Chase Ultimate Reward Points Do Not Count Towards Southwest Companion Pass

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I posted yesterday that the Chase Southwest Airlines credit card sign-up bonus is still counting towards the Southwest Companion Pass, so I figured I would continue on today with another Southwest update.  This time the news isn’t quite as cheery.  The first part of the update (which is actually good news) is that Southwest is now an official Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.  For those who aren’t familiar with Ultimate Rewards, they are reward points earned by using a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Ink Bold card.  You can learn more about those cards here.     

As a test, I was able to transfer 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points, and they posted to my Southwest Rapid Rewards account within about 30 seconds.  Yay!

I then checked to see if they counted towards my 2012 Companion Pass total and they very much did not count toward that.  Not surprising since it was stated that they would not count, but a favorable IT glitch is always appreciated.  😉

I do not personally plan to use many Ultimate Reward points with Southwest since they do not fly to the airport that I use most frequently, but it isn’t a horrible use of points if you are low on cash and want to book a Southwest “Wanna Get Away” fare.  When used for Wanna Get Away fares, points have a fixed value of 1.67 cents per point.  That’s not fantastic, but it’s not a horrible redemption value either.  I would not recommend redeeming for “Anytime” or “Business Select” fares.  The values for those types of fares are 1 cent per point and .83 cents per point respectively.  You are better off using your Ultimate Reward points as cash to buy the fares and earn points for flying than to transfer them to Southwest to redeem as points.

While we are on the subject of Southwest, my “Chief Reward Officer” points finally posted.  I noticed them today when I was looking around in my Rapid Rewards account.  Hopefully your points from that promo have posted as well.

Are you going to be making good use of this new Ultimate Rewards transfer partner?



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  1. Are both the business and personal 50k offers counting toward the companion pass? Could you transfer UR points to say Hyatt and then transfer from Hyatt to RR to have that count for the remainder 10k? Thank you

  2. Thanks for checking into the transfer… Hopefully they are still allowing the credit card bonuses to count, it was written in the terms last year that they wouldn’t (but they still did, perhaps as part of the program ‘transition’ period….). It will be interesting to see if someone who held off on their activations is able to get the companion pass for 2012 and 2013.

  3. Thanks for excellent info. For newbs, how about a primer on when redemption make sense (cents/point) versus cash. All of us are in different places with what is important, but i have not read a srategy that has stuck with me so i am always second guessing!

  4. Hmmm, I need to look back into my Southwest accounts. I have some orphaned credits from the old system that begin expiring soon. How would transferring Chase points compare to the value of buying points from Southwest to top off the old credits to earn an award?


  5. I just checked. I need 5000 points for the next award level, and it would cost $125. I’d be a lot better off transferring from Chase, yes, because the Southwest cost is 2.5 cents per point?


  6. @Maury, they both counted last year. I don’t know that I have specifically seen a post that outlines for sure that they both individually post this year, but I have seen information that the credit card bonuses in generally are counting this year. I wrote about it yesterday if you want a little more info.

    @Steelsnow, I wrote about the credit card bonuses in the previous post. So far it looks good for 2012 CP!

    @deedee, will do!

    @Anita, funny you mention that. My mother in law has old credits expiring tomorrow, so I am helping her use them up today by using a few RR points. I plan to post about that process and will include the info about transfer options vs buying. As to whether it is better in your case, first be sure that the ticket you are getting for free is worth more than $125. 😉 Second, determine how much you value your UR points at. I would say most people value them at around 2 cents each – more if used for First/International travel. If you are short on cash and don’t usually get more than 2 cents value out of your UR points, then I would say transfer the points. Just be sure you are redeeming for a more expensive ticket since you are having to put some investment into getting the “free” ticket.

  7. Where can I find the Southwest application to gain 50,000 points? All of the sites I have found offer the 30,000 points.

  8. Do you know of any links for the Southwest Premier card with a 50,000 point bonus? I have the plus card (opened under the old program which converted to the plus)

  9. Do hotel transfers still count towards cp? I have 275000 Marriott I wanted to transfer to give me 2 years of companion pass. Will this still work?

    • @tony, reports are that such transfers still count toward CP. You could always transfer a small amount first to double check, but you should it should work just fine.

  10. For Tony: Not sure if this will work for you, but last year we used a large number of Marriott points (250,000) for a travel package with Marriott plus 100,000 Southwest points. This worked in getting us the hotel week, the 100,000 southwest points, plus Companion status. Good luck making the best of all those points!

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