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How to Transfer Southwest Points to Someone + 2 Tricks to Avoid the Fee

Wondering how you can transfer Southwest points to someone else?

Perhaps different members of your family have separate Southwest Rapid Rewards accounts where they’ve earned their own points.

Curious about how you can group them all together and how to transfer Rapid Rewards points?

I’d got news for you: You don’t need to on Southwest! Transfer points on other airlines, but not Southwest.

Why?

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1 person can ALWAYS fly free with you on Southwest? My FREE ebook shows you how...

It’s not cheap!

But, good news, there’s also a trick you can use to avoid transferring points. I’ll tell you about that in a minute.

First, let’s talk about transferring points…

transfer Southwest points

 

My family saves more than $8,000 every year flying free using travel rewards, and I can show your family how to make flying free a LIFESTYLE too! Join my Families Fly Free program -- where flying free is GUARANTEED -- to learn my simple Fly Free Process, so you can start making more priceless travel memories with your family. Learn more below…

Families Fly Free logo (correct colors)

 

Can You Transfer Southwest Points to Someone Else?

transfer southwest points

Can you transfer Southwest points?

You CAN transfer Southwest points to someone else, but we don’t recommend it, as it’s expensive and not necessary.

You can also gift Southwest points without the transfer fee, but you’ll have to buy Southwest points in order to gift them to someone.

If you want to avoid the nasty fee (more on that later) to transfer Southwest points, you first need to do one thing.

Collect most of your points in ONE family member’s account.

For my family, I collect most of our points in MY account. Why?

Southwest lets you book ANYONE with your points, so it’s much simpler (and I’m all about keeping it simple) to pool points in one account and book everyone from there.

Plus, if you book from one account, you’ll have one confirmation number, which means you’ll only have to check in once.

Very handy as opposed to checking multiple confirmation numbers at exactly the 24-hour mark before your flight departs!

While I try to collect most points in my account, there are times when my family earns their own points.

For example, sometimes we pay in dollars for a super cheap flight instead of using our points.

Or we might all take advantage of great Rapid Rewards Shopping deals in the Rapid Rewards Shopping portal to earn those points in our own Rapid Rewards accounts, like subscribing to the Wall Street Journal for $1 to earn 700 points.

Transfer points for family flights
Collecting points in one person’s account is the simplest way to fly multiple people nearly free on Southwest

In those cases, my family members each end up with points in their own accounts, which we, of course, would like to use for free flights, because Southwest points never expire.

 

How to Transfer Southwest Points: The Cost

Southwest transfer points

At first, I thought it was no big deal that they accumulated some points in their own accounts, because I assumed we could just transfer those points over to me.

But when I went to make the transfer, I discovered it costs…

A lot!

In fact, it costs $10 for every 1,000 Southwest points you want to transfer to someone else!

While this is much less than buying Southwest points, it still seems a very high price to pay just to transfer points.

With the value of a Southwest point sitting around 1.5 cents, that means it costs $10 to transfer $15 worth of points.

That’s crazy, so you want to avoid this if you can.

I’ll show you how…

 

2 Tricks to Avoid Transferring Southwest Points

Southwest Airlines Arizona

If you want to avoid that unpleasant fee for the Southwest transfer points, you can do one of two things:

 

1. Collect enough points in one account to book at least a one-way fare or one round-trip fare

This is what we try to do with my husband’s account.

Get enough points in there so that he can book at least one of the four of us on a one-way or one round-trip fare.

He is often my companion for the Southwest Companion Pass, so sometimes we use his points to book one of our kids’ flights.

He also holds the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (read my full review of that card) in our family, and we use that card to earn triple points on dining and travel expenses, so he usually has Chase Ultimate Rewards points that we transfer to his Southwest account to top him off to whatever we need to book a ticket.

 

2. Book a ticket for YOU and then add THEM as the Companion

Southwest Companion Pass changes

Let’s say it’s just the two of us flying, instead of bringing our kids with us, but my husband is my companion so we don’t need to use his points to book a flight for him, since he flies FREE.

Instead, HE could book MY flight with HIS points and then I can still go into my account and add HIM as MY companion for that flight. Nifty trick, huh?

But there may be a time where you really want to transfer points to someone.

