Southwest Airlines Companion Pass – Part 1: Obtaining the Companion Pass the Hard Way

Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Logo

Southwest Airlines Companion Pass – Part 1: Obtaining the Companion Pass the Hard Way

Every travel blog out there will tell you how awesome the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is and how easy it is to get.  Here is the Cliff Notes / Spark Notes version:

  • Apply for 2 Chase Southwest Airlines Credit Cards between October 1 and December 31.
  • Don’t spend a penny on the cards during any statements periods that close in 2014.
  • Spend $2,000+ during the statement periods that close in 2015.
  • Collect 52,000 Southwest Airlines miles x 2 = 104,000 miles.
  • Get the remaining 6,000 miles from Hyatt, Marriott, or other points transfers.
  • Travel for “free” with a companion for all of 2015 and all of 2016.

If that sounds like something you want to do, please consider signing up for a Chase Southwest Airlines Credit Card through one of my credit card referral links.

However, this post is not about the easy way to get the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.  This post is about the hard way to achieve the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.  Let’s say your name is Grant and you find yourself somewhere between no Companion Pass and a Companion Pass for 2015.

Let’s assume you got the Chase Southwest Airlines Premier Credit Card last year and the Chase Southwest Airlines Plus Credit Card earlier this year.  Let’s also assume you cannot get a Chase Southwest Airlines Business Credit Card since you just got a Chase Ink Plus Business Credit.  Lastly, let’s assume you are 41,522 Southwest Airlines miles away from qualifying for the Companion Pass next year.  What do you do?  To view your current Southwest Airlines Companion Pass status, please log into your Southwest Airlines account first and then click this link (you may want to bookmark this link as well).

Grant Thomas Current Companion Pass Status

Remember, you cannot just transfer Chase Ultimate Reward Points to your Southwest Airlines account – that would be too easy.  One of my favorite tricks is to convert Hyatt points into Southwest Airlines miles (these miles count toward your Southwest Airlines Companion Pass).  Once you log into your Hyatt account, click this link to go to the conversion page.

Hyatt to Southwest Airlines Transfer

This page is a bit complicated, but let me simplify what is going on:

  • Normally, you can convert 5,000 Hyatt points into 2,000 airline mile (2.5 : 1 ratio)
  • However, Southwest Airlines is an exception.
  • You can convert 5,000 Hyatt points into 2,400 Southwest Airlines miles (2.08 : 1 ratio)
  • However again, you can convert 50,000 Hyatt points into 30,000 Southwest Airlines miles (bonus miles result in a 1.67 : 1 ratio)

Hyatt to SWA Transfer Account

Make sure to follow up with Hyatt if the full 30,000 Southwest Airlines miles do not post.  The Hyatt representative had to manually send over another 6,000 Southwest Airlines miles to my account.  Also, these transfers take 1-2 weeks on average, but up to 4-6 weeks in some cases, so plan accordingly and don’t wait until it is too late to transfer.

Alternatively, you can transfer Marriott Reward points to Southwest Airlines miles (5 :1 ratio to 2.8 : 1 ratio) from this link

Marriott to Southwest Airlines Transfer

…or transfer Choice Hotels points to Southwest Airlines miles (3.33 : 1 ratio) from this link

Choice Hotels to Southwest Airlines Transfer

… or transfer Wyndham Reward points to Southwest Airlines miles (5 : 1 ratio) from this link

Wyndham to Southwest Airlines Miles

…or transfers Club Carlson points to Southwest Airlines miles (10 : 1 ratio) from this link.

Club Carlson to Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines does not partner with Hilton, SPG, and IHG, so the above options are really your only options for transfers into your Southwest Airlines account.

That is the end of part 1.  Check back tomorrow morning for part 2 (spoiler alert, it is awesome and includes emailing a form to Hyatt to move Hyatt Points from my mom’s account to my account).  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

33 thoughts on “Southwest Airlines Companion Pass – Part 1: Obtaining the Companion Pass the Hard Way

  1. Tim 2

    Buy 4 in kmart gift cards through the southwest portal when it goes to 9 or 10pts per dollar. I’d do that over switching my hyatt points. E shopping and choice points got me another year.

