How to use Delta Companion Certificates to save hundreds of dollars on your next flight with your Plus-One

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Premium airline credit cards bestow some eye-popping perks to cardholders to ensure they reserve an honored spot in their wallet for these cards—and are willing to pay the typically expensive annual fee. One of the most exclusive and rewarding benefits is a companion certificate. We’re going to walk you through the Delta Companion Certificate today. 

If you have an eligible co-branded Delta credit card that offers this perk, it can essentially wipe out the cost of your Plus-One’s ticket so you only have to pay the taxes and fees. When used strategically, it can save you a significant amount and help you enjoy your travels more.

What are Delta Companion Certificates?

A companion certificate is a benefit offered by some co-branded airline credit cards. Generally, it allows you to purchase one ticket for yourself at full price and get a second one (with certain restrictions) for your travel buddy on the same itinerary while paying just taxes and fees. 

Depending on factors such as routes and dates, this perk could potentially save you hundreds of dollars on that second ticket. Some well-known companion certificates in the travel credit card space include the Southwest Companion Pass, the Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare from Alaska Airlines, and of course, the Delta Companion Certificate. 

Delta offers two different companion certificates through four of its premium American Express cards—two on the personal side and two on the business side. These are as follows:

As these are premium cards, they all charge expensive annual fees. But along with the yearly companion pass, these cards offer many other perks (such as a free checked bag) that may help wipe out the cost of the annual fee for frequent Delta flyers who can maximize the benefits. 

While both companion certificates are used in the same way, the one offered on the SkyMiles Platinum and SkyMiles Platinum Business cards is more restrictive and can only be used when flying main cabin. By contrast, the certificate that comes with Reserve and Reserve Business cards has no restrictions when it comes to the class of service you’re booking, allowing you to choose which cabin you’d like to fly, including first class.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page 

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page 

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, see this page 

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, see this page 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

See Rates and Fees

Intro Bonus

Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

Annual fee $650
Regular APR 20.99%–29.99% variable

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

How to use your Delta Companion Certificates

Taking advantage of your companion certificate could not be easier. Once you have received the companion certificate from your eligible Delta Amex credit card—which happens upon renewal of your card every year—log in to your Delta SkyMiles account and head to your profile. From there, click “Use Certificates and eCredits” and select the certificate check box before clicking “continue.”


You will be presented with a flight search engine that looks much like any Delta flight search, but this one comes pre-populated with specific information to use your companion certificate, like searching for two passengers and pre-filtering out any ineligible fare classes for which your certificate can’t be redeemed. 


Depending on what card you have, you may have the option to select a first class or Comfort+ ticket, making these certificates a lot more valuable. Otherwise, your certificates are restricted to main cabin tickets, but you’re still saving the cost of the companion’s fare.


After selecting your flights, the checkout screen will show you the price of both of your tickets. Note in the example below that the $446.40 includes your full ticket plus only the taxes and fees for your companion.


Delta will also remind you here in this section that your companion won’t be earning miles for their ticket, and if you cancel your ticket after purchasing, you will not be able to reuse your companion certificate.

How to get Delta Companion Certificates

The only way to have access to a Delta Companion Certificate is by holding any of the four premium American Express cards that include the annual certificate as cardholder perk. 

Get a Delta Companion Certificate for less money

Delta SkyMiles Platinum or Platinum Business American Express cardholders earn a certificate that’s good for a main cabin, round-trip flight to a domestic, Caribbean or Central American destination each year after renewal of their card. 

You’ll pay $350 a year for the personal card and the same $350 a year for the business card, so this is the most affordable path to a Delta Companion Certificate. 

Debating if a SkyMiles Platinum might be the card for you? Here’s our guidance on how to analyze whether the Delta SkyMiles Platinum is worth it or not. 

Get a Delta Companion Certificate good for first class

Delta SkyMiles Reserve or Reserve Business American Express cardholders receive the most valuable of certificates, allowing them to redeem for a first class, Comfort+ or main cabin round-trip flight to a domestic, Caribbean or Central American destination each year after renewal of their card. The personal card is $650 per year and the business card is also $650.

However, while the price tag might give you sticker shock, note that these cards also come with coveted Delta Sky Club access (terms apply). Frequent travelers loyal to Delta probably won’t find another card that can match these two in terms of luxury perks. If you’re on the fence, take a look at our guide on deciding whether the Delta SkyMiles Reserve is worth it for your situation.  

How much taxes and fees will cost

Regardless of which card you have, your companion certificate lets you get your ticket at full price—and, for the friend or family member traveling with you, pay only the taxes and fees. For domestic itineraries, you can expect to pay up to $80 round trip, and for international ones, the taxes and fees can amount to up to $250 for a round-trip flight.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

See Rates and Fees

Intro Bonus

Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

Annual fee $350
Regular APR 20.99%–29.99% variable

yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

How much are Delta Companion Certificates worth?

Companion certificates do not have a set dollar value associated with them and instead, the value you get varies depending on the destination you use them for and the dates—effectively making them a great tool to lower your travel costs to expensive destinations, provided the certificates can be used for those specific flights.

For example, by using a companion certificate from the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Amex, you could (at the time of writing) book a flight from Los Angeles to New York City over New Years in first class for a cost just slightly higher than you would pay for two main cabin tickets if you weren’t using your companion certificate.



The takeaway

For cardholders who don’t see the steep annual fees from these premium Delta credit cards as a barrier to enjoying the benefits they confer, the companion certificate alone can potentially bring enough value to make it worthwhile to carry one of these cards. The money you save on your travel buddy’s airline ticket can likely offset the annual fee if you’re savvy about how you redeem your certificate, making any other credits and benefits on your card an overall win.

Frequently asked questions

Can I redeem miles for my ticket when using a companion certificate?

No, when using a companion certificate, you must pay for your own ticket with your American Express card. You will not be able to redeem Delta SkyMiles to cover your ticket in this case. 

Do Delta Companion Certificates expire?

Yes. Your companion certificate will have an expiration date on it. You must both book and complete your trip by the expiration date listed. 

Can I use my companion certificate for first class flights?

Depending on the Delta credit card you have, you will be able to leverage these companion certificates for first class flights. If you hold the Delta SkyMiles Reserve or the Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business, your companion certificate will be good not just for main cabin but also first class and Comfort+, and you can redeem them for round-trip domestic, Caribbean or Central American flights.

But, if you have the Delta SkyMiles Platinum or the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business, your companion certificates only allow for use in main cabin flights to the same destinations.

Do I earn miles or MQDs when using a Delta Companion Certificate?

Whoever is booked as the primary traveler—the one paying full price on the ticket—will accrue miles as they normally would. Their companion, however, will not have a mileage accruing ticket as they’re flying on an ineligible fare. 

Can I use my Delta Companion Certificate for someone else?

Yes, you can gift the companion certificate, as you do not need to be the primary passenger—essentially, you book primary and companion tickets for two travelers who are not yourself. 

Keep in mind the two passengers flying on this companion reservation have to be flying on the exact same flights for the same dates in order to use a companion certificate.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit guide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company. 

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying. 

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