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What is Delta Companion Certificate And How to Use It?

You can use your Delta companion certificate add another person to your trip, just make sure to consider restrictions and pay taxes & fees
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Lorraine Smithills
Lorraine Smithills

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Table Of Content

What Is A Delta Companion Certificate?

If you enjoy flying Delta and are considering the Delta loyalty program or a Delta co-branded credit card, you may have seen that you could receive Delta companion certificates. However, many people remain a little confused about what a companion certificate is and how you can use it.

Essentially, the Delta companion certificate is a two-for-one deal on plane tickets. After you purchase your ticket, you can use your companion ticket to have another person travel with you, and you’ll only need to pay the taxes and fees on the second ticket.

The companion certificate can be used for round trip tickets, providing your companion is traveling on the same itinerary. However, once you’ve used your companion certificate, it cannot be used again.

Fortunately, eligible Delta cardholders receive a new companion certificate each year on their card anniversary. Just bear in mind that if you don’t use the companion certificate in the issued year, it will not roll over to the following year.

How Delta companion certificate work
You must book the tickets for both travelers at the same time using your associated Delta co-branded card (Photo by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

How Does the Delta Companion Certificate Work?

While the premise of a Delta companion certificate is quite simple, there are a few intricacies to how they actually work.

Firstly, you can’t use your companion certificate on basic economy fares. There are specific fare categories on which you can use your certificate, but not all flights offer availability. If you’re thinking about using your certificate, it is a good idea to try to book as early as possible, particularly if you’re interested in a lower fare class.

You must book the tickets for both travelers at the same time, under the same reservation, using your associated Delta co-branded card. Additionally, while the certificate can be used for any two travelers, the primary ticket must be paid for using the Delta card. So, while you don’t have to be one of the travelers, you do need to use your card to pay for the ticket.

You can use your companion certificate for one round trip ticket, but you’ll need to pay the applicable fees and taxes. However, there are some restrictions on the available destinations. This means that the route needs to be within the 48 contiguous states.

So, if you are resident in Alaska, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii or Puerto Rico, you’ll need to originate from your home state to one of the 48 contiguous states and have an address in your home state on your SkyMiles account.

If you live in the 48 continuous states, you cannot use your companion certificate to fly to Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.

Another stipulation of using your companion certificate is that only the primary ticket earns travel miles. However, both of you can be eligible for relevant seat upgrades according to your Medallion status.

One of the strictest rules about Delta companion certificates is that the travel needs to be booked and completed by the date printed on the front of the certificate.

Validity is not based on calendar years, but rather your cardholder anniversary date. So, check the dates carefully as your benefits will not roll over to the following year.

How Do You Earn a Delta Companion Certificate?

Delta Companion certificates are only a perk for co-branded Delta credit cards. There are four Delta American Express credit cards in both personal and business categories, but not all of these cards have the companion certificate perk and the different cards offer varying companion passes.

In fact, you can only receive a companion certificate with the following cards:

Card
Rewards
Annual Fee

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
1x – 3x 3x miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1x mile per dollar spent on other purchases (1.5x miles on all purchases after spending $150,000 in a calendar year)
$650 (Rates & Fees)

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

1X – 3X 3X miles per dollar on eligible Delta flights and Delta Vacations® with 1X miles on all other purchases

delta amex business logo

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card
1x – 3x 3 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and hotels, 1.5 miles per dollar spent on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 50,000 additional miles per year and 1 mile per eligible dollar spent on all other purchases

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases

For example, the SkyMiles Platinum American Express cards offer one main cabin, round trip companion pass per year after you’ve paid your annual fee on renewal.

However, SkyMiles Reserve customers are eligible for one main cabin, first class or comfort+ round trip companion certificate per year.

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How to Use and Save Money With Delta Companion Certificate

Your certificate is stored in your SkyMiles account, so you’ll need to log on to use it. 

How To Get The Companion Certificate?

There are several steps to activate your certificate and use it when you’re making a reservation.

  1. Log In: You’ll need to log into the Delta.com website with your unique user details.
  2. Click “My Delta:” Head to the My Delta section and then select “Certificates, e-Credits and Vouchers.” You’ll find this under your profile.
  3. Check the Box: Your companion certificate can be found under the “Use Certificates and eCredits” section. You simply need to select the certificate checkbox and then click “Continue.”
  4. Proceed with your Reservation: From there you can proceed with making your reservation and Delta will apply the certificate automatically. Just be sure to confirm the steps when prompted to apply your companion certificate and ensure it is visible in the booking window.