    Reply
      1. Seth

        I was thinking Sears because they can be converted to cash. Maybe Kmart gift cards can be used for other gift cards at Kmart….which would likely be lower fees than Sears.

        Reply
  2. Seth

    Question: do people apply for the two chase southwest cards on the same day, typically? Is Chase like AMEX that won’t let you apply the same day?

    Comment: did you consider buying the points through some of the big portal bonuses southwest has had lately?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I believe you can apply for a personal and a business credit card on the same day through Chase, but not 2 personal credit cards on the same day. I’ve thought about buying points, but haven’t seen any decent offers lately.

      Reply
      1. Steph

        There was a post a few weeks back. Don’t know who it was but I’m hoping I’ll find in my history on another computer.

        Reply
  3. Grant

    I realize that I forgot to put a end date to enter the giveaway, but 8:54am PST seems like a good enough time to end the giveaway. Joe and Ruth are the winners this time.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Southwest Airlines Companion Pass - Part 2: Hyatt and Chase Ultimate Reward Points Game Plan | Travel with Grant

  5. george shaw

    I think you can aquire points (tier qualifying points) by spending on their premium cards. You get 1500 tier points for every 10,000 dollars spent on the card, up to 15,000 points for 100,00 spend. I got the bonus for one card sign up, did the chase, hyatt, SW transfer for 30,000 and did MS on the premium personal card and paid for a few flights to attain the comp pass.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Cheapest way to get the Southwest Companion Pass (without the Southwest credit card) - Points with a Crew

  7. Pingback: Southwest Airlines Companion Pass – Part 3: Hyatt Points and E-Rewards Transfers | Travel with Grant

  8. Seth

    Hey Grant,
    Thanks for the informative post. I sent the transfer request for 50K Hyatt to 30K SW and received a confirmation email showing 24k SW points are in process. I’m assuming I’ll need to call a CSR to get the remaining 6k as has been reported by many. My question is, should I make the phone call now or should I wait until only 24k posts into SW? Actually, I made 2x50k transfers (100k total), but received the same email for 24k for both transfers without mention of the bonus. Also, did you call or email Hyatt customer service and how long did it take for the bonus points to post after you received a response from them (if you can remember that is, I know it’s been a few months).
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I would call Hyatt now so they can send the 6k over at the same time as the 24k. I believe the transfer happens every week on the same day, so if you don’t see it soon, it should post within a week.

      Reply
      1. Seth

        Grant,
        Thanks for the advice. I called this morning and the friendly CSR helped me with the bonus points. Now just waiting for them to post to SW. As a footnote she mentioned that the glitch is an online glitch only, so if you call in the transfer the bonus ‘should’ post properly the first time.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Interesting, why can’t Hyatt just fix the glitch or send an automated email to the rewards department so they can manually send the other 6,000 points over? Glad you got it all straightened out. I believe the points post Monday or Tuesday to SWA, so you should check back then.

          Reply
          1. Seth

            I’m not sure, but if I had to do this again I would still go the online route because there’s a paper-trail and the phone call to Hyatt was easy. Anyways, I’ll let you know if I have any trouble with them posting properly.

  9. seth

    Grant:

    I just wanted to report back. All went well and the 60k Hyatt points posted to my account last Tuesday morning. Not the ideal way to get the comp pass as you accurately state but my wife didn’t want to apply for a business card because she doesn’t have a business. I had a ton of UR points anyways from all the Staples sales with no immediate use so it wasn’t very painful for us to do it the hard way this time. My pass expired last year and we used the crap out of it so we figured we’ll still be way ahead by doing it this way. I appreciate your tips. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  10. pup

    i heard you cant use points transferred from hotels? if so, marriot offers a buying points program where you can buy 50K points a year… i could then transfer those points to southwest. will that go towards the companion pass?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You can transfer points from hotel programs (I’ve done transfers from Choice, Marriott, and Hyatt). All count toward the SWA CP. you can transfer 50,000 Chase UR to Hyatt, which converts to 30,000 SWA points.

      Reply

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