In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. The information and associated card details on this page for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by OMAAT and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!There are various airline credit cards that offer some sort of a companion ticket for spending a certain amount.To me the single most valuable companion ticket is the one offered by Alaska Airlines, so in this post I wanted to look at that in more detail. This is particularly noteworthy given that this can be earned with the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (review). The card offers a companion fare both as part of the welcome bonus, and also as an ongoing annual perk just for being a cardmember. This is only one of the many reasons this card is worth considering.How to earn an Alaska companion fareThe basics of the Alaska companion fareHow to book a ticket with the Alaska companion fareHow to upgrade Alaska companion fare ticketBottom lineHow to earn an Alaska companion fareThere are two credit cards that offer Alaska companion fares.Both the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card and Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card offer a $121 companion fare annually. You receive a companion ticket as part of the welcome bonus, and also on your account anniversary every year.This is the reason I hold onto both cards, as there’s no spend requirement to earn the companion fare on your account anniversary. It just automatically posts.Alaska’s co-brand credit cards offer companion faresThe basics of the Alaska companion fareThe Alaska companion fare will automatically be deposited into your Mileage Plan account shortly after you complete the minimum spending on the card, and otherwise shortly after your account anniversary in subsequent years. The terms state that it could take up to two billing cycles, but in my experience it typically posts much faster than that.When it comes to redeeming the Alaska companion fare:The companion fare is only valid for tickets booked in economy, though all economy fare classes are included; you can travel throughout Alaska Airlines’ route network, including to Alaska, Hawaii, and international destinationsTickets booked with the Alaska companion fare are upgradeable, both for the primary passenger and companion (this includes using complimentary elite upgrades, Gold Guest upgrades, instant upgrade fares, etc.)Both passengers booked with the Alaska companion fare earn miles for their ticketsThe companion fare is valid for a year from when it’s issued, though that’s only the book-by date, while you can travel on a subsequent dateYou’re allowed to use the companion fare code for two other people (in other words, the cardmember doesn’t need to be traveling), but you will need to use your Alaska Visa to pay for the ticketBoth passengers need to be booked in the same itinerary, travel on the same flights, and be ticketed at the same timeThe companion fare is valid for roundtrip, one-way, and multi-city travelThe Alaska companion fare isn’t valid for award travel, or for travel that includes segments on any airlines other than Alaska or HorizonYou need to pay with your Alaska Credit Card to use your companion ticket, though fortunately the card offers triple miles on Alaska purchases, so it’s not a bad card to use anywayUse the Alaska companion fare to travel to HawaiiHow to book a ticket with the Alaska companion fareThe process of booking a ticket with the Alaska companion fare is really easy. Just log into your Mileage Plan account, and then on the left side scroll down to the area that says “Discount and companion fare codes,” and click “Valid.”There you’ll see a section that should list all of your valid codes along with their expiration dates, so if you see one there, just click the “SHOP” button.That will bring you to the booking page, where there will be an automatically generated code placed in the “Discount or companion fare code” box.Like I said above, you can use this for a one-way ticket, like from Tampa to Honolulu…Or you can use it for a roundtrip ticket, like from Los Angeles to Liberia, Costa Rica, which is one of Alaska’s furthest international destinations.You can even use this to book a multi-city trip, like flying from Tampa to Maui via Seattle, with a stopover there.How to upgrade Alaska companion fare ticketThe Alaska companion fare is limited to economy tickets, though the good news is that these tickets are upgradeable to first class. There are a few ways to go about this:MVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members are eligible for complimentary space available upgrades for themselves and a companion, and those upgrades start clearing at 72-120 hours before departure, respectively (MVP members don’t receive companion upgrades); note that Saver fares, booked in the “X” fare class, are excludedMVP Gold, MVP Gold 75K, and MVP Gold 100K members receive four Gold Guest Upgrades per year, each of which can be used to confirm a one-way upgrade at the time of booking, subject to upgrade availability; note that tickets booked in G, T, R, or X, fare classes aren’t eligibleElite members receive complimentary upgrades at the time of booking when booking certain fare classes and when there is confirmable upgrade availability; MVP members get complimentary upgrades on Y, S, and Z fares, MVP Gold members get complimentary upgrades on Y, S, B, M, and Z fares, and MVP Gold 75K and MVP Gold 100K members get complimentary upgrades on Y, S, B, M, H, and Z faresAll Mileage Plan members can upgrade on a space available basis for 15,000 miles one-way, though need to book a ticket in the Y, S, B, M, or H, fare classesAlaska companion fare tickets are upgradeableBottom lineA lot of airline credit cards offer companion tickets that come with all kinds of restrictions that make them virtually useless. That’s why I find Alaska’s companion tickets to be the most valuable out there, given that the companion is basically treated like any other paying passenger.This is also one of the reasons that I find Alaska credit cards to be worth holding onto long term. If you don’t yet have the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card, now is a great time to apply. That’s especially true when you consider the companion fare is only a small part of the welcome bonus.What has your experience been with Alaska’s companion tickets?


Source: onemileatatime.com