Delta Companion Certificate Guide
Everyone knows about the Southwest companion pass as a great way to allow a companion to fly for free whenever you travel (But what if you don’t fly Southwest, because, c’mon, they are only economy, so we know I won’t fly them, like ever) – enter the Delta Companion certificate guide. Luckily, Delta has us covered with their companion certificates. Sure, it’s only good for one flight, but it is still an excellent perk for holding either the Delta SkyMiles Platinum or Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express card. I’ll walk through how to earn and use these certificates and why the Delta SkyMiles Reserve is the card you want if you fly Delta regularly.
How to Earn a Delta Companion Certificate
There are four Delta American Express credit cards that offer the Delta companion certificate as a benefit:
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card—Offers Main Cabin companion certificate
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card—Offers Main Cabin companion certificate
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card—Offers companion certificate good for Main Cabin, Comfort+, or First Class
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card—Offers companion certificate good for Main Cabin, Comfort+, or First Class
To earn a Delta companion certificate, all you need to do is pick up any of these cards and keep it for at least a year. You’ll be given a companion certificate each account anniversary that can be used within a one year timeframe. However, Delta was excellent about extending the certificate expiration due to COVID-19. One interesting thing that I learned the hard way is that the upgrade certificate is not awarded until one year after you upgrade to an eligible card. For example, I upgraded from the Delta Gold to the Platinum card a few months before my anniversary date and was told I wouldn’t receive the companion certificate until a year from the upgrade which is completely out of line with the way American Express deals with other things based on your cardmember anniversary.
The Delta Reserve companion certificate is far better than the one offered by the Delta Platinum cards since you can book a first class ticket with it. While you’ll still be eligible for upgrades as a Delta Medallion if you book Main Cabin, I think it’s far nicer to just book directly into first class using the certificate.
If you’re one of those airline nerds, there are specific fare classes that you can book with your companion certificate. Obviously, you can’t book an award ticket. You have to book a revenue fare.
|Delta Amex Type||Main Cabin Fares||Comfort+ Fares||First Class Fares|
|Delta Platinum Cards||L, U, T, X, V||–||–|
|Delta Reserve Cards||L, U, T, X, V||W||I, Z|
You don’t need to worry about the fare classes, though. Delta will let you know if a flight is eligible for using your companion certificate when you go to book.
How to Use a Delta Companion Certificate
Delta companion certificates let you book any domestic round trip ticket for yourself and one companion within the continental U.S. (i.e. excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI. You cannot book a one-way trip.
If you earn a Delta companion certificate, it will show up in your Delta account. To use it, log into your SkyMiles account on the Delta website and find where it says “Advanced Search” on the booking form. You’ll then see an option where it says “Use Certificates, eCredits, or Delta Gift Cards”. Clicking on this will take you to a page where you’ll see your Delta companion certificate(s) listed. From here, it’s a pretty smooth booking process.
Only fares that fall in the applicable fare classes in the table above will be presented in the search. Delta will give you the lowest price for the available flights. If booking economy, you won’t see any flights in Basic Economy (since this is not an option for certificate use) or in the highest, full-fare economy fares.
Here’s one of the better deals I’ve found for flying Delta First Class using a companion certificate for the distance flown. First class for $285 round-trip per person? That’s a steal.
I also found some decent prices flying nonstop Delta first class out of New York to Fort Lauderdale. If only I could use the certificate to fly to the Bahamas. What I’m waiting for is a nice first class sale to Las Vegas flying Delta. It would be amazing to use the certificate for a future trip, although I do prefer flying Mint to Vegas.
Rules, Restrictions, and General Tips
Delta companion certificate Guide: Here is everything you need to know about the restrictions-
- Travel must be completed by the date shown on the certificate.
- Stopovers, open jaws, and circle trips are not permitted.
- Most fares require an advance purchase of up to 14 days, a 3 night minimum stay and a 30-day maximum stay.
- Tickets are eligible for Global and Regional Upgrade Certificates, but not eligible for mileage upgrades.
- The primary member’s ticket will earn SkyMiles, but the companion’s ticket will not.
- You cannot apply a companion certificate to a ticket that is already purchased.
- Your certificate is deemed used once tickets are issued and it will not be returned or replaced. If your ticket is canceled, the companion ticket will not be reissued.
- Upon redemption, payment of government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for round trip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required.
- Medallion Members or Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card Members traveling with one companion will be eligible for Complimentary Upgrades to both First Class and Delta Comfort+ based on the status of the higher-tiered Member, as long as the Companion is a SkyMiles Member, Medallion Member, or partner airline elite member, traveling in the same reservation.
- The companion certificate is good for flights operated by Delta or any of their domestic regional partners. You won’t be able to use it on the (rare) codeshare flight with other carriers.
- If the primary ticket and companion ticket are changed after issuance, subject to the fare rules of the primary ticket, there will be a $200 administrative service charge for each of the primary ticket and the companion ticket, plus a charge for the fare difference of the primary ticket. Changes are subject to the rules of the fare purchased and are subject to seat availability. After travel has commenced, rerouting is not permitted.
- Delta companion certificates may not be bartered or sold. Companion certificates or companion tickets acquired through prohibited sale/barter transactions are void and will not be honored for travel.
Here are my personal tips for using Delta companion certificates:
- Follow Delta fare sales, since you’re looking for cash tickets that you can use your certificate on. This is especially important if you’re looking for Comfort+ or First Class.
- The companion certificate from the Delta Reserve cards is better since you can book either Comfort+ or First Class. Look for cheap flights in these cabins to get great use out of your certificate. The bonus is that you’ll also enjoy the 150% MQMs if you fly in First Class!
- Book a flight you know you’re going to take. Once you use your certificate, it’s gone, and it is both costly and a hassle to change your ticket once issued.
- Don’t use companion certificates for anyone who needs to earn credit for that specific flight since the companion will not earn miles, MQMs, MQDs or MQS.
If you fly Delta regularly, the companion certificate offered by the Delta SkyMiles cards is an excellent perk. You essentially get a 2-for-1 deal (with just a little extra in taxes). I am more partial to the Reserve version, personally. Since you can use this one for first class flights, you can recoup a whole lot of the card’s $550 annual fee. In addition, the Reserve card provides Delta SkyClub access, lounge guest passes and allows you to earn additional MQMs toward Delta Medallion status, making it an all-around excellent pick for a Delta loyalist. Hopefully the Bougie Miles Delta Companion Certificate Guide answers all of your questions, bit feel free to comment below and ask anything not covered.