Airline credit cards typically offer standard benefits, like bonus miles on airfare purchases, free checked bags and priority boarding. But one of the most valuable perks any airline credit card can offer is a companion ticket that can cut your cost of travel in half.
Thanks to its high welcome bonuses, earning structure and airfare discounts, the British Airways Visa Signature Card has long been considered one of the best credit cards from a foreign airline offered in the U.S., especially when you consider British Airways’ extensive U.S. route network. But it also comes with one of the most interesting companion travel benefits: the Travel Together Ticket.
The rules around redeeming this perk have recently been improved, and it is now easier to use and more valuable than ever.
Here are the details on this companion deal and how to maximize it.
How to earn the British Airways Travel Together Ticket
U.S.-based British Airways Visa Signature Card cardholders who spend $30,000 on their card in a calendar year can earn a Travel Together Ticket (posted within 4-6 weeks). The voucher is valid for outbound travel up to 24 months from the issue date (the return flight can be after that).
The British Airways Visa Signature Card offers 75,000 Avios after spending $5,000 in the first three months and exclusive offers when flying the carrier, such as a 10% discount on British Airways flights originating in the U.S., up to $600 in statement credits for award flight taxes and fees every year and earns 3 Avios per $1 spent with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Level. The annual fee is $95.
Only the main cardholder with a registered address in the U.S. is eligible to earn the Travel Together Ticket; additional cardholers are not. Only one voucher can be earned each calendar year, even if the cardholder spends more than $30,000 on the card.
Rules for redeeming The Travel Together Ticket
The Travel Together Ticket comes with several conditions worth considering when it comes time to redeem it, some of which are positive and some negative.
Previously, these vouchers could only be applied to award bookings using British Airways Avios and on British Airways-operated flights. However, this rule has recently been relaxed, so they can now be redeemed on flights operated by Aer Lingus and Iberia, though note you must still book your flight(s) through British Airways Executive Club.
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The Travel Together Ticket differs from other companion tickets, which are more like a two-for-one paid deal. In this case, you’re getting a two-for-one award redemption but are still responsible for the taxes and other carrier-imposed charges on your ticket (which can be substantial). This also means you’ve got to find two awards open on the same itinerary in the same cabin. If you wish to travel in first class, two award seats on the same flight can be tough to come by.
For solo travel, you can redeem it for 50% of the Avios required for one passenger, which is a handy perk if you would rather travel alone and save Avios.
Previously, the voucher could only be used on round-trip itineraries originating in the United States. However, this rule has also recently been relaxed, so voucher holders can now commence their itinerary anywhere in the world that British Airways, Iberia or Aer Lingus operates from (provided there is Avios availability).
Your companion must be booked in the same cabin on your itinerary (unless you redeem it for solo travel). So if you book a business-class award for yourself, you must find a second one for your companion on the same itinerary. Stopovers are allowed.
Though the terms are not explicit, you should plan to have your card open and in good standing at the time your want to use your Travel Together Ticket.
When it makes sense to redeem the Travel Together Ticket
Now we come to the real question: Is it worth using the Travel Together Ticket? The answer depends on how you plan to redeem it.
British Airways awards are notorious for high taxes and surcharges on flights through London. While this generally makes economy awards a bad value, it can still be worth paying less than $2,000 per person to fly in business or first class as part of an award ticket compared to shelling out the cash fare, which will be many thousands of dollars, especially with premium fares across the Atlantic as high as they currently are.
BA introduced a new option in 2022 called Reward Flight Saver to use more Avios to reduce the cost of the taxes and surcharges on Avios redemptions.
British Airways award availability between the U.S. and Europe tends to be much better than what U.S. and other European carriers make available. So if you want to book an award, your chances of finding it are good.
The other key benefit is that British Airways has retained an award chart, so you can be confident of how many Avios you will need on any day — no 400,000 points per flight pricing with this program.
Now, let’s take four scenarios and compare the cost of using the Travel Together Ticket compared to purchasing airfare to determine whether this is a good deal.