If that’s the case, beware the fee and here’s how to do it…

 

How to Transfer Southwest Points to Another Account

How to Transfer Southwest Points

 

1. Log in to the Southwest Rapid Rewards account of the person whose points you want to transfer at Southwest.com

2. Select Rapid Rewards and under Manage, choose Buy or Transfer Points

Transfer Southwest Points

3. Choose Transfer Points 

Transfer Southwest Points

4. Select the number of points you’d like to transfer (minimum 2,000 points required)

5. Enter the name, Rapid Rewards account number and email address of the person you are transferring the points to

Choose number of points

6. Enter payment information

7. Confirm the purchase

8. Click to transfer Southwest points

Note: Transferred Southwest points DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass (which lets you fly one person free for up to two years after earning 125,000 Rapid Rewards points), but you CAN use them to book flights for FREE travel.

Need more Southwest points? Here are my top tips for earning more points for FREE flights…

 

How to Earn Southwest Points

Transfer Southwest points - Dominican Republic

If you are like us and fly on points (ie nearly FREE!) most of the time, then you rarely collect Southwest points by paying for flights.

Instead, we earn most of our points in the following ways…

Want more ideas? Check out my post below.

[101 Ways to Earn Southwest Points]

 

Earning Southwest Points With Travel Credit Cards

southwest credit card sand lei

 

Did you know you can earn up to 140,000 Southwest points by applying for just two Southwest credit cards (1 personal and 1 business OR 2 business) and another 60,000 points, which can be instantly transferred to Southwest by applying for my favorite travel credit card, Chase Sapphire Preferred (read my full review of this card)?

You can also earn the Southwest Companion Pass by accumulating 125,000 qualifying Southwest points (including points earned from Southwest credit card bonuses).

The pass lets one person fly free with you for up to two years and is one of the ways my family flies free nearly everywhere in the U.S. on Southwest.

Transfer Southwest Points

 

To Sum It Up

If you DO decide to pay for a flight and earn points in an account that doesn’t usually collect points, be aware of this constraint: IT COSTS to transfer Southwest points.

You can either pay the fee and consider it part of the cost of flying free or wait until that person has enough points in their account to book a flight on their own.

Have you had to transfer points between Southwest accounts? Did you pay the fee?

 

______________________________________________

 

Want more points for free flights on Southwest?

Southwest Priority Card Check out the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa cards, which let you earn tens of thousands of points that you can use to book free flights on Southwest! These points also qualify for the 125,000 points you need to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, so one person can fly free with you for up to two years. These include... Keep in mind you can only hold ONE personal Southwest card at a time, though you can hold two Southwest business cards. To ensure you time these cards in the best way possible to easily ALWAYS have a Southwest Companion Pass, join hundreds of others inside our Families Fly Free membership, where we'll show you our proprietary Fly Free process and map out a step-by-step plan personal to your family.

 

 

 

My Favorite Travel Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you want to earn EVEN MORE Southwest points, Chase Sapphire Preferred, my FAVORITE travel credit card, offers 60,000 points upon meeting a $4,000 minimum spend in the first three months and a low $95 annual fee.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Flexible points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio instantly and are worth DOUBLE if you have a Southwest Companion Pass
  • 3X points on dining 
  • 2X points on travel
  • 10% points bonus annually on spending
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip interruption and cancellation insurance

Please note, this card’s points DO NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass but CAN be used to book FREE flights on Southwest.

Read my full review of this card.

To review or apply for any of the cards in this post, please use the links within this post or the CREDIT CARDS links in the main menu above (shown in the image below). This allows us to earn a commission—at no cost to you—to support our small business. Thanks so much for taking that step!

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47 thoughts on “How to Transfer Southwest Points to Someone + 2 Tricks to Avoid the Fee”

  1. That is terrible! That is 1% to transfer. They are only worth 1.6-1.8% to begin with. Be patient and wait for them to accumulate.

    Reply
  2. I know it costs money to transfer points to another account but is there also a fee to receive transferred points from someone else. Do both people in the transaction have to pay a fee?

    Reply
  3. I need to try and see if I can book a flight for my son using my husband’s account. If you have a United account you can book for anyone using your points and don’t have to pay a transfer fee.

