer for the Southwest companion pass will ONLY work if you have access to at least one account that is eligible for the 50% discount. While you’ll be able to take advantage with a lower discount, it will cost you more money. For now, I am doing the math assuming a 50% discount. You can purchase up to 30,000 points (per calendar year) which will cost you $525. This limit is the amount you can receive or be gifted per account. You are able to purchase the points for additional accounts (as long as they haven’t reached the 30,000 cap) even if you already purchased points for your own account. This means from Account A, you can purchase 30,000 points for Account A, gift 30,000 points for Account B, and gift another 30,000 points for Account C. Purchasing points for your account, plus gifting points for two additional accounts will cost you a total of $1,575.
Ultimately this will net you 90,000 SPG points across your three accounts. Due to the recent merger announcement between SPG and Marriott, you can now transfer SPG points seamlessly over to your Marriott accounts at a 1:3 ratio. This means the 90,000 SPG points will net you 270,000 Marriott points between the three accounts. With Marriott, you are allowed to transfer points between different members accounts. That means you’ll need to consolidate the three 90,000 points per account into one account. Marriott allows you to transfer and receive up to 50,000 points per calendar year, but if you need more points to redeem for a specific award, they will allow you to exceed that cap. With Marriott it costs $10 per transfer, but if you are a Gold or Platinum member it is free.
The 270,000 points can then be redeemed for one of Marriott’s Hotel + Air packages. This will get you 120,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points plus a 7 night stay at a category 1-5 night. Of course you can redeem for a higher category, it will just require more points.Once you redeem for this award, 120,000 Rapid Reward points will be transferred over directly to your Southwest accounts. Southwest points earned this way WILL count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. To earn the Southwest Companion Pass you only need 110,000 qualifying points within a calendar year. This means the points transferred over will cover the required amount needed, plus some more. With just this simple redemption, the companion pass is yours!
Not only that, you then still have 120,000 Southwest points to redeem for free travel. Southwest points are worth approximately 1.5 cents per point. This means the 120,000 points is worth about $1,800 in free travel! And the best part is that you can use the companion pass when using your points! So if you use all 120,000 points during the life of your companion pass, you can really think of it as $3,200 in free travel!
Plus, with the Marriott redemption you’ll also receive a 7-night stay at a category 1-5 resort or hotel. This is worth it even if you do not have a 7-night stay and just need it for some of the nights. You can always “sell back” the award to Marriott for some points if you aren’t going to use the award at all. Unfortunately, the number of points you’ll receive back is minimal, but still better then nothing!
The Process & The Math
- Buy 90,000 SPG points for $1,575 (30,000 points on 3 different accounts)
- Transfer the points to the respective Marriott accounts (1 SPG point = 3 Marriott points)
- Consolidate the three Marriott points into one account for $20 (or free if you are Marriott Gold/Platinum) and end up with 270,000 Marriott points
- Redeem the 270,000 Marriott points for Hotel + Air Package 3 (7-nights at a category 1-5 Marriott + 120,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points)
TOTAL COST = $1,595
- The 120,000 Southwest points will earn you a Companion Pass, which I will value at $1,800 (of course everyone will have a different valuation depending on how you use it)
- The 120,000 Southwest points will get you approximately a fixed value of $1,800 in Southwest travel
- The 7-night stay at a category 1-5 Marriott is valued at a conservative $750 (I assumed a 5-night stay at $150/night).
TOTAL VALUE = $4,350
Overall, this is a great ROI IF you have use for the Southwest points and Companion Pass. Even if you do not have a real need for the Marriott hotel voucher, you are still ahead with the other two perks. And keep in mind, there are many other ways to get an amazing value out of this SPG 50% discount, such as cheaper Starwood hotel stays or transferring to partner airlines. This is just one example which can play out well for many.
Just remember that the Southwest companion pass is valid for the year you earn it plus the entire following year. Earning it tomorrow, for example, will only give you a few months in 206 + all of 2017. If you can earn it on January 1, 2017, for you’ll then have it for all of 2017 and 2018 giving you a longer lifespan of the path. Therefore, I suggest purchasing the points now, but waiting until January 1, 2017 to actually redeem the award.
For those new to the Southwest Companion Pass, here if everything you’d ever want to know!
- What is a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass?
- How to Earn a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
- Getting Two Southwest Credit Cards to Count Towards the Companion Pass
- Earning Partner Points to Count Towards the Companion Pass
- Changing your Companion with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
- Top 20 Questions for the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
Let me know if you have any questions!