Alternatively, you can use the eight digit certificate code that you’ll find on your email notification from your SkyMiles account. You can't pay in Delta miles in order to get a companion certificate.

When it comes to saving money with your companion certificate, there are some strategies to follow. These include:

Most of us are aware that some itineraries can be far more expensive than others. So, if you tend to travel to different areas of the country, hold your companion pass for the higher cost itinerary. The cost of the additional fare is not linked to the original fare. This means that the value of the certificate will scale according to the cost of the ticket.

Of course, you shouldn’t book an expensive itinerary just for the sake of it, as you’ll still have to pay for your own fare. However, if you’ve been putting off a trip to a particular city because of expensive airfares, the companion certificate will give you a two for one discount.

Peak season is a time when airfares tend to skyrocket. If you’re heading to visit family for the holidays or you want to travel at the height of summer, you can take advantage of your companion certificate.

This is especially pertinent if you don’t want to travel back home later at Thanksgiving. Most people are aware that the price of airfares can vary significantly depending on whether you travel on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and return home on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.

.So, by using your companion certificate, you can fly out and return home on the days that best suit you rather than having your plans determined by slightly higher prices.

Finally, if you have no flexibility in your travel dates, it could be a good use of your companion certificate.

For example, if you’re flying out for a wedding, you won’t really have any control over when you need to fly in. So, you can enjoy a two for one discount by using your companion certificate.

Companion Pass For Delta flight
If you tend to travel to different areas of the country, hold your companion pass for the higher cost itinerary (Photo by Miguel Lagoa/Shutterstock)

Why Can’t I Use My Delta Companion Certificate?

If you’re trying to make a reservation and are unable to use your companion certificate, there could be a number of reasons why.

  • You’re looking at the wrong fare class: Each companion certificate has restrictions about which fare classes it can be used for. For example, you can’t use the certificate for basic economy fares and unless you hold a SkyMiles Reserve Amex, you won’t be able to use your certificate for first class, or comfort+ fares.
  • Your certificate has expired: Companion certificates are only valid for one year and you need to have booked and completed your travel before the expiration date. So, even if the expiration date has not been reached, if you’re trying to book a future date which is after the expiration, you won’t be able to use the certificate.
  • The destination is not permitted: As we covered above, there are available destinations for companion certificates. So, if you’re trying to make a reservation for a non permitted destination, you will struggle.

How to Transfer a Delta Companion Certificate

You cannot simply transfer your companion certificate to someone else. Although you don’t need to be the primary traveler, the companion certificate must be used in conjunction with your associated SkyMiles Amex card.

So, if you don’t want to travel and you want to be able to use the companion certificate for two other people, you’ll need to make the reservation with your SkyMiles Amex.

How to Maximize Your Delta Companion Ticket: Tips

We’ve already covered how to save money using your Delta companion certificate, but some other tips can help you to maximize this great perk.

  • Remember you don’t need to travel: As we just mentioned, you don’t actually need to be the primary traveler or companion when you use your Companion certificate. So, if you’re planning a break with more than two of you, you may want to use your Delta Miles for you and your partner, so you can use the companion certificate for two further travelers.
  • Use it in concert with an International fare deal: If you’re planning on traveling internationally, but the itinerary origin points for the best deals are not in your local area, consider using your companion certificate for the domestic leg of your journey. You can use your certificate to book positioning flights, which will allow you to book those cheaper international deals from different cities.
  • Use Search tools: Since you can only use your companion certificate for specific fares, you may wonder if you have to browse every flight to find them. You’ll be happy to know that you don’t. There are a number of tools, such as ITA Matrix, which you can use to search for eligible flights.
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FAQs

Your Delta companion certificate can be found in the “My Delta” section when you log into the Delta website under “Certificates, eCredits and Vouchers.”

You can combine Delta companion certificates if you are traveling in a group providing that all of the certificates have not reached the expiry date before you complete your travel. So, if you have two SkyMIles Amex cards, you should have no problem using two companion certificates at the same time.

You can’t simply present your companion certificate to someone as a gift, but you can arrange their travel and pay using your SkyMiles Amex. It will then be up to you if the person repays you for the primary fare and taxes.

If you qualify for an upgrade, your companion certificate traveler will also receive an upgrade. This could be due to your Medallion status or if you have some other upgrade.

Delta companion certificates are valid for 13 months, but you need to have booked and completed your travel before the expiration date.

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Picture of Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine Smithills

Lorraine is a freelance finance writer with years of experience in the banking sector and after a successful career in one of the largest retail and commercial financial services providers. She has a passion for helping people with less financial confidence to get control of their money through budgeting, saving, and responsible credit practices.
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Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
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Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

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