There are many kinds of passes, so you’ll likely find one that fits your needs.
A companion pass is a airline perk that can be used to get a companion a reduced or waived airline ticket on a flight you’ve purchased for yourself. This perk is commonly offered by premium airline credit cards and is one of the most sought-after travel benefits.
Not all companion pass offers are the same. Some are more valuable and harder to earn than others. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most well-known companion pass programs and which credit cards can help you earn them.
What is a companion pass?
A companion pass allows you to book a reduced or waived airline ticket for a companion on a flight you’ve purchased for yourself. Cobranded airline credit cards can help you earn airline companion passes.
Different airlines call their companion passes by different names, such as companion certificate or companion fare, so take care when browsing your options.
How does a companion pass work?
The details of each companion pass differ from provider to provider, but most follow a similar structure:
- You earn the pass first by meeting specific eligibility requirements.
- Once you’ve obtained the pass, you can redeem it on a particular flight to add your companion.
- For most companion passes, you redeem your pass when signing up for your purchased flight. Most airlines don’t allow you to “add on” a companion pass to a flight you booked prior.
Compare credit cards that help you earn companion offers
How to get a companion pass.
Fulfill your cobranded credit card’s requirements to earn a pass. These typically include:
Some airlines require you to spend a certain value on eligible purchases in a given year for companion pass access. American Airlines, for example, requires you spend $30,000.
Other airlines, such as Alaska, merely require you to maintain card membership. Alaska Airlines will give you a companion pass on each card account anniversary date.
Some programs, such as Southwest’s Rapid Rewards, require you to earn a certain number of points on your account before you can get a companion pass.
On rare occasions, a credit card might offer a companion pass as part of the introductory bonus. These offers don’t often last long, so taking advantage of such a deal is a great value.
Companion pass comparison
How to book companion passes
Booking your companion pass will vary slightly depending on the airline. You can check out details for booking on your individual companion pass page.
Generally, most airlines will either post the pass to your account or send you a ticket featuring redemption information. Once you have this information, you can redeem the code online when you book your primary fare or call the airline to redeem your pass.
Companion passes can be a valuable credit card perk if you like to travel with a companion. Not all passes are worth basing your credit card choices around however, so compare your companion pass and credit card options to find the ideal combination of perk and purchasing power.