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While flying may be a modern-day miracle, it can put a dent in your wallet. Fortunately, some airline credit cards offer companion passes and discounts, making trips with a friend or family member much more affordable.

They go by a variety of names: companion pass, companion certificate, companion fare, companion ticket, etc. They all offer a similar benefit. Although most airlines offer a discount only for you and your travel buddy, there are ways to earn fully comped tickets.

Curious as to which airlines and cards offer the most help when it comes to cutting down on travel costs? Buckle up, because Bankrate is here to guide you to your destination.

Which airlines offer companion passes?

The list includes:

Southwest Airlines companion pass

Southwest’s companion pass is quite possibly the most popular on the market. For just taxes and fees (roughly $5 per one-way ticket), you can bring a companion with you on any trip for up to two calendar years after earning companion pass status.

To clarify, once you earn the pass, Southwest will let you bring a friend along until the end of the year, plus a full calendar year after.

The best part? There’s no limit on the number of times you can use the pass.

How to earn the companion pass

There are two ways to qualify for the Southwest companion pass; completing 100 individual Southwest flights within a year or earning 110,000 points through Southwest Rapid Rewards.

Points earned through Rapid Rewards will count toward your travel plus-one, but any points that are purchased, transferred or converted from another loyalty program will not apply.

From our research, reaching the 110,000 point mark is likely much easier than taking 100 individual flights, so here are the cards that can help get you there:

What you should know

The value of your companion pass will not change once you’ve earned status, but you will want to plan ahead to make sure you take full advantage of the benefit.

By timing up your companion pass status, you can have up to two full years of nearly-free companion travel.

How to redeem

Once you’ve reached one of the companion pass milestones, book a flight with Southwest. You should see an option to add a companion to your flight for no additional ticket charge.

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American Airlines companion certificate

Depending on what you carry in your wallet, American Airlines credit cards give you two companion certificate options.

The CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® allows you to bring along a guest on one round-trip main cabin ticket for $99, plus taxes and fees, after you spend $30,000 or more in a year and renew your card. For the same price per ticket, you’ll be able to take advantage of this offer for two guests if you carry the AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard® and spend at least $20,000 annually.

How to earn the companion certificate

Earning a companion certificate with American Airlines is simple. When you spend $30,000 over the course of a year with one of the cards mentioned above, renewing your membership will get you rewarded.

What you should know

The certificate expires after a year and is only valid for flights within the continental United States.

How to redeem

When you reach the qualifications, American Airlines will send you a companion certificate with specific booking details.

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British Airways Travel Together

British Airways offers its own version of companion passes with Travel Together Tickets. With the ticket, you’ll receive a second seat (of equal value) to bring a friend along — paying only taxes, fees and carrier charges. The offer is reserved for British Airways reward flights that originate in and return to the United States.

How to earn the Travel Together Ticket

Using a British Airways Visa Signature® Card, you’ll need to spend $30,000 over a calendar year to qualify for the offer.

What you should know

After qualifying for the ticket, it is good for two full years. Be aware that taxes, fees and carrier charges on international flights can often exceed $1,000, so the Travel Together offer certainly varies in value.

How to redeem

To use a Travel Together Ticket, log into your British Airways account and select to take advantage of the offer when booking an applicable flight.

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Delta Air Lines companion certificate

Through Delta SkyMiles, you can earn a companion certificate allowing you to bring along a travel buddy on eligible round trip flights. The offer is good for domestic flights and your companion’s ticket is covered, with taxes and fees capped at $75.

How to earn the companion certificate

Delta will reward cardholders with a companion certificate each year of membership upon the renewal of your card. There are currently four eligible cards:

  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (main cabin only)
  • Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (main cabin only)
  • Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express (first class eligible)
  • Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card (first class eligible)

What you should know

You won’t receive a certificate until you renew your card membership, so it’ll take waiting until your second year to reap the benefit. Once you’ve been awarded the certificate, you have until your next renewal date to take advantage.

How to redeem

The certificate will be uploaded to your SkyMiles account after you qualify. From there, it’s as simple as logging into your account and check your Wallet to redeem.

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Hawaiian Airlines companion discount

With Hawaiian Airlines, cardholders will earn an annual $100 discount. You also have the potential to receive a one-time 50% off companion ticket when signing up.

How to earn the companion discount

Depending on your card, you may be given your one-time discount as a gift when becoming a Hawaiian Airlines cardholder:

  • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® (one-time 50% off ticket and $100 yearly companion discount)
  • Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® (one-time 50% off ticket and $100 yearly companion discount)
  • Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard® ($100 yearly companion discount)

What you should know

The one-time 50% discount is eligible for 13 months after opening your account and annual $100 discounts are good for 12 months after each anniversary. Unfortunately, the 50% off doesn’t apply to taxes or fees.

How to redeem

On your Hawaiian Airlines account, find your MasterCard companion discount and book your travel.

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Alaska Airlines Famous Companion Fare

When you sign up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card and spend $2,000 in your first 90 days, you’ll earn 40,000 miles right off the bat. Additionally, you’ll be gifted a Famous Companion Fare, allowing you to purchase a round-trip coach ticket for your plus-one for a $99 base fee, plus taxes starting from $22.

How to earn the companion fare

New cardholders who meet the requirements above will be rewarded their bonus miles, but with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card, you’ll still receive the companion discount when meeting the 90-day threshold. Both card memberships come with an additional companion fare each year.

What you should know

Alaska Airlines’ companion offer includes Virgin America flights, covering most of the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada. Companion fares are eligible for one-time use until your next account anniversary.

How to redeem

You’ll have to book through Alaska Airlines when using your companion fare. After logging into your account, head to “My Account”, where you’ll find options to shop with your applied discount.

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Lufthansa companion ticket

Lufthansa rewards Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® holders with ways to earn an economy class ticket for a guest. You’ll still have to pay taxes and fees, but you’ll be gifted a fully covered ticket in each year you hold your card membership.

How to earn the companion ticket

When you sign up for the card, you’ll be gifted your initial companion ticket after you complete your first purchase. Afterward, you’ll receive an additional companion ticket on each account anniversary if you hold your membership.

What you should know

Lufthansa’s companion offers are good from the date they’re issued until your next account anniversary.

How to redeem

To reserve a seat with a companion ticket, you’ll have to call the Miles & More Companion Ticket Service at 866-461-5399.

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The bottom line

While each airline offers ways to save when traveling with friends or family, some require serious planning to take full advantage. Thanks to its unlimited use and attainable goals, we see the Southwest Companion Pass as the top option when it comes to flying with friends.

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a once-in-a-while traveler, your pocket will feel a little heavier when you’re able to bring company along at a fraction of the cost.

The information for the following cards has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority
  • AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver Mastercard®
  • British Airways Visa Signature® Card
  • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®
  • Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard®
  • Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

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