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Ask a Points Nerd: Our Ultimate Travel Tip for Couples

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Screw sweets and roses — journey is one of the best Valentine’s present. Nothing beats a good previous whisking-off-to-an-exotic-locale for romance.

But, whilst you could also be a romantic at coronary heart, you’re additionally a cheapskate — and the price of two round-trip flights could make that bouquet of flowers appear fairly compelling by comparability.

Fortunately there’s a easy technique to fulfill each your inside Scrooge and your inside Don Juan: companion tickets.

What’s a companion ticket?

They go by many names: “companion passes,”  “companion fares,” “companion certificates,” and so on. And whereas they differ within the particulars, all of them supply the identical primary worth proposition: two round-trip airfares for the worth of 1.

(Notice that a “companion” could be the item of your coronary heart’s want, however doesn’t should be. You received’t should go a take a look at from “The Newlywed Recreation” on the boarding space.)

Sound too good to be true? Properly, there are some caveats.

First, you typically should pay the taxes and costs on the second ticket. So if the ticket is $100 plus $20 in charges, the full value for each will come to $140, because you’ll owe taxes on the second. Some companion tickets cost an extra payment on high of this, making them solely helpful for costly flights.

Second, you must earn the companion ticket by some means. The airways that provide them have completely different techniques for doing this, however they are often damaged into two basic varieties: Bank card companion tickets and high-spender companion tickets.

Who ought to get a companion ticket?

Earlier than we dive into the 2 methods to earn these tickets, right here’s how you can perceive which one you must contemplate:

  • Are you a semi-infrequent traveler trying to keep away from the sticker shock of an annual household journey? Take into account a bank card companion ticket, which does simply that.
  • Are you a fixed traveler, both for enterprise or pleasure and looking out for some firm on these lonesome resort nights? Take into account a high-spender companion ticket such because the Southwest Companion Move.
  • Are you overwhelmed by the considered coping with all this? Does your long-term reminiscence not have room for one thing known as a “companion ticket?” Skip it! Save your self the headache of not solely managing it, but additionally studying the remainder of this text.

Bank card companion tickets

Some airline bank cards embrace a single companion fare or certificates yearly for cardholders. When you have considered one of these playing cards, you may e-book one journey yearly with two seats for the worth of 1 (plus taxes and costs).

Be mindful: These bank cards all have their very own annual charges. Discover how these charges hold stacking on high of one another? You continue to should pay the cardboard annual payment plus the conventional charges on the ticket plus any charges related to the companion certificates.

That’s all to say, these bank card certificates are a nice technique to offset one huge costly flight you’re taking collectively every year. That could possibly be a romantic Hawaiian getaway or simply an obnoxiously costly flight house for the vacations.

The largest motive towards getting considered one of these bank cards (and their companion certificates) is that if the one flights you’re anticipating to take collectively within the coming 12 months are low cost ones. A companion fare received’t do you an infinite quantity of fine for a New-York-to-Miami weekend.

Bonus: Some companion fares have lax definitions of “round-trip,” which implies you will get 4 flights for the worth of 1 for those who play your (credit score) playing cards proper.

Excessive-spender companion tickets

Top-of-the-line-known high-spender companion tickets is the Southwest Companion Move. This go permits you to get a “free” companion airfare not simply as soon as (like some bank card one-offs) however as many occasions as you need inside a 12 months.

I’m nonetheless unsure who needs to spend that a lot time crammed in a seat subsequent to their accomplice, however the monetary upside of the Companion Move is clearly enormous. And that’s why Southwest makes it particularly tough to earn.

In different phrases, don’t depend on getting the Companion Move this February — however for those who plan forward (and fly a bunch), you might give the present of limitless journey subsequent 12 months.

Another packages supply companion passes and reductions for excessive spenders, largely by means of their bank cards, however Southwest’s is essentially the most well-known for good motive. It’s an unimaginable worth for those that fly a lot with their boo.

Companion ticket backside line: It’s (most likely) value it

I simply threw a lot of information at you, however right here’s the TL;DR:

  • When you’re new to the journey hacking recreation, contemplate beginning with a bank card that provides a companion certificates.
  • When you’re flying a ton on Southwest or spending a ton on bank cards, contemplate a high-spender method to incomes your companion ticket.
  • Use a one-time companion ticket to offset the price of the most costly flight you’ll take collectively within the 12 months.
  • Bear in mind: Flying collectively has its perks, like shoulder-assisted naps.

Feeling overwhelmed about how you can use your factors and miles? I’m right here to assist. On this column, I reply your questions in regards to the baffling world of journey rewards, reducing by means of the jargon to supply clear solutions to actual issues. Ship your inquiries to [email protected]

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