Hotel Transfers Will Count Towards the Southwest Companion Pass through March 31!

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The other day Southwest changed their terms to prohibit transfers from hotel, car rental and other loyalty programs from counting towards the Companion Pass. According to The Points Guy they have now temporarily backtracked.

The company released this statement:

As we began the New Year on January 1, we took the opportunity to close a loophole in our Rapid Rewards Companion Pass terms and conditions related to transferred points from our Partners. This was an effort intended to clarify qualification requirements for Companion Pass, one of the best benefits in travel, as well as to protect the integrity and value of the Rapid Rewards program.

In doing so, we updated our terms and conditions which now clearly state that points transferred from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club will no longer count toward qualification for a Companion Pass. Members will continue to earn toward Companion Pass benefits through paid flights flown on Southwest, Points earned through spend with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners.

Many of you have reached out to us since then, and we greatly appreciate your honest and candid feedback. Because we are a Company that values our Customers and believes in doing the right thing, we are offering a limited window for Customers to earn toward Companion Pass by transferring their loyalty points from these Partners.

To that end, points converted from the above mentioned programs will count towards a Companion Pass until March 31, 2017. This is a hard deadline and we will not be able to make any exceptions beyond March 31. If you have points with these Partners that you wanted to transfer, please do not wait. Make the transfer before the deadline.

We appreciate all of our Customers and look forward to seeing you onboard very soon!

About Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

Shawn Coomer has spent nearly a decade circling the globe for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. […] Sadly, some of the best options for earning the Southwest Companion Pass recently went away.  It used to be possible to earn Companion Pass qualifying points simply by transferring points from hotel programs.  Transferring Marriott, Hyatt, and Choice hotel points were all good options for some.  But that all changed on January 1 2017.  Now, points transferred from hotel and car rental programs do not count towards the Companion Pass. Please see: Southwest kills best option for earning Companion Pass.  Update: Points transferred from hotel & car rental programs, and from Diners Club, will count towards th…. […]

  2. […] Hotel Transfers Will Count Towards the Southwest Companion Pass through March 31! (Expires 3/31/17)[Hot]: This one technically doesn’t end this week, but transfers should be initiated as soon as possible to make sure that they count for the Companion Pass. Southwest has made it clear that they will not extend the expiration of this offer, so your last chance of redeeming hotel points towards a companion pass is coming this week. Remember that you do not need to earn all 110,000 points this week. Rather, March 31 is the last day that points transferred from hotels will count towards the companion pass. For those without hotel points but looking for a companion pass, read here about how you may be able to buy the necessary points. […]


  1. Does this mean if you transfer your points now and receive a companion pass that the pass will only be good until March 31st or does it mean people only have until March 31 to transfer points?

  2. This would have been better news if I hadn’t just placed 66 separate orders over the last 3 days with 1-800 flowers. I was doing that to combine it with my credit card bonus to get the companion pass.

  3. Do I need to know which category 1-5 Marriott hotel I want to redeem the 7-night stay at, and dates? Or do I just receive a voucher that I can figure out how/when to use at a later time?

  4. While I will miss the opportunity created by hotel point transfers going forward, this is a very good corporate move in the short term to keep customers happy. Not something you typically see from many other companies.

  5. Yes, very impressed with the reversal from Southwest on this. Much more consistent with the “transfarency” they promote.

  6. Just got off the phone with SW. Called RR number first, but they did not know about the reversal. Transferred me to Customer relations. The rep I talked to also did not know about this. I read to him the email about extending the deadline to 3/31. He put me on hold and then came back on advising that I should have the pass in my account by the end of this week! YES! Used Marriott travel rewards to get 120K SW points plus one week stay certificate.

  7. This blog had posted previously about 5-night certificates, and there was some dispute as to whether they were secret and available upon request, available to a select few, or no longer available. Is there any update on 5-night certificates and/or how to get them? Many thanks! What great news!

    • I tried to get a 5 day reward, but had no luck with multiple reps. All told me you had to be a vacation club member to get it. You might have better luck.
      However, IMO, 7 day cat 1-5 reward stay plus 120K SW miles for 270K Marriott points a great deal when you get the companion pass for two years!

      • Honestly, I felt awkward even asking the question, given the SW roller coaster of the last several days. (We even got the CP error e-mail). So 5- or 7-days is the LEAST of our concerns now. But 5-days would be a preference, and I was wondering if that option was working for anyone. 7-days is great, just more difficult for us to find a whole week. But what a wonderful 1st World Problem to have! Thrilled beyond words we’ll have the CP again!