To make things simpler, we’ll look at a single route from Atlanta (ATL) to London Heathrow (LHR) over a single set of dates in November since award availability was open across all four cabins offered by BA on these flights (these are off-peak dates). The taxes and fees are typical examples of what you would expect to pay, both for two people traveling together and solo travelers, given the ticket can also be redeemed for solo travel.
First up, economy. A round-trip award on this itinerary for two people using the lowest surcharge Reward Flight Saver option would cost 120,000 Avios plus 300 British pounds ($393) in taxes/fees.
If you were using this as a Travel Together Ticket, you’d still be paying 60,000 Avios plus $393 for two tickets. This is because you would only be charged the Avios for one passenger but the fees, taxes and surcharges for both. Compare that to the regular economy fare on the same dates of around $1,000 per person for non-stop flights and this would be a great way to use Avios to save hundreds of dollars.
If you are a solo traveler, you can redeem the Travel Together Ticket for 30,000 Avios plus $196 in fees, taxes and surcharges, saving over $800 on the cash fares for the same flight.
Now for premium economy. Here’s a sample award from the same week that would cost 190,000 Avios plus 660 British pounds ($864) for two passengers.
A paid fare on the same dates would be $1,813 per person, so $3,626 for two passengers. With a Travel Together Ticket for two passengers, you would be charged 95,000 Avios plus $864, saving you thousands off the cash ticket.
Solo travelers could redeem 45,000 Avios plus pay $432 in taxes and surcharges, another excellent way to save big on the $1,813 cash fare.
In business class, British Airways will charge 360,000 Avios plus 900 British pounds ($1,179) in taxes and surcharges for two passengers at the Reward Flight Saver rate.
With the 50% reduction in Avios with the Travel Together Ticker, you would still be charged a huge 180,000 Avios plus the full $1,179 co-payment. However, with cash fares on these dates close to $4,000 each roundtrip in business class, you would still save thousands of dollars using the voucher.
For solo travelers, just 90,000 Avios plus under $600 in taxes and fees saves versus $4,000 for a cash ticket is a great deal.
Reward Flight Savers are not offered in first class, so while you’ll only need marginally more Avios than the business class rates above, you must pay the full fees, taxes and surcharges. For two passengers using a Travel Together Ticket this would be 170,000 Avios roundtrip plus an eye-watering 3,263 British pounds ($4,279).
While this would represent a decent saving on the cash fares of almost $6,000 per person, given the thousands of dollars of surcharges you must pay for a first class redemption, using the voucher for business class instead would be a much better deal.
How to earn Avios
If you want to use a Travel Together Ticket but don’t have enough British Airways Avios in your Executive Club account, British Airways is a transfer partner of Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy, making Avios one of the easiest currencies to earn.
Points transfer from Chase, Bilt and Amex at a 1:1 ratio (in addition to occasional transfer bonuses of up to 40%), while Marriott points transfer to Avios at a 3:1 ratio. Plus, you’ll get a 5,000-Avios bonus for every 60,000 Marriott points transferred.
The following cards all currently offer strong welcome bonuses that you could easily convert to Avios:
- American Express® Gold Card: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of account opening. Terms apply.
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Check to see if you’re targeted for a 125,000-point welcome offer through CardMatch (offer subject to change at any time). Terms apply.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: (see rates and fees) Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: (see rates and fees) Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
The British Airways Visa Signature Card‘s Travel Together Ticket can save you thousands of dollars on British Airways, Iberia or Aer Lingus flights from anywhere in the world by allowing two passengers to travel together, in any cabin with award availability and only pay the Avios required for one passenger. The spending requirement to earn the perk is high, though.
Following last years Reward Flight Saver rollout to allow passengers to reduce the notorious BA carrier-imposed surcharges by paying more Avios, this voucher is a valuable credit card perk for economy, premium economy and business class flights. However, the savings are less in first class as the Reward Flight Saver option is not available.