Airline companion passes can help reduce your cost for airline tickets. Certain airline credit cards come with companion passes when you pay your annual fee and others offer companion passes after you spend a certain amount of money in a calendar year. But are these certificates really worth it and should you open a card for the companion certificate?
Airline Credit Cards That Offer Companion Certificates
This is available for Alaska Airlines Visa and Business credit card holders. The personal card has a $75 annual fee and the business version has a $50 annual fee.
You’ll receive a round trip companion fare ticket which you will receive after you meet your minimum spend requirement. The companion ticket after you reach your spend requirement will only cost you taxes and fees starting at $22 for a round trip or even one way coach ticket on Alaska Airline. This certificate can’t be used on award flights, it needs to be a paid fare.
You will also receive a companion certificate is each year you renew your card.
Your companion certificate code needs to to be used within 12 months after Alaska Airlines issues you the code. But your travel can be completed after the coupon code expires, you just need to book your travel before the code expires. There also aren’t any blackout dates with this certificate which is great because not all these certificates have that ability.
If you have status with Alaska Airline, you can even upgrade to first class if you wanted too. If you had both the personal and business versions of these cards, you would actually receive 2 passes each year for $125.
Delta Platinum Card:
The Delta Platinum card from American Express comes with an annual companion ticket each year you pay your $195 annual fee.
The companion ticket is good for a round trip domestic ticket, with taxes and fees up to $75. So your total cost including the annual fee is up to $270 for a round trip ticket. Plus you also need to pay for your ticket you can’t use this companion ticket on an award flight booking.
The companion certificate has to be used in the 48 contiguous states
Also you have book your ticket with fare classes L, U, T, X, V. You are eligible for Medallion Upgrades if you have status with Delta
The travel for your companion certificate must be completed by the expiration date. And you need to pay with your Delta credit card.
The Delta Reserve card from American Express is the Delta premium credit card and will set you back $450. But it also comes with a companion certificate for a round trip domestic ticket. And it can be used in coach, Delta Comfort, or even domestic first class.
Just like the Delta Platinum card you need to pay the taxes and fees of up to $75 for your companion certificate. And just like the Delta Platinum card, you need have to have a paid fare in order to use this, it can’t be used on an award ticket.
If you are looking to book in a first class cabin the class fare needs to be either A to I.
For Delta Comfort, the fare class needs to be W and for economy it needs to be L, U, T, X, or V.
You need to pay for the ticket with your Delta Reserve card and if you have Medallion status with Delta, you could also be upgraded on this ticket.
I think this companion pass is probably the most well known out of any on this list. And I think it provides the most value for someone who has access or flies on Southwest Airlines.
You can earn this pass by earning 110,000 Rapid Reward points in a calendar year. And you will have this pass through the end of the following year.
The easiest way for someone to earn this pass is to typically open 1 business Southwest card and 1 personal Southwest credit card to earn the points for the Companion Pass. Although we have recently seen offers where you can earn the companion pass for just 1 credit card and have the companion pass until the end of this year.
Some rules for this companion pass, you can only change the companion 3 times in a calendar year, so you should be sure to pick carefully. And you need to have your travel completed by the expiration date of your companion pass. You can’t book travel and use the Companion Pass for next year if your pass expires at the end of this year.
British Airways Travel Together Ticket:
The British Airways credit card earns a companion ticket after you spend $30,000 in a calendar year.
The companion pass is good for 2 years after you earn it and the flights have to occur on British Airway metal. You also have to start and return in the US.
The outbound flight needs to occur before the pass expires, but the return flight doesn’t which is a nice benefit. Also, you can book in business or coach class, you aren’t just stuck with a coach companion pass if you like premium cabins
You aren’t able to use Avios and cash when using your companion ticket, but you can use it when making a booking completely with Avios.
Unfortunately you are stuck paying the taxes and fees which are redonculoulsy stupid for British Airways flights which are between $682 to $1200 in economy or $1250 for Business Class.
There are quite a few rules that comes with redeeming this pass that are on the British Airways website.
