Everyone loves “Buy One, Get One” free offers, sometimes known by the acronym BOGO. In the world of air travel, these deals are called companion fares, and they’re available from a surprising number of travel rewards credit cards.
Top Credit Cards for Earning Companion Fares
Here are the six free or discounted companion fares that you can earn from a credit card.
1. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card from Bank of America
This card offers you a companion ticket on Alaska Airlines (which recently acquired Virgin America), for $99 plus any taxes or government imposed fees from $22 total. You can use this benefit on any economy class Alaska ticket, both domestic or international, and you and your companion will earn miles from the ticket.
Both the consumer and small business versions of this card offer you a companion certificate each year upon renewal. This benefit is only valid on round-trip travel in the contiguous 48 states for economy class tickets booked in the L, U, T, X and V fare classes (Residents of Hawaii and Alaska can originate there). Thankfully, these eligible fare classes include most discounted Main Cabin economy class tickets. However, it excludes Basic Economy tickets as well as some highly discounted bulk and government fares. Only the paid traveler will earn miles, not the companion. There’s a $195 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees. See rates and fees.
The consumer and small business versions of this card both offer a domestic, Main Cabin companion certificate that’s similar to what you receive from the Platinum Delta SkyMiles card. However, this card’s companion certificate is also valid for first class travel. There’s a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees. See rates and fees.
With this card, you can earn a Travel Together certificate each calendar year (good for two years) that you spend $30,000 on your card. This certificate is valid for a companion ticket on round-trip award itineraries operated solely by British Airways. You will also have to pay the considerable taxes, government fee and carrier imposed surcharges for both passengers. Since these surcharges are so large, this benefit is best used to allow a companion to travel in business or first class for about the cost of an economy ticket. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
5. American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Silver from Barclays
When you spend over $30,000 a year on this card, you’ll earn a companion certificate good for up to two guest at $99 each, plus taxes and fees on round-trip domestic flights. This certificate is only valid for travel in the continental United States, but residents of Hawaii and Alaska can originate there. And while this card isn’t offered to new applicants, those who hold the Aviator Red card can request an upgrade to the Silver version once their account has been open for 60 days. There’s a $195 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.
While these cards don’t offer a companion fare in the traditional sense, they can help you to earn Southwest’s famous Companion Pass, which offers unlimited companion tickets until the end of the following calendar year. Each point you earn from these cards counts towards the 110,000 points you need to earn to receive a Companion Pass. And with sign-up bonuses ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 points each, many cardholders are able to get most of the necessary points by applying for both the small business card and one of the personal cards. The Rapid Rewards Plus card has a $69 annual fee why both the personal and small business versions of the Premier card have a $99 annual fee. The Rapid Rewards Plus card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, but neither version of the Premier card has a foreign transaction fee.