If you want to share the experience of traveling with a friend or family member but don’t want to break the bank, your ideal solution might be to use a credit card with a companion ticket benefit. Companion tickets, often called companion passes, are typically a way to add a travel companion to your flight reservation without paying full price for the second fare.
This type of benefit is included with many travel credit cards, though the specific terms might be different with each card. Depending on your travel preferences, you might find one card makes more sense than another. Let’s see which of these credit cards with companion tickets could make the most sense for you.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
- Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card
- Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
- Lufthansa Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®
- Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®
- Bottom line
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card: Best for overall value
How the companion pass works: Earn 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year to earn the Southwest Companion Pass for the remainder of the year and the following full calendar year. This companion benefit allows you to designate an airline companion on your Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards account and add that companion for free (minus taxes and fees) to any Southwest flight you book, including award flights.
Annual fee: $69
The card itself doesn’t automatically offer a companion pass, but you can use this and other Southwest-branded cards to help earn enough points to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. If you frequently travel to any of Southwest’s destinations, this is easily one of the best companion ticket deals available.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card also offers 3,000 anniversary points each year, two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year, and 25% back on eligible in-flight purchases. You can also earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. The card issuer for this product is Chase.
For more details, check out our Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus review.
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®: Best for a simple sign-up bonus
How the companion ticket works: Spend $20,000 on your card each anniversary year to earn a domestic economy companion certificate at $99 plus taxes and fees. Account must remain open for at least 45 days after your anniversary date to be eligible for this benefit.
Annual fee: $99
The AAdvantage Aviator Red has a high spending requirement for its companion certificate, but its sign-up bonus may be one of the easiest to achieve. If you compare credit cards and credit card offers, you typically have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to reap the rewards of a welcome bonus. With this card, it’s a simple sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase in the first 90 days.
You also receive benefits on American Airlines operated flights, including up to $25 in statement credits on in-flight Wi-Fi each anniversary year and 25% in-flight savings on food and beverages.
To learn more about this card, check out our AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard review.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card: Best for anniversary companion fare
How the companion ticket works: Receive an economy class companion fare from $122 on your account anniversary each year. You might also be able to receive this benefit before your first anniversary by earning the card’s sign-up bonus.
Annual fee: $95
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature offers one of the more valuable companion fare opportunities. You’ll receive the companion fare each year by simply keeping your card account open. Even better, there aren’t too many restrictions with this companion pass, apart from not being able to use the benefit on award bookings.
This card offers 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days. You also get the added bonus of a free checked bag for you and up to six guests on the same reservation.
For more information, check out our Alaska Airlines Visa Signature review.
Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card: Best for business travelers
How the companion ticket works: Receive the Alaska Airlines famous companion fare (from $122) on your account anniversary each year. You might also be able to receive this economy class benefit before your first anniversary by achieving the card’s sign-up bonus.
Annual fee: $70
This business card version of the Alaska Airlines Visa offers an identical companion fare benefit, but the annual fee is lower at $70 rather than $95. For business travelers, it could be useful to have this type of companion ticket available to reduce business expenses.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Business also offers a free checked bag for you and up to six guests on the same reservation. You can earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
For more details, check out our Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card review.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card: Best for big British Airways spenders
How the companion ticket works: Spend $30,000 on your card in a calendar year and earn a Travel Together Ticket that’s good for two years. You can use this companion pass when you book an award ticket with British Airways for a flight departing and returning to the U.S. The companion ticket gets the same cabin as the reward booking and you would only have to pay the taxes, fees, and surcharges.
Annual fee: $95
The companion fare on the British Airways Visa offers excellent value, but you have to spend $30,000 in a calendar year to receive this benefit. This will likely be unattainable for many new cardholders, but big spenders could find this benefit to be a welcome perk.
As one of the best airline credit cards, the British Airways Visa still has plenty to offer apart from its companion ticket. You can earn 75,000 Avios after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, and you can receive up to $600 in reward flight statement credits each year.
To learn more about this card, check out our British Airways Visa Signature Card review.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: Best for domestic companion
How the companion ticket works: Receive a domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year when you renew your card. You would have to pay no more than $75 for the taxes and fees on your companion fare.
Annual fee: $250
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card offers a valuable companion pass for travelers interested in domestic Delta flights (Hawaii and Alaska aren’t included destinations). You have to pay $250 each year to keep your card account open and receive this benefit, but the companion ticket alone could more than offset your annual fee.
