Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which MillionMileSecrets.com receives compensation. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards on Million Mile Secrets other than in banner advertising. MillionMileSecrets.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Everything you need to know about maximizing the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Everything you need to know about maximizing the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Jake PearringEverything you need to know about maximizing the Alaska Airlines Companion FareMillion Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Perhaps the only thing better than scoring a deal on your own vacation is finding a way to bring someone else along for less than half the cost of your own ticket. That’s why I want to highlight the long-overlooked, shockingly-simple-to-use Alaska Airlines Companion Fare. It’s saved me hundreds of dollars year after year, and totally makes the $75 annual fee on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card well worth the cost. It’s also a big reason we have the consumer version listed on our best airline credit cards guide.

If you ever travel with Alaska Airlines, this deal is for you. With the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare, you can save big on an Alaska Airlines airfare purchase for you and a friend, partner, or anyone else you might want to bring along. Especially on longer and/or more expensive itineraries, this can mean hundreds of dollars of savings.

Maui is calling (at half price) with the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare. (Photo by Maui Topical Images/Shutterstock)

Guide to using the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare: Get $900+ in value

The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare that you can earn with the personal Alaska Airlines credit card and the Alaska Airlines business credit card is a promotional code you can use to bring a companion along on an Alaska Airlines flight for as little as $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22). You can use it on any Alaska Airlines round-trip coach flight, but there are a few booking restrictions (more on that in a bit).

That’s a killer deal — and one of the best parts is that you’ll still earn Alaska Airlines miles on the flight. Alaska Airlines miles are awarded based on the distance you fly, so there is potential to get outsized value if you can find a cheap longer-distance flight. Some of the best ways to redeem Alaska miles include flights to Asia or Australia on partner airlines like Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Qantas. When you use Alaska Airlines miles to book award flights you also can add in a stopover for free, even on one-way tickets.

The only way to earn a Companion Fare is with the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card or Alaska Airlines Visa® Business credit card. Both currently come with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Alaska Airlines miles plus the Companion Fare after you spend $2,000 or more on purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account.

I’ve had both of these cards in the past, and consider them to be long-term keepers because of the annual companion code. After signing up for one of these cards and paying the annual fee, the Companion Fare will post in your account automatically. As soon as the promotional code appears in your account, you’re ready to book.

Things to remember about the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

As mentioned before, the Companion Fare is actually a unique promotional code that you apply when searching for fares on the Alaska Airlines website. There’s no physical certificate (thank goodness, since I always lose those), and the code will be automatically stored in your Alaska Airlines loyalty account. To see if you already have an available Companion Fare, navigate to “Discount and Companion Fare Codes” in your account.

Here are some rules and restrictions you should know about the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare:

  • Can only be used for coach travel on Alaska Airlines operated flights
  • Both tickets must be booked into the same fare class, at the same time
  • Companion Fare codes expire one year after they are issued, and must be booked by the expiration date (though travel can occur any time in the future)

Those are the rules, but here are some of the benefits which make the companion fare particularly exciting:

  • Although travel must be booked in coach, you can use Gold guest upgrades to upgrade your flights to first class. If you have Alaska Airlines elite status, both passengers are upgrade eligible.
  • Both passengers earn miles (both redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles) for the flights.
  • There are no blackout dates. So those peak travel times (like the day before Thanksgiving, or the week after Christmas) are Companion Fare eligible.

For a full rundown of the rules and restrictions, check out the Alaska Airlines FAQ page.

Best uses of the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

There are good ways to use the Companion Fare — and then some killer ways. Generally speaking, cross-country flights and trips around peak travel dates are the most strategic for saving on your second passenger’s airfare. You can also use the companion ticket for open-jaw tickets, or tickets with stopovers, to extend your adventures.

Enter your Companion Fare code when beginning your flight search.

For example, you could fly from New York to Seattle and stop for a weekend, on to Los Angeles for a week, then return to Washington, and use a Companion Fare to bring a friend along. As long as the general travel direction is consistent, you can make multiple stops to get tons of value from your companion fare.

