The Companion Certificate benefit that comes with four Delta Amex cards is an excellent way to save money on trips you take with someone. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the havoc it wreaked on travel, Delta extended the expiration date on unused Companion Certificates to January 31, 2023 (Unused as of as of July 31, 2021.)
Those of us with Certificates expiring on January 31 have a little more than five months to use ’em or lose ’em. (Want to use your Companion Certificate for holiday travel? You might want to jump on that, like, now.) That may sound like plenty of time. But keep in mind your Companion Certificate trip must be completed by January 31, 2023.
Between now and then, you must
- Find an eligible trip
- Book the trip
- Actually go on your trip
Not all Delta flights have Companion Certificate-eligible fare inventory. So, finding a trip is sometimes much easier than it sounds. (But here’s a plus: you can now use Delta eCredits toward the cash portion of a Companion Certificate trip!)
I know plenty of people whose Companion Certificates go unused every year. Maybe they’re too busy to use the certs, don’t have a large circle of family or friends with whom they can travel, or they just plain forget.
However, there are few ways that may help you — and others — use a Companion Certificate.
Which Delta Amexes Give Cardholders a Companion Certificate?
Four Delta American Express give cardholders a Companion Certificate starting the second year of membership:
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
The Reserve Cards’ Companion Certificates are valid for select First Class, Comfort+, and Main Cabin trips. Meanwhile, the Platinum cards’ Companion Certificates are good only for some Main Cabin trips. (Read our post that dives into Companion Certificates details.)
With that out of the way, let’s look at a few out-of-the-box ways to use your Delta Amex Companion Certificate!
Reward a Kid’s Milestone
I love this opportunity and am excited to use it with my daughter when she’s older.
The idea came from a lady my wife and I met during breakfast at the Chicago Seminars in 2016. (I don’t remember her name but will update the post when it comes to me!)
She and her husband use the Companion Certificates to reward their kids’ various achievements. For example, her daughter was allowed to choose a vacation destination after finishing third grade with satisfactory grades. The child and her mom took a Mommy-and-Daughter trip — with the youngster’s base airfare covered by the Companion Certificate. (This can also create a fun redemption for anniversary night certificates that come with various hotel credit cards.)
How’s that for motivation to earn good grades?!
They repeat the process for the dad and son. They also take turns going on “milestone trips” with their kids.
Employee Rewards or Prizes
This is along the lines of the “reward a kid” example above. And it’s geared toward business owners who have a Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card or a Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card.
Perhaps there are sales quotas or other goals your staff needs to meet. You could award a trip to your highest earner — and end up paying for only one airfare in the process! Or maybe you have some sort of company party involving a raffle or other avenue for offering prizes. You could offer the Companion Certificate as one of the prizes (and whether or not you foot the bill for the paid airfare is up to you, of course).
“Donate It” to Someone
When a family friend died several years ago, his grandsons in the eastern US wanted to come to Los Angeles for the memorial service (which was held a few weeks after our friend died). So I offered their parents one of my Companion Certificates to help cut down on costs.
I honestly don’t even remember their names. And, yes, I technically didn’t recoup my annual fee for the card in travel for myself or my family. (The Delta Platinum Amex’s annual fee then was $195. It’s $250 now. See rates and fees.) But meh. Chuck’s grandsons needed a little help and I was happy to do what I could.
So if you hear of friends or family members needing help getting somewhere but money may be an issue, consider “donating” it to them.
The Companion Certificate is a great way to save money on Delta trips. But not using it is a waste of money. Remember there are some ways you — and others — might still get helpful benefits from the certificate while making it worth your time and money.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/rebius
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured above, please visit the following links:
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card (See Rates and Fees)
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