Companion certificates are my favorite airline and credit card perk of all time. Companion certificates are a way to bring someone with you on a trip for a fraction of the normal price. But the Delta Companion Certificate is only available when you have the right Delta credit card.
In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to earn the Delta companion certificate — and how to use it for the most savings once you have one.
What is the Delta Companion Certificate?
The Delta Companion Certificate is a credit card benefit that allows you to bring a guest with you on a flight for only a small fee. Your companion will fly with you while only paying taxes and fees of no more than $75 for the roundtrip flight. Airplane tickets can be hundreds of dollars, so the companion certificate can save you a lot of money without you having to use your Delta SkyMiles to book the flight.
You receive the companion certificate each year when you renew your Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card. This is a perk you receive on your renewal, but not when you initially open the card. The business versions of these Delta credit cards — Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card and Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card — also offer a companion certificate annually as a benefit of renewing.
Companion certificates are good for 13 months from the date of issue. The flight must be booked and travel completed by the expiration date listed on the certificate.
When booking a companion ticket, you and your companion must be on the same flight and be booked into the same class of seats. Upgrades can be available based on your Delta Medallion elite status or when using an upgrade certificate. You may not use Delta SkyMiles to upgrade a companion ticket.
How do you earn a Delta Companion Certificate?
Unlike the Southwest Companion Pass, you don't have to earn your way to the Delta Companion Certificate. To receive a certificate each year, the only qualification is to hold the right credit card and pay the annual fee. Your companion certificate will post to your account in the month in which your annual fee is due.
So, which are the best airline credit cards from Delta that will earn you the certificate? Although there are several versions of the Delta credit card, only the Platinum and Reserve credit cards earn the Delta Companion Certificate. The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is a good credit card and offers a lot of value, but it does not offer a companion certificate.
Additionally, if you have multiple Delta credit cards that offer the Delta Companion Certificate, then you will receive one for every eligible card. For example, if you have the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card and the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business Credit Card, you would earn a companion certificate for each card.
The type of Delta Companion Certificate you receive depends upon which Delta credit card you have. Holders of the Platinum credit cards receive a more limited companion certificate than cardholders of the Reserve credit cards:
- Platinum cardholders receive a companion certificate that can be booked for Main Cabin class tickets.
- Reserve cardholders have more options, with the ability to book Main Cabin, Delta Comfort+, or First Class tickets with their companion certificate.
You may not book any other class of ticket (e.g. Basic Economy) other than what is stated on your certificate.
So, let’s talk a little bit more about these credit cards so you can pick the one that’s perfect for your spending and travel needs — and get you a Delta Companion Certificate.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card is a popular credit card for Delta SkyMiles members who want to earn or maintain their elite status. This credit card offers a great welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
When spending with this card, you'll earn 3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1X miles for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
Other perks of the Platinum card include having your first bag checked free on Delta flights, Main Cabin 1 priority boarding. Just make sure your SkyMiles number is attached to your reservation so you can access these benefits. There are no foreign transaction fees, and you'll receive a 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases and an exclusive per-visit rate when visiting Delta SkyClub airport lounge locations. The annual fee is currently $250.
Learn more about this card at our Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card review.
A business version of the Platinum card is also available. The Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card is virtually identical to the personal version, but allows business owners the opportunity to earn Delta SkyMiles on their business expenses.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
For travelers who fly Delta frequently and want airport lounge access, the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card is one of the best travel credit card options. It offers complimentary Delta Sky Club airport lounge access for the cardholder while flying Delta or a SkyTeam partner airline. Cardholders may bring up to two guests into the lounge at a rate of $50 per person per visit.
The annual fee for the Reserve credit card is $550. In comparison, purchasing an individual Delta Sky Club membership would set you back $545 per year.
Reserve cardholders also earn 60,000 bonus miles as a welcome bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months. When spending with this card, you'll earn 3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1X miles for all other eligible purchases.
With Status Boost®, Reserve cardholders can earn 15,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $30,000 in purchases through 12/31/23, up to four times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status.
Learn more about this card at our Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card review.
The Reserve card also has a business version — the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card. This card earns 3X miles for eligible purchases made directly with Delta; 1.5X miles per dollar after spending $150,000 in a calendar year; and 1X miles on all other eligible purchases.
