Fly for Free: Yearly Delta Companion Certificate with the Delta Platinum Credit Card

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Both the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and Platinum Delta SkyMiles®  Business Credit Card from American Express offer an awesome benefit — an annual companion certificate. This companion certificate allows someone to fly with you on the exact same itinerary. While the annual fee of the two cards is higher than the Gold version, you can easily make up for the difference (plus more) with the certificate — which is not a benefit of the Gold version. The Reserve cards also come with a Companion Certificate that gives you much more flexibility, although there is a higher annual fee with these cards. I’ll post about these certificates later in the week.

Delta Companion Certificate FAQs

  • Do I receive the companion certificate immediately upon applying for the Platinum card? Unfortunately, no. You only receive the companion certificate upon account renewal. So you will have to wait about a year after receiving the card to take advantage of this benefit.
  • Is this a one time benefit? No! You’ll receive the companion ticket every single year you renew your Delta Platinum card and pay annual fee.
  • What routes are the companion certificates good for? The companion certificate will allow another person to fly with you on the exact same itinerary. It is valid for all roundtrip Delta, Delta Connection, and Delta Shuttle flights within the continental US. That means flights to/from Alaska and Hawaii are not eligible. Although, if you are a resident of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, you can use the companion certificate, but only to fly from home (that being Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands) to the continental US and back.
  • What are the limitations with the companion certificate? To use the companion certificate you need to purchase your ticket at least 14 days in advance with a minimum 3-night stay. Even though you are limited to just coach tickets, you are even more limited to the fare class. Eligible flights must be booked with fare class L, U, T, X and V. You also will not be eligible for an upgrade. Also, if you need to cancel a flight booked using the companion certificate, you will not get the certificate back to use on a future flight.
  • Can someone really fly for free by using the companion certificate? Sorta. While the base fare is free, you’ll still be on the hook to pay the required taxes and fees which can vary depending on the route. The cost, however, will never be more than $75 roundtrip (for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Keep in mind though that the person booked using the companion ticket (i.e., the free ticket) will not earn miles for their flight.
  • How do I redeem the companion certificate? You can redeem the companion certificate quite easily. It is tied to your Delta SkyMiles account, so all you have to do is log in, go to “My Delta” and you’ll see it in the “Credits and Certificates” section under “My Wallet”. Or, if you know your 8-digit companion certificate number, you can redeem directly here. You also must use your Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card to pay for the tickets.
  • Can I gift the companion certificate to someone else? Yes! You are not required to be flying to use the companion ticket. You are able to give the certificate to anyone you desire so they can book a flight and have any one of their friends/family members use the certificate.

Other Benefits

While the Companion Certificate is my favorite benefit of the card, there are many other benefits that you might find beneficial as well. For example, if you are trying to earn status, many times the welcome offer will allow you to receive bonus MQMs after meeting the minimum spend requirement. Then on an annual basis, if you spend $25,000 on your card during the calendar year, you’ll receive 10k MQMs. Now, if you are able to spend a total of $50,000 on the card, that will earn you an additional 10k MQMs. Remember, you can earn the MQMs per card, so if you have both the personal and business version of the card you can receive 10k MQMs from the welcome offer plus up to an additional 40k MQMKs annually.

You’ll also receive redeemable miles annually. With both cards, not only will you earn 10k MQMs after $25,000 spend, you’ll also receive 10k miles which you can use to redeem for free trips. Those miles are worth at least $100, although most likely more if you are able to get a good value out of your Delta miles.

Like all Delta credit cards, you’ll also receive your first checked bag for free for both you and 8 other passengers on the same itinerary, Priority boarding, 20% in-flight savings, and discounted SkyClub access. I personally find those benefits pretty basic, but the free checked baggage can really save you some money depending on how you fly.

Overall…

In theory, the companion certificate can save you money if you are a Delta flier and can offset the annual fee. However, some folks have complained about the difficult usage of the certificate due to the limitations, i.e, fare class requirement, advance purchase, minimum night stay, etc. However, if you are one to plan in advance and have flexibility, you will most likely be able to get your moneys worth and save way more then the annual fee!

For rates and fees of Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of Platinum Delta SkyMiles®  Business Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As always, thank you for supporting the blog and enjoy traveling on a deal!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Upgrades are indeed permitted: “Medallion 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 General SkyMiles Member, Medallion Member or partner airline elite member, traveling in the same reservation. Tickets are eligible for Global or Regional Upgrade Certificates but are not eligible for mileage upgrades”. From “PLATINUM COMPANION CERTIFICATE TERMS AND CONDITIONS” at https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/planning-a-trip/booking-information/online-booking/companion-certificates.html

  2. It is confusing that you state “The companion certificate will allow another person to fly with you on the exact same itinerary” and then further down clarify that you can gift the companion pass and you don’t have to be flying at all.

    • @MM – Sorry about the confusion! The Companion just has to fly on the exact same itinerary as the original person who is booked (which doesn’t have to be you). You can gift the companion certificate to someone and then their companion has to fly on the exact same itinerary as them.

      • OK, thanks. That agrees with this excerpt from Frequent Miler:
        “Be generous and book others. Just because a companion certificate is in your Delta account does not mean that you have to fly to use it. You can book the tickets for anyone. If you have a soon-to-expire certificate that you can’t use, let others know. Most people with plans to fly two people on Delta will be thrilled for the chance get one ticket nearly free.”

  3. I fly quite a bit and I can assure you that this certificate is virtually impossible to use.
    When fares are low the fares are not eligible and, conversely, when fares are at their highest the certificate is not valid.
    When I had trouble finding a round trip and was able to find a valid flight into MIA and departing FLL, the round trip requirement kicked in. Evidently, every airline, including Delta considers MIA and FLL as one destination except when using this certificate.
    IMHO, this information should be boldly included in every ad and blog mentioning this benefit.

    • @Donato – Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree the certificate has it’s challenges, but I have been able to use it, it just takes some flexibility.

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