There’s nothing wrong with traveling solo. But sometimes, adventures are more fun with a co-pilot.
Of course, that usually means double the airfare — unless you have an airline credit card that can help cover the cost for your family member, buddy or significant other.
It’s not an easy benefit to find, but here are some cards that can help you score a companion ticket.
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card
The benefit: Companion Fare
How you get it: Automatically, each year on your account anniversary. The card’s annual fee is $75.
Details: The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card offers a Companion Fare once a year that will cover a companion’s airline ticket on any Alaska Airlines coach flight for as little as $121 ($99, along with taxes and fees that are as low as $22 total). You must book the flight through alaskaair.com, and you’ll have to redeem within 12 months from the date the Companion Fare is issued.
You’ll get this Companion Fare benefit no matter how much you spend on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card. But separately, the card also has an introductory sign-up bonus that can net you a Companion Fare at no cost beyond taxes and fees, once you hit the spending requirement.
The card lists that offer this way: Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer. Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
The benefit: Travel Together Ticket
How you get it: By spending more than $30,000 in purchases in a calendar year. The card’s annual fee is $95.
Details: You’ll have to be a big spender to snag the British Airways Visa Signature® Card’s Travel Together Ticket. But with it, you’ll get a seat for a companion on your British Airways flight — regardless of what cabin you’re in — when you book an award flight that originates from and returns to the U.S.
The Travel Together Ticket is valid for two years. But be aware that you’ll owe taxes and fees on it, and that British Airways has notoriously high fuel surcharges.
The British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers the following sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
The benefit: Companion certificate
How you get it: Annually, once you renew your card. The card’s annual fee is $195.
Details: With the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you’ll score a companion certificate for a domestic main cabin round trip each year (less taxes and fees of no more than $75).
The certificate can be used for a companion flying on your same itinerary within the 48 contiguous states. If you live in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, the certificate can also be used for certain flights, but check the card’s terms and conditions for requirements.
You’ll have to book and complete travel by the date that’s listed on the front of the certificate.
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express also offers a generous welcome bonus: Limited Time Offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires on 9/19/2018. Terms apply.
Other cards that might help you
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card doesn’t grant you a coveted Southwest Companion Pass; in fact, none of the airline’s co-branded cards will do that. But this card can get you well on your way thanks to its sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
All three co-branded Southwest cards offer the same sign-up bonus, but the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has the lowest annual fee among them, at $69. You’ll need 110,000 points total in a calendar year to secure a Companion Pass, which lets you choose one traveler to fly for free with you (minus taxes and fees) each time you purchase or redeem points for a Southwest flight. A Companion Pass is good from the date it’s earned through the next full calendar year.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card doesn’t come with a companion pass, but it does come with a $300 annual travel credit and a broad range of categories toward which that credit can be used, including airfare. That can go a long way toward offsetting the cost of a travel companion’s ticket when you book it with your card. Of course, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® also comes with a hefty annual fee of $450, so keep that mind when considering whether the card is right for you.