Arguably the most valuable benefit of the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa cards is the annual companion fare. This discount code allows the cardholder to add a companion to a reservation for just $99 + taxes/fees (starting from $121 total). Practically any Alaska Airlines itinerary seems to qualify — one-way, round trip, open-jaws, etc. The merger with Virgin America has only enhanced this benefit as cardholders can now book travel with either Alaska or Virgin America — or an itinerary including both — and add a companion using this discount code. We wrote about that development last week.
In response to a post introducing our complete guide to companion benefits, reader Larry commented to ask the following:
Who can pay for the ticket?
Who can use my companion fare discount code?The Mileage Plan™ member who owns the companion fare discount code must either be one of the travelers or the purchaser of the reservation. If the member is allowing two travelers to use his or her companion fare discount code, then the member’s name must match the name on the credit card used to purchase the reservation.
Alaska MyWallet Solution
- My wallet credits may be redeemed at alaskaair.com for air travel on flights operated by Alaska Airlines flights 1-999, 2000-2999, and 3300-3499.
Larry asked a good question that led us to determine that you can use gift cards as a way to split payment for a companion fare over more than one credit card, but you can not pay for itineraries that include flights operated by Virgin America. Still, a good trick to have in the back pocket for a situations like this. One additional question that came to mind was how Citi Prestige travel protection benefits would be affected. According to my understanding of what I’ve read and this One Mile at a Time post, I believe you can still receive the full trip delay protection benefit when only paying part of the fare on your Prestige card (as Larry would be doing in this case), but trip cancellation would only apply up to the amount charged to your card (i.e. not the full benefit since $250 of the fare was paid with a gift card). I would encourage you to do your own due diligence if this is a concern for you and consider putting the entire trip on one card if full coverage is of key concern for you.