As a consumer journalist I still get taken every once in a while. And when I do I write about it figuring that if I fall for it, many of our readers will also. That would be the case with companion ticket offers.
Over the years I have signed up for credit cards and products that offered free companion tickets. Have I ever used one? NO.
Why? WiseBread’s Michael Dolan did the digging and his column is worth reading.
Here are a couple of graphs from his column:
Before we read the fine print and run the actual numbers, common sense will tell us many of these offers smell fishy right off the bat. For example, a while back Kodak was running this offer which touted complimentary companion airfare simply for making a $50 purchase.
As one would guess, Kodak does not actually operate the companion ticket program. Rather, that is administered through a totally separate company called Promotions in Travel. Their website is listed in the fine print and instead of telling you my thoughts about its quality, I will let that website speak for itself: CompanionTicketInfo.com.
I searched for similar promotions and came across several, which were all eerily similar to the one above: no phone numbers, shady websites, and only vague information being provided. The exception was this offer from Meijer’s which did provide more details in the fine print.
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