This trick can get you a free plane ticket

Planning a getaway? There's no better way to save on your trip than with a free airline companion ticket. But how to find one? That's easy: travel rewards credit cards. Here, we rounded up a few notable cards with insight from Lee Huffman, the travel blogger behind Bald Thoughts, along with some smart tips for swiping these credit cards.

American Express Delta Reserve Credit Card

With a hefty annual fee of $450, the Delta Reserve Card isn't playing around. Still it lives up to its price point, thanks to its ability to grant you access to all Delta Sky Clubs, one free checked bag and, yes, that alluring Companion Certificate. The fare is valid for one round-trip First Class or Main Cabin ticket, which you can only redeem on Not bad for a piece of plastic that also grants you 20% savings in the form of statement credit on certain pre-purchased meals, boozy beverages and in-flight entertainment.

RELATED: Never buy these items at the airport:

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items to avoid buying at the airport
Wireless internet is often a necessity in order to keep in contact with your loved ones. Before you make the decision to purchase it at an airport, however, check to see if there is a local Starbucks or coffee shop where Wi-Fi will more than likely be free to use. 
If you're looking for a last-minute gift then purchasing a souvenir from a shop inside the airport may be necessary. If you are able to stop beforehand, you may want to avoid buying a gift from the airport. Oftentimes, airports will increase the price of souvenirs that can probably be found somewhere else for a more reasonable price. 
Bottled Water 
You may not realize it, but on average, bottled waters inside airports are about three dollars. You can avoid this trap, however, by purchasing a reusable water bottle or even emptying your water bottle before you go through the security checkpoint and refilling at a fountain once you get inside. 
Neck Pillow
This is a common item that can be purchased online. If you aren't able to, however, buy one before you get to the airport to avoid paying double the market price for one. 
Much like many of the other items on this list, snacks are extremely overpriced in airports. The best deal is to buy snacks in bulk and bring a few with you to last throughout your flight.
Reading a book is a perfect way to pass time while waiting for your flight -- but if you purchase a book at the airport, don't be surprised if it happens to be 40 to 50 percent higher than what it would be in a bookstore. 

British Airways Visa Signature Card

Spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the British Airways Visa Signature Card, and you'll receive a cool 50,000 bonus Avios (club currency) rewards. With this card, you'll also earn three Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways purchases and one Avios for every dollar spent on everything else. But getting that free companion flight — also known as a Travel Together Ticket — will require more planning, as cardholders are required to make $30,000 in purchases in one year, Huffman said. You may also be subject to higher taxes and fuel surcharges, he warned, "so you're better off redeeming the voucher for a business class ticket instead of an economy ticket."

Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card

Whether you choose the Premier or Plus card, Southwest offers plenty of ways to score points toward free flights. Both of these cards come with a signup bonus that hands you a whopping 40,000 points — that is, after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening — and additional points on your cardmember anniversary. To earn a coveted Companion Pass, just cash in points from purchases made with either card. "This one is awesome because you can use it an unlimited amount of times," Huffman said, "the only limit is how many tickets you want to buy with cash or flights." Fair warning: Both cards come with annual fees, $99 for Premier and $69 for Plus.

Using Your Travel Rewards Card

Travel rewards cards are hard to beat when it comes to earning perks just for spending. But spend too much — or spend more just to earn the rewards — and you could wind up squandering the savings to debt and high interest. It also goes without saying that lenders don't like to see excessive debt, as it can be an indicator you're not so great at managing finances. Experts recommend keeping your debt at 30%, ideally 10%, of your total credit limit for the best effect on your credit. These premium cards typically require you have good credit, so before you apply for one, you'll want to know where your credit stands. You can view two of your free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on

Note: It's important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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