*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated May 20, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
A great perk that comes with the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express is a free companion certificate for every year you renew either card. The certificate allows you bring a companion for free on a Delta flight in the 48 contiguous states, but you must pay the required taxes and fees (up to $75). That $75 is minimal compared to what a flight would cost in cash, so we’ll explore what you need to know to take advantage of this benefit.
In this article
- How to book a companion certificate flight
- Delta companion certificate FAQs
- How long is the certificate valid?
- What does the expiration date mean?
- Can you use the certificate if you cancel your card?
- Can you get more than one certificate?
- Will you earn miles with the certificate?
- Does the cardholder need to be traveling with the companion?
- Can you fly in first class?
- Can you pay for the first ticket with a voucher?
- The bottom line
Before we get too far, there are a few important caveats to be aware of:
- Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can book flights to the 48 contiguous states.
- If there’s a delay or cancellation, you can only be rebooked on Delta flights.
- The companion ticket will not earn miles, but the primary ticket will.
- If you have Medallion status, you are eligible for free upgrades if you request them.
- The certificate is fully transferable, so you can book the ticket for anyone you’d like.
How to book a companion certificate flight
Your certificates are stored online at Delta.com, and you can look them up by logging in with your SkyMiles® number and password.
Screenshots taken from delta.com on May 17, 2019
After logging in, you’ll see the certificate listed with the expiration date. Remember, you only have until the certificate’s expiration date to complete your flight. Select the checkbox next to it and continue to the booking page.
Do a flight search as usual. You can only book round-trip flights with the certificate.
Screenshots taken from delta.com on May 17, 2019
You’ll see flight options with the price for the eligible fare. If you can’t see anything, check other dates or nearby airports. And make sure you have a three-night minimum stay and are checking flights at least 14 days in advance.
The certificate is valid with both cards when you book an economy fare in the L, U, T, X, V fare classes. That means if some of Delta’s lowest to mid-fares are showing on the dates you’re looking at, you should see availability. The lowest basic economy fares aren’t eligible for the companion certificate.
If you’re using a certificate from the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, you can also book first class fares in the A and I classes, which are among the cheapest first class fares. You can also book W class Comfort+® fares, subject to availability.
Once you select your flights, you’ll see the taxes and fees you’ll need to pay on top of the price of the first ticket. In this case they come out to $28.40.
When you enter the passenger names, Passenger 1 is the cardholder and Passenger 2 is the companion, so make sure you put the name and SkyMiles number for the cardholding passenger in the correct field.
Delta companion certificate FAQs
How long is the certificate valid?
The expiration date is a year after the certificate is deposited into your SkyMiles account.
What does the expiration date mean?
The expiration is the date your trip must be completed, which means your flight back home must take place by that date. Most fares require an advance purchase of up to 14 days, a three-night minimum stay and a 30-day maximum stay.
Can you use the certificate if you cancel your card?
Yes, once the certificate is deposited into your SkyMiles® account, it’s yours to use until the expiration date, regardless of whether you still have the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.
Can you get more than one certificate?
Yes. If you hold more than one eligible SkyMiles card, you’ll receive a certificate for each annual fee you pay.
Will you earn miles with the certificate?
Yes, the primary passenger – the one paying the fare – will earn the miles. The certificate holder will not.
Does the cardholder need to be traveling with the companion?
Yes. Both passengers must be booked at the same time, in the same class of service and in the same record.
Can you fly in first class?
Medallion elite members traveling with a companion will be eligible for free upgrades to first class and Delta Comfort+ based on the status of the higher-tiered member, as long as the companion is a SkyMiles, Medallion or partner airline elite member traveling on the same reservation. Companion tickets are eligible for Global or Regional Upgrade Certificates, but not upgrades using miles.
Can you pay for the first ticket with a voucher?
No. You must pay for the first ticket and the taxes/fees of the companion ticket with your SkyMiles credit card. The certificate cannot be combined with another offer or discount including, but not limited to, web fares, sale fares and eCoupons.
The bottom line
The Delta companion certificate is a sweet benefit that comes with the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express. It would be better if the certificate could be used outside of the contiguous U.S., but it’s good enough to bring someone along on trips to popular cities such as New York, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
While you must pay the taxes and fees on the companion certificate, up to $75, it’s still a great bargain, considering what full fares cost. It’s even a better bargain if you manage to upgrade to Delta Comfort+ or first class.
Is this certificate alone enough to carry the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express or the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express? No, but it’s definitely worth having when bundled with other card perks, including free or discounted SkyClub airport lounge access, help to maintain your Medallion elite status, a free checked bag, priority boarding and plenty of SkyMiles redemption options.
The information related to the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.