The Hawaiian Airlines credit card offers you a one time 50% off companion for round trip fares between the US and Hawaii for flights on Hawaiian Airlines
You will also receive an annual $100 companion discount for round trip tickets between the US and Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines each year you pay the annual fee.
The Hawaiian Airline credit card comes with a $99 annual fee that isn’t waived in the first year.
Lufthansa Miles and More Companion Ticket
The Lufthansa Miles and more credit card earns a companion ticket the first year you have the card and each year you pay the annual fee. The companion ticket is good for a economy ticket from the US to either Europe Middle East Africa, and the Far East.
Ticket fares classes need to be in paid fares H,M, Y, or B class. These are not discounted fares either these are either full fare or close to full fare economy. Which typically cost more.
You will need to pay the taxes and fees for both you and your companion, Lufthansa does impose fuel surcharges for customers, so this will probably a couple hundred dollars per person.
The Lufthansa Miles and More credit card is issued by Barclay and has an $89 not waived in the first year.
This actually a pretty interesting card, so I might review it at a future time. I think it can offer some good value.
Citi American Airlines Business Platinum Card
The Citi American Airlines Business Platinum card offers a $99 companion certificate for a domestic economy American Airlines flights after you spend $30,000 in a card member year.
You need to keep your card open for 45 days after your anniversary date to earn this pass as well. Which means you won’t be able to earn this pass, then cancel the card before your 30 day window is up.
Your companion certificate will not only cost you $99, but you will also need to pay the taxes and fees on the companion certificate which will range from $21.60 to $43.20
This certificate will be good for one year once it is issued to you.
The Citi AA Business Platinum card comes with a $99 annual fee that is waived in the first year.
Barclay American Airlines Silver card:
The Barclay American Airlines Silver card comes with up a domestic companion certificate good for up to 2 people at $99 each when you spend $30,000 or more in a card member year.
This card has the same guidelines as the Citi AA Business Platinum about keeping the card open for 45 days after anniversary date to earn the pass
In addition to the $99 fee per companion, you’ll also need to pay between $21.60 to $43.20 for each companion .
This is pretty much the same as the Citi Business AA card, but you can up to 2 companions instead of 1.
This card also comes with $195 annual fee
Aeromexico Credit cards:
The Aeromexico credit cards come with a companion certificate for first time cardholders. That you can use on a round trip ticket from the US to Mexico on Aeromexcio only. You do need to purchase tickets in fare classes M, B, or Y. There could be black out dates as well and it expires 12 months after it has been issued.
In addition to a one time companion certificate after you sign up, you will also receive an annual $99 companion certificate good for a round trip ticket between the US and Mexico and must be traveled on Aeromexico metal
These tickets have to be booked in either a M, B, or Y fare class as well.
You need to make the purchases for these certificates with your Aeromexico card and this certificate is good for 12 months after it is issues.
While these airlines throw out these certificates like they are worth it. There are restrictions with many of these and you have to book in certain fare classes which tend to be more expensive to begin with.
For the credit cards that you need to spend a certain amount of money on to receive those certificates, I would avoid doing that. Can you actually imagine spending $30k on the British airways card to be hit with their crazy high fuel surcharges?
Many of these passes aren’t really worth it when you take into account the annual fee of these cards, the restrictions of certain fare classes, and even the spending requirements for some of these cards.
The one companion pass that is worth if on this list is the Southwest Companion pass. It is the best one on this list, if you are someone who flies Southwest.
That doesn’t mean all of these are garbage, but you definitely have to run the numbers of these companion certificates to the cost of other flight options, and even the use of using points to reduce your cost.
I play this game to save myself money and really reduce my travel cost. I mainly use points, but I have used my cash back to pay for tickets, but I don’t go out of my way to open a card for a companion ticket on an airline to spend more money to give an illusion that I saved money.
There are so many ways to earn points to really save yourself a lot, that I think these companion tickets aren’t really worth it.
So tell me, what do you think of these companion tickets and do you use them?
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