    Reply
      • My husband had his own SW rapid rewards account so even though I book us together on a flight we still need to each cover with our own points. Not good. Or am I not doing it right?

        Reply
        • Hi there,
          You don’t need to book each of your flights from each of your accounts. You can book anyone’s flight with anyone’s points. So that’s why I collect most of my family’s points in my account and I usually book all of our flights using my points. My family will occasionally earn some of their own points, so I let those accrue until they have enough to pay for at least a one-way flight and use them for that. Does that help?
          Thanks,
          Lyn

          Reply
  4. I read your trick for using the companion fare:

    Book a ticket for YOU and then add THEM as the Companion

    Let’s say it’s just the two of us flying instead of bringing our kids with us, but my husband is my companion so we don’t need to use his points to book a flight for him, since he flies FREE.

    Instead, he could book MY flight with his points and then I can still go into my account and add HIM as MY companion for that flight. Nifty trick, huh?

    My question is ” Does the person who purchases the ticket have to be the companion? Let’s say Mary has companion fare status and Jimmy is her current companion. Could Richard ‘buy’ Mary a ticket and then Mary add Jimmy as her companion? Or does the person who purchases the ticket have to be the companion to be added?

    Reply
  5. Hi John, yes you can definitely do it that way and we have done it that way. I’ve had people pay for my flight (say for a business trip) and then I add my husband as my Companion even though neither I nor he paid for the flight. Does that make sense?

    Reply
    • Hello, my husband is my compassion on my rapid rewards account. I just want to make sure I’m understanding this correctly. I barely have any points left on my account but my husband has points on his account. If i book a my flight under my husband’s rapid rewards account, can I log on my account and book his flight for free (because he’s my companion). Please advise, thank you.

      Reply
  6. Yes, that makes sense. That is a very nice perk to have. Sometimes you find people who have swa miles to use up and aren’t travelling.

    Reply
  7. For option 2, you say he can book a flight for you with his points, then you can add him as a companion. But you specify that you are flying without kids. Would this ‘trick’ not work if you are flying with a lap child? I have a companion pass but my wife has some miles in her account, and we have a 15 month old.

    Reply
    • If you book all tickets from one Rapid Rewards account, they will all be under 1 confirmation #. If you book them from different Rapid Rewards accounts, they will have different confirmation #s. Thanks for the question!

      Reply
  8. Hello,

    My daughter flies on SWA and she has the rapid points. Can she purchase tickets for me using her points and will she receive points for purchasing?

    Reply
  9. is the only way to get the companion ticket through signing up for the Southwest credit card? What is the annual fee? Worth it?

    Reply
    • Hi Valencia, Applying for 1-2 Southwest credit cards (1 personal, 1 business) is the FASTEST way to a Companion Pass, but definitely not the only way. Though I believe it is definitely worth it, as the value you get from the pass (the cost of the flight of the person you bring with you X however many flights you can take!) is much higher than any annual fee, which is between $69-$149/year depending on the card you choose.

      Here is a link to my post about the Southwest credit card options.

      And be sure to read this post all about how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

      If you do decide to apply for any cards, I appreciate it if you would use the Travel Credit Cards links in the main menu above, as that allows me to earn a commission at no cost to you, to help support the blog. Thank you!

      Reply
  10. Thanks for the info! I unfortunately needed to transfer points but it still save me a lot of money for the flight total. Do you know how long it takes for the transferred miles to post to the account? I’m used to Alaska Airlines when it’s instant (and cheaper to transfer!) Thank you!

    Reply
  11. I am really new at this and maybe this is first grade to all of you veterans, but if I use points to purchase a ticket for another person; and then they need to cancel, do the points go back to my account or is the traveler who cancels get the points in their account, or just a credit—if that traveler does not have an account?

    Reply
    • Hi Dave, no problem. Always happy to answer questions! So the points would go instantly go back to the account of the person who “paid” for the ticket as soon as it’s cancelled.

      Reply
  12. Kids and points question: When I purchase tickets for our family to fly SW, I usually enter the individual RR# for each family member (2 adults 2 kids everyone has their own RR acct). Is there a way for my RR acct. to receive all the points for the family trip?

