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Best companion ticket credit cards in Canada

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Updated: January 30, 2024

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Frequent fliers are always on the hunt for travel credit cards with welcome bonuses generous enough to let you soar the skies for free. But one step up from that is an even rarer beast: Cards that come with a low-cost companion fare ticket, allowing you to fly a friend, family member, or significant other alongside you–on top of a regular welcome bonus!

While these companion fares usually do come with some kind of a price tag (albeit low), if you’re smart you can use a cheap companion fare for a flight that has a significantly higher cost on the regular market, saving you quite a bit of dough. Imagine flying your companion from Vancouver to Hawaii or from Toronto to Orlando, round trip, for only $121 USD! The savings are massive. But what makes some of these offers truly delectable is the fact that they give you a round-trip companion ticket each and every year you keep the card open and in good standing, and there is no minimum spend required.

There are usually no blackout dates for a companion seat and you can use it for any flight associated with the card’s partner airline. That said, there are subtle variations between each companion fare program, variations that you’ll want to pay attention to before you finalize which card you go with.

Annual round-trip companion ticket credit cards

Credit Card
Companion Fare Cost
Companion Fare Type
Annual Fee
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
$0-$399 CAD(3)
Annual
$119
RBC British Airways Visa Infinite
$0 base fare (must pay taxes, fees, and surcharges)
Annual
$165
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
$99-$599 CAD
Annual
$599

†Terms and conditions apply.

WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Quick Facts

Who's eligible?
Minimum credit score: Good/Excellent
Minimum Income: $80,000 personal/$150,000 household
Age: Age of majority in province/territory
Residency: Canadian resident

The WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard offers two different annual companion voucher options: You can pay $119 (plus taxes, fees and charges) for a companion to fly with you within Canada and the Continental U.S. or pay $399 for a ticket to anywhere else WestJet flies (like Hawaii, Mexico, or Europe). The only notable restrictions are that the primary cardholder has to fly on the same itinerary as the companion, and the ticket must be for a Basic, Econo, EconoFlex, Premium, or PremiumFlex fare; the voucher is not valid on Premium, PremiumFlex, Business, BusinessFlex or Member Exclusive fares. And it’s only valid for new bookings made through westjet.com or via WestJet’s contact centre. That’s nonetheless a great deal for a card with an annual fee of $119.

Outside the companion voucher the card earns 1.5% WestJet dollars per $1 you spend on everyday purchases8 and 2% back per $1 spent on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages8. There are also some nice perks like a free checked bag for the primary cardholder and as many as eight additional guests travelling on the same reservation4, as well as comprehensive travel insurance, including emergency medical insurance20 as well as trip interruption insurance21, hotel burglary18 and rental car insurance19. Even eligible purchases you make on the card are protected. Finally the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard is currently offering a hefty welcome bonus: For a limited time, get up to 450 welcome WestJet dollars1. Save up to $1,350 on your next trip with the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard2.

• Get up to 4501 welcome WestJet dollars (a value of up to $450 CAD) when you spend a minimum of $5,000 in the first three months on your card1.

• Save $240 with free first checked bags for a family for four (traveling on the same reservation)1

• $119 for the second guest using your annual World Elite round-trip companion voucher3

Key features

  • Annual fee: $119
  • Companion voucher cost: $119-$399 CAD3
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 4501 welcome WestJet dollars (a value of up to $450 CAD) when you spend a minimum of $5,000 in the first 3 months on your card1.
  • Regular rewards earn rates: 1.5% WestJet dollars per $1 on everyday purchases8 and 2% WestJet dollars per $1 on WestJet flights or WestJet Vacations packages8
  • Other travel benefits: Comprehensive insurance; free checked bag4

Apply for the card or learn more by reading our complete WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard review.

