Earlier this week, I posted how it’s Southwest 1, Travel Hackers 0 as without any notice Southwest killed off the only feasible option to obtain a Companion Pass if you were over Chase’s 5/24 rule. This wasn’t too surprising as this opportunity was too good to live for long but Southwest removing this option without any notice upset a ton of people. The good news is the score is tied up Southwest 1, Travel Hackers 1 as Southwest must have taken our complaints seriously and will temporarily allow hotel point transfers to count towards the Companion Pass once again!
This grace period only lasts through March 31, 2017 so be sure to initiate any transfers from Marriott or other program soon so the points hit before the deadline. Since the Companion Pass is valid for two years once earned the sooner you transfer the points to Southwest, the sooner you can reap the benefits of this amazing travel deal.
Kudos to Southwest for doing the right thing! Now only if other airlines/hotels/ banks would follow suit – Hey Chase can we get a temporary reprise of the 5/24 before the Reserve bonus decreases? A blogger can dream…
I’ve included the full statement from Southwest about this change.
“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!”
Thanks, but one question: MUST you book a SPECIFIC Hotel & Air package RIGHT AWAY, or can you transfer the needed points and commit to a Hotel & Air Package in general, but then choose where specifically to fly & stay at some point later? Thank you.
You must choose the package now (or at least a week + in advance of the deadline to make sure points hit Southwest in time) but when you choose the package/ redeem the Marriott points you will get a certificate for the hotel stay and the Southwest points deposited into your Southwest account. This allows you to choose the hotel at a later a time and you can even use more Marriott points at a later time to upgrade to a higher level category hotel. Since you get Southwest points, you can use them at your convenience to fly.
[…] Update: After much outcry, Southwest is allowing hotel transfers to count towards the Companion Pass to 3/31/17. […]
Is this a good deal? Are you going to do it? I would probably use the CP 2 or 3 times in a year. Does it make for me?
It’s tough to say without knowing your situation (other points/miles, potential other uses for SPG/Marriott points, travel goals etc..) but if only 2 trips a year, I’m not sure it’s worth. For myself, I’m leaning towards no as I’m in a similar boat but I haven’t decided yet. I might write up a post on my though process.
Does anyone know the answer to this question?
I am beginning the second year of my SW Companion pass for one more year (2017). If I transfer Marriott hotel points to my SW account would that extend my SW Companion pass for an additional two years? Are you allowed to do this? If so, how many Marriott points would I need to transfer?
Not sure on the length but it would be 270k Marriott points (90k SPG) for the nights and flights package that gives you 120k Southwest points