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Getting two tickets for the price of one sounds too good to be true, but the Delta Companion Certificate makes it possible — with some caveats. The certificate, which comes with many Delta co-branded credit cards, can help reduce the cost of traveling in pairs.
Yet squeezing the most value from these certificates takes some know-how and persistence. We have some pointers to help you maximize this potentially lucrative benefit.
The Delta Companion Certificate lets you book two round-trip tickets within the U.S. for the cost of one plus taxes and fees up to $75.
It comes with some Delta co-branded cards but not all.
Not all Certificates allow premium cabin fares, and none allow international travel.
» Learn more: The NerdWallet guide to Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
What is the Delta Companion Certificate?
The Delta Companion Certificate can be used to book a round-trip ticket for a companion traveling on the same itinerary for just the cost of taxes and fees charged, up to $75.
The Companion Certificate is issued to eligible Delta cardholders every card anniversary, so you can use it once a year per card. The benefit does not roll over if unused.
Credit cards with a Delta Companion Certificate perk
Do.you get a companion ticket with Delta credit card? Yes, for some.
The following Delta credit cards are offer the Delta companion pass perk:
Not sure which Delta card to get? Consider the value you expect to get from the certificate each year against each card’s annual fee and other benefits. Try to pick the card that offers an annual fee you can afford yet offers the perks you’re after.
The Delta companion fare is automatically issued to your SkyMiles account each year following your card renewal. Look under “Certificates, eCredits & Vouchers” under the “profile” section of your SkyMiles account.
How the Companion Ticket on Delta works
Eligible fare classes vary
Passes from eligible AmEx Platinum cards are valid on domestic main cabin fares.
If you're a Reserve credit card holder, the Companion Certificate has more reach. A Reserve Delta AmEx companion ticket can be used for domestic first class, Comfort+, or main cabin fares. You can even use your Delta Companion Certificates to fly domestic Delta One with this card.
Delta Companion Certificate restrictions
The Delta Companion Certificate can't be used on basic economy fares, and tickets can only be booked in fares L, U, T, X, or V. Not all flights have availability; be sure to book early as these are some of the lowest Delta fare classes and among the first to sell out.
Both travelers must be booked at the same time and on the same reservation. Your associated Delta co-branded credit card must be used to pay for the primary ticket, and travel must be reserved and completed by the expiration date on the certificate. If either ticket is canceled, the other will be as well.
Finally, the Companion Certificate is only valid on round-trip tickets. One-way and open-jaw flights are not eligible.
» Learn more: Top airline credit cards with companion tickets
Only the primary traveler earns miles
Will both travelers earn miles and any related elite status perks? Only the primary ticket will earn miles for travel. However, the primary member and companion are both eligible for any relevant seat upgrades based upon the Medallion member’s status.
Can the companion traveler benefit be shared with someone else?
The generous among us may be wondering: Can I gift my Delta companion certificate?
The Delta Companion Certificate can be used to book airfare for any two travelers, but the ticket must be paid for using the cardholders’ Delta card. The cardholder does not need to be one of the travelers.
This means that if you can’t use it, be sure to share your certificate with a family member or friend before the expiration date.
It can expire
One of the strictest Delta Companion Certificate rules is that travel for any companion pass must be booked and completed by the date on the front of certificate. Note that its validity is not based on the calendar year.
A Delta Companion Certificate is valid for one round-trip ticket with the payment of applicable taxes and fees on certain routings within the 48 contiguous United States.
Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands 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 to use the perk.
That's bummer news for those of us who live in the contiguous United States and dream of traveling to our far-flung neighbors: We can't use the Delta companion ticket to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or USVI, regardless of card level.
How to use a Companion Certificate
Your certificates are is tucked away in your SkyMiles account. To get there, do the following:
Log on to delta.com.
Go to My Delta.
Click on "Certificates, eCredits & Vouchers" in your Profile.
Your Companion Certificate will be waiting for you under “Use Certificates and eCredits."
Select the Certificate checkbox and click "Continue."
Other ways to find your available Delta Companion Certificates are to navigate to delta.com/redeem and log in to your SkyMiles account. From that same page, you can also jump to your certificate with the 8-digit certificate code from the email notice you received.
Once you've confirmed its availability, you can easily redeem your Delta Companion Certificate. The steps to use a companion fare on Delta are made explicit in your account. Simply confirm at every step that phrasing like "Companion Certificate Applied" is visible in your booking window.
Other tips for redeeming your companion ticket
There’s really just one trick to using the Delta Companion Certificate: Use it on the most expensive domestic round-trip ticket you plan to buy. Since the cost of the additional fare is not affected by the original fare, the value of the certificate scales with the cost of the ticket.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to book an unnecessarily expensive ticket. Rather, you should use it on a relatively expensive trip you’re already planning to take.
Because of the destination limitations of the certificate, this usually boils down to timing. Using it for family travel during the holidays, for example, is a great way to cut down on the high cost of airfare in December. Wedding travel and other plans with inflexible dates during peak season is another good target.
Final thoughts on the Delta Companion Certificate
The Delta Companion Certificate is a nice perk to offset some of the costs of the annual fees associated with Delta AmEx cards. Though the destinations are limited and the certificates are time-bound with expiration dates, Delta loyalists who want to save money on their next flight with a loved one will be satisfied with its value.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card