RBC British Airways Visa Infinite

Quick Facts

Who's eligible?
Minimum credit score: Good/Excellent
Minimum income: $60,000 personal/$100,000 household
Age: Age of majority in province/territory
Residency: Canadian resident

The Companion Award eVoucher offered by the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite is, in some ways, the most lucrative among all companion fares offered in Canada—it can be redeemed for a $0 base fare, and it can be earned annually. But it does come with a number of important caveats that transatlantic travel mavens should consider before they sign up. To start with, the companion fare is only awarded if you make at least $30,000 worth of purchases with the card each year˜, which is no small chunk of change, even if you direct all your spending onto the card. And the fare can only be matched to flights redeemed with Avios, not flights purchased with cash or even a combination of cash and Avios. Finally it can be redeemed only for British Airways flights (no flights with Oneworld alliance partners) that originate in and return to Canada.

All that said, if you do see yourself meeting the aforementioned requirements you can save quite a bundle: The base fare of an Economy class, Vancouver-London return flight with British Airways can easily reach $800+ during peak travel periods like Christmas/New Year’s, and savings are of course even more substantial for Business or First Class fares.

Key features

  • Annual fee: $165
  • Companion voucher cost: $0 base fare˜ (must pay taxes, fees, and surcharges)
  • Welcome offer:  Earn up to 60,000 bonus Avios^ in the first year (with minimum spend, conditions apply)
  • Regular rewards earn rates: 2 Avios per $1 CAD you spend on British Airways and BA Holidays*; 1 Avios per $1 CAD on qualifying net purchases*
  • Other travel benefits: 10% off British Airways flights you pay for with your card; link with a Petro-Points membership to save 3¢/L on fuel and earn 20% more Petro-Points at Petro-Canada; comprehensive insurances including 31-day out of country/province emergency medical insurance1

Apply for the card or learn more by reading our complete RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card review.

American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card

Quick Facts

Who's eligible?
Minimum credit score: Good/Excellent
Age: Age of majority in province/territory
Residency: Canadian resident

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card’s annual companion fare feature allows you to choose from a variety of base fares for an economy ticket on an Air Canada flight, making it the most flexible companion fare on this list. Air Canada has a far greater number of global flight itineraries than, say, WestJet or Alaska Airlines, and the Aeroplan Reserve Card’s companion fare can be redeemed for a round-trip itinerary within Canada and the continental U.S. ($99 CAD); to/from Hawaii, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean ($299 CAD); to/from South America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa ($499 CAD); or to/from Asia, Australia, and New Zealand ($599 CAD).

The fare voucher does have some limitations: It’s only awarded to those who make at least $25,000 in purchases within a given year, and the cardholder of course must pay for taxes and fees in addition to the base fare cost. But you can nonetheless save quite a bundle depending on what flight you redeem your fare for—the open-market base fare for a Vancouver-Dubait flight, for example, can easily run upward of $1,200. Use your annual voucher for that kind of a ticket and you can potentially save enough to make up for the card’s high annual fee.

Key features

  • Annual fee: $599 ($199 for each additional card)
  • Companion fare cost: $99-$599 CAD
  • Welcome bonus: New American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Cardmembers can earn up to 85,000 Aeroplan points (conditions apply)
  • Earn rate: Highest Air Canada earn rate on an Aeroplan payment card in Canada: Earn 3X the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada®* and Air Canada Vacations®*; Standard Earn Rate 2X the points on eligible dining and food delivery purchases in Canada and earn 1.25X the points on everything else.
  • Additional perks: Unlimited access to Priority Pass airport lounges; special Air Canada travel benefits including your first bag checked for free; and comprehensive travel insurance.†
  • New Offer: Cardmembers can now get an extra night free for every 3 consecutive hotel nights redeemed with Aeroplan points. Offer ends December 31, 2024

Apply for the card or learn more by reading our complete American Express® Aeroplan®* Reserve Card review.

The gift that keeps on giving

More Canadians should consider taking advantage of companion fares, which offer a simple alternative to the headache focusing on new welcome offers. The fact that some of these cards give companion vouchers out every year on a cardholder’s anniversary is like getting an annual welcome bonus. Just keep your card open, active and in good standing, and an annual companion voucher can be yours – that’s quite the deal. While we continue to advocate the value of credit card sign-up bonuses, especially those with annual fee waivers, there is no doubt companion fare programs can offer as much, or more value, even with an annual fee attached.

American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, (I/we) may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment. 

Refer to RBC Page for up to date offer terms and conditions.

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