This was one of the best perks of the merging of accounts between SPG and Marriott – the ability to turn 90,000 SPG Starpoints into the Southwest Companion Pass, 120,000 Southwest points, and 7 nights at a Category 1 – 5 Marriott. Southwest had shut this down briefly at the beginning of the new year but then they made a wonderful move to push out that end date for hotel transfers (counting towards the pass) to March 31, 2017. So, this is really the last chance to take advantage of this great deal!
Transfer SPG/Marriott Points to Southwest for the Companion Pass
Why You SHOULD Do This
The Southwest Companion Pass continues to be one of the best deals in air travel. It allows you to bring a companion along on every paid or reward trip for the current year (that you earn it) and the next year. That means you get the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017 and 2018!
Plus, by taking advantage of this transfer deal, you will also have 120,000 Southwest points in your account. That has a minimum value of $1,800 in air travel. Finally, you will get a 7 night stay at a Category 1 – 5 Marriott. All of that for only 90,000 Starwood SPG points (or a mix of SPG points transferred to your Marriott account and whatever Marriott points you have).
How To Get the Southwest Companion Pass with SPG and Marriott Points
Here are the steps you need to follow to take advantage of this tremendous deal.
1. Match Accounts
If you have not yet matched your accounts, check out this post for how to do that and then you will be ready to transfer points.
2. Transfer Starpoints
Now you can transfer your Starpoints to Marriott. You will need to transfer a total of 90,000 Starpoints to take advantage of this deal
3. Call To Order the Package
Next, you will need to call Marriott at 800-321-7396 to book your travel package. This will be Hotel + Air Package #3 for the 7 nights in a Category 1-5 hotel and the 120,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points.
And that’s it! This is a great way to use your SPG Starpoints to really get some extra value! Remember, you can still use those 120,000 Southwest points – you do not trade them for the Companion Pass.
FAQs about Transferring SPG Points and Marriott Points for the Southwest Companion Pass
Since we are winding down here on the ability to do this, many people have been asking some questions. Here are some answers to those frequently asked questions.
What If You Don’t Have 90,000 Starpoints?
That is ok. You can transfer whatever SPG Starpoints you have at a 1:3 ratio to your Marriott account anyway. If you do not have any Marriott points at all, you could also transfer Ultimate Reward points to Marriott at a rate of 1:1. Also, you can transfer Membership Reward points to SPG at a rate 1,000:333 from MR to SPG. That is definitely not a great rate for your Membership Reward points but if you are really interesting in chasing down the Southwest Companion Pass using this route, it could make sense.
You can also combine points from other Marriott accounts for only $10 (free for Platinum members). You can transfer up to 50,000 Marriott points this way. To do this, call Marriott at 801-468-4000.
So, to sum up, here are the different point currencies you could use to get to the necessary 270,000 Marriott points (90,000 SPG points) for this package:
- Starwood SPG points (transferred to Marriott)
- Chase Ultimate Reward points (transferred to Marriott)
- Amex Membership Reward points (transferred to SPG and then to Marriott)
- Marriott points (no transfer needed!)
When Is The Last Moment to Transfer?
According to what was reported by TPG, as long as the transfer is initiated by 11:59PM CT on March 31, the points will post and count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.
Is This A Good Deal?
There is no question that SPG Starpoints are extremely valuable. But, this deal could be one of the best uses of 90,000 Starpoints around. Sure, that can get you a roundtrip award ticket from the US to Europe in business class (by transferring to Aegean Airlines) but that is a single trip and this transfer to Southwest gives you so much more. Not just the pass but the 120K points for reward flights and the 7 night stay.
What If I Don’t Have a Hotel Picked Out?
You do not actually need to book your hotel right now. If none of the Marriott Category 1 – 5 hotels appeal to you right now, you can wait. You will be issued a certificate for this stay and it is good for a year from when it is issued. You can also pay additional points in the future to move up hotel categories if that is preferable to you.
Another reason to hold off is that you may be able to book SPG hotels if they end up merging that part of the program before the certificate expires. Depending on how they match the categories, that could be a great deal!
There are only just 2 days left to take advantage of this great fast track to Southwest Companion Pass status! If you are on the fence, weigh your options and value but I would highly suggest you go for it – if you can take advantage of that companion pass several times in the next 21 months! If you do it and you just take a couple of flights, that may not have been worth it. So, consider you travel.
Are you planning on transferring points for the Southwest Companion Pass before the end of March?
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