    Reply
    • HI Kathleen, you do have to transfer a minimum of 2,000 points, so you’re good there and it would cost you $20 ($10 per 1,000 points). I’d rather see you have him take a look at the Rapid Rewards Shopping Deals and do something like subscribe to Barron’s, WSJ for $1 each to get 1,400 points, for example, or just make a purchase he’s going to do anyway by starting at the portal.

      Reply
  13. If I have plenty of points to buy 2 round trip tickets for my husband and I do I have to transfer my points to him to buy tickets? Or can I buy both tickets with my points and not be charged a transfer fee?

    Reply
    • Hi Becky, you can definitely purchase all tickets from your account. Most of the time I use my points to purchase all of my family’s tickets. That saves you the cost of transferring points, too, as you said! 🙂

      Reply
  14. This might be a dumb question…If I book flights for me, my husband, and daughter and I actually PAY for the tickets (as in, I’ve depleted my miles and don’t have enough to book tickets)…then don’t my husband and my daughter accrue their own points? In other words, when I pay for tickets, I only get points for my own flight but not my family members.
    Even using my SW RR credit card for pretty much every purchase I make, I don’t accrue enough points to pay for all of use to take round trip flights. What I try to do is pay for my own flight and then use miles for them as much as possible. But sometimes I just don’t have enough, so I figured, I’d pay for my own, then pay for each of them one way so that they’re both still accruing some miles, and then use miles for the other part of the roundtrip ticket.
    Does that make sense or is there something better I should be doing? I feel like I’m not quite getting as much out of my purchases and infrequent flights as I could be!

    Reply
    • Hi Kate, So yes, I’ve done that too if I run out of points: pay for one leg in cash. And yes, when you pay in cash/credit, the person who will be flying is the one who earns the points. This works great if you can get a business to pay for your flight — they pay, but you get the points!

      Make sure you are taking advantage of all the great ways to earn Southwest points, including the Southwest credit cards, double and triple on Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, Rapid Rewards Shopping deals, Rapid Rewards dining, SouthwestHotels.com, etc. There are many great ways to keep your stash of points full! 🙂

      Oh, and be sure you have a Southwest Companion Pass so one of you always flies free. You can’t beat the savings of never having to use ANY Points for one of your family members.

      Reply
  15. My daughter is taking a high school history trip and they are flying SW airlines. I have a friend with enough points to buy a one way ticket. Can she buy the ticket for my daughter, or does she have to transfer the points to us. It’s cheaper for her to just buy the ticket, and she doesn’t care about earning more miles. Thanks for navigating us through this!

    Reply
  16. Hi Lyn, I’m confused about how one person can accumulate all the points in their account.
    Will Southwest allow me to put my Rapid Rewards number on all of the different people in my trip?
    So, if I book a flight for me, my wife and two daughters is there a way for me to get all the points for that trip under my RR# only? Doesn’t the RR# name have to match the name on the ticket?
    Thanks,
    Joe

    Reply
    • Hi Joseph,
      so the confusion here is that you’re not trying to collect them all in your account, as you’re right, if you’re paying for a flight on Southwest (which, sidenote, we don’t want you EVER to have to do ;-)), the person will earn Rapid Rewards in their account. But the key here is that ANY one can book ANYONE else with THEIR points. So your daughter can book you, you can book your neighbor, I can book you, etc. So there is never a need to transfer points.

      That said, my fly free formula, which I teach in my Families Fly Free membership, shows you how to NEVER pay cash for Southwest flights so this is not even an issue. Instead, you’ll earn your Southwest points in other ways, accumulating 90% of them in one person’s account and then just booking from that account, which greatly simplifies things.

      I encourage you to join the membership to learn how to fly free always simply and easily :-).

      Reply
  17. HI Lyn, Next year I would like to book about 7-9 tickets together for our family to go to fl. I need to move my Mariott points over to my RR acct. Am I able to book all of the tickets at the same time using the points in my acct? I thought I read somewhere you could only use 60,000 points in a day .

    Reply
    • Hi Susan, yes you can book everything from your account no limit on the number of points you can use. If you’d like help and want a way to always be able to fly your whole family free in a simple way going forward without having to use Marriott points, I highly encourage you to join our Families Fly Free membership where you can learn our simple system and we can work with you 1-on-1. Check out this video from member Mike, who took his whole family of 7 to Hawaii on just 80K points.

      Reply

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