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TPG reader Jerry sent me an email to ask about earning rewards on companion fares:
“Can you earn Rapid Rewards points when using the Southwest Companion Pass? I understand the companion is ineligible, but what about the person who holds the pass?”
Airline companion fares are a great way to score flight discounts, as you can cut your overall cost almost in half. The Southwest Companion Pass is the most coveted of these special fares, thanks in large part to its flexibility — you can use the pass to bring your designated travel partner with you on any Southwest flight (including award flights) so long as there’s a seat available. Unsurprisingly, TPG readers chose the Companion Pass as the winner of our Travel Rewards Tournament earlier this year.
The rules for earning rewards and elite credits vary from one companion fare to another. As Jerry points out, companions on Southwest don’t earn Rapid Rewards points for flying with you. However, as a passholder you will earn points on flights that would normally be eligible (which is basically any paid flight, even if you’re redeeming a travel voucher). Your flights and Tier Qualifying Points will also count toward Southwest A-List status as normal.
This is often the case when flying with a companion. Both the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express offer miles to the primary passenger, but not to the companion. The same goes for the companion certificate offered by the AAdvantage Aviator Silver World Elite Mastercard. You’re paying for the first fare like you would any other revenue ticket, so it makes sense that you earn miles and elite credits.
There are also fares that allow companions to earn rewards. For example, both passengers earn miles when redeeming the Alaska Airlines companion certificate that comes with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card. That means for a paid round-trip flight between Boston and Maui (via Seattle), not only could you bring a companion with you for around $121, but also you’d each end up with more than 10,000 Mileage Plan miles (not including any bonuses), which is actually worth more than the cost of the companion fare!
For more information on the Southwest Companion Pass, check out these posts:
- How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass for Almost Two Years
- 16 Things Every Flyer Should Know About the Southwest Companion Pass
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees