Alaska Airlines Visa Annual Companion Fare Benefit Guide [2021]

One of the most valuable benefits for the Alaska Airlines Visa is the annual companion fare. If used properly, it is a way to not only offset your annual fee but to come out on top by a large margin (sometimes several hundred dollars).

In other words, it can make your Alaska Airlines Visa card worth holding onto in the long term.

In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about the Alaska Airlines Visa Annual companion fare.

What is the Alaska Airlines Visa companion fare?

The companion fare is a recurring benefit offered to Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card holders that allows you to book a discounted economy ticket for a companion every year.

It is also sometimes offered as a benefit in the form of a welcome bonus.

This is a single use companion fare ticket which is quite different from something like the Southwest Companion Pass which you can use multiple times.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Arrival time

If your account is open with active charging privileges on your account anniversary date, you will receive the Companion Fare code within the first 2 billing cycles after the Anniversary date each year.

The Alaska FAQ states that, “[t]ypically, your account anniversary will fall approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the date on which you originally open your credit card account.”

This means that you could be waiting quite some time for that benefit to arrive after your true account anniversary date.

In reality, you may receive the companion fare much quicker than that, as it may show up only a couple of weeks after your account open date.

Once the companion fare code arrives, it should be directly credited to your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan account. I’m not aware of notifications that go out for this benefit so you will just need to be on the lookout for it.

There is also a companion fare that often is attached to the welcome bonus.

To earn that, you will have to meet a minimum spend requirement such as spending $2,000 in the first 90 days after opening up your account but this requirement could change.

If you are earning a companion fare with your welcome bonus, it will likely appear shortly after the statement closes that you hit your minimum spend in.


You can use this code for a round-trip or one-way coach companion fare on Alaska Airlines.

The big take away here is that you must book a coach fare ticket and that you cannot use the code for partner airlines like American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, etc.

(In the past you could use your pass to purchase first class tickets.)


You’ll need to be traveling with another guest on a paid published ticket on the same itinerary and the ticket will need to be booked at the same time on


You can use the companion fare for one way or round trip travel and can even book open jaws or multi-city itineraries.

Booking multi-city itineraries is a great way to expand the value of your benefit. In some cases, you could be adding on a few hundred bucks in savings.

Just note that multiple stopovers are not allowed.

I have seen some reports of people getting the companion fare to apply to itineraries with multiple stopovers but that goes against the terms of the benefits so you can’t expect that to always work.


You will be responsible for paying the $99 base fare plus the taxes and fees which may total to $121. (Other fees such as baggage fees may apply as well.)

The annual fee for this credit card is $75 so if you are able to find a companion fare that totals $196 or more, you are coming out on top with this card.

That should not be difficult to do when flying across the country with Alaska Airlines. However, if you are looking to book shorter flights around the West Coast it may be much more difficult to find a deal that makes sense.

Note: There have been special offers in the past where the $99 base fare is waived so be on the lookout for those.

Related: 20 Best uses of Alaska Airline Mileage Plan Miles

Eligible travelers

This companion fare has great flexibility when it comes to the eligibility of the travelers using the perk.

That is because the cardmember who receives the companion fare code does NOT have to be a traveler on the reservation.

The Alaska Mileage Plan member who owns the companion fare code must be either: 1) one of the travelers or 2) simply the purchaser of the reservation.

That makes using this perk substantially easier for a lot of people.

Note: If you are the companion fare holder and not traveling then your name must match the name on the credit card used to purchase the reservation.

Credit card used

You will need to purchase the primary ticket and also the companion fare with your Alaska Airlines credit card.

This is super important for people considering canceling their card.

Some people might consider canceling their Alaska card right after they receive the companion fare benefit but if you do that then you will not be eligible for the benefit since you won’t be able to use your card for the purchase.

This was not always the case so if you used this benefit prior to October 2019 just note that this was a recent change.


You must redeem your companion fare code online within 12 months of the date of issue. (Your companion fare code must be redeemed by 11:59 pm PT on the expiration date.)

Once you have received your ticket, the travel date may occur after the expiration of your companion fare code.

So let’s say that your companion fare code expired October 15, 2021. If you booked your ticket prior to October 15, 2021 for a flight the next month, that would be allowed by the rules.

According to the terms and conditions, the expiration date cannot be extended and if your companion fare code expires it cannot be restored or exchanged.

One possible work around here is that you could book a full fare economy ticket which allows for maximum flexibility with changes.

You can purchase tickets for up to 330 days in advance so you could purchase a full fare ticket almost a year in advance and then change the ticket once you know your exact travel plans.

You should be able to change the ticket type and also the destination. If your new ticket is cheaper than the initial ticket then you can be refunded the difference.

Finding your companion fare discount code

To locate your companion fare discount code log into your Alaska account and look under the “discount and companion fare codes” section.

As long as you are the primary cardholder, you should be able to find it here.

In order to use your code, from the “discount and companion fares codes” section simply click on “shop” next to your discount code. This is also where you can view the expiration date.

After you select “shop,” the companion fare code will be automatically copied into the discount or companion fare code field as you search for flights.

Just make sure that you select only two travelers because that is the only way to book a flight with the discount code.

(If you are trying to fly with more than one individual, you will need to make a separate booking for them.)

As you proceed to check out you should see the breakdown of your itinerary and under the total price you should see the companion price set at $99.

Note that you will also have to cover the fees which will typically total at least $22.

Be sure to check out: Alaska Airlines Club 49: (Deals & Baggage Fee Benefits)

Alaska Airlines Visa companion fare FAQs

Will I earn miles for the companion fare flights?

Yes, you and the guest can earn mileage credit for the flights.

Can I use the companion fare code on award tickets?

No, unfortunately you cannot use the companion fare code on award tickets.

When will I receive my annual companion fare?

Alaska states that it could take a couple of billing cycles for you to receive the companion fare but some people receive the companion fare within just a few weeks after the anniversary of the account open date.

Does the cardholder have to travel on the companion fare?

No, if the cardholder is not traveling they only have to use their card to purchase the revenue ticket and the companion fare ticket.

Can you upgrade the companion fare?

If there are two upgradable seats available, you may be able to upgrade your companion fare using miles, elite + companion upgrades, guest upgrades, or paid upgrades that may be offered at check-in. 

What airlines can I use the companion fare on?

The companion fare is valid on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air and on PenAir between Anchorage and Dutch Harbor. It is not valid on codeshare flights.

Final word

As you can tell, this could be quite a lucrative benefit for those who fly Alaska Airlines. If you can utilize it on a ticket costing $196 or more then you will be in the clear for completely offsetting the annual fee of your Alaska Airlines credit card.

Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card Review [2020]

The Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card is a superb airlines credit card. You can earn a lot of valuable miles with this card and utilize perks like free checked baggage and a discounted companion fare. The welcome bonus isn’t too shabby, either!

In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card.

Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card overview

  • 3X on Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 1X on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Companion fare
  • Free checked bag
  • In-flight discount
  • $75 annual fee

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Welcome bonus

The bonus for the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card will change over time but you might encounter one of the standard offers like 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 or more in the first 90 days after opening up your account.

Alaska has one of the best frequent flyer programs because you can use their miles on some pretty fantastic partners including:

  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • Japan Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Korean Air

If you fly economy, 40,000 miles is enough to get you all the way over to Asia! But if you are staying put in the US, you could use 40,000 Alaska miles to book a few domestic flights and get you around the US.

If you want to learn more about how to maximize your Alaska Airline miles check out the top 20 ways to use your Alaska miles!

Tip: Sometimes you can find offers that come with an additional $50 to $100 statement credit. These offers can sometimes be found by clicking through banners on the Alaska Airlines website.

If you find an offer with an additional statement credit, such as a $100 credit, you will usually receive your credit after you meet the minimum spend requirement.

For example, if the minimum spend requirement is $2,000, after you reach that you will qualify for the mileage bonus and the $100 statement credit. (It may take up to 8 to 12 weeks to receive the credit.)

Screenshot of special offer containing $100 statement credit
An example of an offer with a $100 statement credit.

Bank of America application rules 

Bank of America just switched up their application rules and now you’ll have to deal with more complicated rules.

Below are the rules you need to consider. 

You can’t get approved for more than: 

  • Two new BOA cards in a 30 day period
  • Three new BOA cards in a 12 month period
  • Four new BOA cards in a 24 month period

Here are more rules: 

  • Applicants with a BOA deposit account will not be approved if they have opened seven or more credit cards in the past 12 months.
  • Applicants without a BOA deposit account will not be approved if they have opened three or more credit cards  in the past 12 months

In addition, you have specific rules related to the Alaska Airlines credit card, which state:

This card may not be available to you if you currently have or have had the card in the preceding 24 month period. 

The last thing that I will mention is that Bank of America likes to approve customers who hold a bank account with them. So if you don’t have a relationship with them, consider opening up a checking or savings account to improve your approval odds.

So there are a lot of rules to keep in mind when going for this card. I just suggest for you to use the free app WalletFlo so that you can automate your eligibility for credit cards and boost your approval odds!

Bonus categories 

  • 3X on Alaska Airlines purchases
  • 1X on all other purchases

3X on Alaska Airlines purchases

You can earn 3X miles on virtually any Alaska Airlines related purchases including:

  • Alaska Airlines tickets
  • In-flight food and beverage purchases
  • Lounge memberships
  • In-lounge food and beverage purchases
  • Cargo purchases
  • Vacation packages billed by Alaska Airlines as the merchant of record and booked directly through Alaska Airlines.

