Which Credit Cards Offer Free (or Almost Free) Companion Tickets?

There are many choices when it comes to increasing our miles and points so we can travel more for less. Recently, however, when using my companion passes and free tickets from credit cards, my friend Carrie asked how that worked and which credit cards came with that perk. Good question!  There are many credit cards that come with free bags or priority boarding. Along with those benefits, these three credit cards also provide a free (or almost free) companion ticket benefit.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

The Alaska Airlines credit card is one I’ve had for many years and I never miss using the Companion Fare. Essentially, this annual benefit is a free buy-one-get-one ticket in economy class. The primary traveler must pay the fare, but the companion pays just $99 plus taxes and fees. I always get more than the annual fee of $75 in value per year using this fare. I’ve used it for trips across the US and most recently to Seattle. The certificate is easy to apply to your fare and more than worth the annual fee.

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Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards

I’ve been getting great value out of my Southwest Airlines Companion Pass and my Southwest miles. Some diehard Southwest flyers would say the Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in the whole world of travel! The Companion Pass is not just a free ticket, it’s unlimited for the time you have the pass. For a year, the pass holder benefits by bringing a second passenger on any Southwest flight. When you accrue 110,000 Rapid Reward points through flights, credit card spend, or using the Southwest shopping portal, you qualify for the pass. When you’re a new Southwest Airlines credit card holder, those introductory bonus points count towards the 110,000 points as well. Rapid Reward bonuses on the Southwest credit cards vary, but right now their new Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card offers up to 65,000 points after new cardholders spend $15,000 in the first year. Of those, 40,000 are earned after spending $1,000 in three months. This card also includes priority A-group boarding on four flights annually.

Delta Platinum and Reserve SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

These days, I don’t fly Delta all that often, but many of my friends do. And being a West Coast-based flyer, Delta flight options are definitely increasing. I keep an eye on these Delta credit cards because of the companion certificate that comes with them. The Delta Platinum and Business Platinum, Reserve and Business Reserve SkyMiles Credit Cards, from American Express and American Express OPEN, all come with the companion certificate.

The Alaska Airlines companion certificate shows up in your account as soon as you get the card. The Companion Certificate from Delta is applied to your account each card year anniversary. That means you have to wait until you’ve renewed your credit card before you start earning the benefit.

A first year $100 statement credit helps offset the $195 annual fee on the Platinum Delta card and the $450 annual fee on the Reserve cards. The Reserve SkyMiles card also includes Delta Sky Club access. The introductory bonuses for new cardholders on these credit cards vary and are linked to spending amounts during the first few months of receiving the cards.

The certificates and companion passes that come with these cards are easy to use. They provide benefits beyond just miles and points. Which of these companion passes do you use most often?

11 thoughts on “Which Credit Cards Offer Free (or Almost Free) Companion Tickets?

  1. John

    The Chase British Airways VISA card gives you a “Travel Together Ticket” after $30,000 in spend. It has to be used in conjunction with an award trip and only on BA metal. Despite the hefty fees, it was still a fantastic way for my wife and I to fly from Boston to Singapore in first class with a 3 day stopover at LHR. Cost us around $1800 for 2 tickets or about 1/20th it would have cost to purchase them.

    1. Shelli Post author

      That’s an amazing great value use of your BA one, John. If you have the spend for that Travel Together Ticket, go for it. Thanks for adding that one to the list of possibilities.

  2. Kalboz

    Thank you for the summation. This is very handy tool for parents with children who are booking with out-of-pocket spend. Here is our experience

    I find the Alaska companion ticket to be the most generous. It allowed us 2 kids to accompany us for free to Vancouver. And with the PPS card we enjoyed comped meals on the way there and back.

    Delta is good but limited to the 48 US states, and, thus, we flew to Seattle and got picked up for 2-hour drive to Vancouver.

    Southwest is the most confusing and we have not been able to figure out how to add the comped passenger to the paid one yet.

    We’ll try Hawaii next to see what works there.

    1. Shelli Post author

      HI Kalboz, I see you get good value from your certs and use them for similar locations I use mine for. I’m hoping for Hawaii soon for WN. Your comment jogged my memory as I did use my AS one for Hawaii a few years ago. Thanks for your data points!!

    1. Shelli Post author

      Good catch. You can earn a companion certificate good for up to 2 guests at $99 each, issued annually after your account anniversary when you spend $30,000 or more in purchases (taxes and fees apply). Thanks for adding another card to the list!

  3. Ed

    @boilers Yes it does. You can earn 2 companion certificates after spending $30,000 (I think). Just got mine a couple of weeks ago.

    Barclay Aviator cards rarely get mentioned in posts such as this. My guess is that they don’t pay referral commissions….

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