Additionally, you and up to eight passengers traveling on the same reservation get your first checked bag free. You can also benefit from this card's generous bonus offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
For more information, check out our Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex review.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: Best for first-class companion
How the companion ticket works: Receive a domestic first class, Delta Comfort+, or main cabin round-trip companion certificate each year when you renew your card. You will have to pay up to $75 for the taxes and fees on your companion fare.
Annual fee: $550
The companion pass benefit on this card is similar to the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, except the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card also includes first class and Delta Comfort+ fares as options depending on how your non-companion ticket is purchased. This could allow your companion to enjoy the same fare class with you if you’re booking above Main Cabin fares.
Cardmembers receive complimentary Delta Sky Club and Centurion Lounge access. You also have the opportunity to receive upgrade priority and complimentary upgrades. (Select benefits require enrollment.) The Delta SkyMiles Reserve comes with a generous welcome offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases in the first 6 months (and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs)).
For more details, check out our Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex review.
Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for companion discounts
How the companion ticket works: Receive a one-time economy companion fare discount of 50%. Also receive $100 off an economy companion fare after each account anniversary. These discounts can be used for round-trip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines.
Annual fee: $99
These companion fare offers aren’t as valuable as some you might find on other credit cards, but they could still prove useful if you’re a frequent flyer with Hawaiian Airlines. The 50% card membership discount on companion airfare is a nice one-time bonus and then getting $100 off each year on a companion ticket is a decent amount of savings — especially when you consider the annual fee for the card is $99.
You can earn 70,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days. The primary cardmember also receives one free checked bag on eligible flights.
To learn more about this card, check out our Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard review.
Lufthansa Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for anniversary companion tickets
How the companion ticket works: Receive an economy companion ticket after each account anniversary. You would have to pay any relevant taxes and fees for the companion fare.
Annual fee: $89
If you frequently fly with Lufthansa, having an economy companion ticket to use each year could be a big benefit. You would only have to pay the taxes and fees on the companion ticket, which means you could save more than enough to help offset the card’s $89 annual fee.
As with most travel credit cards, this card has no foreign transaction fees. It also offers two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge vouchers after each account anniversary. You can earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
For more information, check out our Lufthansa Miles & More World Elite Mastercard review.
Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard®: Best for Virgin Atlantic big spenders
How the companion pass works: Receive a companion fare in the same cabin class (depending on your Flying Club status level) or a cabin upgrade when you spend $25,000 or more in an anniversary year.
Annual fee: $90
Similar to the British Airways Visa, the companion fare benefit on the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard is likely best for big spenders. Considering you have to spend at least $25,000 to receive this benefit, it’s likely not going to mean much for the average cardholder.
But the card itself has no foreign transaction fees and could be useful if you frequently fly Virgin Atlantic and potentially want to earn Virgin Points. This card offers 30,000 Virgin Points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.
To learn more about this card, check out our Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard review.
Are companion passes round trip?
It depends on the terms and conditions of the companion pass, but many credit cards that offer a companion fare allow you to use the benefit for a round-trip or one-way flight. You typically have to first book a round-trip ticket with your applicable credit card to be able to use your companion benefit on a round-trip fare.
Is a companion pass good for any fare class?
Whether a companion pass is good for any fare class depends on your specific companion pass benefit. Certain companion tickets might only work in economy class, whereas others could have specific terms that allow you to use them for first class fares. For example, the Amex Delta Reserve offers a companion certificate that can be used for domestic first class, Delta Comfort+, or Main Cabin fares. But the companion certificate on the Amex Delta Platinum can be used only on domestic Main Cabin fares.
Can you use a companion pass on international flights?
Certain companion passes can be used on international flights, whereas others can only be used on domestic flights. For example, the Southwest Companion Pass can be used on any Southwest international or domestic flight. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your specific companion pass to understand the limitations.
Having a companion pass perk on your credit card can offer huge benefits for frequent travelers. In some cases, it might completely negate (typically other than taxes and fees) the price of an additional ticket, whether you’re traveling with your partner, a family member, or a friend. But credit cards that offer companion passes might not always be the most beneficial option depending on your travel habits.
For many travelers, the ideal travel credit card is one that offers a wide variety of benefits and flexible rewards. This could give you more flexibility with your travel plans and more ways to find value from your card. For some of the most popular card options, check out our page on the best travel credit cards.
Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
- Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
- No foreign transaction fees
- Apply Now
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
- 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
- Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
- 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 17.74% - 27.74% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee applies to all balance transfers.
- If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
- Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
- This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
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Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
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