What are companion passes and how do they work? | finder.com
Mother and daughter on an airplane

What are companion passes and how do they work?

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

Get an additional airline ticket for a reduced or waived price.

Getting a companion ticket can be one of the most cost-effective methods for traveling if you often fly with a family member, friend or colleague. Sometimes you can earn a companion ticket by making enough purchases with an airline credit card. Though earning such a reward usually requires a high spending threshold, here are some cards that reward you with a companion pass by simply being a card member.

What is a companion pass?

A companion pass is an 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.

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 airline to airline, but most follow a similar structure:

  • You earn the companion pass 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.

Our pick for earning companion passes

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
  • Check your first bag for free and save up to $50 on a round trip Delta flight.
  • Find room for your carry-on and settle into your seat sooner with Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit with the American Express Delta Card.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Miles don’t expire.
  • Terms and limitations apply
Read less
Read more
See Rates & Fees
Promoted

Compare credit cards that help you earn companion offers

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
$195
Earn 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) plus 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Rates & fees
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99%, 21.99% or 26.99% variable
$450
Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Rates & fees
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$450
Earn 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. All information about this card has been collected independently by Finder. Rates & Fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$195
Earn 35,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Plus $100 after making a Delta purchase in the same time. All information about this card has been collected independently by Finder. Rates & Fees
2x miles on gas and select categories, 2x miles on American Airlines purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
70,000 AAdvantage® miles after making $4,000 in purchases in first 4 months of account opening.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to get a companion pass

Fulfill your cobranded credit card’s requirements to earn a pass. These typically include:

  • Spending requirements.

    Some airlines require you to spend a certain value on eligible purchases in a given year to earn a companion ticket. American Airlines, for example, requires you spend $30,000 each year to earn the ticket.

  • Membership requirements.

    Other airlines, such as Alaska, merely require you to maintain card membership. Alaska Airlines will give you a companion ticket on each card account anniversary date.

  • Point requirements.

    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.

  • Welcome offer.

    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

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines logo
Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines logo
Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines logo
Aeromexico
AeroMexico logo
Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines logo
British Airways
British Airways logo
American Airlines
American Airlines logo
Lufthansa Airlines
Lufthansa Airlines Logo Image: Supplied
Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus logo
Iberia
Iberia airlines logo

How to book a companion pass

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.

Bottom line

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.

If earning a companion pass seems enticing, but you’re still not sure whether these cards would be a good choice, check out other airline credit cards and compare your options.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site