How to use your Delta Companion Certificate
Booking flights using the Delta Companion Certificate can be done online at the Delta website if you already know your 8-character certificate code from the letter or email you received.
How to find your certificate in your Delta dashboard
Each year when your certificate is issued, you'll find it in your SkyMiles account. Here's how to locate your certificate.
1. Go to Delta.com and log into your SkyMiles account in the upper right corner.
2. Click on your name in the upper right corner, then click on “My Delta” on the dropdown menu.
3. Go to “Credits and Certificates” in the My Wallet box.
From there you will see your available companion certificates. Select an available certificate and click “Continue.” You can then search for available flights and book a trip for you and your companion as you normally would. During this process, Delta will automatically filter out flights that are not eligible.
There are no limits to the price of the ticket you can purchase with your companion certificate, but the taxes and fees are capped at $75 for the companion ticket. So keep in mind that when you select a higher-priced flight for the primary passenger, you’ll save more money with the companion certificate.
That said, there are limitations when booking with your companion certificate:
- Your ticket must be L, U, T, X, or V class
- The companion certificate may not be available on all flights or in all markets
- Delta may require advance booking of up to 14 days
- You may be required to have a minimum of a 3-night stay
- Flights are limited to a maximum stay of 30 days
The companion ticket will also incur government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for round trip domestic flights.
When booking your Delta Companion Certificate ticket, you must pay for both your primary ticket and the Delta Companion Certificate flight with your Delta credit card. You may not book the primary ticket using Delta SkyMiles.
An important thing to know — or you can lose your certificate
You have flexibility when it comes to booking your companion ticket, but it is possible to lose this valuable credit card perk. If either the primary or the companion ticket is canceled, then both tickets will be canceled and the Delta Companion Certificate will not be reissued. In other words, only book tickets that you truly plan to travel on, otherwise you could lose your companion certificate.
Even though the primary ticket is canceled in this scenario, you won't forfeit the entire cost of your flight. By paying a $200 administrative fee to Delta, you can apply the amount paid for the primary ticket toward future travel.
If you realize you won’t be able to make your trip as originally booked, you can change your flight after it is ticketed, but you'll pay a $200 fee each for the primary passenger and companion tickets, plus the difference in price for the new tickets.
Commonly asked questions
There are a lot of rules you need to understand when it comes to earning and using the Delta Companion Certificate. Here are a few of the questions readers ask the most.
Can I give my Delta companion ticket to someone else?
Yes, the Delta Companion Certificate can be used when booking flights for friends and family. You will need to book the tickets through your account using your certificate number and Delta SkyMiles login. You do not need to be on the flight, just the same as if you booked a flight for someone else using your Delta SkyMiles.
You may not sell or barter your companion certificate. Any companion certificates acquired through prohibited transactions are void and will not be honored for travel. And once a companion ticket has been booked it is no longer transferable.
Are Delta companion tickets upgradeable?
Yes. Travelers with elite status and those using an upgrade certificate can receive upgrades on a Delta companion ticket. Both the primary and companion tickets are eligible for complimentary upgrades to both Delta Comfort+ and to First Class based on the elite status of the higher-tiered member. Tickets are also eligible for upgrades using Global or Regional Upgrade Certificates.
Both passengers must be upgraded at the same time because travelers on a companion ticket cannot fly in two separate classes (e.g. Economy vs Business). However, you may not upgrade a Delta Companion Certificate using Delta SkyMiles.
How long are Delta companion tickets good for?
Delta Companion Certificates are issued each year during the month in which you renew your credit card. Certificates are generally valid for 13 months from the date of issue. You must book and complete travel by the date printed on the certificate.
Do I earn Delta SkyMiles on a Delta companion ticket?
Unfortunately, the companion ticket will not earn miles. However, the primary passenger booked alongside the Delta Companion Certificate will accrue miles for their ticket.
The Delta Companion Certificate is a great way to save money on a round-trip domestic flight on Delta. For taxes and fees of no more than $75, your companion can join you on an upcoming flight. Although there are a few limitations, the companion certificate can be used on almost any Delta flight throughout the United States.
In order to get your Delta Companion Certificate, you'll need to apply for the personal or the business version of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Credit Card or the Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card. All of these credit cards receive a companion certificate every year and help you earn Delta SkyMiles and Medallion elite status based on your spending.
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Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months
3X miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and at hotels; 2X miles per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets; and 1X miles for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases