The companion fare from the Alaska Air Visa Signature Card is one of the best airline credit card perks. In this post about the Alaska Air Companion Fare, you will learn how to obtain it, how to use it, and the best ways to maximize the value.
People who spend tons of money on travel cards will earn more points and miles. But, the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare is an easy way that everyday people can benefit from a credit card perk without having to spend as much.
Earning the Alaska Air Companion Fare
The only way to get the companion fare is by being approved for the Alaska Air Visa Signature card. Not only does it come with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in three months, but it also comes with an annual companion fare. From time to time, it will also come with a $100 statement credit.
It is simply a buy one ticket, get one ticket for $99 plus taxes and fees. The cardholder will get the companion fare each year that they have the card open. And, while the annual fee of this card is $75, the value of the money saved from the companion fare ticket once per year easily makes up the value of the annual fee.
The Alaska Air Visa Signature card also comes with a free checked bag for the cardholder and six guests on the same reservation, 3x miles for every $1 spend on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 1x miles for every $1 spend on all other purchases, 20% back on Alaska Airlines inflight purchases and 50% off Alaska Lounge day passes.
Rules for the Alaska Air Companion Fare
Unfortunately, there are several rules for the companion fare that you need to be aware of when booking your flight. The good news is that they aren’t super restrictive.
Must Be Economy Class
Gone are the days where you can get a great deal on Alaska’s first-class product. The companion fare must be booked into economy class. It can be booked into a saver fare level or main cabin.
With that said, elites are able to book into fare classes which could allow for an automatic upgrade at the time of booking.
Must Be Used on Alaska Air or Horizon Air
The companion fare must be used on Alaska or Horizon Air metal. It won’t be eligible for flights on American or other partner airlines. You are not able to use this on international partners like Aer Lingus or Air New Zealand. This limits it’s international usage to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Can Not Be Combined with Other Discounts
Because the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare is simply a discount code, you aren’t able to combine it with other codes or credits that you may have. But, this also means that there aren’t blackout dates – if there are two tickets available, you should be able to book them.
Flight Still Earns Miles and Benefits
Since it’s just a discount code, both travelers are still eligible for elite benefits as well as earning miles for the trip. If you have elite status, you will still earn miles + bonus elite status miles on top of it. No restrictions.
How to Maximize the Alaska Air Companion Fare
While it won’t be difficult to get value when using the companion fare, there are definitely ways to maximize the value of it even more. In order to get value, you just need to book a base fare of more than $196. That is the cost of the annual fee ($75) in addition to the companion fare plus taxes and fees ($99 +22).
Look, don’t just use one of these tricks to get more value. Use the companion fare how you need to use the companion fare — but, just make sure you’re at least breaking even!
Domestic Fares Get the Best Value
I’ve used the companion fare twice to go to Mexico, and while it saved us money, the taxes on those international flights were much higher than the typical $22 for domestic flights.
I saved roughly $200 on each flight to Puerto Vallarta when I used the companion fare, however, it was nothing compared to the nearly $500 I’ve saved on three different domestic trips.
Book an Open Jaw or Include a Stopover
Open-jaws and multi-city flights are possible using the companion fare. You don’t have to just book one-way or round-trip flights. You can book open jaws. This helps if you’re flying to areas where Alaska Airlines doesn’t have an extensive route network (e.g., the east coast).
For example, you could fly from Seattle to Boston and then Boston to Atlanta as Alaska Air has direct flights between those cities. You would then need to book a separate flight between Boston and Atlanta.
Companion Fare Is Clutch Around Holidays
With no blackout dates, flying around holidays has saved us a ton of money. Specifically, around the winter holidays, we’ve over $1,000 using the Alaska Air Companion Fare. My wife and I each hold the Alaska Air Visa Signature card, so we have two companion fares to use each year. We always use one to travel around the holidays when the cost of flights are higher.
Hawaii Is the Sweet Spot for the Companion Fare
Hawaii might be the sweet spot for the companion fare. While it is possible to find a sale fare between the mainland and Hawaii, it’s still pretty spendy.
Flights to Hawaii from the west coast tend to be on average the most expensive flights on Alaska Airlines. But, with no blackout dates, you will always get great value booking them with the companion fare.
Alaska Air Lets You Book Flights for Your Family and Friends
One of the best features of the Alaska Air Companion Fare is that you are able to use your discount code to book tickets for friends and family. The only requirement is that you have to use the Alaska Air Visa Signature Card to book the ticket.
So, don’t let your companion fare expire even if you don’t have a need for it. Use it on friends or family!
How to Book the Alaska Air Companion Fare
Booking the companion fare is very similar to booking a regular flight – just an extra step at the beginning! But, in order to make sure you know how to save money with the Alaska Air Companion Fare, we will walk you through it.
1. Find the Alaska Air Companion Fare Code
The first step is to sign into your Alaska Air Mileage Plan account. On the left side, you will notice a heading for “Discount and Companion Fare Codes”.
Click the Valid button.
2. Select Your Companion Fare Discount Code
Most people will have just a single companion code, but your next step is to select which companion fare discount code you want to use. I fyou have multiple options here, you’re looking for the “Bank of America Companion Fare”.
This screen also shows when your companion fare expires. You must book the companion fare flight by this time.
Click on the SHOP button.
3. Go Buy Your Flight
At this point, you will just search for your flights like you regularly would. Y
Only two things are different on this screen: you will see your discount code show up in the box on the bottom right and the flights are pre-populated for two adults. If you want to book an open-jaw or an extra stopover, simply click the “Multi-city” option on the left.
4. Select Your Flights
This page will look a little different, but simply click the flights you want to purchase. Clicking purchase will take you to the purchase screen.
5. Purchase the Flights!
The price for one person is $396.59. So, the companion pass will save me $261.56! Not the best value, but not horrible by any means! Happy flying.
Go Get the Alaska Air Companion Fare
The Alaska Air Companion Fare is one of the best airline credit card perks. There are several other airline credit cards with companion fares, however, none are as easy to use or as valuable as this one. It’s easy to value out of the fare even though there’s a $75 annual fee on the Alaska Air Visa Signature Card.
While we typically recommend cards that earn transferable points, the companion fare perk makes the Alaska Air Visa Signature card a no-brainer. Now, go fly somewhere with a friend for cheap!
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