Last summer, my wife and I traveled from Washington to Maui for a family reunion during peak vacation season. That round-trip fare (routing through Portland) was in the range of $1,000 per person in coach. Ouch!

Prices were similar regardless of airline, and saver-level award flights were impossible to find. So I turned to Alaska Airlines, armed with my newly earned Companion Fare.

Look for the red “E” when searching for companion fare flights.

Fortunately, the itinerary we wanted was available for two passengers in the same booking class. I had a Companion Fare, easily applied it, selected the flights, and made out like a bandit paying ~$1,100 for two round-trip flights instead of $2,000+.

You can even do better than that, although the Companion Fare’s terms specifically exclude multiple stopovers, I was able to easily find an itinerary with two stopovers and an open-jaw. The flight below is for a three week vacation from Chicago to Kahului, with a 4-day visit in Portland on the way, returning from Honolulu with a three-day stopover in Seattle.

This same itinerary would have cost $850+ more without the discount code and it was super easy to find. I plugged in random days and had my choice of just about any flight time available on the first search.

Companion fare tips and tricks

If you can’t make use of an expiring Companion Fare, you can use the benefit for any other two people traveling on the same itinerary, but you must pay for the tickets using the fare owner’s Bank of America Alaska Airlines card.

You can use MVP Gold elite status guest upgrades, or Alaska Airlines miles, to upgrade flights booked with the companion fare. When I booked last year’s Maui trip, I used four Gold guest upgrade certificates to upgrade our flights. Those four upgrade certificates in conjunction with the companion discount meant that we flew round-trip, 10-12 hours each way, in first class for about $500 per person.

We loved that trip so much that we’ll be returning, but now we will be flying nonstop from San Diego (our new home) to Maui with our 6-month old daughter in tow. Because infants under two years old fly for free on your lap, we’re getting three passengers for the price of one — another score

Bottom line

I could go on and on about how awesome the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare is if you use it strategically. With Alaska Airlines’ broad route network and flexible schedules, most folks can leverage this benefit.

Remember, you can only get it through the Alaska Airlines Visa credit card or Alaska Airlines Visa Business card. I’ve personally saved thousands of dollars planning travel using the Companion Fare. And we’ve been fortunate enough to upgrade long trips to first class, too.

Have you been able to use an Alaska Airlines Companion Fare code? How much money did you save?

For more credit card news, deals and analysis sign up for our newsletter here.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

  • Now - 40,000 Bonus Mile + Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
  • Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
  • Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! Each year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com with no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases. And, your miles don't expire on active accounts.
  • New! Enjoy 50% off day passes at the Alaska Lounge and 20% back on all Alaska Airlines inflight purchases when you pay with your new card.
  • Redeem miles with no blackout dates on any of Alaska's 1,200 daily flights or choose from over 900+ destinations with more than a dozen global airline partners. Plus, get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Alaska Airlines Hotels.
  • Plus, no foreign transaction fees and a low $75 annual fee.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

3comments

by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

This article discusses that you took a trip from New York to Seattle stopped in Los Angeles and then back to New York. It would be beneficial if you showed HOW to book and make a flight plan like this using screens from the Alaska site. Help!!

Hi Jake,

Nice article. Welcome to San Diego. I myself made the move from Washington (Virginia) to San Diego 11 years ago and love it.

My wife and I recently signed up for the Alaska Airlines business cards (held off for now on the personal cards as we are both at capacity for the Chase 5/24 rule and want to get some Chase cards in the near future). I’m not sure how much benefit we will get from the companion fare as I hate paying cash for flights 🙂 and we also have the Southwest companion pass/miles and take advantage of that mostly. Also, we have a stash of BA miles we use to fly to Hawaii for 25k miles each (heading back in August). Can the Alaska companion pass be used in conjunction with Alaska award bookings or must both tickets be paid with cash?