Eligible Alaska Airlines Vacation Packages must be booked via the Alaska Airlines website or by calling the Alaska Airlines Vacation Packages toll free number.

Earning 3X on Alaska Airlines purchases is pretty solid. Many other co-branded airline cards will limit you to only 2X on the airlines so this has other cards beat from that perspective.

Using a WalletFlo valuation of 1.63, 3X comes out to 4.89% back. That’s very good for a return on airline spend making this one of the best travel rewards credit cards.

1X on all other purchases

I’ve never been big on earning 1X on all purchases considering that cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer 1.5X on all purchases.

Still, if it is Alaska miles that you are after, at least you can continue to build that balance up with 1X earnings.

Alaska Airlines travel benefits

Free checked bag

With this card, you can get a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation. (Just make sure everybody is on the same itinerary to get this benefit.)

You will also need to be on a qualifying flight which means that you will need to fly on flights marketed by Alaska Airlines and operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, SkyWest or PenAir (codeshare flights operated by other carriers are not eligible).

Some co-branded airline cards limit the free checked bag to only one companion so getting up to six guests is a nice perk.

A checked bag on Alaska will normally cost you $30 so if you were to use this for six people, you could be saving up to $180 on a one-way flight.

So for many people, this perk alone could justify the annual fee which is already on the lower side at $75.

Tip: Check out the ultimate guide to checked baggage to find out everything you need to know about how to avoid baggage fees.

Alaska Airlines purchase discounts

  • 20% back on in-flight purchases
  • 50% off day passes at the Alaska lounge

When you use your Alaska Airlines credit card, you can get discounts on certain purchases. You can use the in-flight purchase discount on things like beverages, food, and internet.

Getting 20% back on in-flight purchases is pretty solid although it is not as good as the JetBlue Plus Card which offers 50% back.

Getting 50% off day passes at Alaska Lounges is really nice because a day pass will normally cost you $50 which means that you’ll be saving about $25 per visit. Not bad.

Tip: If you are really interested in airport lounge access, you might want to consider a card like the Platinum Card that has one of the best lounge access benefits you’ll come across!

Annual companion fare

Each year, you will be issued Alaska’s “Famous” companion fare. This is a one time companion pass that allows a companion to fly with you for only $99 plus fees.

The fees are usually about $22 so the total price for this companion ticket comes out to about $121 each year.

You can use this perk for valid round-trip or one-way coach Companion Fares when traveling on a paid published coach airfare on the same itinerary, booked at the same time on

So this is a nice benefit but to get the most out of it you need to find a decently expensive coach fare. Otherwise, your savings could be minimal.

By the way, if you were looking to save on airfare with Alaska Airlines and you reside in the state of Alaska, you might look into Club 49.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining

Your card will be automatically enrolled in Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining, a dining rewards program where you can earn 1 mile for every $2 spent at participating restaurants.

Additional benefits

“Museums on Us” Program

The Bank of America “Museums on Us Program” is a special program that allows Bank of America customers to visit museums all around the US free of charge on a select weekend each month. Find out more about it here. 

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection consists of over 900 hotels around the world and offers you special privileges when you use the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection portal to book your hotel stay. Here are some of the perks you can get: 

  • Best available rate guarantee
  • Automatic room upgrade when available
  • Complementary in room Wi-Fi when available
  • Complementary breakfast for two
  • $25 food and beverage credit
  • VIP guest status
  • Late checkout upon request when available

As long as you get approved for the Visa Signature version, you will have this benefit.

Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card FAQ

Does the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card come with MVP elite status?

No, the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card does not come with MVP elite status.

Does the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card come with free checked luggage?

Yes, you can get one free checked bag for you and up to six companions.

Do I have to pay with my Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card to get the free checked bag?

No, you do not have to use your Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card to receive the free checked baggage benefit.

Does the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card offer lounge access?

No, the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card does not provide you with free lounge access but it does offer a 50% discount on day passes to Alaska lounges.

Do you get priority boarding?

No, you will not get priority boarding. You can find out more details about the boarding process for Alaska Airlines here.

What is the annual fee?

The annual fee is $75.

Does the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card have foreign transaction fees?

No, it does not have any foreign transaction fees.

Who issues the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card?

Bank of America is the issuer of the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card.

What is the difference between the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature and Platinum Plus?

In the past, Bank of America would approve customers for the Platinum Plus version of this card if they had a lower credit score. That card came with a lower bonus and less benefits so the Visa Signature is the version that you most likely want to pursue.

Can I get the personal and the business version of this card?

Yes, you can get approved for the personal and the business version of the Alaska Airlines credit card.

Final word

Overall, I am a big fan of this credit card because you can use your miles on some fantastic partners. I also think that it has great earning potential on Alaska Airlines purchases along with solid free checked baggage benefits.