Marriott Rewards Members! Don’t forget that the Hotel + Flight Package with Southwest Airlines is ENDING MARCH 31! You do not need to travel before March 31. Purchase this reward certificate now and apply it to a 7 day stay in the future. This is the absolute best way to use your points. Why? Because you will receive a 7 day stay AND get enough points to earn you that amazing Southwest Companion Pass.
You might remember me discussing this promotion back in January.
The Southwest Companion Pass
For those that don’t know… the Southwest Companion Pass allows you to designate one person to fly for free with you every time you purchase or redeem points for a flight.
This promotion is so valuable because you EARN the Companion Pass by reaching 110,000 Rapid Rewards Points. You do not spend 110,000 points to receive the pass.
What does this mean for you? It means that those 110,000 points can be applied to future flights and you both can fly for free! My very rough calculations tell me with that many points you should be able to get four round trips for free.
Why do you need to do this now? Southwest knows they are getting screwed in this deal and are ending the promo on March 31. BUT – doesn’t matter because this works out incredibly for the consumer. Once the pass is earned, you have it the rest of 2017 AND all of 2018. How cool is that?!
Don’t know who to designate? You can change your companion up to three times. Whoever it is on the third change will be your companion for the remainder of the pass.
How many points do I need? Depending on how many Rapid Rewards Points you have accumulated with Southwest will depend on how many Marriott Rewards Points you will need to use for this promotion.
Need More Points? Get Creative!
- Transfer your Starwood Points to Marriott. One Starpoint is equivalent to THREE Marriott points! (Must link your accounts.)
- Transfer your United Miles to Marriott. You can transfer up to 50,000 per year and are a 1:1 value.
- Beg your significant other for points. They can transfer up to 50,000 points to you for a mere $10. *
- Ask for points as a gift! Getting married? Celebrating your birthday?? Anniversary??? Just because I love you??? They start at $12.50 for 1,000 points and max out at 50,000 points for $625.00.*
- Buy yourself points… I don’t recommend this at all, but desperate times call for desperate measures.*
*Members can only purchase or receive a combined total of up to 50,000 points per calendar year.
I was able to save $1,400 on hotel and $3,000 on flights (more on this later) with this promotion! That doesn’t include any savings from the Companion Pass or upgrades for being a Marriott Platinum Member.
How I Maximized My Points
I wanted to book our 7 day stay at the JW Marriott Marco Island (Category 9) for our annual family trip in November, but my husband and I are avoiding Florida this year due to Zika. Plus, it is difficult for him to take longer trips during his busy season. Sooo this promotion has turned into an impromptu Mother/Daughter trip to Hawaii in April and I’m super pumped!
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
With 370,000 Marriott Rewards Points built up, I redeemed the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (Category 8) for 360,000 points + 120,000 Rapid Rewards points. I only had approximately 3,000 Rapid Rewards points in my account and require 110,000 to get that amazing Companion Pass. Now I’ll have 123,000 Rapid Rewards points and that Companion Pass for basically two years!
I booked the City View Room with a balcony. I should note this is the only room you can get without having to pay an extra upgrade fee. Since I am trying to book this trip as cheap as possible – I was NOT about to pay anything for an upgrade. I’m going to take my chances as a Platinum Member and hope we get upgraded upon arrival.
The downsides are they make you pay a daily resort fee of $35/day and they do not have a Concierge Level. (No free breakfast for us, boo, but this is typical at resort properties.) It also takes three days to transfer those Rapid Reward points to your Southwest account. Plan accordingly.
Don’t like this hotel? The Hawaiian Islands have Category 6 through 9 properties as well as Tier 4.
Unfortunately, Southwest doesn’t fly to Hawaii and might deter you from booking this particular destination. There are a few ways to get around this though. You could book you + your companion on Southwest to LA or San Fran and then book another airline to Hawaii. If you have miles built up with another airline, now is the perfect time to use them.
My sweet, generous husband had enough United miles to book our flights from Chicago to Hawaii. (He’s the best!)
Wherever you decide to book your Hotel + Flight package – have a great time! I’d love to know how you are going to use your points! Let me know in the comment section below!
I can’t wait to go on my free Hawaiian getaway!