  8. Anyone having trouble actually completing the Marriott transfer to vacation package online? I’ve been trying all morning since I read about SW reversal but I’m unable to book it online…

        • Glad to help. BTW, in case you did not know, if you need more points, can transfer SPG to Marriott at 3 to 1 ratio. 1 SPG point gets you 3 Marriott points.

  9. Trying to figure out best transfer options to get 2 CPs (one for me…one and for Mrs to use with one of our kids) using Marriott 7-night package.

    Here’s what my wife and I have combined…
    125k SPG
    107k AMEX
    160k UR

    Seems best to use all SPG and then either transfer AMEX to SGF (and take the hit on 1:3 transfer ratio) or UR to Marriott

    Any thoughts?

    • Number one looks good. Use 84,000 SPG to 252,000 Marriott to get one of the CP’s. For the remaining 10,000 I assume you just convert 10,000 more SPG. You’re now up to 94,000 SPG and have 31,000 left. Convert those to Marriott and you’ve got the 2k from above + 93,000 or 95K. Then transfer 107k Amex to SPG at 1:3 then 3:1 to Marriott so you’d end up with 105,000 Marriott. You need 250,000 to book the cat 5 version with 100k miles so you’re still short 50k Marriott to get your 100k and another 10k RR to complete the deal. You can covert 50k UR to 50k Marriott, leaving you 110k UR. Then another 10k UR to RR will finish the job up. Leaves you with 100k UR, no Amex, no SPG.

      Or you could do some other variation depending on which one you want to have left when you’re done. If it was me, I’d use up all my Amex but its random whether you’d prefer SPG or UR left at the end.

    • Personally I treat the SPG like gold. They are so hard to get and I can MS UR much easier. I would use the full UR and then use what ever SPG to make up the balance. I would leave the Amex out as you can convert to other airlines etc. My two cents.

  10. I was planning on transferring to Marriott for this, but when word came out on Monday that it was no longer an option, I figured I’d take advantage of the SPG-VA-Alaska loophole before it closed. Now that I’m out of Starpoints, are there any other new options in play (other than what you discussed in yesterday’s article about the 4 existing ways to earn CP)?

  11. I tried to reach Marriott earlier and first was disconnected, then spoke with a rep who didn’t know anything about the vouchers. She made a reservation for me at a Cat 5 hotel, but said she couldn’t complete the award certificate request without the Rewards Department, and they are currently closed. She assured me that the reservation is reversible if necessary. What are the steps to getting the certificate? Do you have to have a specific hotel and specific date for this to work, or can you get a 7-night certificate to any Cat 1-5 hotel without having to root to a location and date? At what point do you give Marriott the SW #, and does the initiation of the deposit take place even though you haven’t stayed at the Marriott yet? Many thanks, just wanting to make sure I get this right particularly since the reps I spoke with didn’t seem to understand the certificate very well.

    • You have to get the seven day certificate thru the Rewards desk at Marriott. You do not have to make a reservation when you get the certificate. It is good for one year from the time you get it. The SW points info is given at the time you get the certificate. The points are transferred within two days to SW. No stay required for the transfer. Hope this helps.

  12. If only I could find a 7day stay at a cat 1-5 Marriott hotel anywhere in the world that is actually worth something to me. 7 days is a lot, and in many places there are plenty of better choices. And especially when Marriott Gold only gets you lounge/breakfast at very few of their brands compared to Hilton even.

    Any suggestions on good cat1-5 Marriott properties where you wouldn’t get bored doing a full 7 days??

  13. I transferred on 1/1/2017 120k miles not knowing they had changed their position. I called this morning after reading this and they gave me the credit for the 120k and issues the companion pass.

  14. Does anyone know if the SW CP pass is also valid on their flight and hotel packages? Meaning tagging a CP for no extra charge.

  15. Husband and I each called in to order a hotel and flights package. (We each bought the max SPG points last year with 50% bonus, combined with my cache of Marriott points). Were both denied the 5-night package, but will be happy with 7-night package instead. The hotel certificate posted within a few hours; I got my companion pass 3 days later as promised.

    I was told the hotel package was good for a year, but I could call to extend for another year. I was told if I wanted to upgrade the hotel category, I could pay the points difference.

    Both of us were asked the name and SW number we wanted the miles transferred to. With my husband, the agent specifically commented “oh, you are transferring to yourself.” I’m wondering….does this mean I could redeem my hotel points into someone else’s SW account? Would have saved me from having to transfer all those hotel points to my husband in the first place!

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